singleness-2
Society and Social Structures

Infertility redefined: World Health Organization declares Sir Cliff Richard “disabled”

The world has gone mad. Or, rather, the World Health Organization has gone mad. Hitherto, the definition of infertility has been based on the inability of the woman to become pregnant or sustain pregnancy to live birth; and the inability of the man to cause pregnancy. Fertility problems can be profoundly disturbing for both sexes; the mental and emotional pressures often exacerbated by the financial costs of medical treatments and surgical procedures to remedy the disability. And, by definition, it is a disability – a physical impairment; a restriction from participation in normality – though some may balk at the identification.

It is natural to want children: they are a blessing (Ps 127:3ff; Prov 17:6; Jn 16:21). To be barren is like a curse (Gen 25:21; Lev 20:21; Judg 13:3; Lk 1:7), but it is God who closes up wombs (20:18) and it is He who opens them to bear fruit (Ex 23:26). But what if you choose to remain single? What if it is one’s desire or vocation? What if, with St Paul, you are presently single and consider it good to remain so (1Cor 7:8)?

Well..

In their great wisdom, WHO is extending the definition of infertility to include singleness. Yes, Jesus is to be declared officially disabled, and so is St Paul, and so are all Roman Catholic priests. And so is Sir Cliff Richard, which is a bit harsh after the three years of purgatory he’s just endured.

What’s that you say? That’s not what the article says? “Single men and women without medical issues will be classed as ‘infertile’ if they do not have children but want to become a parent.” Jesus didn’t want to become a parent; nor, as far as we know, did St Paul. Roman Catholic priests may be called to a sacrificial life of singleness, but that doesn’t necessarily stop them wanting to become a father, does it? Sir Cliff has spoken a number of times about his desire: “I think I would have been a good father,” he told The Lady magazine as recently as 2013.

..the inability to find a suitable sexual partner – or the lack of sexual relationships which could achieve conception – could be considered an equal disability.

So the lack of children constitutes inequality and injustice. What emerges is an assertion of the “right to reproduce”. Rights belong to all people: if they are breached, there is injustice. Where people are deprived, they suffer oppression. Does the Roman Catholic Church really have the right to deprive priests of their rights? The question brings us back to Vicky Beeching’s plea to the Church of England. Isn’t enforced celibacy or forbidding people to marry a doctrine of devils (1Tim 4:1ff)?

No, no, priests aren’t enforced, deprived or forbidden: they surrender voluntarily and sacrifice willingly…

Dr David Adamson, one of the authors of the new standards, said: “The definition of infertility is now written in such a way that it includes the rights of all individuals to have a family, and that includes single men, single women, gay men, gay women.

“It puts a stake in the ground and says an individual’s got a right to reproduce whether or not they have a partner. It’s a big change.”

No skubalon, Sherlock. Not only does this right circumvent basic biology, it eradicates natural-law complementarity, placing the reproductive rights of singles and same-sex couples on a par with heterosexual unions.

There is a certain irony that we live in a part of the world in which it is illegal to discriminate against people on the grounds of marital status, yet here we are, about to consider (/be bound by) guidelines (/legal standard) from an international body concerned with the physical, mental and emotional health of the whole world, which seeks to impose disability upon all single people, thereby mocking the truly disabled.

Perhaps Sir Cliff and all able-bodied single people might sue WHO for harassment and discrimination.

  • carl jacobs

    It reduces children to objects whose principle purpose is to fulfill the desires of adults. But this is not new. Abortion has already established that reality. And divorce. And illegitimacy. And age of consent laws. We progressively re-organize our society to privilege the autonony of adults. We do it by destroying obligations that restrain the freedom of adults.

    Do you want children? Then you are obligated to form a stable permanent family in which those children can be raised & protected. The needs of the child impose this obligation. But now we declare the needs of the adult paramount. The needs of the adult impose consequences on the child. In order to satisfy adult desires, the child may be deprived of mother or father or security or family lineage or home. He becomes a means for adults to achieve fulfillment and nothing more.

    This is yet one more manifestation of the Religion of Self that is the de facto religion of so much of the West. We worship what we see in the mirror, and every knee must bow before that image – especially the knee of the young and dependent and helpless child.

    • IanCad

      Really Carl, Do you know what you’ve just written? Quite frankly, it is one of the most concise and insightful posts – out of many – that I’ve read on this blog.

      • carl jacobs

        Thank you for the kind words. 🙂

    • CliveM

      I was going to say something nice, then saw what IanCad said and decided it wouldn’t be spiritually healthy. Pride and all that. You know how it is!

      • carl jacobs

        My natural American humbleness protects me.

        • Hmm …

        • chefofsinners

          We English have a word ‘humility’. Probably died out from lack of use in the colonies.

    • @ carl jacobs—Did the Religion of Self appear out of thin air and displace Christianity all on its own or did it have a helping hand?

      • Read Genesis.

        • @ Happy Jack—Many thanks but I’m more interested in hearing what carl has to say. If he just hides behind the Bible as well rather than face up to reality, I’ll call it a day.

          • carl jacobs

            One does not “hide behind” the Bible. One stands upon it.

          • Bit disrespectful that ….

          • chefofsinners

            Yep. It’s too small to hide behind.

      • carl jacobs

        No, JR, the Jews are not responsible, and this is not part of some vast Jewish conspiracy to destroy Christianity.

        • @ carl jacobs—The late Joseph Sobran was a Christian. Forgive me for saying so but if Western Christianity had rather more Christians like him and rather fewer like you, it would today be in a much healthier state. This is from a 2004 article:

          The organized Jewish faction is what I call the Tribe. It’s a bit more specific than ‘the Jews’; but it includes most Jews, who, as many opinion polls show, overwhelmingly support the state of Israel and, furthermore, overwhelmingly favor ‘progressive’ causes like legal abortion, ‘sexual freedom’, and ‘gay rights’.

          What is striking about the Tribe is not that its positions on such matters are necessarily wrong, but that they are anti-Christian…It would be inaccurate to say that the Tribe adopts certain social attitudes and political positions even though these are repugnant to most Christians. It adopts them chiefly because they are repugnant to Christians.

          The Tribe has no pope or authoritative body defining its creed, but its attitudes aren’t hard to discern…And the preponderance of Jewish sentiment is clear: it loathes Christianity and Christian influence in public life. It resents Christian proselytizing, one of the first Christian duties (virtually banned in Israel). It considers the Gospels the very source of what it calls anti-Semitism.

      • Anton

        Johnny, this time you might have more of a point than you realise. Not many people know that the Germanic “higher criticism” which begat “liberal” Christianity by undermining belief in the Bible can be traced back to apostate Jewish scholars. See the chapter titled “The birth of Biblical criticism” in Rabbi Marvin Antelman’s book To Eliminate the Opiate. Antelman was an Orthodox Jewish scholar who was equally disgusted with the undermining of the Old Testament.

        • @ Anton—I’m in no position to assess the chapter but it is abundantly clear that Christianity has been, and is being, undermined. Christianity, and it alone, is subjected to constant mocking. It seems to me that Christianity’s pacific nature makes it the least likely of all the major religions to survive in a multicultural environment, which is one of the reasons why the West had to become multicultural.

          • Anton

            Christianity will survive, Johnny. That’s about the only thing I’m confident will, nowadays.

          • It will, yet, ‘I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?’

            Faith will remain but it seems it may be in short supply.

    • Dominic Stockford

      And now it appears that the US of A is about to elect a woman president who supports postpartum abortion, more commonly called infanticide or child murder. The ‘young’ and the ‘old’ are both to be disposed of if unsuitable, meanwhile those ‘in the middle’ give themselves permission to do whatsoever they want, regardless.

    • Anton

      Agreed, Carl. Behind this is the Human Rights industry, seeking to make parenthood a human right – and therefore something which the State is bound to provide.

      • carl jacobs

        The Human Rights Industry is a product of and dependent upon Western power. As Western power wanes, and the multipolar world emerges, the Human Rights consensus will disintegrate. It isn’t a function human progress. It’s a function of dominant culture.

        • Anton

          Indeed, and let’s play them at their own game: what about the human right of children to be brought up by parents who have made a permanent commitment to each other.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            They should sue God for his criminal negligence in placing the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil where Eve could get at it then. If God had been a better father and protected his children from danger, the Fall would never have happened and all these fatherless children would have grown up in happy, stable, two-parent homes.

            When a child shoots himself because his parents left a gun laying about, do we blame the child or the parent?

            The ultimate author of the fatherless child’s supposed misery is the one who made it possible for fathers to abandon their children in the first place.

          • Anton

            If human rights and the God of the Bible exist, then God is a serial human rights abuser.

            You seem to take this as an argument against God. I take it as an argument against the notion of human rights.

          • chefofsinners

            Adam and Eve were created man and woman, not boy and girl.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            If the myth is true, Adam and Eve had the bodies of a man and a woman, but with that, a level of naivety that we associate only with children or the simple-minded.

            But in any case, compared to God, we’re all ignorant, naive children. Putting us near the Tree of Knowledge was tantamount to giving a child a box of matches and leaving it by a pile of dry sawdust and timber, and then acting all surprised and outraged when the smoke started to rise.

            If God is omniscient he knew exactly what would happen. And still he let us fall.

            Some might say he meant us to all along.

            God may be good, but if so then good is a word that none of us understand. If we did, we’d be horrified by what it really meant and the consequence of it for us.

          • chefofsinners

            Which is pretty much what the serpent said to Eve.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            You mean the serpent was right?

            Steady on, you’ll be celebrating black masses before the day is out if you continue with this line of thinking.

            This is where having faith like a child comes in handy. You can stick your fingers in your ears and shout “I can’t hear you!” much more convincingly when you’re a 5 year-old child. Adults have fewer options when it comes to ignoring unpleasant truths. I mean, how can anyone except a credulous child believe that a father who plonks his children down on the edge of a cliff and then wanders off while they stray dangerously close to the edge has any intention other than seeing them fall off?

            Did we fall or were we pushed? I think you know the answer to that question…

          • chefofsinners

            The serpent was as right as you are.

        • Inspector General

          3 main groups vie for control of so called human rights, Carl…

          Amnesty, and their cosying up to dubious types who are career agitators, many of whom are crypto terrorists and deserve to be hanged.

          The “let ‘em all run free” bleeding hearts who wish to abolish prisons. “There MUST be a better alternative to prison” blighters…

          State sponsored organised buggery. The new lad on the block. Tipped to take over the thing in the near future.

          This rights giant may be the product of degenerative Western indulgence – but it will still be undermining what’s left of our society even as we are swept aside by our successors…

          • Anton

            God didn’t bother with prisons in ancient Israel’s law…

          • Why do you think that was?

            People were stoned, burnt, arrowed, beaten, fined but never sent to prison or confined in any way. Confinement was something completely foreign in the Jewish Legal system.

            Should we abolish prisons and the welfare system and re-institute stoning, burning, beatings and slavery according to the Law of Moses as a substitute for both?

          • Anton

            The welfare system is a separate issue. As for abolishing prison in favour of corporal and capital punishment, Yes. God is wiser than man.

          • Yet there were prisons in Israel.

          • Anton

            Perhaps to hold people prior to trial, but not as a penance, or at least not as a penance licensed by God.

          • Agreed. It is not in the OC law.

          • No. If prisons are abolished we’ll see the rise of vigilante groups metering out justice as they see fit.

          • chefofsinners

            Tents don’t make very good prisons.

          • Anton

            God was aware that he was legislating for life in Canaan as well as on the march there. Look at all the stuff about threshing grain, bringing animals for sacrifice “at the place he chooses”. He made no change to the punishments suitable on the Exodus.

          • chefofsinners

            Threshing grain can wait until you have grain to thresh. Dealing with criminals has to be immediate.

          • Anton

            So why didn’t God say when giving the Law, “These will be the punishments during your march to Canaan; those will be the punishments once you are established there”? Or say later, “Now you are in the land, the punishments will be changed to…”?

            Do you believe the punishments meted out under Mosaic Law in Canaan were unjust?

          • chefofsinners

            God chose to give one law for the desert, the young disorganised nation and the mature Kingdom.
            Whatever covenant God gives at any time is by definition just, and not for mankind to question. The thing is, those covenants have varied over time. We are told that the law was “added” because of the trespass. So clearly the previous covenant remained. (Galatians 3:17-19.) But in Eph 2:15 we are told that the law is now set aside. Likewise in Hebrews 7:18, and 10:9.
            So it is unsafe to set national laws based on the old covenant, particularly in light of Jesus’ teaching on the law. Although Jesus said he had not come to abolish the law but to fulfil it, it is clear that the law has now been set aside.

          • Anton

            You say that those covenants have varied over time. But man has not varied in his nature since the fall, and God has never varied. What has varied from covenant to convenant is rather the context. The new covenant is for the church, a voluntary organisation called out of the nations of the world and therefore not suited to a body of law with penalties. Expulsion (perhaps with a prayer of committal to Satan depending on your interpretation of 1 Cor 5) should be the supreme sanction of the church. I agree, moreover, that no nation other than ancient Israel has ever been commanded by God to take Mosaic Law as its legal code. But there is such a thing as wise precedent… Now, the sacrifices are gone since the crucifixion, and were never appropriate for any nation without a national covenant anyway. But the “moral” components of Mosaic code remain a supreme precedent for wise rulers, because man hasn’t changed in his moral nature. If it was just then, it is just now. And pray to heaven that we never call God unjust.

          • chefofsinners

            No, God is never unjust. Injustice arises from mankind’s failure or inability to uphold a penal code.
            Mosaic law is an excellent guide to what is right and what is wrong. When it comes to defining suitable punishments, though, matters are less clear.

          • Anton

            Why?

          • Because God holds his covenant people with all the privileges that entails more responsible and so liable to greater discipline.

          • Anton

            Because I”ll give you greater blessings, I’ll punish you harder than otherwise when you do wrong? Non sequitur, surely – what sort of father does that?

          • Privilege always increases responsibility. A child raised in a good home will have greater expectations from his father than the expectations the same father will have of a child he knows to have been raised poorly. Even civil law recognises extenuating circumstances. Israel with the law was punished more severely than Israel before law. Compare sabbath breaking.

            You only have I chosen
            of all the families of the earth;
            therefore I will punish you
            for all your sins.”

            Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

          • Anton

            “You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your sins” – this simply says that God had a covenant with ancient Israel that included a legal code with penalties. Nowhere does God stipulate what the penalties for identical crimes should be in gentile nations, and they cannot be inferred to be less on the basis of this passage.

          • Anton

            My argument is cumulative. Consider the other texts.

          • Anton

            My question is this. If the just penalty for a particular crime in a gentile nation is one thing, how can it be just to enact a harsher penalty in the one place where God (who is just) sets the laws?

          • My question is how you can avoid the force of these texts. Even uncle Ben in Spider-Man recognised that privilege brings greater responsibility. It is a foundation of western justice no doubt based on a Christian past.

            The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master
            wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

          • Anton

            Aren’t you conflating issues? These verses are about the punishment of Israel as a nation, in implicit comparison with God’s treatment of gentile nations; whereas I have only ever been talking about the just penalty for individual crimes. Why should the just penalty for something be different merely upon crossing the border of ancient Israel?

          • Anton

            I feel you’re wriggling. What we have here is a recognised universal principle. It is as true of the individual as it is a nation. Why should it not be?

            You want to argue that OT civil legislation should be normative in every culture. There is not a hint in Scripture this should be so. The law was only ever for a people who had entered into covenant relationship with God. Had the nations entered this covenant it would have been appropriate for them for they too would have been the recipients of God’s special care and privilege. But had they done so they would have embraced the whole law for the law was unitary. It could not be taken piecemeal. It must be embraced completely or not at all.

            I have no doubt we can learn much that is helpful in formulating juridical codes from the law, in fact most western legal codes are derived in part from it. But to seek, as theonomists do, to impose it on an ungodly society with no covenant relationship has no biblical mandate, indeed all the indications are otherwise.

          • Anton

            I don’t think I’m wriggling, but if you think I am then what good does saying so do in a serious rather than a polemical discussion? We are seeking after the truth together, I presume.

            The principles of national life and the principles of individual life are so different that you can’t carry them over without specific justification. In particular, nobody but God has the practical power to enact penalties on entire nations.

            There is a specific reason why I am suggesting that the penalties for personal transgressions against other people (“moral” laws) should be taken up from Mosaic law. It is because man’s nature hasn’t changed at all. The laws about how to treat plough animals are outdated today, but the moral laws governing interpersonal relations aren’t.

            I in turn ask you to genuinely ponder the questions I put: If the just penalty for a particular crime in a gentile nation is one thing, how can it be just to enact a harsher penalty in the one place where God (who is just) sets the laws? Why should the just penalty for something be different merely upon crossing the border of ancient Israel? By asking these questions I am trying to make a point.

          • I should have placed a happy face at the wriggling. I meant it but meant it with a smile. The reason I think so is because I think the point I have made regularly is clear and cogent; greater privilege means greater responsibility and so greater punishment. More importantly it seems to me self-evidently biblical on the basis of texts stated.

          • Anton

            It’s not self-evident if your brother disagrees in good faith!

            Could I ask you, in all respect, to address explicitly the specific questions I’ve put?

          • But Anton, as far as I can see I have.

            You ask: ’If the just penalty for a particular crime in a gentile nation is one thing, how can it be just to enact a harsher penalty in the one place where God (who is just) sets the laws? Why should the just penalty for something be different merely upon crossing the border of ancient Israel’

            I answer: because greater privilege creates greater responsibility.

            Again, Luke 12

            From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

          • Anton

            I can see that that’s an answer regarding moral crimes between gentiles in a gentile land and between Israelites in Israel, but it doesn’t answer why it should supposedly be fair to punish a confidence trickster differently when he plays the same trick on two people either side of ancient Israel’s border line.

            I get “I love you more, so I’m going to bless you more.” I don’t get “I love you more, so I’m going to punish you more.”

          • I’m not sure that it would work like that. Aliens in Israel (non covenant people) were not given the same privileges as the covenant people and I’m not sure that they were answerable to the same law unless they became proselytes. I’d need to check up on that though.

            I think we need to remember that the law was an unusual covenant. It was given to a politically redeemed people but not necessarily spiritually redeemed people. Israel claimed relationship with Yahweh but for many in Israel this relationship was nominal. It’s rather like the Church of England is a Christian Church though many within why claim to be Christians are Christians in name only. In both cases God treats them according to what they profess. The privileges they have heighten their responsibility. They have by association with the church ‘tasted the powers of the age to come’ (Hebs 6) and in turning away from it are in danger of terrible judgement. True believers are blessed but the false are cursed.

            ‘Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.’

            While it is true to say that God loved Israel and Christ loves the church the true Israel and the true church (for it is these that are loved) is but a subset of the whole.

            The revelation we are given makes us responsible. The greater the revelation, the greater the responsibility. And this responsibility makes us (all) subject to judgement. Judgement, Peter reminds us, begins with the house of God. For true believers this judgement is the wise gracious discipline of a loving Heavenly Father and will result in greater holiness (Hebs 12). For merely nominal believers this judgement will be destructive.

            Thus all in Israel experienced various judgements from God, including exile. Some bore it in faith humbling themselves under God’s hand and as a result will receive an eternal reward. For others, unbelief made the judgement one of final destruction.

            I’m aware there are intricacies and qualifications that this simple outline does not address. For example, as mentioned above the covenant itself was unusual. God’s covenants with Israel were largely promissory and gracious. The Mosaic covenant was promissory but the promise was not based on God’s grace but on human works. It did not as a covenant assume a spiritual people. Indeed it assumed the opposite; life was upon obedience. The premise of the covenant was ‘this do and live’. It is hardly surprising that death was the outcome of the covenant. It made demands but supplied no power. It is not without significance that more space is given to the covenant curses than the covenant blessings in Deuteronomy. God knew, as did Moses, the people would never keep it. Indeed, with the incident of the golden calf they had broken the covenant before it had even been fully given. Breaking the covenant like this called for severe judgement on the people. The covenant called for death. Indeed death is all a covenant of works given to fallen man (man in the flesh) can ever produce. Thus Paul says in Romans 7,

            ‘So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.’

            When Moses appeals to God to spare the people at Sinai, he does not appeal on behalf of the covenant. The Mosaic covenant demanded death. No appeal to it could be made. He appealed on the basis of previous covenants with the patriarchs. He appealed too on the basis of God’s name and glory. In fact God himself finds a way to overcome the covenant demand for death in his own nature. The covenant wasn’t gracious but God himself was gracious. He overcomes the covenants curses by acting not on the basis of the covenant but on the basis of his own sovereign desire to be gracious.

            ‘And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.’ Ex 33

            Thus the covenant was a harsh taskmaster. It was a pedagogue, a disciplinarian, who holds children on a firm and tight leash. Gals 3,4. Why such a covenant? One major reason was to show Israel and the rest of the world that it had no hope of salvation by the route of self righteousness. All the law could do was expose sin and make clear the need for God to save. It pointed to the need for a better covenant.

            All of the above is to try and address the question ‘why greater punishment’. I think these are some strands of the answer.

          • Anton

            I think you have a rather negative view of Mosaic Law. It is true that it offers no help to people to keep it. Yet it is a blueprint for a model society, peaceful, stable, happy, that would bear witness to God. He has never given any other such blueprint and no human legal system would lead to as fine a society, because it would be less just. The penalties cannot be separated from the Dos and Don’ts.

          • You’re right the penalties cannot be separated. None of it can. The whole code is a unity. Accept one aspect you have to accept all. Rules about clothing, hygiene, foods (even though Jesus declared all foods clean), sacrifices etc.

            If the law is so good ( and in one sense it was, it was absolutely right for what it was intended to be) why is Paul and other NT writers so keen for Christians to know it has no authority over them and is about to pass away?

          • Anton

            It is to teach Christians about the holy life they are to lead. And, in places where Christians can influence the law, it is a model, according to the notion of precedent. That’s where we came in!

          • So we’re back at the beginning. I am happy to agree it teaches us about holy living to some degree though as I have pointed out Christian living is more demanding than the basic morality enshrined in the law. More, Christian holiness does not involve many of the rules for segregation in the law. Culturally, Christians are not devout Jews. And while principles useful for all moral codes can be derived from the law this must be done with thought and reflection. The law is not nor was intended to be a blueprint for all legal codes. Scripture never suggests it ought to be.

          • Anton

            Indeed, but that’s because the law is for a covenant nation, which gentile nations aren’t.

            Let me put my point like this: God leaves gentile nations to wallow in their sin. Israel, he treats with perfect justice. Shouldn’t we advocate for a perfectly just set of laws to govern interpersonal relations in our own nations?

          • No. Because these were perfect only for a covenanted people and even then for them in immaturity. The law then and now reflected, especially in its civil code the moral capacity of the nation. If the Christian church is emphatically freed from this covenant then why try to impose it on others. In any case, advocating mosaic civil laws is a council of futility in a modern western democracy. In am not convinced of the value of spending a great deal of energy on influencing legislation. Some will be called to it just as some are called to be doctors, teachers, bankers, artists, tradesmen etc. But none of these is the calling of the church as such. Our calling is to preach the gospel.

            Israel had the perfect law for them but this did not prevent it falling into the grossest of sins. It was no better than its neighbours who had no such law. Law is necessary but it is weak. The gospel is powerful and is here we should focus our energies.

            Again, it’s not that I think legislation cannot benefit from reflections on the mosaic legal code, my concern is to keep a biblical perspective. I don’t think Scripture encourages us to be evangelistic for the mosaic legal code. I don’t think it encourages us to advocate its adoption by our native culture.

            Israel was called to be an evangelistic people. They were to tell the nations the great things God had done for them and extol his law. The intention was to bring all nations under God’s covenanted authority. This was not by persuading central governments to adopt it but by persuading individuals of its glories much in the way we preach the gospel today. And this is the point. We do what Israel failed to do. We take our testimony of God’s grace and law to the nations but it is in the transposed and superior sense of the gospel of which the law was at best a shadow. Our business is heart renewal not societal reconstruction.

          • Anton

            If the Christian church is emphatically freed from this covenant then why try to impose it on others.

            We’re going backwards; this has nothing to do with church discipline but national legal codes.

            No. Because these were perfect only for a covenanted people and even then for them in immaturity. The law then and now reflected, especially in its civil code the moral capacity of the nation.

            The notion of interpersonal justice surely has nothing to do with whether the people involved are part of a covenant nation or not? And human nature hasn’t changed since Moses – still in the image of God, still fallen.

          • Anton, I can say no more on this than I already have. Human nature doesn’t change but human culpability does according to levels of responsibility. I guess we must leave it there.

          • Anton

            OK; let’s ponder what the other has said for a while. I’m sure the subject will recur.

          • chefofsinners

            Because:
            i) Jesus said “You have heard it was said ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’, but I say unto you…” and in many other places added much grace to the regulations of the law.
            ii) Some options for punishment available today were not available 4000 years ago.

          • Anton

            Those words of Jesus are in relation to options granted to Israelites under their code of law. Jesus is saying don’t invoke lex talionis. He is not saying that lex talionis should not be in the law. That would be to pit him against his Father who gave the law. It is there as a deterrent.

            I take (ii) to be a reference to jail. God could perfectly well have said, “When you are in Canaan you are to build jails for some categories of offender.” But He didn’t. Also, I believe that jail is not a wise punishment. I’ll suggest why in a further post.

          • chefofsinners

            Jesus fulfilled the law. Lex talionis is the principle under which he suffered on the cross for the sins of the whole world. This gives Him the right to ‘set aside the first that He may establish the second’. To deal with mankind graciously rather than according to lex talionis.
            Jesus told a parable of a man forgiven a great debt who then exacted a small debt with threats from his own debtor. Let us deal with our fellow man in the way our heavenly master has dealt with us.

          • Anton

            But who is “us”? The church or the (essentially unbelieving) nation?

          • chefofsinners

            It must be the whole nation. The alternative is to say ‘this is how God treats us, how we treat each other and how we think you should treat us: according to grace. And this how we think you should treat each other : according to the Mosaic law. That seems hard to justify.

          • Anton

            Last February the Prime Minister stated that in a typical week in our jails there would be nearly 600 incidents of self-harm, at least one suicide and 350 assaults, including 90 on staff. Last year there were 87,000 people in prison in England and Wales. Cameron went on that 46% of them will re-offend within a year of release, and fully 60% for short-term prisoners; yet those should be the less hardened ones in any jail.

            In ancient Israel fines were paid to someone who had been stolen from, not to the State, and more was to be paid back than was stolen, to deter thieving and confidence trickery. There was also corporal punishment (flogging), but limited in extent (Deuteronomy 25:1-4); and there was capital punishment. Both are over quickly. (Capital punishment for murder is approved in principle by Paul in Romans 13:4.)

            Jails are universities of crime, in which hardened criminals mix with first-timers and influence them toward a criminal lifestyle. Morally speaking, people do rot in jail. Prisons are increasingly also schools of radical Islam. Prisons cost taxpayers large sums of money to maintain, but why should people who have not broken the law pay for those who have? Imprisonment also disrupts family life, by taking an adult – often the breadwinner – away from his or her family.

          • chefofsinners

            Yes, prisons are dysfunctional and there are better alternatives for many of the crimes we punish with custodial sentences. Those are good arguments against prisons. Mosaic law offers some possible alternatives, but it isn’t a very good model for modern society.

        • bluedog

          Does that explain why the great liberal democracy of Saudi Arabia now holds the chair of the UN Human Rights Commission? Or does it explain why the whole racket has descended int farce?

          • IanCad

            Fact is stranger than fiction. This world is warped beyond belief.

  • saintmark

    ..the inability to find a suitable sexual partner – or the lack of sexual relationships which could achieve conception – could be considered an equal disability.

    Could this legitimise rape on grounds of discrimination? It wouldn’t surprise me if some leftist lawyer tried to argue the case.

    • CliveM

      Will the state have to supply a suitably fecund and willing partner?

      • chefofsinners

        Theresa May… now available on the NHS.

        • CliveM

          As she’s childless she wouldn’t be suitable.

          • chefofsinners

            Beggars can’t be choosers, Clive.

          • CliveM

            But, but, but…… Chef as you are defined disabled because you want children but can’t, handing over TM still leaves you disabled!!

            Anyway I prefer to move my thoughts to other realms.

          • chefofsinners

            Just make sure you pull the curtain all the way round before your treatment begins.

    • chefofsinners

      Sounds like a case for Hillary Clinton.

  • Dominic Stockford

    “No, no, priests aren’t enforced, deprived or forbidden: they surrender voluntarily and sacrifice willingly…”

    Au contraire, mon ami. Many of the Roman priests I know had a stark choice, and unwillingly put aside having a family and children to become priests.

    • Albert

      So they have a choice and Dr C is right.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Not a genuine choice. Sophies choice.

        • Albert

          I think the comparison is unfortunate. Sophie was in rather a different situation…

        • Once known as Hobson’s choice.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Much better. Thanks.

    • That’s what a choice entails – deciding between two options.

      • carl jacobs

        But there is no reason to impose the choice as a condition of ministry.

        • Anton

          There is every reason not to, according to 1 Tim 3.

          • And so they come creeping out of the woodwork with stones in hand to criticise the Church. So it is; so it has always been.
            The Protestant way: scriptural quotes taken out of the context.

          • Anton

            I am part of the church, thank you.

            Please reconcile Rome’s prohibition on marriage of the ordained with the passage in question.

          • Part of the church, maybe. Not a member of the Church.

            See above. One looks forward to your future condemnations of the Albigensians and Catharists.

          • Anton

            Not a member of your church.

            The Albigensians and the Cathars were the same people, and they did not have Christian theology. They genuinely aren’t members of the church.

          • The Explorer

            The Cathars wanted procreation to cease so that the human race would come to an end, the bits of divine spark within humans could return to the godhead, and the world -evil because composed of matter – could be terminated.

          • Anton

            They weren’t very good at preventing it, if you read Montaillou about the last surviving Cathar village in the early 14th century.

          • Does the Catholic Church falls under Paul’s condemnation in 1 Timothy 4:3 against those who “forbid marriage”?

            No. The Catholic Church forbids no one to marry. No one is required to take a vow of celibacy; those who do, do so voluntarily. They “renounce marriage” (Matt. 19:12); no one forbids it to them. Any Catholic who doesn’t wish to take such a vow doesn’t have to, and is free to marry with the Church’s blessing. The Church simply elects candidates for the priesthood (or, in the Eastern rites, for the episcopacy) from among those who voluntarily renounce marriage.

            Paul, when he warned against “forbidding to marry” was directing his comments at the Gnostic sects which denounced marriage, sex, and the body as intrinsically evil. The medieval Albigensians and Catharists did so – whom, ironically, some anti-Catholics admire, apparently because they happened to have insisted on using their own vernacular translation of the Bible.

          • Anton

            I never had 1 Tim 4:3 in mind. Rome forbids ordained men to marry, so we would need to discuss ordination first. But if you can find an Eastern Orthodox Christian who will discuss the marriage of ordained people here, I’d be an interested spectator.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Your second paragraph deliberately puts things the opposite way round to the truth of the matter. Did you spend 6 years in an RC seminary with other men, making this decision? If not, then don’t try that one on. The church doesn’t “elect candidates for the priesthood from among those who voluntarily renounce marriage”, it tells those who offer themselves for priesthood that they are banned from marriage. Which is very different emphasis, and very different for those living it – which you haven’t.

          • Every Catholic boy growing up knows the deal about the priesthood and women. It’s all in the ear of the beholder. Why did you take the vow if you perceived it that way?

          • Dominic Stockford

            I was very clearly speaking of those around me, I left for far more significant doctrinal reasons.

            As to the “choice” placed before others, it was a ‘Sophie’s Choice’. A life of deep sadness whichever choice they made – and all because of a burden placed on their backs by man.

          • …. and just by chance you met a woman? Funny how people always “discover”

          • Dominic Stockford

            Someone put this here –

            “…. and just by chance you met a woman? Funny how people always “discover”

            – and then it was mysteriously changed! I think that you speak of that which you do not know, inventing things to suit yourself, which are intended to slur me. I did not meet the lady who is now my wife until over a year after being freed from the Roman prison by the light of Christ.

        • Why not?

          • Anton

            Because the episkopos should be a man of one woman according to St Paul.

          • Paul says a bishop must be “the husband of one wife,” and “must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God’s Church?” (1 Tim. 3:2, 4–5). Some argue, that only a man who has demonstrably looked after a family is fit to care for God’s Church; an unmarried man is ruled out.

            This interpretation is absurd. For one, if “the husband of one wife” really meant that a bishop had to be married, then by the same logic “keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way” would mean that he had to have children. Childless husbands (or even fathers of only one child, since Paul uses the plural) would not qualify. Such excessive literalism must be rejected.

            The theory that Church leaders must be married also contradicts the obvious fact that Paul himself was single and happy to be so. Unless Paul was a hypocrite, he could hardly have imposed a requirement on bishops which he did not himself meet. Consider, too, the implications regarding Paul’s positive attitude toward celibacy in 1 Corinthians 7: the married have worldly anxieties and divided interests, yet only they are qualified to be bishops; whereas the unmarried have single-minded devotion to the Lord, yet are barred from ministry!

            The point of Paul’s requirement that a bishop be “the husband of one wife” is not that he must have one wife, but that he must have only one wife. Paul is saying that a bishop must not have unruly or undisciplined children, not that he must have children who are well behaved, and must not be married more than once, not that he must be married.

            Those to whom it has been given to “renounce marriage for the sake of the kingdom” (Matt. 19:12), are ideally suited to follow in the footsteps of those who have “left everything” to follow Christ (Matt. 19:27). Paul warned Timothy, that those called to be “soldiers” of Christ must avoid “civilian pursuits”: “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him” (2 Tim. 2:3–4). In light of Paul’s remarks in 1 Corinthians 7 about the advantages of celibacy, marriage and family clearly stand out in connection with these “civilian pursuits.”

          • CliveM

            Happy Jack

            It’s perfectly reasonable to suggest that celibacy in the priesthood is sanctioned by the bible. But so is a married Priesthood. It’s not the celibacy that’s the problem. It. The exclusion of the any other option that is.

          • That’s the choice a man has to make – self sacrifice for the sake of the Kingdom. .

          • CliveM

            But again that’s a choice forced by the Church and not Gid. I’m not knocking Priestly celibacy, but it shouldn’t be the only choice open to a priest. And for a large part of its history the Church agreed.

          • CliveM

            Blast can’t change, God not Gid!

          • Dominic Stockford

            Until about 1176, or so, I believe. Which is quite a long time (given that HJ claims the RC Church has been around since about AD30).

          • Anton

            For the tragicomic history of priestly celibacy, read H.C. Lea’s book An Historical Sketch of Sacerdotal Celibacy in the Christian Church. The archives of the Provveditori sopra Monasteri, a group of magistrates charged by the Venetian authorities with cleaning up the city’s convents, starting in the early 16th century, contain 20 volumes of trials for cohabitation of monks and nuns. Erasmus wrote in 1528 that many convents were public brothels (Life and Letters of Erasmus, ed. J.A. Froude, 1894, p.352). According to Lea (2nd ed, p137) the Council of Aix-la-Chapelle in 836AD admitted that many convents were brothels, and Lea quotes a contemporary source to the effect that this led (inevitably) to infanticide. Rinaldi, a 17th century historian who was invited to continue the Vatican librarian Baronius’ church history, records Archduke Ferdinand of Austria telling the papacy that desire for marriage was almost universal among German-speaking Catholic parish priests, and that scarcely one in a hundred was not openly or secretly married (Annales Ecclesiastici, AD1562 no. 60; 1563 nos 138 & 139; 1564 no. 29).

          • H.C. Lea? Oh, please. You are joking. For such a pedant, you seem to accept anti-Catholic opinion and “research” at face value. Do your critical faculties always fail when an opportunity arises to have a go at Rome?

            As for modern Africa, so celibacy doesn’t always work. Do you condemn marriage because of the rates of adultery?

          • Anton

            False analogy, Jack.

            Lea worked from original sources at a time when it was rare to do so. Can you knock down a single one of the claims I made in my preceding post, or are you reduced to ad homs?

          • Jack isn’t going to waste his time on you Anton. The “claims” are based on the writings of a well known biased anti-Catholic who selectively misrepresented the “evidence”.

            http://archive.thetablet.co.uk/article/18th-september-1937/5/the-historian-h-c-lea

            As for the analogy, it’s perfectly reasonable and you have no answer to it.

          • Anton

            And bless you too, Jack.

            If you think the analogy is helpful at simplifying the logic then use that insight to apply the clarified logic in the original situation and then raise that with me directly.

            I am familiar with the row between GG Coulton and Hilaire Belloc, which I presume is the background to the link you provided. Great fun to read (both sides!) As for HC Lea, he was an anti-Catholic whose rhetorical style was to set out what he took to be facts – those in which Catholic practice was not what it preached – and then leave the reader to draw conclusions. This explains why he is attacked by Catholics as partial and defended by protestants as impartial. How accurate is Lea in his specific claims that Rome does not practice what it preaches? Lea was assiduous in working from original sources, but faced the limitation of living in 19th century America. Obviously he will be found to have made some mistakes by scholars working a lifetime later. The link you provide seems to me to be merely sniping rather than systematic refutation of his main theses. But never mind about that; the only place in which I relied on Lea was where I spoke of the Council of Aix-la-Chapelle, and I can provide another reference for that. So here is the rewrite of my paragraph about Catholic priestly celibacy:

            The archives of the Provveditori sopra Monasteri, a group of magistrates charged by the Venetian authorities with cleaning up the city’s convents, starting in the early 16th century, contain 20 volumes of trials for cohabitation of monks and nuns. Erasmus wrote in 1528 that many convents were public brothels (Life and Letters of Erasmus, ed. J.A. Froude, 1894, p.352). The Council of Aix-la-Chapelle as far back as 836AD admitted that many convents were brothels (Proceedings of the Council 2.12, in GD Mansi’s massive work on church councils, 14.682, Epistolae Fuldensium fragmenta c.6 (743), in Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Epistolae 5:525; as quoted from p151 of JA Brundage’s 1988 book “Law, Sex and Christian Society in Medieval Europe”). Rinaldi, a 17th century historian who was invited to continue the Vatican librarian Baronius’ church history, records Archduke Ferdinand of Austria telling the papacy that desire for marriage was almost universal among German-speaking Catholic parish priests, and that scarcely one in a hundred was not openly or secretly married (Annales Ecclesiastici, AD1562 no. 60; 1563 nos 138 & 139; 1564 no. 29). In parts of Africa today it is common for Catholic priests to have long-term mistresses who are regarded as wives; the overlooking of this practice by Archbishop Paulin Pomodimo within his diocese forced his resignation in May 2009.

            Still doesn’t look good, does it? The consequences of deviating from scripture never do.

          • Celibacy is not a deviation from scripture. Just where is it proscribed for the priesthood?

          • Anton

            Not proscribed, Jack. Christianity is about grace, not law. But family life is the norm for episkopoi in 1 Tim 3.

          • Where does it say that it is – or should be – the “norm”? It certainly wasn’t for Jesus. Why not? As a Jewish man, marriage and fatherhood would have been expected of Him? Or for Saint Paul. And, even if it were at that time, so what?

          • Anton

            Do stop reading the New Testament as if it were a contract between two businessmen who don’t trust each other an inch. Read it like that and of course you’ll find loopholes, because it is for those who read it in good faith. Most men marry.

            I quoted several studies of ordained Catholics quitting to marry (in Poland, Chicago, North America). Suppose an ordained Catholic priests goes to his bishop and says, “I find that I would like to get married. St Paul says that the overseer of a congregation must be a man of one woman. Well, I’d like to be, and, as this passage shows, it is entirely scriptural. So how come you tell me I must not be?”

          • The studies prove what exactly? That celibacy is difficult? That, like marriage, not all can live up to their vows?

            And Paul does not say a priest must be married. You’re doing a Luther there – and you know it. Rather your misrepresenting scripture to dishonestly justify an attack on the Catholic Church.

            “A man does well not to marry. But because there is so much immorality, every man should have his own wife, and every woman should have her own husband ….

            I tell you this not as an order, but simply as a permission. Actually I would prefer that all of you were as I am; but each one has a special gift from God, one person this gift, another one that gift.

            Now, to the unmarried and to the widows I say that it would be better for you to continue to live alone as I do. But if you cannot restrain your desires, go ahead and marry—it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
            The Church wants men who can control their sexual desire and lust and those in receipt of the grace from God to do so in order to serve Him.

          • Anton

            It’s not doing a very good job of finding them, is it?

          • That’s in God’s Hands.

          • Anton

            Indeed. He might be trying to tell Rome something.

          • Maybe ….

          • Do you advance the same argument against God when you consider the divorce rate?

          • Anton

            The church is not involved in the decision of who marries whom.

          • Pubcrawler

            The Greek of 1 Tim 3.2 very strongly suggests (to this reader) that it is in fact a requirement. The clue’s in the verb.

          • Anton

            Thank you, Pubbers. Tell Rome…

          • Then don’t apply to become a Roman Catholic priest. Simples. There are Churches in union with Rome that do permit marriage. Join one of them.

          • CliveM

            No it isn’t Jack. That answer fails to recognise that the Priesthood is seen as a calling not a career. God is calling men to the Priesthood, the Church is calling them to celibacy. Which is where the conflict arises and why It’s not accurate to suggest there is a choice.

          • If God is calling men to the priesthood then He will give them the necessary graces to make the sacrifice to serve Him and to forgo marriage. .

          • Anton

            But that doesn’t seem to be the case, does it? A survey of 800 Catholic priests in Poland by Prof. Josef Baniak published in 2009 found that more than half wished to have the option of marrying. A study by Dean Hoge called The First Five Years of the Priesthood (2002) found that, of the 10-15% of North American Catholic priests who resign within five years of ordination, more than half resigned because they wished to marry. In the diocese of Chicago almost half of those ordained in the years following 1976 resigned and married (The Tablet 1988 p1301, reporting the work of Richard Schoenherr, who did this himself and studied others of like mind).

          • As Jack said, if the men have a vocation, God will give them the necessary grace.

          • Anton

            In that case He’s not doing a very good job of it, is He? Feel free to slander a large proportion of your own ordained priests, but perhaps the problem is not that either.

          • You’re judging God? Human weakness and sin effect us all. Just as in all walks of life, there are some in the Catholic priesthood who should not be there. For others it will be a trial and struggle. Marriages suffer from infidelity and recover. So it is with some priests.

          • Anton

            As I said, there is another explanation than God doing a poor job of it or a large proportion of your ordained priesthood lacking the calling (and your hierarchy doing a remarkably poor job of weeding them out). It is that your system is not the one which God intended.

          • “It is that your system is not the one which God intended.”
            Now you’re and speaking for God?!

          • Anton

            God speaks for himself, in his scriptures. Those who twist them should be careful. The idea that a celibate ordained priesthood is consistent with 1 Tim 3:2 is absurd to all who retain intellectual honesty.

          • Nonsense. By your “reasoning” all ministers would have to be married with children.

          • Anton

            I didn’t say that. I repeat only that insistence that the ordained priesthood be celibate is incompatible with Paul’s words (1 Tim 3) that “the episkopos should be… a man of one woman… ruling his own household well, having his children well controlled”. Anybody who denies the incompatibility is either intellectually dishonest or has let himself be blinded. Tell me, how can a celibate man fulfil Paul’s criteria – or, at the very least, desiderata?

          • Jack: “Nonsense. By your “reasoning” all ministers would have to be married with children.”

            Anton Happy: “I didn’t say that. I repeat only that insistence that the ordained priesthood be celibate is incompatible with Paul’s words (1 Tim 3) “the episkopos should be… a man of one woman… ruling his own household well, having his children well controlled”.”
            Certainly, it would be incompatible with a bishop/priest having two wives or being divorced and remarried, but not with being unmarried. The point is that Paul is not, repeat not, establishing marriage and fatherhood as a precondition for being a bishop. To argue thus is being dishonest and misusing scripture.

          • Anton

            You are saying Paul means this: “The episkopos, if married, should be a man of one woman, keeping his children well controlled.” I have added your interpretative addition (in italics) to Paul’s words. That would be a possible view if Paul had not gone on to explain why the episkopos should be married: so that the people can see his pastoral qualities. Nothing displays them so graphically as a man’s family.

            Paul is establishing a norm here. I am not saying that an episkopos must automatically lose his position on the death of his wife, for instance. But there is such a thing as the exception that proves the rule.

            By the way, I don’t recall you answering this question. Suppose an ordained Catholic priests goes to his bishop and says, “I find that I would like to get married. St Paul says that the overseer of a congregation must be a man of one woman. Well, I’d like to be, and, as this passage shows, it is entirely scriptural. So how come you tell me I must not be?”

          • Please, your “reasoning” is flawed if you believe Paul was setting down a prescription for only choosing married men with children for the priesthood. Paul, an Apostle, was unmarried. Was he being a hypocrite?
            The bishop would answer as Jack has done. It would all have been covered in seminary training. There is plenty of scriptural support too for celibacy and Jack would remind him of this. One cannot be a priest in the Roman Catholic Church and be married.

          • Anton

            Jack has avoided giving a direct answer. Suppose you were a bishop and one of your ordained priests says to you, “I find that I would like to get married. St Paul says that the overseer of a congregation must be a man of one woman. Well, I’d like to be, and, as this passage shows, it is entirely scriptural. So how come you tell me I must not be?”

            Your answer immediately above is merely: You can’t be. But the question is: Why?

          • Jack gave you a direct answer. When one is ordained a priest, one takes vows of obedience and celibacy. The Church has Divine authority to run its affairs as it determines. It is not bound by the purely disciplinary recommendations or practices of the early Church. A man knows this when he takes his sacred vows. In this day a priest cannot marry. You take the vow and, just like in marriage, it is for life.

          • Anton

            I credit you with the intelligence to understand what a hypothetical question is. The one I have put to you is: If you were a Catholic bishop and one of your ordained priests said to you, “I find I would like to marry. St Paul says that the overseer of a congregation should be a man of one woman; I’d like to conform to that scripture. May I, please; if not, why not?

            What would you say to that priest, please? Not what would you recycle to me from your previous comments.

            Of course, this is not a courtroom, and you are free not to reply. It is, however, a public forum in which evasion is readily recognisable.

          • Jack has told you what he would say. Are you incapable of comprehending?

          • Anton

            I think you haven’t, but if you have then are you incapable of pasting?

          • Here is the answer – again:

            “When one is ordained a priest, one takes vows of obedience and celibacy. The Church has Divine authority to run its affairs as it determines. It is not bound by the purely disciplinary recommendations or practices of the early Church. A man knows this when he takes his sacred vows. In this day a priest cannot marry. You take the vow and, just like in marriage, it is for life.”

            There are many good and sound reasons for celibacy. Jack post them for Carl earlier. Why not read them?

          • Anton

            I did. I take the subject seriously. I found many of them good, and certainly appropriate for apostoloi, who are peripatetic. But I also read the replies, about removing a freedom God gives in the case of episkopoi, to be compelling. You want to know that your episkopos runs his own family well, as a signal that he is likely to run God’s well – as Paul says.

            I’ll take your reply above to boil down to this: “Listen, sonny, you signed a contract. You should have thought of that first. Tough.” Legalism, not grace. Yet God gives the latter.

          • You don’t believe sacred oaths are binding for life and that they shouldn’t be taken without very careful consideration of their life long nature?

            So what would you say to a man who asks:

            “I been married for ten years and now find my wife and I have little in common. We’ve just grown apart. We disagree on how to raise our three children. Can I divorce her and find another wife? One who I have more in common with? I know Jesus and Paul says this would be adultery but surely this is a time of grace and not legalism?”

            Well, can he remarry?

          • Anton

            No. That is my understanding of scripture.

            You and I can think of some marriage vows taken today that God does not recognise. I don’t believe that God recognises ordination either.

          • That’s as may be, but the priests taking the vows certainly do and believe they are sacred and for life.

          • Anton

            Not the ones who get married! And they don’t leave the Lord, just the denomination.

          • Not all leave the Church.

            If a man is ordained as a priest and later leaves and secures a dispensation from the Vatican, returning him to the lay state and dispensing him from the obligation of celibacy, then he can marry validly.

          • All believers are priests.

          • Yes they are and some are members of sacerdotal priesthood. This is not inconsistent with scripture.

          • The bible makes no such distinction.

          • Anton

            The point of Paul’s requirement that a bishop be “the husband of one wife” is not that he must have one wife, but that he must have only one wife.

            Absolutely, Jack. One wife. Not zero.

          • SometimesWise

            He might have also meant “one wife, not two, or three”. Perhaps also not divorced and on his second or third marriage, with living ex-wives hanging around. There are lots of ways to look at that “requirement”.

          • Anton

            Indeed. But none of them consistent with Rome’s requirement of zero wives.

          • Do you also agree with Paul’s reasons for marriage if one couldn’t be celibate – so as not to burn with lust?

          • Anton

            Certainly it is one reason.

          • But either way a wife is permitted.

          • Again, it’s not a demand that a bishop must have a wife – but, if he does, it should be only one.

          • Anton

            So why does Rome prohibit what Paul recommends?

          • Ivan M

            Because by St Paul’s logic and example it is clearly the second best. The authority to determine these things are endowed onto the Catholic Church – what is loosed on Earth is loosed in Heaven etc.

          • Anton

            You think Paul and Jesus contradict each other?

            Clearly, some positions such as apostolos – which meant a church planter in today’s language – are better suited to single men. That is an example of the celibacy principle. But episkopoi should be family men according to Paul.

          • Ivan M

            Why should Paul, the servant of Jesus contradict Him? St Paul himself recommended celibacy in all but name, as passages quoted above by HJ make clear. There are churches where the bishops are married. I have no problem with that. To each his own. The RCC has her own discipline, for which she can find more that sufficient warrant in the examples of Jesus, St Paul and St John, along with the writings of the Apostles.

          • carl jacobs

            And there you have it.

            What God explicitly permits the RCC prohibits. And then the RCC justifies its action by claiming to speak with the authority of God. Thus the traditions of men become the laws of God. There really isn’t a lot of disagreement between the two sides except regarding the authority of Rome.

          • Paul also recommended celibacy.

          • Anton

            You think that the Spirit writing through Paul contradicts himself?

            Clearly apostoloi, church planters, are better celibate as they are peripatetic. Of episkopoi, Paul says the opposite, and even explains why.

          • Evidence from scripture?

          • Anton

            Always good to see a Catholic requesting that. Paul recommending celibacy – 1 Cor 7. Paul explaining that episkopoi are an exception to that general rule, because they should be family men – 1 Tim 3.

          • Jack has already answered that over literal interpretation of 1 Tim 3. Paul did not “explain” ministry was an exception at all.

            Your interpretation leads to obvious absurdities. For one, if “the husband of one wife” really meant that a bishop had to be married, then by the same logic “keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way” would mean that he had to have children. Childless husbands (or even fathers of only one child, since Paul uses the plural) would not qualify.

            In fact, following this style of interpretation to its final absurdity, since Paul speaks of bishops meeting these requirements (not of their having met them, or of candidates for bishop meeting them), it would even follow that an ordained bishop whose wife or children died would become unqualified for ministry.

            The theory that Church leaders must be married also contradicts the obvious fact that Paul himself was single. Unless Paul was a hypocrite, he could hardly have imposed a requirement on bishops which he did not himself meet. Consider, too, the implications regarding Paul’s positive attitude toward celibacy in 1 Corinthians 7: the married have worldly anxieties and divided interests, yet only they are qualified to be bishops; whereas the unmarried have single-minded devotion to the Lord, yet are barred from ministry.

            Clearly, the point of Paul’s requirement that a bishop be “the husband of one wife” is not that he must have one wife, but that if he is married he must have only one wife. Paul is saying that a bishop must not have unruly or undisciplined children (not that he must have children who are well behaved), and must not be married more than once (not that he must be married).

            The truth is, it is precisely those who are uniquely “concerned about the affairs of the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:32), those to whom it has been given to “renounce marriage for the sake of the kingdom” (Matt. 19:12), who are ideally suited to follow in the footsteps of those who have “left everything” to follow Christ (cf. Matt. 19:27).

            Thus Paul warned Timothy, a young bishop, that those called to be “soldiers” of Christ must avoid “civilian pursuits”: “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him” (2 Tim. 2:3–4). In light of Paul’s remarks in 1 Corinthians 7 about the advantages of celibacy, marriage and family clearly stand out in connection with these “civilian pursuits.”

          • Anton

            We agree that Paul is saying at the very least that an episkopos *may* be married. Why then does Rome say that episkopoi MAY NOT be married? Think you have higher standards than St Paul?

          • Such dishonesty, Anton.
            Paul did not say ministers may be married in the permissive sense you imply. He is saying if they are then they should have only one wife.

          • Anton

            You defend a system that requires ordained celibacy when Paul says that episkopoi should be men of one woman, and you call me dishonest? Sorry but I don’t feel chastised.

          • Deluded then.

            “A man does well not to marry. But because there is so much immorality, every man should have his own wife, and every woman should have her own husband ….

            I tell you this not as an order, but simply as a permission. Actually I would prefer that all of you were as I am; but each one has a special gift from God, one person this gift, another one that gift.

            Now, to the unmarried and to the widows I say that it would be better for you to continue to live alone as I do. But if you cannot restrain your desires, go ahead and marry—it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

            And look at the divorce rate. Did God get the institution of marriage wrong too? Paul was clear about the indissolubility of a marriage between two Christians:

            “For married people I have a command which is not my own but the Lord’s: a wife must not leave her husband; 11 but if she does, she must remain single or else be reconciled to her husband; and a husband must not divorce his wife.”

          • Anton

            Why do you think I disagree about that?

          • You want Jack to explain you delusion? Only God can do that.
            However, you are a pedant and fundamental sola scriptura literalist who uses any opportunity that you think presents itself to attack the Catholic Church.

          • Anton

            I have no idea what you mean. I was saying that I share your view of what Paul is saying about marriage.

            Never mind about the add-ons, when the Catholic church simply becomes consistent with scripture I’ll gladly support it.

          • CliveM

            I find it interesting how all sides of an argument demand literalism when a point supports an argument then scoff at it when it doesn’t.

          • Jack is not demanding “literalism”. Just common sense.

          • Yes, but didn’t insist on it. Marriage did not debar from leadership in the church. To insist on celibacy is to go beyond Scripture and in doing so to destroy the biblical balance on this matter.

          • Nor did he insist on marriage for the priesthood. If a man has the gift of celibacy and is called to the Church, all well good. If not, then his vocation lies elsewhere.

          • Why does his vocation lie elsewhere? The Catholic Church has insisted on behaviour of its leaders that God never did. This has brought great disgrace on the name of Christ for inevitably many have embraced celibacy out of a desire to serve God and have been unable to maintain its demands. This is what happens when we add to Scripture the notions of men.

          • 34% of marriages end in divorce. Should we scrap permanent marriage because a large % cannot meet its demands, remarry and are therefore adulterers? God gave the Church authority in these matters.

          • Here we disagree. God did not give the church authority to add to or subtract from or change the apostolic teaching of the early church. What can be proven from Scripture I accept. Beyond that we have no common ground.

          • Scripture does not say the Church cannot develop her teachings or establish disciplines for its clergy or members. The Catholic teach has Divine authority to develop dogma as the Holy Spirit reveals the deeper mysteries of God’s revelation. Not all of Apostolic teaching is recorded in scripture but has been handed down by the early Fathers. She also has the authority to organise the visible Church to suit the times and circumstances facing her.

          • Here we profoundly disagree. Jude speaks of the faith once and for all given to the saints. John instructs the believers that those who are true hear the apostles. They lay the foundation. Anything that runs counter to the NT is false teaching. In the NT leaders (your sacrdotal priests, including Peter) were married; future generations of the church have no right to change this.

          • “Jude speaks of the faith once and for all given to the saints. John instructs the believers that those who are true hear the apostles.”

            Your assumptions seem to be that everything is written in scripture (unscriptural in itself) and that the Apostles did not teach traditions that were not written down (again, unscriptural). Whilst Jack agrees everything pertaining to our salvation is in scripture, our understanding has deepened down the centuries. The true “rule of faith” – as expressed in the Bible itself – is Scripture plus Apostolic tradition, as manifested in the living teaching authority of the Catholic Church, to which were entrusted the oral teachings of Jesus and the Apostles, along with the authority to interpret Scripture correctly.

            And of course future generations of Church leaders have the right to change disciplinary practises recommended in the first century. Paul, himself a sacerdotal priest, was not married and had no children. If Paul had meant that the elder must be married, the reading would have been ‘a’ not ‘one’ wife or “the bishop must be married.” The term one indicates that he is limiting the number, not mandating marriage.

            Paul’s repeated recommendations to all to remain celibate, remain single after having lost a spouse (I Cor. 7:1; 7-8; 25-28; 32-35; 38; 39-40), or even to live a celibate life within marriage (I Cor. 7:29), are consistent with his prohibition to remarriage to those called to holy orders.

          • I am not saying Scripture insists an elder must be married. What I am saying is it does not insist he must be unmarried. Paul recommends celibacy, if given the gift, he does not make it mandatory. Nor does he recommend it only for those with a call to leadership; he recommends it for all believers who can bear it.

            No, future generations do not have the right to change apostolic recommendations. Paul’s recommendations are God’s.

          • Suited to a particular time and place. His recommendations about marriage are not mandatory, as you’ve said.

          • But the qualifications for an elder/bishop make clear being married was not a problem. Married bishops were acceptable.

            You are over interpreting civilian pursuits. Paul considers celibacy advantageous but not mandatory. Peter, after all, had a wife.

          • …. but Paul didn’t.

          • I have no problem with an unmarried leader. The issue is your problem with a married one.

          • carl jacobs

            Because having a family is not mutually exclusive with being a minister of the Gospel. More to the point, the Scripture doesn’t require celebacy of ministers, and in fact assumes exactly the opposite. This should be a matter of Christian freedom, and not of an artificial divide between clergy & laity.

            Celebacy is imposed for the convenience of the hierarchy – and also because those who have made the choice don’t want that choice rendered meaningless after the fact.

          • “More to the point, the Scripture doesn’t require celebacy (sic), and in fact assumes exactly the opposite.”

            Where? The vocation of celibacy is explicitly advocated – as well as practiced – by both Jesus and Paul.

          • carl jacobs

            Where … Really?

            “What elephant? I don’t see any elephant! There is no elephant in this living room.”

          • Jesus and Paul were wrong?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Jesus was God. Do priests in the Church of Rome also need to be God? You’re being silly, and making a silly non-sequitur argument.

          • Martin

            Dominic

            Are they not an alter Christus?

          • Dominic Stockford

            The claim that Roman priests stand in the place of Christ is so spiritually absurd that I don’t think they want to have to defend that here, as well as celibacy.

            It really is an Old Testament religion, with its adherents bound up by man made rules. The Pharisees and the Sadducees have their descendants in them.

          • Martin

            Dominic

            That’s what they claim, tho’ we may think it spiritually absurd. And they claim their priests call down Christ from Heaven at the Mass.

          • IanCad

            Last Paragraph – so true – a much overlooked historical fact. The traditions of men.

          • Jesus commended celibacy – so did Paul.

          • carl jacobs

            They didn’t assert what you say they said. You yourself have admitted that this is only a discipline imposed by the RCC. It’s about:

            1. Money
            2. Institutional flexibility
            3. Money
            4. A hierarchy that has already made a vow and endured the concomitant cost.
            5. Did I mention money?

          • CliveM

            You’re being a bit uncharitable there Carl.

          • carl jacobs

            I am always open to such criticism, Clive. But in this case, I don’t think you are correct.

          • CliveM

            Hi Carl

            In any large organisation there will be different motivations. I’m sure for a significant chunk of the RCC, it because they believe it to be right.

          • carl jacobs

            The most immediate impact of a married priesthood would be that the cost of a priest would increase by a factor of three or four. That’s gonna hurt.

          • Both Jesus and Paul commended celibacy.

          • carl jacobs

            “Commended” not “Commanded”.

          • And neither does the Church – it’s voluntary.

          • carl jacobs

            It’s voluntary. As in:

            A: “Do you want to be a Priest in the RCC?”
            B: “Yes.”
            A: “Then you must be celibate.”
            B: “But I want to get married.”
            A: “Then you can’t be a Priest. You must choose.”

            What you haven’t done – anywhere – is give a sound reason for imposing that particular choice. You say nothing more than “Choice A is better so therefore Choice A will be imposed.” That isn’t a sufficient argument. Well, the RCC can set its own rules. I don’t have a dog in the fight. But don’t complain about a shortage of vocations.

          • There are many good reasons for a celibate priesthood – particularly in our day and age.
            Who’s complaining about a shortage of vocations? Jack would actually prefer fewer priests dedicated to serving God than many lukewarm priests preoccupied by earthly concerns.

          • carl jacobs

            There are many good reasons for a celibate priesthood

            Yes, but that isn’t the subject at hand. We are talking about compulsory celibacy for the Priesthood. You haven’t given any good reason why it should be a necessary condition of ministry. There are in fact good reasons for it, but those reasons are institutional.

            1. Celibate priests are cheap.
            2. Celibate priests are deployable.
            3. Celibate priests don’t have to answer embarrassing questions about why they only have two kids.

            It makes life much easier for the bishop. That’s the real reason for the discipline.

          • Anton

            O no it doesn’t…

          • carl jacobs

            Heh.

          • Such judgementalism. You always see the worst in men and institutions and attribute selfish motives, Carl. This is something you should reflect on.

            Here are ten reasons:

            1. Priests as Christ figures. Above all else, the Catholic priest is an alter Christus – “another Christ.” Celibacy configures priests more completely to Christ, who lived a perfectly chaste life. Thus they not only “participate in His priestly office” but also share “His very condition of living.” Pope Paul VI; Sacerdotalis Caelibatus.

            2. Marriage to the Church. In Scripture, the Church is depicted as the Bridegroom of Christ. In celibacy, the priest, as an alter Christus, witnesses through his life to the marriage of Christ to His Church. “In virginity or celibacy, the human being is awaiting, also in a bodily way, the … marriage of Christ with the Church, giving himself or herself completely to the Church in the hope that Christ may give Himself to the Church in the full truth of eternal life. The celibate person thus anticipates in his or her flesh the new world of the future resurrection.”(Saint John Paul II; Familiaris Consortio)

            3. Spiritual fatherhood. Through celibacy, priests give themselves over wholly to the service God and His Church. Just as a father is uniquely dedicated to his children, so also the priest should be dedicated to his parishioners. Saint John Paul II described this as a “singular sharing in God’s fatherhood.”(Pastores Dabo Vobis).

            4. Celibacy as sacrifice. In renouncing married life, the priest also links himself with Christ’s own sacrifice on the Cross. “In a similar way, by a daily dying to himself and by giving up the legitimate love of a family of his own for the love of Christ and of His kingdom, the priest will find the glory of an exceedingly rich and fruitful life in Christ, because like Him and in Him, he loves and dedicates himself to all the children of God,” (Paul VI) This ultimately is the purpose of human sexuality – to be a “a genuine sign of and precious service to the love of communion and gift of self to others.” (Pope John Paul II in Pastores Dabo Vobis)

            5. Celibacy as purity. Celibacy is not only a sacrificial act. It is also a mark of purity. Just as Christ offered Himself as a pure and spotless victim, so should the priest. Moreover “a purity of heart and a sanctity of life” befit the “solemnity and holiness.” (Pope Pius XI; Ad Catholici Sacerdotii)

            6. Loneliness as a link to Christ. Even the loneliness a priest may experience may unite him more closely with Christ. “At times loneliness will weigh heavily on the priest, but he will not for that reason regret having generously chosen it. Christ, too, in the most tragic hours of His life was alone – abandoned by the very ones whom He had chosen as witnesses to, and companions of, His life, and whom He had loved ‘to the end’—but He stated, ‘I am not alone, for the Father is with me.’” (Paul VI)

            7. Time for prayer. As much time as those in married time spend in prayer, priests should devote even more. One basis for this view is 1 Corinthians 7:5, where St. Paul is giving advice to those who are married: “Do not deprive each other, except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, to be free for prayer, but then return to one another, so that Satan may not tempt you through your lack of self-control.” It follows that priests, who do not have another person to “return” to, should have more time for prayer.

            8. Perfection of the Israelite priesthood. Catholics look back to the Old Testament priests as forerunners. We understand that the priesthood did not end with Christ – it was reborn and renewed through Him. In the Old Testament, Levite priests were allowed to marry, but celibacy was required while they were serving in the sanctuary. For the Church Fathers, the Catholic priesthood was the “perfection” of the Levitical priesthood. Hence … if the Levites practised temporary continence when in the sanctuary, so much more should Christian priests, always ready to serve, practise continence.

            9. Detachment from the world. Celibacy is but one example of a broader detachment from all things of this world – something necessary in order for the priest “to follow the Divine Master more easily and readily.” (Pope Pius XII; Menti Nostrae) “Sanctity alone makes us what our divine vocation demands, men crucified to the world and to whom the world has been crucified, men walking in newness of life who … seek only heavenly things and strive by every means to lead others to them.” (Pius X; Haerent Animo)

            10. A living sign of heaven. In heaven, men will neither marry nor will women be given in marriage – instead, they will be like the angels, as Christ says in Matthew 22:30. In a special way, celibacy makes priests living witnesses to this future reality. Priestly celibacy “proclaims the presence on earth of the final stages of salvation with the arrival of a new world, and in a way it anticipates the fulfilment of the kingdom as it sets forth its supreme values which will one day shine forth in all the children of God.” (Paul VI)

          • carl jacobs

            None of which establishes necessity. You have all these traditional reasons (many of which seem rooted in the sacerdotal priesthood btw and so are a manifestation of Roman error), but you haven’t explained why they are sufficient to bind Christian freedom against the Pauline Epistles.

          • Against the Pauline Epistles? Where? It does not contradict scripture.

            Celibacy isn’t a necessity”. It is a discipline, not a doctrine, that has been deemed to be spiritually beneficial for the reasons given. In the Latin rite, this spiritual discipline ordinarily is required of all men who seek ordination. In the Eastern rites, it is practiced by the monks and by some secular priests, but it is not required of all men.

          • carl jacobs

            A Vow of Celibacy is a necessary condition for becoming a RC priest. Call it a discipline if you like. That doesn’t change the fact that the RCC makes Celibacy mandatory for Priests. By what authority does the RCC restrict the freedom of a priest to marry? According to Scripture a man is free to marry or not as he desires. It is you who must establish the authority to bind a man’s freedom. You haven’t even tried to do so.

          • “By what authority does the RCC restrict the freedom of a priest to marry?”

            By the authority Christ gave to Peter and to the Apostolic Church.
            And the Church does not deny marriage to priests. No one is obligated to take Holy Orders.

            Paul advised against marriage if the unmarried could contain sexual desire and lust. He also confirmed celibacy is a gift from God:

            “A man does well not to marry. But because there is so much immorality, every man should have his own wife, and every woman should have her own husband ….
            I tell you this not as an order, but simply as a permission. Actually I would prefer that all of you were as I am; but each one has a special gift from God, one person this gift, another one that gift.

            Now, to the unmarried and to the widows I say that it would be better for you to continue to live alone as I do. But if you cannot restrain your desires, go ahead and marry—it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

          • carl jacobs

            By the authority Christ gave to Peter and to the Apostolic Church.

            Yes. That is Rome. It binds the free man in slavery.

          • “For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave.”

          • CliveM

            Only true if the Priesthood is a job and not a calling by God. Does the RCC see the Priesthood simply as a career

          • Anton

            Google “cullagium”. It was a tax paid to Rome by Catholic clergy who had mistresses, in lieu of enforcement of the celibacy regulations. A nice little protection racket. Rome finally did away with it at the counter-Reformation.

          • Anton

            Keep correcting that spelling, Carl…

      • chefofsinners

        That’s what stupidity entails. Restricting your options unnecessarily.

    • Anton

      A survey of 800 Catholic priests in Poland by Prof. Josef Baniak published in 2009 found that more than half wished to have the option of marrying. A study by Dean Hoge called The First Five Years of the Priesthood (2002) found that, of the 10-15% of North American Catholic priests who resign within five years of ordination, more than half resigned because they wished to marry. Hoge also found that the acute shortage of ordinands in the USA would cease if priests were permitted to marry. Nothing in scripture forbids them to. Rome has only itself to blame for the shortage.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Thank you for putting statistics/facts to what I was trying to explain. It isn’t a choice if someone feels called to be a priest AND be married at the same time. Something that many in the Church of Rome simply don’t understand.

        I therefore repeat, many I knew, in the UK, also had this iniquitous non-choice placed before them.

        • It most certainly is a choice. Self sacrifice and a life dedicated to Christ or marriage. And, of course, you made your decision, took the sacred vow and then reneged on it.

      • Ivan M

        Wishing to have the option is not the same as exercising that option. It is a false dilemma. The same as wishing to have one’s cake and eat it too. Celibacy is a hard road, commended by Jesus Christ Himself – eunuchs for the sake of Heaven. Those who do not see celibacy as a necessity are free to choose to serve in other ways. Let him who can accept it, accept it as Jesus Himself advised in the same Gospel passage.

        • Anton

          It is not commended to episkopoi by the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ, for the Spirit wrote through St Paul that the episkopos should be a man of one woman (1 Tim 3:2).

          • Ivan M

            Although the Apostles were largely married by time of Jesus’ death, there is no record of them having taken their wives on their journeys to various countries. You can say that towing a wife along was regarded as an impediment to their tasks.

          • Anton

            I agree. An episkopos is a permanent resident in one place. An apostolos is a church planter and peripatetic. It is specifically episkopoi whom Paul says should be family men.

  • Jack always knew the Inspector was different. Now the WHO has officially recognised he is a member of a minority group who’s rights are being withheld.

    • CliveM

      Mini IG’s……… Gulp!

  • CliveM

    The thought occurs that there maybe good reasons why a lot of these people are both single and childless and should remain so.

    • chefofsinners

      Indeed. If, in a world of seven billion people, with the assistance of internet dating, a chap cannot find one woman who thinks him a suitable father for her child, then he might take a hint.

  • Translates as: “If you cannot self-replicate, there’s something wrong with you.”

    A definition cannot be ‘extended’. Once again, we are witnessing the business of detaching a word from one thing and attaching it to another – and therefore different – thing.

  • Anton

    Brothels on the NHS?

    • Inspector General

      Anton. Don’t rule out the possibility of a future government policy to recruit and handsomely pay schoolgirls as surrogate mothers for the children queer types consider they are so richly deserving to be blessed with…they have friends in very high places, and the non-proscription of ‘poppers’ is a breathtakingly audacious demonstration of this presence.

      Obvious candidates to be farmed that way would be the daughters of single mothers. A previously uncommon and unfortunate semi family set up dependant on handouts massively expanded and encouraged by 40 years of nuclear family destroying Marxist policy. Girls whose mothers are well used to being in the pay of the state, and have been brought up to expect similar…

      • bluedog

        On the other hand, Inspector, those who subsist purely on the basis of benefits should arguably be sterilised. Why should multi-generations go forth and multiply on tax-payer finance?

        • Inspector General

          Easily solved, Bluedog. The departing Poles will leave plenty a job the discerning benefit sponge finds below them. Especially cleaning. Now, if said sponges were detailed the work and their benefits stopped, they would in time thank us for giving meaning to their simple lives.

          • Anton

            Exactly, Inspector. The numbers match.

      • IanCad

        It is so absurd Inspector that it is bound to happen.

  • Coniston

    The state empowers more and more single people to have children, most of whom will need state support. This, together with the ever-increasing numbers of elderly people, will result in the welfare state collapsing. Brave New World beckons – compulsory euthanasia soon.

  • David

    Once again the pedlars of these artificially manufactured “rights”, raise adult’s egos above the rights of children to be raised in a family enjoying, as both nature and God intended, a mother and a father. What selfish madness will these sick people dream up next ?

    Is there no end to the attempts of these Marxists to destroy family life, as it has been understood across the cultures for thousands of years ? If no one wants to marry you, and raise children with you, then there is probably a good reason for it. All those foolish attempts to address every possible need, unsatisfied ache or whim, to give each person their particular heaven on earth, will simply result in creating a dystopian hell on earth. Children are paying the price for adult’s selfishnesses. What a stupid, wicked age we live in !

    • Ivan M

      These children are living in a hell of the homosexuals’ making. The bill will come due in a decade or so.

  • dexey

    “– or the lack of sexual relationships which could achieve conception ” – that is a very cleverly worded line, Your Grace.

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector regretfully reports to Cranmer’s following that the WHO has been got at of late, in his opinion. Infiltrated with, shall we call them champions of the non-heteronormal members of society. And single non-heteronorms have every right to have children as much as married couples. “MORE SO!” they might shout, because they are special. The days of nervously queuing alone at a state adoption office, trying to maintain their best queer smile look to be over. (“I’d like to adopt a boy. Yes, it MUST be a boy”)

    And there’s worse. According to a comments contributor on Pink News, the WHO is shortly to announce that transgenderism is no longer to be considered as psychosis. For the uninitiated, transgenderism is the process where effeminate men decide they’d be better off masquerading as women. And being deeply offended if you don’t accept them as 100% woman; all the way to the courts in extremis. Interestingly, if the effeminate is heterosexual, he can then ‘come out’ as a lesbian on trannying. All very confusing. More confusing still, trannys can and do elect to hang onto the (formerly exclusive) male member (or auld fella, as the Irish call him) WITHOUT any loss of femininity (that’s guaranteed, folks) , they’ll have you know. (So when you hear a shriek from the ladies toilets or changing rooms, there’s probably some of that involved).

    In case chaps further don’t know, to be diagnosed with psychosis means you could be sectioned under the Mental Health Act, if you become a danger to yourself or others. But now it looks like trannyism is to become respectable. A perfectly reasonable lifestyle choice. Something your son might be interested in, Missus.

    So if you think single types being classified as disabled for their singularity is the height of it, you ain’t seen nothing yet…

    • jsampson45

      I doubt if transgenderism has ever been psychosis, any more than measles is mumps.

      • Inspector General

        It is if you group it in with bulimia…another form of madness…

        • jsampson45

          It would in that case, just as measles is mumps, if you group them among communicable diseases.

          • Inspector General

            Now, interesting phrase you have there – “communicable disease”. One notes from Pink News that the number of referrals by GPs regarding this gender bending nonsense has risen by 800% in an unspecified time period, but we must be talking of the near recent.

            So it is, that the suffering, or mentally enfeebled to be more accurate, listen in on the news and before you know it, just about every GP in the country is bothered by them. Very much a communicable disease then.

          • Ivan M

            800%? When it comes to the sacred right to anal sex, all medicine and common sense must be jettisoned at the pain of a visit from the homo Gestapo.

    • Anton

      There’s going to be a battle between the Gs and the Ts over whether you are “born that way”.

      • Inspector General

        The good news is that it is likely to split LGBT right down the middle. And both halves may sink accordingly.

      • Dominic Stockford

        The battle began when the t’s went for Germaine Greer.

        • Anton

          The arch-feminist who refused to condemn female genital mutilation in cultures that practised it. Is schadenfreude a sin?

          • chefofsinners

            Is stupidity a disability?

  • Anton

    The WHO… Won’t Get Fooled Again?

    Happy Jack might care to comment.

  • chefofsinners

    Nice to see The Who collaborating with Cliff after all these years.
    Perhaps we can look forward to a third act of Tommy, in which the hero wins Paralympic pinball gold in the ‘eunuchs for the sake of Christ’ category.

  • bluedog

    There’s method in their madness, Your Grace. Once an individual is defined as having a disability, they become entitled to compensation. It’s the same with those finding themselves inadvertently as being a in a minority. Compensation is their human right. In effect this is Democracy in its final and greatest flowering, the apex of it’s development. Once the entire electorate can be defined as being a disabled minority, great riches may be bestowed upon them in return for votes, offered in gratitude for the favour. It’s pure genius. The electorate is bribed with its own money, and the politicians are duly appointed to oversee the process. Everyone goes home happy, and with a prize.

  • Martin

    Not really any worse than saying anyone should be allowed to marry.

  • This is a societal definition of infertility passed off as a medicinal one, part of the Left’s claim to unique access to “objective” truths and necessities. As Edmund Husserl pointed out, in lived-through experience we don’t have access to objectivity, rather we live in an intersubjective matrix; infertility, however, is a medical judgement based on examinations and tests, and therefore approaches a degree of objectivity that is transcendental to lived-through intersubjectivity. Basically, infertility is a matter of medical diagnosis because most people agree it is, regardless of what self-serving and anti-democratic cabals think reality should consist of.

    • magnolia

      It also reflects the view of many scientists that they possess the highest academic ground and do not need to study anything like theology, philosophy, linguistics. It shows an absurd lack of awareness of semantic shift. Change the meaning of a word and a new one will be coined to plug the gap, or an old one will extend its range. These people do not know the difference between a map marker and the terrain it maps.

      What I fear is that they are forcing the Almighty to press the reset button, or more accurately that we are so flouting the laws of the universe that we will set off a process that inevitably takes us back to a closer-to-survival existence.

  • len

    ‘ Infertility re defined.’
    Man thought he could do a better job running Gods creation than God Himself so man’ re defined ‘everything .This led to disorder which is getting progressively worse and progressively madder as we slide down that ever slippery slope to the inevitable confrontation with the Creator.

  • Stig

    Well, I’m widowed and therefore unable to have more children. Where do I apply for my disabled parking badge? 🙂

  • dannybhoy

    Is there a Disabled Jigajigging Allowance one can claim?