Evangelicals More Catholic Than Fr. James Martin, SJ

Oh my gosh!  The protestants have made James Martin, SJ come unglued!  To our “separated brethren,” a good deal of Catholics thank you!  There’s a thing here or there I might have changed but I’m not going to quibble on those since that has nothing to do with Fr. James Martin, SJ’s twitter rant, which of course, was kind of giant red-herring because it had little or nothing to do with the “Nashville Statement.”

So, let’s look at the statement:



Evangelical Christians at the dawn of the twenty-first century find themselves living in a period of historic transition. As Western culture has become increasingly post-Christian, it has embarked upon a massive revision of what it means to be a human being. By and large the spirit of our age no longer discerns or delights in the beauty of God’s design for human life. Many deny that God created human beings for his glory, and that his good purposes for us include our personal and physical design as male and female. It is common to think that human identity as male and female is not part of God’s beautiful plan, but is, rather, an expression of an individual’s autonomous preferences. The pathway to full and lasting joy through God’s good design for his creatures is thus replaced by the path of shortsighted alternatives that, sooner or later, ruin human life and dishonor God.

This secular spirit of our age presents a great challenge to the Christian church. Will the church of the Lord Jesus Christ lose her biblical conviction, clarity, and courage, and blend into the spirit of the age? Or will she hold fast to the word of life, draw courage from Jesus, and unashamedly proclaim his way as the way of life? Will she maintain her clear, counter-cultural witness to a world that seems bent on ruin?

We are persuaded that faithfulness in our generation means declaring once again the true story of the world and of our place in it—particularly as male and female. Christian Scripture teaches that there is but one God who alone is Creator and Lord of all. To him alone, every person owes gladhearted thanksgiving, heart-felt praise, and total allegiance. This is the path not only of glorifying God, but of knowing ourselves. To forget our Creator is to forget who we are, for he made us for himself. And we cannot know ourselves truly without truly knowing him who made us. We did not make ourselves. We are not our own. Our true identity, as male and female persons, is given by God. It is not only foolish, but hopeless, to try to make ourselves what God did not create us to be.

We believe that God’s design for his creation and his way of salvation serve to bring him the greatest glory and bring us the greatest good. God’s good plan provides us with the greatest freedom. Jesus said he came that we might have life and have it in overflowing measure. He is for us and not against us. Therefore, in the hope of serving Christ’s church and witnessing publicly to the good purposes of God for human sexuality revealed in Christian Scripture, we offer the following affirmations and denials.

Article 1

WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church.

WE DENY that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God.

Article 2

WE AFFIRM that God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage.

WE DENY that any affections, desires, or commitments ever justify sexual intercourse before or outside marriage; nor do they justify any form of sexual immorality.

Article 3

WE AFFIRM that God created Adam and Eve, the first human beings, in his own image, equal before God as persons, and distinct as male and female.

WE DENY that the divinely ordained differences between male and female render them unequal in dignity or worth.

Article 4

WE AFFIRM that divinely ordained differences between male and female reflect God’s original creation design and are meant for human good and human flourishing.

WE DENY that such differences are a result of the Fall or are a tragedy to be overcome.

Article 5

WE AFFIRM that the differences between male and female reproductive structures are integral to God’s design for self-conception as male or female.

WE DENY that physical anomalies or psychological conditions nullify the God-appointed link between biological sex and self-conception as male or female.

Article 6

WE AFFIRM that those born with a physical disorder of sex development are created in the image of God and have dignity and worth equal to all other image-bearers. They are acknowledged by our Lord Jesus in his words about “eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb.” With all others they are welcome as faithful followers of Jesus Christ and should embrace their biological sex insofar as it may be known.

WE DENY that ambiguities related to a person’s biological sex render one incapable of living a fruitful life in joyful obedience to Christ.

Article 7

WE AFFIRM that self-conception as male or female should be defined by God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption as revealed in Scripture.

WE DENY that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.

Article 8

WE AFFIRM that people who experience sexual attraction for the same sex may live a rich and fruitful life pleasing to God through faith in Jesus Christ, as they, like all Christians, walk in purity of life.

WE DENY that sexual attraction for the same sex is part of the natural goodness of God’s original creation, or that it puts a person outside the hope of the gospel.

Article 9

WE AFFIRM that sin distorts sexual desires by directing them away from the marriage covenant and toward sexual immorality— a distortion that includes both heterosexual and homosexual immorality.

WE DENY that an enduring pattern of desire for sexual immorality justifies sexually immoral behavior.

Article 10

WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.

WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.

Article 11

WE AFFIRM our duty to speak the truth in love at all times, including when we speak to or about one another as male or female.

WE DENY any obligation to speak in such ways that dishonor God’s design of his imagebearers as male and female.

Article 12

WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ gives both merciful pardon and transforming power, and that this pardon and power enable a follower of Jesus to put to death sinful desires and to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.

WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ is insufficient to forgive all sexual sins and to give power for holiness to every believer who feels drawn into sexual sin.

Article 13

WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ enables sinners to forsake transgender selfconceptions and by divine forbearance to accept the God-ordained link between one’s biological sex and one’s self-conception as male or female.

WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ sanctions self-conceptions that are at odds with God’s revealed will.

Article 14

WE AFFIRM that Christ Jesus has come into the world to save sinners and that through Christ’s death and resurrection forgiveness of sins and eternal life are available to every person who repents of sin and trusts in Christ alone as Savior, Lord, and supreme treasure.

WE DENY that the Lord’s arm is too short to save or that any sinner is beyond his reach.

Before I move on, Fr. Martin.  What above do YOU disagree with?  Let’s be specific and stop all your usual ambiguity, shall we?  Come on.  Pick it apart!  We know you can’t which is why you take to twitter with the ridiculous responses.

And now let’s look at the twitter rant of Fr. James Martin, SJ (Clearly he’s feeling the 140 character limit. I’m not even going to try to screen capture this one since it’s SEVERAL tweets long.) My comments inserted in bold:


Re #Nashville Statement: I affirm: That God loves all LGBT people. I deny: That Jesus wants us to insult, judge or further marginalize them. Nice red-herring, Fr. Martin.  Can you point to the part of the statement that was anything but loving?

I affirm: That all of us are in need of conversion. I deny: That LGBT people should be in any way singled out as the chief or only sinners. Well, you single them out at the group that needs special privileges and acceptances. If you don’t want them singled out, stop doing it.

I affirm: That when Jesus encountered people on the margins he led with welcome not condemnation. I deny: That Jesus wants any more judging.  I’ll link in a minute to a nice mic drop on your muddling of Jesus’ teachings but, for now, who is condemning?

I affirm: That LGBT people are, by virtue of baptism, full members of the church. I deny: That God wants them to feel that they don’t belong Poppycock.  It has nothing to do with people not feeling welcome and everything to do with you wanting their sin accepted as moral.  Can we stop with the charade?

I affirm: That LGBT people have been made to feel like dirt by many churches. Well that’s what you keep telling them.  How about you point out where that’s happened in the Nashville Statement?   I deny: That Jesus wants us to add to their immense suffering.  Christ wants them to take up their cross and follow him.  You want everyone get a pass in this life with no thought to the immense and EVERLASTING suffering of sinners who don’t repent.  Thank God the Church calls ALL to repentance.   That’s a little fact you’d like to overlook in your little “I’m OK, you’re OK!” scenario.    

I affirm: That LGBT people are some of the holiest people I know. OK, let’s make some distinctions.  I actually know a few who have embraced the heavy cross and who are amazing and I know some who have embraced sodomy and are not.  I’ll happily make the distinction.  Will you?  I deny: That Jesus wants us to judge others, when he clearly forbade it.  Stop the stupidity, Fr. Martin. You and I both know that there is quite a bit of difference between judging someone’s immortal soul and judging sinful actions.  Where did Christ ever condemn the latter?  Like I said, mic drop coming.  You know the answer very well.  You just prefer to confound and confuse.  I will say again with no regret that you are a predator of souls.  Your “come into my parlor said the spider to the fly” methods are disgusting.

I affirm that the Father loves LGBT people, the Son calls them and the Holy Spirit guides them. I deny nothing about God’s love for them.  At this point I have to ask if you actually read the Nashville statement.  I posted it above.  Give it a looksie.

Really – did you expect him to actually address the statement?  Of course not, he simply takes the tactics he always takes.  Let’s just tell people what was said and hope they believe it.  Facts?  Irrelevant!

Now for the very eloquent tongue lashing.  It’s incredibly sad that the Presbyterian grasps more of Catholicism than you do, Fr. Martin:



It is not surprising that Francis’s communication adviser, James Martin, has decided to attack the Nashville Statement, and even less surprising that the WashPost has published his tweets about it. Beware of doing the bidding of the WashPost. Martin’s tweets confirm the by-now widely held perception, reinforced repeatedly by Martin himself, that his raison d’etre involves undermining the Catholic Church’s upholding of Jesus’ teaching on a male-female foundation for sexual ethics, upon which Jesus’ teaching about the binary character of marriage is based. Martin is more brazen than ever.

Contrary to Martin’s repeated claims, the Nashville Statement (NS) does not deny God’s love for persons who gratify sinful same-sex desires or sinful denials of one’s birth sex. Rather, consistent with the witness of Jesus and Scripture generally, it manifests love by calling such persons away from intrinsically self-dishonoring and God-abhorring desires to an authentic self in keeping with their creation in God’s image.

Contrary to Martin’s claims, Jesus’ statement about not judging was never intended by Jesus to be a denial of all judgment, particularly since 40-50% of all of Jesus’ sayings are accompanied by some motif of warning about a coming judgment. Martin himself makes a judgment of those who signed off on the NS, though he appears to be unaware of the inconsistency. Presumably even Martin holds the line on some moral standards, which means that he himself doesn’t construe Jesus “don’t judge” statement absolutely.

Indeed, in the context of Jesus’ ministry “don’t judge” has to do with not majoring in minors, with not being introspective about one’s own sins, and not reaching out in love to reclaim the lost by leading them gently out of sin. According to both Luke 17:3-4 and Matthew 18 Jesus urged rebuke of those engaged in egregious sin, with communal discipline of those who fail to repent. The warning about cutting off offending members that could get one thrown into hell appears in Matthew 5 in the midst of warnings about the importance of sexual purity.

Jesus clearly based his view of marital monogamy and longevity on God’s creation of two and only two complementary sexes, “male and female,” as established in Gen 1:27; reiterated in Gen 2:24 as the foundation for marital joining of two halves into a single sexual whole. This is a “judgement” made by our own Lord: an inviolate standard that the Church must hold at all costs.

Like many who seek to promote homosexual unions and gender identity confusion, Martin wants to make the “don’t judge” statement a canon within the canon, falsely treating it as an absolute injunction while applying it selectively.

Jesus did challenge those he encountered who were engaged in egregious sin. When Jesus encountered the woman caught in adultery he did tell her to “no longer be sinning” with the inference that otherwise something worse would happen to her, not merely a capital sentence in this life but loss of eternal life.

Yes, we are all in need of conversion but Martin doesn’t want to convert people out of a homosexual or transgender life. He wants the Church to affirm the sin or to cease to take a stand against it.

The issue all along is the attempt in the broader culture and in sectors of the church from people like Martin to promote acceptance of behavior abhorrent to God and self-dishonoring to the people who practice it. It is people like Martin who are singling out homosexual and transgender behavior for exemption from the commands of God. He is not truly welcoming the sinner but rather affirming the sin. He wants the lost son to remain lost in the deepest sense, for one is “found” only when one returns in repentance.

Moreover, Scripture does treat homosexual practice as a particularly grave sexual offense precisely because of its intrinsically unnatural character and violation of God’s starting point for marriage as a union between “male and female” or “man” being “joined” to a “woman.” It is not the “chief” of sins but it is a grave sexual offense nonetheless.

Infant baptism does not innoculate an individual against the judgment of God for failing to lead a transformed life. There is no sin transfer to Christ without self-transfer; no living without dying to self and denying oneself. Paul’s warning of the Corinthian community’s tolerance of an adult-consensual union between a man and his stepmother is a case in point. Is it not those inside the church that you are to judge, Paul asked rhetorically. The answer to that question is not “no” (as Martin seems to think) but “yes.”

The Nashville Statement does not claim that persons who engage in homosexual practice are complete moral werewolves. We all compartmentalize our lives. But the areas we are good in do not validate the areas we are bad in.

Bottom line: Martin is using his office to undermine what for Jesus was a foundational standard for sexual ethics. He has to go.

BOOM!  Sir, we assuredly have our differences but our abhorrence of Fr. Martin’s dastardly deeds is not one of them.  I’ve said the same thing on many occasion but I thank you for the extremely eloquent echo of those sentiments.  

Anyone else think many of the signers will embrace the teachings of the Church in their fullness long before Fr. Martin?  Yeah, me too.









Total Eclipse of the Doctrine

As many, many, MANY people did this past week, my family and I headed toward totality in Oregon.  It was a grand geekfest that homeschoolers revel in without a doubt.

Now, when we hit the road for vacation each year, it’s a veritable crap shoot what kind of Mass we’re going to get.  We step out of our comfort zone and just hope for the best.  It’s a 50/50 shot at best.  This year was no different.  We’re used to the usual happy-clappy sort of thing but it does get a wee bit annoying when it’s just out-and-out heresy.  I mean, who wants to go to Mass and feel like you’d like to give the priest a good tongue lashing.  So what did we get?  We got the Fr. James Martin, SJ wannabe.  (Insert exasperated sigh.)  I guess the priest just wanted to take the opportunity he had with his congregation doubled in size by eclipse watchers to go for broke.

Not all of the priest’s comments were heretical. Some were just ridiculous but let’s just look at them shall we.

  • It was the gospel on the Canaanite woman.  This priest’s big take away was that Christ had to learn to deal with people who thought differently than them instead of marginalizing them.  (As if Christ didn’t know his messianic mission and who that extended to.)
  • Next, the priest said that the Church is going through this today with, for example, women. He said that the Church didn’t know what to do with us.  Accept us, reject us or “SEND US TO THE BACK OF THE BUS.”  No joke, he said it.  What was totally ironic is that the church was named after Mary.  Uhhhhhhhhh….
  • Then, of course, the prayers of the faithful basically went on to allude to ALL of the other marginalized that the Church has forgotten. Gag!  That was his homage to all of those in sin who want to keep sinning.
  • And then there was something about him being shocked to find out, as a newly ordained priest, that he was expected to be obedient to his bishop.  The horrors!

I quickly leaned over to my husband and pointed to the side door.  “That’s our exit after Mass, honey!”  Again, I’m on vacation.  We loaded into the car and quizzed all the kids who sat through the Mass with a confused look on their face because, well, even they know lunacy when they hear it.  I’m sure my older children were probably just praying we didn’t have to hang out too long after while mom gave father what for.  We had fun to get to, after all.  Yeah, the kids were able to zero in on the heresy right away.

We had friends with us and I mentioned to one of them that I was relatively sure that this priest must own the whole Fr. James Martin, SJ library.  I was not off in any way on assumption because the very next day Fr. James Martin, SJ broke Catholic Twitter with this one:


What?!?!  Is there a part of the Dark Web from which they all get their talking points?!  Were they all in the same class?   Brothers from another mother, perhaps?  Really, the cultish ways are kind of scary.



Gotta find this rather hysterical that Father “Look how mean and judge-y people are to me!”  and who claims not to be a theologian would throw out the heresy accusation.  Oops.  I mean, that’s right up there with him calling people “haters” awhile back.  Let’s stop to pause and think about the fact Fr. Martin almost weekly gives a “mean tweets” reading and he goes and calls those who follow the Catechism heretics.  I don’t think the hypocrisy gets any better than this.

It seems that some rather faithful priests/people decided to call him on his heretical views (and came to the same conclusion as the kids camping with us). What a riot!  https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/priests-scold-celebrity-jesuit-fr.-james-martin-for-ignorance-arrogance (Hysterical list of responses not to miss!) and here’s another rebuttal by ChurchPOP.  https://churchpop.com/2017/08/21/no-jesus-did-not-learn-to-overcome-prejudice-from-the-canaanite-woman/

Ironically, Fr. Martin likes to say WE do not see Christ as truly human and truly divine but he’s the one who denies the divinity thing.  Let me let you in on a not so secretive idea.  God doesn’t contradict himself,  Fr. Martin.  While, yes, God placed Himself on the human timeline in the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, this didn’t lead Him to ever be contrary to His divine nature.  In other words, Christ understood His messianic mission while He needed to learn how to walk as a toddler as pointed out by the Catechism and many a good priest.  Fr. Martin, SJ.?  Well, he’s, oh, so fond of the fully human side (a la’ the Last Temptation of Christ type of human) but he is the one who seems to buy into Nestorianism on the fully divine issue.  I’m sure he’s fully aware and understands the doctrine on the matter.  I think he just prefers to lead people astray.

Now, why does Fr. Martin and his ilk persist putting forth this silly notion?  Well, this was shown quite clearly in the “homily” I had to endure.  It’s to put forth their social agenda.  If they get people to think Christ didn’t know how to deal with the marginalized but learned that he was wrong, shouldn’t we have to achieve that to be Christ-like?  (Can you even believe they are trying to float this? It’s simply a narcissistic play to the rest of the congregation.) Problem. This isn’t what Christ did.  Does he believe people are that gullible?  Well, I guess they are or he wouldn’t have a following.

Nice try Fr. Martin and cult.  Nice try.



Make it so!

I was right in the middle of a rather long piece delineating the back and forth between Austen Ivereigh and Matthew Schmitz (I probably gave it more attention than I should have) when I ran across an interesting development.  I really came late to the family dinner due to “mom stuff,” so it was pretty much a “What just happened?” moment and it took me a wee bit of time to look up the voluminous back and forth and Al Jazeera TV.  My disappointment in Crux was rivaling Patheos.  Sigh. 

I’d just like to say kudos to John Allen for this.  I must say I did find him to blame for allowing another hit piece by Ivereigh (previous ones dealt with here and here). While we probably don’t agree on everything (I’m positive we don’t), I’ve always found him to come from a charitable, even-tempered position with the best of intentions.  I’m sure he prayed long and hard on this one and I totally respect him for trying to keep to quell the circular firing squad.

I do think Allen comes from a “I’m a uniter, not a divider” kind of slant.  While I’m sure that he has much more patience than I, sometimes I think it’s misplaced and I have to ask what he’s uniting with sometimes.  How’s the saying go? “Unity for the sake of unity…”

I would like to say, while I was happy with a critique of Fr. James Martin’s latest book in Crux (https://cruxnow.com/commentary/2017/06/17/father-james-martin-lgbt-community-bridge-far/), I would love it if Crux would never, ever post a thought from Fr. Martin again as they did last here  and that John Allen would not do a forward in his books or let him write for Crux as show here until Fr. Martin ditches the moral ambiguity and “The Church is mean!” stance.  I don’t care if the blind squirrel does find a nut on occasion, it lends credence to his, more often than not, “strange notions.”  That little “blind squirrel” has led many others into darkness.

So for now, let’s just give a thumbs up to Crux’s new editorial policy.  Here’s hoping it gets even better!  Make it so, John Allen!  Make it so! (Yes, you could say I’m in the “Next Generation”…)

Yep! It’s Still about the Porn

In keeping with the surreal life I lead, my husband ran across this column in his morning “catch up with the rest of the world” minute.  Oooohhhh!  A crossover moment between my Catholic world and my interest in politics.  Yeah, I know it wasn’t a political piece, but it kind of makes me giddy to see my pseudonym in a mainstream political publication.  So sue me.  That said, it was a rehash of what I already argued against, so it was a tad bit disappointing.   It’s like people see the topic and never bother to read. And, since he didn’t bother to throw me a link, I have no idea which one of my articles he was addressing (If It Quacks Like a Duck, It’s Porn! Or Game of Rationalizations), but if had to guess, I would say it was the first one. Judging by his excuses, he obviously missed the latter.

(note the link to the article)

August 6, 2017, 12:19 am

Why so much Catholic objection to such a popular show?”

Why thanks for asking! Hmmm… I’d first have to go with it’s the fact that it’s the attempt to mainstream porn.  For me, I’d totally expect this from the secular world, but Catholics? Really?!?  That’s where it gets annoying for me.

We’re three weeks into Season Seven of Game of Thrones, and a significant portion of the Catholic blogosphere has made its opinion known: it doesn’t like the show. I mean, these bloggers really don’t like the show. If anyone has used the word “hate,” I’ve missed it. But some of the bloggers I’ve read are undeniably playing footsie with the concept.

Well, to make things clearer for you, I have great contempt for sin (even though I fall for it quite often) and I really hate the fact that I’m reasonably sure this show makes Satan giddy (if Satan could be so).  I’m also reasonably sure that it makes Satan downright gleeful that some Catholics have become apologists for it.  And before anyone throws out this lame accusation, no, I’m not judging anyone or their immortal soul.  I’m judging Game of Thrones and the act of watching it.

The One Mad Mom blogger, in an “I’m-mad’as-hell” piece, insists the show is porn. Plain and simple. And she adds, “I’ve really just become sick of the kitschy Catholics trying to rationalize this one away.” Honestly, I don’t know what a “kitschy Catholic” is, particularly in relation to GoT, but it’s her blog, she gets to say whatever she likes.

Yes, yes, I do.  Little does he know, many of my posts are like that.  As far as “kitschy Catholics” go, hmmm… let’s see.  What’s a great way to illustrate this?  They’re kind of like the characters found in John Hughes movies who are on the edge of the popular group in high school, trying desperately to be social relevant, and who are failing quite miserably and look ridiculous.  That said, I’m now finding these types in my adult world.     

Early on in the show’s run, all the way back in 2013, the author of the Australian blog, Being Catholic, objected to GoT because “its depictions of sexuality and human intimacy do not conform to the truth of human sexuality as an exclusive gift by which spouses make a mutual self-donative gift of love in harmony with the self-giving essence of the Trinity.” A trifle theological, and we can discuss whether one makes one’s viewing choices based on a program’s theological content, but again, his blog, his choice.  

Whoa, buddy!  Let’s not gloss over this one.  In my previous two posts on this (I actually thought I was done on this subject, but it just keeps popping up like a bad penny or Fr. James Martin, SJ – take your pick), I totally and utterly failed to cite the Catechism on this.  Why?  I didn’t remember so pointed a citation on the topic, but in reading a reader’s comments, there it was.  Duh!  Thanks, reader.  Right there in black and white under “Offenses against chastity”, it says (please note it’s the definition put forth by the Catholic Church, not me):


2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials. (emphasis mine)


Now, I’m sure some are screaming “Lewis! Tolkien!” right about now.  Please notice the word immerse.  We are a LOTR-loving family.  Narnia was a place we visited often in our imagination, but neither of these two authors, nor the other classic authors he’s going to cite further down, used explicit sexual imagery, which has a whole other effect on the brain.  Science!  It’s a beautiful thing.

But wait!  It gets better.  This passage gives a nice little cross-reference to paragraph 2523.  That said, I don’t think that was complete enough context so might I point you to this?



2520 Baptism confers on its recipient the grace of purification from all sins. But the baptized must continue to struggle against concupiscence of the flesh and disordered desires. With God’s grace he will prevail

– by the virtue and gift of chastity, for chastity lets us love with upright and undivided heart;

– by purity of intention which consists in seeking the true end of man: with simplicity of vision, the baptized person seeks to find and to fulfill God’s will in everything;313

– by purity of vision, external and internal; by discipline of feelings and imagination; by refusing all complicity in impure thoughts that incline us to turn aside from the path of God’s commandments: “Appearance arouses yearning in fools”;314

– by prayer:

I thought that continence arose from one’s own powers, which I did not recognize in myself. I was foolish enough not to know . . . that no one can be continent unless you grant it. For you would surely have granted it if my inner groaning had reached your ears and I with firm faith had cast my cares on you.315

2521 Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity.

2522 Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet.”

2523 There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body. It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements, or against the solicitations of certain media that go too far in the exhibition of intimate things. Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies.

How many of you people used the phrase “over the top” or “explicit” and then went on to say it was still a great story with moral values? Too many!  More often than not, some of you preferred to act like these were “no big deal, people simply wrapped up in a sheet, hardly noticed them” sex scenes.    Uh, uh.  Nice try.  For those who are wondering what it’s all about, or maybe you’re a priest who’s been asked by your penitent if they can watch Game of Thrones, these are graphic depictions of rape, sex in public, incest, and sodomy.  This ain’t your 1970s rated “R” movie.  Like he said, short and simple, it’s porn.

On to the rest:

2524 The forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another. Everywhere, however, modesty exists as an intuition of the spiritual dignity proper to man. It is born with the awakening consciousness of being a subject. Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person.”

This one reminds me of some reader who rationalized that, “Times have changed!  There was a period where even ankles weren’t to be seen!”, as if this has anything to do with GoT.  Anyways, some are going to cling to this citation and make the same argument.  Good luck with that.

2525 Christian purity requires a purification of the social climate. It requires of the communications media that their presentations show concern for respect and restraint. Purity of heart brings freedom from widespread eroticism and avoids entertainment inclined to voyeurism and illusion.

2526 So called moral permissiveness rests on an erroneous conception of human freedom; the necessary precondition for the development of true freedom is to let oneself be educated in the moral law. Those in charge of education can reasonably be expected to give young people instruction respectful of the truth, the qualities of the heart, and the moral and spiritual dignity of man.”

And this, my friend, is why there’s so much objection to Game of Thrones.  We ALL should object to it.  Make no mistake, the moral permissiveness of Catholics has been one of the biggest downfalls of our culture.

“2527 “The Good News of Christ continually renews the life and culture of fallen man; it combats and removes the error and evil which flow from the ever-present attraction of sin. It never ceases to purify and elevate the morality of peoples. It takes the spiritual qualities and endowments of every age and nation, and with supernatural riches it causes them to blossom, as it were, from within; it fortifies, completes, and restores them in Christ.”316

Exactly! Are we trying to renew the life and culture of fallen man or are we just getting down in the gutter with them?   Are we trying to make morality blossom?  I mean, I’m just wondering how someone, say, prays their Rosary with the family and then toddles off to watch Game of Thrones?  I mean, there’s a huge dichotomy between the two activities and it’s weird.  Compartmentalizing Catholicism might be the problem and is likely a topic for another post.  “I’m Catholic over here but I just like a good, sexy story over here.”  Where’s the blossoming, fortifying and restoring?  I think we’re supposed to be looking for a “purification of the social climate” not embracing the crud on HBO

Again, as the Pascal quote given in Game of Rationalizations goes:

Pascal wrote of Montaigne: “His book not intended to lead men to piety, was not obliged to do so; but one is always obliged not to turn men away from the good.”

That’s what’s happening here.  If you think you can watch these uber explicit sex simulations (all there but the reality) and not have it seep into your life, your marriage, your relationships, you’d be crazy.  Isn’t that kind of what you’d tell the peeps that frequent porn hub?  Why is the scenario different for you?  “Because it’s only 5 minutes of the show and not in all of the episodes.”  Please.  Wake up. 

And then there’s the kids.  My gosh!  What’s going to be left for them to watch when you don’t balk at seemingly anything anymore.

Meanwhile, this past week, a nun who writes a media blog with the memorable name of Hell Burns, expands the definition of porn to include graphic violence. She deplores “the egregious, graphic desecration of the human body — the sacred image of God — in visual storytelling today.” GoT has some nasty graphic violence — there’s no denying that. But in terms of the acts of violence depicted in the series, I think egregious is the wrong word.

OK, I’m not a GoT watcher.  Thankfully, when I sent out a query, I got about 50 “Don’t watch it!” responses.  Thanks, Facebook!  I’m not exactly sure what Sr. Burns meant.  I don’t have the same problem with explicit violence as explicit sex, because, again, it doesn’t have the same effect on the brain.  Lord of the Rings, Braveheart, a thousand war movies, they don’t bother me.  But I’ve got to wonder how a graphic rape scene isn’t egregious?  I can’t help but think the some might have a problem with that being shown for entertainment – especially the ones who have lived it.  Bravo, HBO!  Bravo!

“Screaming “Porn!” is exactly like screaming “Racist!” It slams the breaks on any discussion. And it is unanswerable, aside from the “Is not!” “Is, too!” debate typical of a second-grade schoolyard. It’s a rhetorical cheap shot.

Really? Exactly??? I think we have a different definition. Sometimes racists are racists, my friend.  And porn is porn.  “Screaming” is a bit of a hyperbole.  It’s a simple statement of fact (definition straight out of the Catechism) and what’s the latest saying on that?  Facts don’t care about your feelings. (I have been so waiting to use that one!)   “You’re mean!” is the rhetorical shot and, quite frankly, a liberal tactic I wouldn’t expect to see out of this publication.  Can we cease with playing the martyr card?  It’s  a TV show for goodness’ sake.  

That said, let me ’fess up: I like Game of Thrones. I mean, I really like Game of Thrones.

Wait, how could I have possibly figured this out?  Sigh.

It is ridiculously well-written (I have never attempted to write dialogue, and now, after watching six and a half seasons of GoT, I’ll never try). The acting is stellar. Love the twists and turns of the plot. Okay, the scenes of Arya in the temple of the Many-faced God were dull, surpassed only by her brother Bran’s transformation into the Three-Eyed Raven — when those scenes pop up, I head to the kitchen to make a sandwich; I do not hit the Pause button on the remote. Character development is strong, although we could talk about this season’s inexplicable makeover of Sansa from pathetic perpetual victim to decisive, politically savvy virago. How did that happen?

And this is pretty much how I know that he didn’t read blog post #2 on GoT.  Porn is still porn no matter how artistically it’s done, how short the porn scenes are, how good the story line is, etc., etc., etc., and etc.  If it “consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense.  It is pornography.  And besides the fact that “civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials,” Catholics shouldn’t be watching it while waiting for them to do so!  This is the point!     

GoT is said to be the most popular program worldwide. HBO broadcasts it in 173 countries. Yet, in spite of such easy accessibility, for the past five years GoT has stood at the top of the charts as the most pirated show ever.

Which led GQ to ask, “Is Game of Thrones More Popular Than Porn?” The answer is, “Yes!” According to GQ, Pornhub, which I am led to believe is a popular adult entertainment site, saw it’s viewership drop by 4.5 percent during the premiere a few weeks back of Episode 1 of Season Seven. It was worse last year when the finale of Season Six aired — Pornhub’s traffic plummeted by 5.2 percent. I expect for some of our blogging friends that statistic is an “Ah ha! I told you so!” moment. I have no stats to back this up, but my hunch is people who watch porn probably watch other things as well. Maybe I’m being Jesuitical, but if GoT lures them away from Pornhub for an hour, isn’t that a step in the right direction?

Let’s see, they leave 60 minutes of porn for 5 minutes of it and a story line.  Great step.  I would have gone with spending time with friends or walking the dog as a good first step.  That’s just me.  Sigh.  LOVE the term Jesuitical though!

Actually, it was just more confirmation of what we already knew to be true.  People like watching porn.  If it’s got a good story line to go with it, all the better. Seriously, if I was a porn fiend, I’d be a lot happier to see it mainstreamed.  I wouldn’t feel like a creeper if my friends watched it too.  Wish apparently granted for some.

Is there nudity in GoT? Yes, but not much. Is there violence? Oh, hell yeah. Is there sex? Yup — ranging from praiseworthy down to cringeworthy. So, truly, I do understand why some Catholic bloggers are offended by GoT. But I think it is a mistake to view the series through a Catholic lens.

My husband read me this comment as I was driving one of my kids around.  I thought I misunderstood.  Uh, we’re Catholic.  Shouldn’t we be viewing EVERYTHING through a Catholic lens?  Or are we just supposed to put aside the Catholic lens when it comes to pornography?  Look again at my Pascal quote.  Art need not be God oriented, but should it cause us to sin?  I think this is the part where people who haven’t read much of the commentary on GoT are going to start bringing up DaVinci, Michaelangelo, classic authors, etc.

The society in GoT is not Catholic. It is a pagan world — granted, it’s an imaginary pagan world, but it is most decidedly a pagan one. Nonetheless, the script does not hold up the most cruel, the most depraved characters as the ones to admire. Even in pagan Westeros — as there were in pagan Greece and Rome — there are some characters who are noble, or complicated, or at the very least works-in-progress.

Oh, yeah, that’s what all of our complaints are about. GoT is not a Catholic world and the characters have issues.   Really, look at all the ink I’ve spilled on the flawed heroes.  Oh, wait, I haven’t.  Nice try at the smoke and mirrors, though.  Are we to make the assume that you are making the argument that it’s OK to watch porn as long as it’s in a mythic, non-Catholic, pagan world?  Because that’s what the GoT dissenters have been talking about- porn.  Not sure what conversation you’ve been having.

Speaking of ancient Greece, Greek mythology is as gruesome as any episode of GoT. Slaughter on an epic scale. Fathers devouring their children. Children mudering their parents. Incestuous gods. Adulterous royals. Randy centaurs. You name it.

Annnnndddddd????  Here it comes, right?!  The argument made by GoT apologists, an argument shredded already by many a blogger is coming your way.  

This observation is unlikely to win me friends in certain circles, but nudity and graphic violence have been known to appear in religious art. Covering the entire wall above the high altar of the Sistine Chapel is Michelangelo’s huge fresco of the Last Judgment. All the figures in the painting are nude with one exception — the Blessed Virgin Mary is fully clothed. Then there’s St. Sebastian, always depicted as nearly naked and shot through with arrows. And paintings of the mutilation of St. Agatha or of St. Bartholomew being flayed alive I find disturbing. Finally, for inventive sadism, it’s hard to surpass medieval depictions of tormented souls in Hell.

Bam!  There it is.  The lamest argument ever which has been used by GoT apologist after GoT apologist.  None of us are shredding our clothes over  Michelangelo’s David.  It would be soooooo nice if people stopped trying to paint Catholics who think that GoT contains pornography as some prudish Pollyannas who can’t even stand the thought of a naked body.  Geez.  Get over it.

The Song of Bernadette and The Bells of St. Mary’s and The Keys of the Kingdom are uplifting, well-written well-acted, and well-produced. I love watching them, but not all the time.

And?  Who does? Again, we love TV and we love going to the movies (although good ones are getting harder and harder to find).  We do not live in a bunker or blush when we see an elbow.  This line of argument is getting kind of, how should I say, cultish. 

My problem with the critiques of GoT from some of my fellow Catholics comes down to this: once we start measuring a book, a painting, a screenplay by the standards of a specific moral theology — any faith’s moral theology — we’re not sliding down a slippery slope, we’ve walked off the edge of a cliff.

Uh, not so much.  I’m not going to answer for any other standard than the Catholic Faith, which is Truth.  Not measuring things by that is diving head long off the cliff.  Does everything we read have to agree with the Catholic faith?  Of course not.  Know thy enemy and all.  That said, it should be measured by the Church’s standards and when something so obviously fulfills the definition of pornography given in the Catechism, one might just want to skip it.

Kiss an awful lot of Shakespeare good-bye. Expunge “The Miller’s Tale” from the complete works of Chaucer. Toss Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina into the dumpster. And brace yourself, because Psycho and Jaws are in serious trouble. Which is why in his preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde — Catholicism’s most famous last-minute, deathbed, better-late-than-never convert — said, “There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all.” I think Wilde’s principle applies whether we’re talking about books or an HBO series.

You are having trouble with the definition of pornography set forth in the Catechism. How about giving it just one last read? Does that apply to Shakespeare, Chaucer, Madam Bovary, Anna Karenina, Jaws, Psycho, or the Picture of Dorian Gray? I must have missed it.  We grow weary from the apples and oranges comparisons.  No more fruit salad, please.   Let me help.  Game of Thrones isn’t The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Oh, well, it’s his article, his choice.