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Life With a German Shepherd: The Dictatorship of Relativism

Life With a German Shepherd: The Dictatorship of Relativism: Relativism contains a dogmatism of its own: this position is so sure of itself that it must be imposed even on those who disagree with it…...


  1. Anonymous07 June, 2012

    The Catholic institutional church seems to have it's own version of dictatorial relativism, does it not?

  2. I don't actually know anyone who is a relativist, that is maintains that that all moral systems have equal merit. The Pope has decried relativism as a modern scourge but in fact I believe he is decrying people who happen to have different moral values than he does. It's one thing to say a person has different moral values and one thinks they are incorrect and quite another to say just because a person's morality differs from yours then they are a relativist and thinks all moral standards are equal and arbitrary.

  3. Anonymous07 June, 2012

    Hi Tim,

    I fail to see how the issue of GSAs is a symptom of relativism. Relativism is a philosphical theory that posits that truth is not absolute, and that many viewpoints on an issue may have equal merit.

    I think the Ontario Government's position on GSAs is actually an utter repudiation of the Catholic Church's truth claims: which in a nutshell, is the conviction that LGBT students must be institutionally bullied by the concept that they are somehow intrinsically disordered, and that they must remain invisible and in "the closet". Such notions inherently frustrate the very purpose of a GSA (i.e. these notions prevent the creation of a a safe, affirming and tolerant space for vulnerable LGBT students and their allies).

    IMHO, the Catholic Church's statements on homosexuality are divorced from reality. There is simply no rational or objective basis (outside of tradition and a highly contentious scriptural interpretation) to support such views.

    Denominational rights are not absolute. The courts have ruled time and again that when religious "rights" harm people they may be overridden (I refer to such cases where blood transfusions are ordered for the children of Jehova's Witness parents).

    As I have written many times previously on this blog, any abomination can be justified by someone's sincerely held religious beliefs. Religion should not, and cannot, automatically trump all other rights.

    When religious freedom collides with other freedoms and rights, society (via the government and the courts) must step in to adjudicate using secular reasoning. There is simply no other way to settle such disputes.

    The real issue is not whether the Catholic Church has a right to its views, but rather, the real issue is whether or not the Catholic Church is right about homosexuality. It is not. That is why it has lost its battle against equal marriage, and that is why it has lost this battle on GSAs.

    The longer the Catholic Church clings to error in such matters, the more it will corrupt itself and earn the disaffection of both Catholics and other citizens. Cardinal Collins was wise to step back from the precipice...but does he have the guts or the ability to tackle the more fundamental problem? Namely, the Church's erroneous beliefs regarding homosexuality. If I were a betting man, I would bet "no".


    1. Martin,

      I agree with your take on relativism and although I do not share the Catholic Church's view of homosexuality it would be farcical to say they are relativist just because the Church has a different view than mine.

      Alas religion can trump human rights most of the time (extreme cases like you mention are a case when they don't) but only within the religious institution and only with adults. When it comes to minors and public schools (as the Catholic schools are) the government has a right, indeed responsibility to enforce human rights as it sees fit.

      The Church's stand on homosexuality and the abhorrence of the word gay in school clubs may be the straw the breaks the camel's back for publicly funded Catholic schools in Ontario. And although I want one inclusive, secular system for all, having it arise as a result of pain and suffering of some students is totally unacceptable for me.


  4. So you disagree with the Church's position on homosexuality etc and then make yourself "pope for a day" by telling us that your position is correct and ours is wrong.Not much of an argument one way or the other.

  5. Anonymous07 June, 2012

    Hi Rationalist1,

    Perhaps I was not as clear as I should have been. I do not say that the Catholic Church is guilty of relativism because they hold a different belief than I do on the issue of homosexuality, but rather, I say they are plain wrong with respect to homosexuality. I am only too happy to engage them on their so called "secular" arguments against homosexuality, and to show them how such arguments have no basis in reality.

    The hierarchy would prefer to keep the focus on their right to hold contrary views on the issue of homosexuality. I prefer to keep the focus on the fact that they have no good reasons for such views.

    I do not deny the Catholic Church its right to be wrong, however, I am fully entitled to point it out to them.

    Like you, I think Cardinal Collins has overplayed his hand on GSAs and may well have irrevocably raised public ire on the issue of public funding of Separate Schools. Greater the pity that it comes at the cost of the safety, security, well being and lives of LGBT students in Catholic schools.


    1. It was me that was unclear. I too, do not think the Catholic Church is guilty of relativism, but bristle at the fact that when people disagree with Church teachings they are branded as relativists. Relativism is becoming a pejorative epithet like secular, liberal or atheist.

  6. Martin & Rationalist: Believe me fellas... you're so close in belief and argument to each other that I thought that Rationalist was Martin's avatar on the HP! You share similar backgrounds, are both former Catholics, both in committed married relationships (although in differing forms), and you are among the most cogent, civil and articulate voices I've discovered in all the years I've been online. I created this blog in the hopes of attracting folks just like you who could and would ably play the role of 'opponent' in debating these important issues of faith and politics.

    Many folks who visit here disagree passionately with what you each espouse as truth, and you know that I don't agree with you either. But all could benefit from trying to follow your example of arguing FOR a position instead of AGAINST a person. You understand (as do I) that when discussing issues, it is proper to view those who hold views different from yours as 'opponents' and not 'enemies'. Those who chastise me for permitting your comments have failed to understand this.

    If I had one wish, it would be that this blog (and the HP) could attract more good folks like the both of you. Invite your friends to join the conversation!! (grin). It's not for the numbers. (I still can't believe that I'm approaching 250,000 visits in the next few weeks!!! Who would have thought that many folks would be interested in what we have to say here, eh?) It's because I sincerely believe that while it's doubtful we will 'convert' each other, conversations with such folk as you would serve to lift the discourse instead of tearing it down to its basest expressions, as so often happens - especially on the HP lately.

    Fr. Tim

    1. Josh Trudel07 June, 2012

      So, Fr. Tim, you enjoy poking the devil and his minions, and that is why you started this blog.
      What kind of weird thinking is this? Tim for a medical !

    2. Josh: If you honestly see these men as 'devils', then you entirely missed my point. They are NOT evil people even if they are promoting something other than what we believe as Christians/ Catholics. They are definitely NOT devils!!!

      Fr. Tim

    3. Josh Trudel08 June, 2012

      Father, I would ask you to read 1 Corinthian-15:33 again. I think it deals with this type of consorting with the enemy.
      You must admit these 2 are not friends of the Church you belong to, and that they are indeed enemies of the Church.

  7. Anonymous08 June, 2012

    Saturn writes:

    "So you disagree with the Church's position on homosexuality etc and then make yourself "pope for a day" by telling us that your position is correct and ours is wrong.Not much of an argument one way or the other."

    I have written extensively on this blog detailing precisely why Catholic teaching falls short on the issue of homosexuality. It is very telling that when the Catholic Church makes its "secular" arguments in the public square against homosexuality, it resorts to propaganda, distortions and weak arguments.

    Rather than engage us with silly rhetoric about "pope for the day", perhaps you could articulate the Church's very best secular argument against GSAs. Quite honestly, I would welcome the opportunity to intelligently examine the Church's position with you.

    Alternatively, I would also welcome your secular defence for Catechisms 2357-2359:

    2357: Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

    2358: The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

    2359: Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

    Key assumptions in Catechisms 2357-2359 are not supported by the objective evidence. As long as the Church incorporates error in these teachings, it will find itself in conflict with reality. No amount of hand waving and whining about "Relativism" or "The Radical Homosexual Agenda" will paper over this basic conflict with reality. As more and more Catholics acquaint themselves with ordinary homosexual persons, they will come to understand that the Church's teaching on this subject is wrong...just as they have come to understand, disregard and discard the Church's teachings on women and contraceptives.

    The fundamental problem is that the Catechism is in stark opposition to the objective evidence. Perhaps you would like to take a crack at providing the secular case supporting the assertion that homosexuality is objectively disordered, and constitutes a trial for most homosexuals. Kindly provide your sources to credible secular sources.


    1. Josh Trudel08 June, 2012

      Martin, why do you quote from the Catholic Catechism to them try, weakly, to refute it?
      It is said the Devil can and has quoted from the Bible in order to try to make a point with Jesus.
      Are you working on behalf of the Devil?

  8. Anonymous08 June, 2012

    Martin writes

    "Key assumptions in Catechisms 2357-2359 are not supported by THE objective evidence."

    What is the objective evidence you speak of that makes the case against the church's position?

  9. Anonymous08 June, 2012

    Not exactly a vigorous defence of your own Catechism so far.

    Perhaps a Catholic education is not what it used to be.

    Oh dear...


  10. Anonymous11 June, 2012

    Hi folks,

    So no one wants to take a shot at providing the secular case to support the assertion that homosexuality is objectively disordered, and constitutes a trial for most homosexuals? And you folks wonder why the Church's teachings on homosexuality are increasingly disregarded by Catholics and citizens alike?

    The only contrary points so far claim that I am an agent of the devil (or Lucifer himself - I am a bit unclear on this point), and that it presumptuous of me to question Catholic teaching because I am not the pope. To sum up: a) one feeble attempt at "poisoning the well" and; b) one "argument from authority".

    That is it? That is all you got? Will no one lecture me on Natural Law Theory? Will no one claim that the teachings are self evident because "the parts fit" (a.k.a. complimentarity of the sexes)? Will no one dive into the cesspool of pseudo-science and quote me Paul Cameron, George Rekers, or Dr. Satinover? Not even one quote from NARTH? Not one elaborate explanation as to why Leviticus 18:22 or 20:13 is applicable yet other injunctions are not? Really!!??


    1. Josh Trudel15 June, 2012

      Martin, did it every occur to you that straight people are tired of the thinly-veiled attempts by homosexuals to get straight to admire the dis-ordered life of homosexuals.
      Stupid arguments, half-truths, veiled threats, and just plain dumb reasoning has not sold to us anything that could be admired.
      I give you credit tho, you keep running your heads into brick walls.

      A holiday from this crap is needed.

  11. Bonnie from Pembroke16 June, 2012

    Lots of people are at cottages, on vacation trips, doing a lot of other stuff during this summer time weather which I believe is good and healthy.

    As for the homosexual topic it will not go away because one wants too. Remember this blog site is posted by a Roman Catholic priest. So no big surprise that posters here will post from the Roman Catholic view point.

    I'm a female. I happen to be Roman Catholic, so far.
    I don't expect respect especially from male Catholics. It goes with the territory.

    This blog site is a safe haven for some Catholics and for those who don't care much for the Roman Catholic Church ways or how they operate would just simply stay clear from this site.
    Which is also good and healthy.

    1. Josh Trudel16 June, 2012

      Bonnie- what are you saying in your last post? I have read it several times, and have decided it is a wild goose chase for the subject matter.
      I am Catholic, and I will defend the teachings of my Church.
      I am not against women- I have been married to one for many years. I had 4 sisters, but, 2 are now dead.- I resent your statement that implies all men of the Catholic faith do not respect you. That is simply s total exageration, and you know that.
      So, again, what was the point you were trying to make in the last post? Or, was there no point to be made.


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