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I get email

Sometimes it is even informative. I was sent a data dump on official Catholic doctrine regarding sexual relations — it is rather revealing. I don’t recall requesting it, though, but sure, I’ll take it. And grimace.

I was informed of an inquiry you made some 7 months ago concerning the morality that must be preserved in the relations of the bed.

Church laws teach that spouses must fight against or quiet libidinal pleasure when they have relations or else they commit a fault for seeking to enjoy the libidinal pleasure. In Her laws and practices the Church has condemned the belief that spouses can have relations for lustful pleasure and not commit any fault or sin. The March 4, 1679 Holy Office decree on the errors of various moral subjects condemns spouses who have relations for libidinal pleasure. Canon Law 1013 teaches that the secondary motive for the marital act is mutual aid but does not mention mutual love or indulging in libidinal/lustful pleasure. Pope Pius XI’s Enyclical Casti Connubii’s teaching on the quieting of concupiscence rules out seeking to enjoy libidinal pleasure. He teaches that the purpose of marriage is the procreation and rearing of children and that the secondary purpose is companionship and friendship through the struggle of life. He also says couples should pray in order for God to help them conquer temptations. The Church Fathers are unanimous on the necessity to fight against lustful pleasure during intercourse. The Church Fathers teach that spouses sin when they have relations for lustful pleasure. And some compare it to using one another as whores and prostitutes:

Lactantius, Divine Institutes, 6:23:18: “The genital ['generating'] part of the body, as the name itself teaches, has been received by us for no other purpose than the generation of offspring.”

St. Jerome, Against Jovinian, 1:19, A.D. 393: “But I wonder why he [the heretic Jovinianus] set Judah and Tamar before us for an example, unless perchance even harlots give him pleasure; or Onan, who was slain because he grudged his brother’s seed.Does he imagine that we approve of any sexual intercourse except for the procreation of children?”

St. Augustine, The Morals of the Manichees, 18:65, A.D. 388: “This proves that you [Manicheans] approve of having a wife, not for the procreation of children, but for the gratification of passion. In marriage, as the marriage law declares, the man and woman come together for the procreation of children. Therefore, whoever makes the procreation of children a greater sin than copulation, forbids marriage and makes the woman not a wife but a prostitute, who for some gifts presented to her is joined to the man to gratify his passion.

St. Augustine, Against Faustus, 22:30: “For thus the eternal law, that is, the will of God creator of all creatures, taking counsel for the conservation of natural order, not to serve lust, but to see to the preservation of the race, permits the delight of mortal flesh [i.e. the conjugal act] to be released from the control of reason in copulationonly to propagate progeny.”St. Augustine one of the greatest Church Fathers in Church History points to the fact that at times it does happen that a couple will climax. He points out that if this comes to pass and one did not seek it in any way: then there is no fault on the part of the couple. If for some reason the spouses or a spouse does reach the climax- which is the instant that the flesh is released from the control of reason and the flesh (body) at that moment follows commands of its own by moving involuntarily — it is not sinful when it occurs by accident. It must never be sought after and if it occurs when one does not seek after it — it is an accidental happening: and this accidental happening God permits for the sake of trying to procreate — and will not charge a person with sin who did not seek after it (i.e climax). Lustful pleasure must be hated with a perfect hatred. It does happen at times that men feel pleasure during the conjugal act. This is not sinful of itself but only when they don’t fight against it or if they seek it. If they seek pleasure and or if they don’t fight against it — they are guilty of the sin of Lust. A Manual of Moral Theology, by Rev. Thomas Slater, 1925, Chapter 2, The Capital Vices: On Lust: “Lust is an inordinate appetite for the pleasure which has its seat in the organs of generation. A wise and provident Creator has taken care that those actions which are most necessary for the individual or for society should be accompanied by great pleasure in order that they may be exercised more certainly and more readily. If there were no pleasure connected with eating and drinking, few men would trouble themselves about those necessary actions. The great pleasure felt in the act of procreation induces men to do what is necessary for the preservation of the race which otherwise would excite only shame and disgust. This, however, can only be done lawfully in wedlock. “

“And calling the multitude together with his disciples, he said to them: If any man will follow me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel, shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?” (Mk. 8:34-36)

Catholic Encyclopedia, “Lust, by Joseph F. Delany, 1910: “The inordinate craving for, or indulgence of, the carnal pleasure which is experienced in the human organs of generation.The wrongfulness of lust is reducible to this: that venereal satisfaction is sought for…. at any rate, in a manner which is contrary to the laws that govern marital intercourse.(Nihil obstat: Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur: + John M., Archbishop of New York.)

And within marital intercourse one must not seek for pleasure. If pleasure occurs accidentally: it is not a sin before God since it is something out of their control. The laws which govern the marital act demand that the act be consummated as quick as possible, with the lights off and the spouses fully dressed — with the only areas of their body needed for connection uncovered somewhat. In that short space of time: if the couple did not seek for pleasure then they are without fault even if they might have felt pleasure.

St. Thomas Aquinas condemns lustful kisses and touches for married and unmarried people alike as mortal sins in Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 4:

Objection 2: Further,fornication is stated to be a mortal sin as being prejudicial to the good of the future child’s begetting and upbringing. But these are not affected by kisses and touches or blandishments. Therefore there is no mortal sin in these.”

[St. Thomas Aquinas]Reply to Objection 2: Although kisses and touches do not by their very nature hinder the good of the human offspring,they proceed from lust, which is the source of this hindrance:and on this account they aremortally sinful.”

That is why St. Thomas even rejects in the same section (Q. 154, Art. 1) as lascivious and unlawful “acts circumstantial to the venereal act, for instancekisses, touches, and so forth“. St. Thomas Aquinas writes: “We may also reply that "lasciviousness " relates to certain acts circumstantial to the venereal act, for instance kisses, touches, and so forth.” (Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 154, Art. 1) And so it is clear that St. Thomas taught that all non-procreative and unnecessary indecent acts are sinful and against nature.

Oral and waste-organ stimulation is intrinsically evil and against the natural law

St. Barnabas,Letter of Barnabas, section 10:8, 74 A.D.: “Moreover, he [Moses] has rightly detested the weasel [Leviticus 11:29]. For he means, ‘Thou shalt not be like to those whom we hear of as committing wickedness with the mouththrough uncleanness [oral s*x]; nor shalt thou be joined tothose impure women who commit iniquity with the mouthwith the body through uncleanness.’”

St. Augustine,The Good of Marriage, section 11-12, 401 A.D.: “But that which goes beyond this necessity no longer follows reason but lust…. they [must] not turn away from them the mercy of God….by changing the natural use into that which is against nature, which is more damnable when it is done in the case of husband or wife. Of so great power is the ordinance of the Creator, and the order of creation, that….when the man shall wish to use a body part of the wife not allowed for this purpose, the wife is more shameful, if she suffer it to take place in her own case, than if in the case of another woman.”

Very simply the mouth and the organ of the human disposal system have a purpose. Nature tells us that God made the mouth for the intake of food and drink: and the human disposal system for the disposal of waste. Moreover nature tells us that if we begin to use the mouth and the human disposal system organ in improper ways then bodily infection or disease and death may be the result.

The mouth and the human disposal system were not made to stimulate the g*nital organs. Nothing could be more evident than this fact. Catholic Tradition and the Natural Law clearly teach us that oral and human disposal system organ stimulation are sinful lustful acts and deviant s*xual behavior. Those who promote such perversions or believe them to be not sinful are guilty of the mortal sin of heresy for denying the Natural Law and as such are outside the Catholic Church.

Women must never wear jewelry, make-up, tattoos, body painting, and fingernails longer than one-eighth of an inch. Their hairstyles must never be ostentatious, they are not allowed to dye their hair, and they must wear a veil when praying or going to visit a holy place like a church or if they go to see an ecclesiastic. They must also have a veil when they hear a sermon in whatever place they might be. They are not allowed to wear transparent fabrics, laces, nets, organdy, nylon, etc and flesh colored fabrics. They are not allowed to paint their nails either. A violation of any of the aforementioned rules is mortal sin at best and heresy at worst. It is an abomination for women to wear pants. It is a heresy for which women were burned at the stake. Women must wear dresses and feminine apparel that covers them at least beginning from just below the pit of the throat to all the way half way below the knees (inclusive). As for the arms they must be covered with sleeves passing at least the half way mark after the elbows. Another issue is appropriate undergarments. In fact there are instructions for what type of knickers women are to wear and what fabrics to avoid under pain of mortal sin and possibly heresy. Since some fabrics are masculine.Also it is heresy and an abomination for women to wear pants. In fact St. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake on the mere suspicion of the heresy of wearing pants. She was falsely accused before and given a free pass twice but when the accusation happened a 3rd time she was killed (in the first accusation/trial there were some false witnesses who testified against her as well as the 2nd trial and so she already had a strike 2 strikes against her; false witnesses testified against her again for the 3rd trial). This particular heresy is called ‘the monstrous dress’ (difformitate habitus). For having 3 strikes against you would indicate to the judges of a relapse into heresy- for the accused.

Pierre Cauchon the Bishop of Beauvais was an unscrupulous and ambitious man who worked for the English and was the mover and shaker of the false accusations and trials against St. Joan who had defeated France. He and the English were determined to have her blood on some pretext. They were always sad when they failed upon the previous occasions to secure the death of St. Joan at trial. It is alleged a trap was deliberately laid by her jailers with the connivance of Cauchon (for this had happened before). Joan- either to defend her modesty from outrage or because her women's garments were taken from her or perhaps simply because she was weary of the struggle and was convinced that her enemies were determined to have her blood upon some pretext: once more put on the man's apparel (not wearing it but just covering herself with it like a bed sheet) which had been purposely left in her way.She was deliberately (illegally) put in a jail (in the Castle of Rouen) tended by male guards (profligate English soldiers) even though there was one much closer that catered to females (she bitterly complained of the indecent mistreatment she received from them before). She was also treated harshly being chained by her neck, hands, and ankles(for she had attempted to escape by desperately throwing herself from the window of the tower of Beaurevoir because of the unspeakably indecent activity of the men- the judges at her trial called this act of hers reckless). So in all there were 4 trials concerning St. Joan . The first one concerned her visions and then the last 3 concerned the accusation of her wearing men’s apparel/pants.

Sports undergarments suppress the bustline to a degree but are also unhealthy for daily wear, especially by women who are of childbearing age because they are made of elastic and suppress the delicate tissues and structures needed for nursing.

The size of the blouse is determined by the size of the bustline. That size, in turn, determines how wide to make the neckline and armholes and how far from the neckline the armholes should be. Example: If I were to wear a top one or two sizes larger than my size, the neckline would gape open in the front and not lay against my chest (unless it was a turtleneck) and the sleeve seams would hang down the upper part of my arm, giving me a baglady look and also allowing curious eyes to peer down my blouse when I bent forward or was lower than the onlooker, such as when genuflecting. Women who are amply endowed need supportive undergarments or else they suffer from back problems. These supportive undergarments must be constructed in such a way as to support the weight being held and therefore they give shape which you simply cannot avoid except by layering your clothes (a sweater draped over your top or blouse) which is impractical and dangerous to your health in a warm or hot climate and often does not solve the problem. The weight of the fabric, the style of the pattern, the size of the bustline, the style of the waistline and the undergarments all affect how a top/blouse looks upon a woman. This blouse has a nipped-in or tucked-in waist so you cannot expect it to hang straight down which would thus less emphasize the bustline. Also, if a top/blouse is tucked into the skirt (as opposed to hanging over it), the bustline is more emphasized. However, the point of drape is still the bustline.

It is a sin for women to wear pants (even those designed specifically for females) or drive cars. It is a sin for girls to wear lace underwear. The rationale is the preservation of Catholic Dignity. For Pope St. Pius X said. “There is only one human dignity: and that is Catholic dignity.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFSQrKrrQqw&list=PLD841087C099E5B90 NFP: A Birth Control Deception 68 mins

http://onetruecatholicfaith.com/Roman-Catholic-Video.php?vid=254&vid_title=Michael+Takes+The+Bad+Man+Away&page=7

http://www.onetruecatholicfaith.com

It is amazing that the Catholic Church lasted for any length of time at all, but then I started thinking…women have always been a major proponent of religion, including Catholicism — they accepted these rules. In a world where men had total power and rape was a constant risk with little recourse for justice, and what sex there was was entirely focused on the man’s pleasure, a collection of rules that strongly discouraged sex might be seen by women as an important way to protect other aspects of their autonomy. If putting on the Armor of God means admitting that you are corrupting filth, well, that might be a small price to pay to get relief from abuse, and to have an institutionally supported way to fight back against those base, depraved men who want to touch your dirtybits.

This is what you get when the dudebros run rampant: women find repressing sex altogether more appealing and a more viable strategy than trying to find respectful partners.

Comments

  1. twas brillig (stevem) says

    Oral and waste-organ stimulation is intrinsically evil and against the natural law

    [The usual snide remark is all i got for that encyclopedic diatribe] So, isn’t the penis a waste organ also? Why did He make it both a waste and a generation organ? Is this a good example of Intelligent Design? I think not.
    -
    There is just too much there on which to object.
    first: Sex must be fully clothed except for those parts that must contact? [snark]Ain’t that a fetish? Vestism?
    second: Kissing is forbidden? A married couple can only kiss as “pecks”. Is that why they teach kids that “French Kissing” (open mouth, touching tongues) is so dirty and shameful?
    third: If husband wants a b-job, it is shameful for his wife to give him one, and less shameful (for her) if she lets him hire a prostitute to give him one??? So hookers have a function that isn’t just satanic?
    fourth: I WAS DENIED!1!!!1 I was raised Catholic (through 8th Grade: ’71) and they never taught us any of that sh#t. Was they settin me up to fail their test? Or were they just hiding it to keep me from rejecting them? Like I did eventually.
    .
    too many to cover right now.
    PZ gets interesting emails, amazing he finds the interesting ones in the big pile of cr#p email he gets.

  2. David Chapman says

    In fact St. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake on the mere suspicion of the heresy of wearing pants.

    Now that’s a classic line.

  3. Matt G says

    Take out certain references and you wouldn’t know if this was Christian, Jewish, or Muslim.

  4. Larry says

    Jesus H. Christ, their own priests don’t even obey this pile of shit when they fuck the altar boys. Does the church really expect parishioners to follow it (let alone read it)?

  5. ironchew says

    In a world where men had total power and rape was a constant risk with little recourse for justice, and what sex there was was entirely focused on the man’s pleasure, a collection of rules that strongly discouraged sex might be seen by women as an important way to protect other aspects of their autonomy. If putting on the Armor of God means admitting that you are corrupting filth, well, that might be a small price to pay to get relief from abuse, and to have an institutionally supported way to fight back against those base, depraved men who want to touch your dirtybits.

    This is what you get when the dudebros run rampant: women find repressing sex altogether more appealing and a more viable strategy than trying to find respectful partners.

    Alternatively, religion is a powerful delusion when the whole community participates in it and men and women alike fall for it and perpetuate it. For example, any institutionalized means of protection against rape in Islam are totally defeated by Sharia law and the regular practice of honor killing. Roman Catholics also love to remind us of the centuries where their church held sway and rape victims were burned at the stake.

    If 50% of the population did not buy into the elaborate guilt complex inherent in the Abrahamic religions, these religions would immediately collapse. I wouldn’t say it’s their fault necessarily, just the nasty side-effects of very successful mind-based replicators.

  6. stever says

    I think your data dump is partly obsolete. I dimly recall a Vatican announcement decades ago to the effect of “Yes, sex is strictly for making new subjects for His Holiness, but now you’re permitted to enjoy it as long as you have a Church license.” It seems that too many Catholics were saying “Fuck it!” to the Church’s incessant guilt-bombing and switching to some less-preposterous version of the Cult of the Cross. It’s probably about to happen again over contraception. I keep reading about recent polls showing the great majority of Catholic women using some kind of birth control.

    I was a teenager when I realized that there are people who really believe all that crap I’d been dismissing as “stuff I’m expected to pretend to believe.” Fortunately, I never experienced the psychotic break that’s necessary to take things like transsubstantiation seriously.

  7. Great American Satan says

    Wait up, wasn’t “onetruecatholicfaith.com” actually that weird protestant kook who sent you some other kooky stuff that isn’t actually Crapolic canon?

  8. Snoof says

    Jesus H. Christ, their own priests don’t even obey this pile of shit when they fuck the altar boys. Does the church really expect parishioners to follow it (let alone read it)?

    No, of course not.

    They expect their congregation have all kinds of sex, and then feel horribly guilty about it. These laws don’t exist to actually enforce a particular standard of behaviour, they exist to create a climate of fear, shame and guilt, thus enabling the parasitic priest class to continue to sell “redemption” and “forgiveness” and maintain control over the general population.

    It’s exactly the same thing you see in totalitarian regimes and exploitative corporations: you make the rules impossible to follow, thus turning everyone into a rulebreaker, and so the hierarchs (whoever they are) have leverage on everyone.

  9. karmacat says

    It sounds like the priests are saying that if they can’t have sex, then no one else can enjoy it. Either that or makes hearing confessions more interesting.

  10. cactuswren says

    @8, this is one of the anti-Vatican II “traditional Catholic” groups like Mel Gibson’s:

    Welcome to the One True Catholic Faith!
    A traditional Catholic, and online resource for exposing the heresies and apostasies of Vatican II

  11. chigau (違う) says

    The Vatican has a website.
    It’s up-to-date on what actual Catholics are being told what believe.

  12. samihawkins says

    I couldn’t get past the third sentence. Do Catholics seriously refer to their church as a her? Seems rather odd when only men are allowed to be boss of it.

  13. doublereed says

    I understand the prudishness. I understand the hatred of pleasure. I understand the decries of sexual deviance. I get all that.

    But can someone explain why women can’t wear pants????

  14. Antares says

    The genital ['generating'] part of the body, as the name itself teaches, has been received by us for no other purpose than the generation of offspring.

    The hot dog, as the name itself teaches…

  15. Stevarious, Public Health Problem says

    But can someone explain why women can’t wear pants????

    Because pants are for men, and women are to be reminded that they are inferior to men at every possible moment.

  16. Antares says

    @doublereed #15:

    Pants: Deviates from the skirt / dress stereotype, assumes a masculine role. Shows the shape of the buttocks. Shows the “split” of the legs, all the way up to the pelvic region.

    I’m guessing that’s what they’re thinking.

  17. anat says

    samihawkins, the church has to be feminine because men are supposed to love their wives like Christ loved the Church. Or something.

  18. footface says

    What a weird system. The Creator of worlds from nothingness, of the stars in all their billions, cares deeply what your underpants are made of.

  19. saganite says

    Several times throughout reading that thing (and I DID read the entire thing, WHY), I couldn’t help but think we are falling for a Poe. But then I remember Catholic fundies like Santorum and I have to admit that, yes, this is probably real. Luckily the Catholics around here are nothing like that, though. Yes, such people really do exist, but they are a fringe among the fringe even. Heh, I did appreciate the old-timey-wimey style of writing, though.

  20. David Chapman says

    I don’t know where this strange email came from but I find it difficult to believe that it’s 100% kosher. I certainly never heard that women were forbidden to drive cars by Catholic doctrine. It quite conceivably was at one stage, and the characteristic of these people is that they never admit that they were wrong in the past, but in practice this edict is obviously no longer active. I imagine that more would have been made of it by the Churches’ critics if it had been said post- World War II.
    Striking that the vehicular prohibition is introduced with no explanation in the midst of a lot of loony utterances about the correct way for women to dress modestly. As if doing something responsible and liberating is innately immodest. That fits, of course.
    This email might be the product of some nutty Catholic splinter group, which bases its doctrines on Church effusions that were official at some time but have now been recognized as being embarrassingly insane, and been quietly dropped. That’s just a guess on my part however.
    Yes, this is definitely the spirit of tradition of the Church, a lot of it was probably actually propounded, and technically is probably still valid, since as I say these clowns never go back and say “Oh sorry, when we said that we fucked up.” but in effect they have reneged on a lot of this madness — while not admitting it. Not of course, that the core lunacy has really changed in character: masturbation is still a mortal sin.

    This is what you get when the dudebros run rampant: women find repressing sex altogether more appealing and a more viable strategy than trying to find respectful partners.

    PZ, I’m a little disturbed by the glibness with which you advance this idea about how such wacky ideas have survived in our culture; especially in this last paragraph. Not that your suggestion isn’t important. To me it seems insightful, and I think it must indeed have been involved, as a factor, in the historical story. But if you talk about it like it might be the cause of this sick tradition lasting so long — it actually becomes the argument that women were so influential that they were in effect, and over time, largely in control of Church doctrine. And that suggestion makes me feel quite uncomfortable. I’m not saying I’m certain it’s not true, but it’s very disturbing and I would take some persuading. I think it’s very hard to be confident that we understand the factors that allowed this nasty doctrine to thrive for so long. To do that we would have to know far more about humanity and history than we do.

    It’s the last paragraph that gives this impression, because you present your suggestion as a done deal, & an established causal explanation. Yeah, I can see you might be half-joking but that’s the problem.

  21. Pteryxx says

    Very simply the mouth and the organ of the human disposal system have a purpose. Nature tells us that God made the mouth for the intake of food and drink: and the human disposal system for the disposal of waste. Moreover nature tells us that if we begin to use the mouth and the human disposal system organ in improper ways then bodily infection or disease and death may be the result.

    Wait… so mouths can’t be used for, say, talking? Since that isn’t intake of food or drink? So shouldn’t we all be breathing solely through our noses and only communicate by humming (proper use of the vocal cords, which DO have generating tones as their main function)?

    Not to mention penises are also disposal system organs…

    If for some reason the spouses or a spouse does reach the climax- which is the instant that the flesh is released from the control of reason and the flesh (body) at that moment follows commands of its own by moving involuntarily — it is not sinful when it occurs by accident. It must never be sought after and if it occurs when one does not seek after it — it is an accidental happening: and this accidental happening God permits for the sake of trying to procreate — and will not charge a person with sin who did not seek after it (i.e climax).

    Well, for any of this to be consistent, ideally couples should ONLY procreate by collecting semen from involuntary nocturnal emissions and wielding the ol’ turkey baster or equivalent. Why work in special exemptions for any genital contact at all? (*cough*hypocrites*cough*)

  22. aziraphale says

    Your data dump says “Pope Pius XI’s Enyclical Casti Connubii’s teaching on the quieting of concupiscence rules out seeking to enjoy libidinal pleasure.”

    Casti Connubii is a rigid and conservative document, but I don’t think it says that. What it says is that the main purpose of a marriage, and the core of the love between husband and wife, should not be physical pleasure. I don’t think it rules out seeking such pleasure in marriage.

    It may be that some of his other views are similarly distorted.

  23. doublereed says

    The obsession with pants just seems like they’re afraid of mistaking lowly women as actual citizens, like house elves wearing clothes or something. But it’s not like skirts and dresses are degrading. It’s just weird.

    Are pants are more sexual? Once again, how strange and arbitrary. You can have sex in skirts and dresses without even taking them off! These rules baffle me.

  24. says

    I do not think that is the sole factor, or that women dictated church doctrine. The question is, why would women willingly enroll in any church that treated them with such contempt? And one reason might be that that contempt is also a shield to shelter them from casual abuse. There were obviously other and much larger factors. Men might see it as a way to control women. Men and women both might be responsive to the fear message: you will burn in hell if you don’t obey. Men and women alike might also like the stability of ritual and doctrine and tradition — the more unpredictable and dangerous the world, the more that would appeal.

    You should know I never like single, simple explanations for anything. It’s always a constellation of factors influencing outcomes.

  25. says

    I should also add that most of the strictures documented here are considered excessive by most Catholics, and it is in no way representative of mainstream thought. What these are are theological dementias. The church operates on a body of general principles, and one might be the sinfulness of the flesh…and when you get a bunch of smart, obsessive theologians together to explore the implications of all that, the logic leads them to the kind of details expressed above.

    Theology is this weird discipline that constantly leads its practitioners to follow through to a reductio ad absurdum without even realizing it.

  26. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Jesus H. Christ, their own priests don’t even obey this pile of shit when they fuck the altar boys

    But they don’t do that for pleasure. Really.

    They do it to preserve the Church. The RCC runs on guilt. Well, a hell of a lot of gilt to, but guilt is how they get the gilt. So raping the children makes the kids feel guilt. So they will contribute the gilt. See? Guilt yields gilt.

  27. David Chapman says

    27
    PZ Myers

    I do not think that is the sole factor, or that women dictated church doctrine. The question is, why would women willingly enroll in any church that treated them with such contempt?

    ?? Now you’ve got me baffled. They didn’t enroll, they were enrolled. At birth. And that was it; there wasn’t a debate about it. We’re talking about how a Church with such insanely puritanical doctrines endured through it’s long history, right? This was the situation that pertained until modern times. Catholicism has only recently become a voluntary affair. But you know this already; hence my puzzlement.

    One element in all this is that the Church was so obviously, publically corrupt throughout much of the past that it’s likely that in many places its doctrines were largely ignored. But I regret to say that I’m vague as to the extent of this repudiation.

    You should know I never like single, simple explanations for anything. It’s always a constellation of factors influencing outcomes.

    I actually wrote “This isn’t like you.” in my original post, but edited it out because it sounded somewhat fawning.

  28. eveningchaos says

    I have heard some theologians state that original sin is transferred to the offspring during copulation as our sinful, carnal nature is at its peak during this act. This is how some justify that Jesus was without sin because Mary was a virgin and there was no carnal lust during Jesus’ conception. That would also mean that those who were conceived by artificial insemination are also free of original sin by the same logic. Just think how many perfect sinless beings are walking the earth as we speak. Sorry Jesus, we have engineered a whole gaggle of messiahs and are no longer in need of you.

  29. David Chapman says

    32
    eveningchaos

    I have heard some theologians state that original sin is transferred to the offspring during copulation as our sinful, carnal nature is at its peak during this act. This is how some justify that Jesus was without sin because Mary was a virgin and there was no carnal lust during Jesus’ conception. That would also mean that those who were conceived by artificial insemination are also free of original sin by the same logic. Just think how many perfect sinless beings are walking the earth as we speak. Sorry Jesus, we have engineered a whole gaggle of messiahs and are no longer in need of you.

    You’re reasoning is acute, but the Church is ahead of you. For copulation to be natural and wholesome, the penis must be in the vagina at the point of ejaculation.
    Which of course means that — artificial insemination is a sin!

    I can just imagine a gaggle of priests and bishops in the Vatican high-fiving each other when they figured out how to close that loophole. :)

  30. twas brillig (stevem) says

    Catholics in America are mostly “cafeteria Catholics”. I.E. picking and choosing bits and pieces of the “menu”, that they think they agree with, and disregard all the rest as just ‘window dressing’. I only say this cuz all this talk of RCC absolutism, triggered a memory of a radio interview with a Catholic, where she said that she didn’t follow any of the Catholics “teachings”; and when asked if she considered herself still a Catholic, she replied, “absolutely!” The rest of the radio story went on about how the Catholic Church in America is much more a pick&choose variety of RCC.
    /end of diversion

  31. loreo says

    @stever

    #7

    You don’t need to experience a “psychotic break” to believe this stuff. Or be stupid or craven or any of the other insults commonly lobbed at believers. A religion which required its adherents to be psychotic or exhibit low intelligence would die out after a few generations. Christianity has survived for ~1600 years because it exploits normal human cognitive biases and shortcomings. That’s what makes it so dangerous.

  32. says

    This email is appalling. The lengths to which the RCC has gone (and continues to go) to control women’s sexuality (men’s too, but to a lesser extent) is astonishing.
    I do find it amusing how sexually repressed they are:

    The laws which govern the marital act demand that the act be consummated as quick as possible, with the lights off and the spouses fully dressed — with the only areas of their body needed for connection uncovered somewhat.

    The idea that you *must* have sex fully dressed is silly. The lights have to be off? Sorry, I prefer dim lights, maybe candlelight. I like being able to see my partner. Of course, these rules don’t apply to teh gay secks that I engage in.

    Catholic Tradition and the Natural Law clearly teach us that oral and human disposal system organ stimulation are sinful lustful acts and deviant s*xual behavior.

    Dude. It’s fellatio or cunnilingus in the front, and analingus in the back. It’s also teh buttsecks which can be quite enjoyable for many (and not just those ebil gays).
    Geez, get with the times. We don’t like in AD 393.
    And I really can’t stop laughing at “human disposal system organ stimulation”. Tee Hee

    Man the Raping Children Church has the most fucked up ideas about morality. Everything in this email concerns relations between adults who are not harming each other. Of course, there’s no mention of consent between the adults. But then, I imagine the catholic rules for sex don’t include informed consent, bc they don’t see women as human beings.

    PZ: perhaps you should make an inquiry about the morality concerning child sexual abuse by priests.
    Ugh. Or maybe not. We’ve seen how they handle that situation. Fucking fuckers.

  33. toska says

    I think the idea that women accept the misogyny in church doctrines because they feel protected by it is still a big factor today. When I was growing up in a fundamentalist household, all of the rules surrounding modesty and being ashamed of my sexuality were framed as protection. Because “you just don’t understand how teenage and adult men think.” I still land close to the asexual side of the spectrum, and I’ve wondered if part of that is because of my upbringing.

    But for the adult women fundamentalists I know, I think the social factor is much stronger. They would never think to question church doctrine or practices because the church is their entire lives. They are homemakers who have no social lives outside of church gatherings and activities, and that’s why they are the backbone of the church. They are much more active members than their husbands because they fill their social needs only through the church, while their husbands are more socially able (or even allowed) to have friends from work or other non-church activities.

  34. says

    “The church operates on a body of general principles, and one might be the sinfulness of the flesh…and when you get a bunch of smart, obsessive theologians together to explore the implications of all that, the logic leads them to the kind of details expressed above.

    Theology is this weird discipline that constantly leads its practitioners to follow through to a reductio ad absurdum without even realizing it.”

    The best fun I’ve ever seen with this concept is in the novel “Sideshow” by Sherri S Tepper in which a character give a speech with many common sense points and over the centuries she becomes a “Prophetess” and the common sense is distorted in to bizarre strictures. (One example I can recall without access to the book: “Don’t let anyone mess with your head” changes in to “don’t ever cut your hair” and “refuse all psychological treatment/therapy”.)

  35. David Chapman says

    We need to clarify the situation here a little bit. The lady who sent this email is into this ultra-nutty Catholic splinter group, who are against Vatican II and think that the Church needs to go back to the good old days when it was even more blatantly insane than it is now. Click on the links included to have a good look at these sickos, if you feel like it.

    But whereas this ‘mail is misleading if viewed as a resume of current Catholic doctrines, firstly. the current mainstream Church is an utterly evil and sinister organization, so their various modernizations do not proceed from a sense of reality or of compassion, but from a desire not to appear ridiculous and outdated. And secondly, these loony Ultracatholics represented by this email are highly illuminating as to what the nature of Catholic doctrine was in the past — when they could get away with filling peoples’ heads with insanities of this nature. The insanities that the ‘normal’ Church broadcast these days are no better; they may even be worse, since they involve the death of untold numbers from AIDS and perjury and the perversion of justice in the matter of child abuse, on an unimaginably vast scale. But they are, shall we say, somewhat less floridly, comically pre-Freudian than the ravings in this doleful epistle. So as I’ve said, whereas this email is not mainstream, it’s totally the roots of, Catholicism.

  36. says

    You say it’s “official” Catholic doctrine, but you say very little about the provenance of this information. Where did it come from? The Pope? A priest? Some guy? Because of that I feel like I can’t share it in good faith, which is a shame.

    Ross.

  37. says

    Ross:

    You say it’s “official” Catholic doctrine, but you say very little about the provenance of this information. Where did it come from? The Pope? A priest? Some guy? Because of that I feel like I can’t share it in good faith, which is a shame.

    Ross.

    You could just share it to mock the idea of this being official doctrine.

  38. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @davidchapman, #23:

    I don’t know where this strange email came from …

    … but I sure do like your strange email kink!

    but I find it difficult to believe that it’s 100% kosher.

    Yes. It is indeed difficult for some to believe that the Catholic church is kosher.

    But I’ve looked into it with my rabbi, and it turns out that it is Kosher for 357 days a year, on average.

  39. magistramarla says

    Wow! This brought back memories for me.
    My aunt, who was very devout RCC, would never wear pants and always wore a head covering to go to church. She forced her daughters to do the same.
    After reading this, it makes perfect sense what was in her mind when she made my uncle take one of the kid’s rooms as his own after the last one moved out. He spent all of his time there watching TV. When cable came on the scene he ordered Showtime. My aunt happened to see something that he was watching once and called the cable company to cancel, giving the representative an earful about the sinfulness of the company. I always felt sorry for my uncle.
    Another devout RCC auntie, who was a bit older (these women were born in the early 1900s in the rural Midwest) never learned to drive and did not approve of women driving. In the early ’70s, when the movie Love Story came out, she convinced my mother to not allow me to go see it, since she had heard that the main characters were living in sin, and that gawd had punished them by sending cancer to the woman. I laughed, because I had already read the book. My mother was barely literate, and never paid any attention to what I was reading.
    The lives of women were very repressed in the Midwestern US, even at the time that I was growing up. My aunts attended mainstream RC churches, but those churches were very slow to modernize.

  40. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Not to pick on DavidChapman (my previous post was meant to be taking off from yours, not mocking yours – I hope it came across that way)…

    The lady who sent this email is into this ultra-nutty Catholic splinter group, who are against Vatican II and think that the Church needs to go back to the good old days when it was even more blatantly insane than it is now.

    Okay, here I have an actual disagreement with you. I fail to see what makes her “ultra-nutty” as opposed to just “nutty”. Vatican II contradicted earlier teachings. In one sense that makes the RCC more illogical and harder to credibly endorse. In another, it contradicted those teachings to make them more palatable to their audience and retain worshippers and thus $$s. These are quite reasonable institutional considerations that therefore demonstrate an awareness of reality, making it easier to credibly endorse. Yet, the RCC says this is all about staying true to G-d. If they change god to be true to the people, it requires a new layer of quotidian doublespeak. Which makes the RCC harder to credibly endorse.

    Where, precisely, does it end? What makes listening to Augustine on marriage “ultra-nutty” but listening to Aquinas on epistemology only “nutty”?

  41. Trebuchet says

    This does appear to be one of the Hutton Gibson sort who would answer “no” to “Is the Pope Catholic?” It’s not current teaching or doctrine. At least not very publicly. What it does do is point out the hypocrisy of the Church in adapting its absolute, everlasting, unchanging doctrines to changing societal norms over the centuries.

  42. David Chapman says

    46
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Not to pick on DavidChapman (my previous post was meant to be taking off from yours, not mocking yours – I hope it came across that way)…

    No offence taken! But I quite like the idea of a Feminist FuckToy picking on me, that sounds like fun. :)

    The lady who sent this email is into this ultra-nutty Catholic splinter group, who are against Vatican II and think that the Church needs to go back to the good old days when it was even more blatantly insane than it is now.

    Okay, here I have an actual disagreement with you.

    Naaah, you don’t. Not really.

    I fail to see what makes her “ultra-nutty” as opposed to just “nutty”. Vatican II contradicted earlier teachings. In one sense that makes the RCC more illogical and harder to credibly endorse. In another, it contradicted those teachings to make them more palatable to their audience and retain worshippers and thus $$s. These are quite reasonable institutional considerations that therefore demonstrate an awareness of reality, making it easier to credibly endorse. Yet, the RCC says this is all about staying true to G-d. If they change god to be true to the people, it requires a new layer of quotidian doublespeak. Which makes the RCC harder to credibly endorse.

    Where, precisely, does it end? What makes listening to Augustine on marriage “ultra-nutty” but listening to Aquinas on epistemology only “nutty”?

    Sweet fuck-all. You must have missed a few of my previous posts on the theme of Roman Catholicism, so allow me to use the opportunity to clarify my thoughts on this matter once more.

    ( And I’m quietly confident that my opinion will resonate with yours on this specific issue ).

    Ahem. (Clears throat. )

    I think that -
    CHRISTIANITY IS INSANE, EVIL, FASCISTIC, DIABOLICAL, DERANGED BULLSHIT THAT TEACHES THAT EVIL IS GOOD, THAT INSANITY IS REASON, THAT LIES ARE TRUTH AND THAT THE TRUTH IS A LIE, AND THAT THREATENS THE DESTRUCTION OF THE HUMAN RACE!!!

    Now my opinion of mainstream, post-Vatican II, contemporary Roman Catholicism is rather lower than that.

    Because of the children.

    I hope this clarifies the issues you raise. :)

  43. anteprepro says

    I was wondering that same thing Tony! Though I imagine that it might have been referring to the passage that PZ quoted. Though it could just as likely be a Catholic apologist expressing disgust. If he isn’t a drive-by, I’m sure he will clarify…

  44. says

    David Chapman:

    Naaah, you don’t. Not really

    This strikes dangerously close to invalidating Crip Dyke’s opinion. Not a good idea to do (to her in this specific case and to people in general).

  45. David Chapman says

    52
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    David Chapman:

    Naaah, you don’t. Not really

    This strikes dangerously close to invalidating Crip Dyke’s opinion. Not a good idea to do (to her in this specific case and to people in general).

    She can answer for herself, Tony. However just in case she should feel the same way about what I said, thanks for giving me the opportunity to clarify that my meaning was that, far from disdaining or discounting her views, in fact I agree with her completely.

  46. anteprepro says

    Also, David Chapman, that joke about “Feminist Fucktoy” came off a little…creepy.

  47. says

    David Chapman:

    She can answer for herself, Tony. However just in case she should feel the same way about what I said, thanks for giving me the opportunity to clarify that my meaning was that, far from disdaining or discounting her views, in fact I agree with her completely.

    I never said she couldn’t. I offered my opinion of what you said. Is that against the rules?

  48. unclefrogy says

    well as a person who has experienced catholic indoctrination, catholic HS while I do not remember hearing all of that (in an all boys school) the same message was emphasized. The only thing I got out of were guilt and shame.
    If there were an actual Satan whose intent was the suffering of humanity he could do no better than to set up a religion that was any more in opposition to humanities basic nature than this. To add to the strife “He” could set up alternate religions that are opposed to and hate each other profoundly but differ in superficial ways only .

    too bad there ain’t no external spirit being we can blame for all of this.
    uncle frogy

  49. Pen says

    The reality is that secular literature from the most religious periods in European history, from Chaucer to Rabelais, suggest these rules were broadly ignored by laypeople.

  50. David Chapman says

    Just in case anyone was wondering about the bit about weasels in the loony email –

    “Moreover, he [Moses] has rightly detested the weasel.”

    – the idea is that weasels are condemned as unclean and therefore non-kosher by Moses in Leviticus, because according to legend, they mated via their mouths. ( !?)
    I’m not sure how that was supposed to work, but St. Barnabas saw it as a coded message, not to have oral sex. Logical, really.

  51. Al Dente says

    I’ve wondered what the Catholic attitude towards sex would be if Augustine of Hippo had been married instead of having mistresses. “Give me chastity and continence, but not yet.” (Da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo.)

  52. says

    Sports undergarments suppress the bustline to a degree but are also unhealthy for daily wear, especially by women who are of childbearing age because they are made of elastic and suppress the delicate tissues and structures needed for nursing.

    Poor Dutchbaby, I wear sports bras all the time. My delicate tissues must be all shredded and unable the make milk.

  53. says

    @karmacat #10:

    It sounds like the priests are saying that if they can’t have sex, then no one else can enjoy it.

    I had a Catholic-ish English professor in college who summarized this notion as “you can cut yourself with your own knife and you can sin with your own wife.”

  54. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    When I was growing up in a fundamentalist household, all of the rules surrounding modesty and being ashamed of my sexuality were framed as protection. Because “you just don’t understand how teenage and adult men think.” I still land close to the asexual side of the spectrum, and I’ve wondered if part of that is because of my upbringing.

    Hell, my mom is relatively enlightened and a sort-of-agnostic and still veers into this with my daughter. >.>

  55. inquiringlaurence says

    I find these doctrines beyond repulsive, sometimes, I have to remind myself that the year is 2014.

  56. says

    Don’t worry, inquiringlaurence, in only a few years we’ll be able to join the off-world colonies the Nexus-6 androids are building us.

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