The "30 year old" problems of Mr. Schwarzenegger are a lifelong history, similarly as was Clinton's "10 year old land deal" a lifetime of corruption.
Whether it is Schwarzenegger or Clinton who has the better experience at groping and otherwise sexually harrassing women seems a close tie, but it may be that Clinton was out of his league. Schwarzenegger may be the professional groper, and he may put Clinton's amateurish pants dropping and cigar tricks to shame.
<< I don't subscribe to Augustines teachings on the matter. Anitquital views on a subject don't mean they're right. Many contemporaries of Christ and the apostles were dismally wrong in their views. >>
This would seem to negate all of your quotes, wouldn't it? None are attributed to Christ.
Also, "Husbands and wives should satisfy each other's needs", could be more encompassing than simply "having sex", such as to include the woman's maternal needs, and the man's wish for a son. Or, if the woman shouldn't have or doesn't wish for children then perhaps her needs are somewhat of a different sort.
<< It's a physical union that shadows a spiritual union and is thus holy if approached in a holy manner. >>
But there remains the obvious and nagging question: Can it be holy behavior? Is a genuine caring for spouse an intentional blocking of a child's conception and birth so that the partners may experience pleasurable feelings together? As I say, there is an illogic in that. It simpy cannot be true.
I understand your counter point and sympathize with you. The modern society, science, and values allows no reason for abstinence. But I think a cultural brick wall has been erected on citizens, snuffing out something more genuine and good, and which cannot be so easily obtained now. Consider also that others may (and will) use your same arguments and shed all other contstraints. Why should _they_ abstain from pleasurable experiences with others of same sex, unmarried, etc? Without the sound ancient foundation, there will be noo societal rules.
<< At any rate, I thank you for a reasoned and polite debate on the subject. :-) >>
Yes, this has been a pleasant experience. I made the argument on a Compuserve Catholic and Free Thought forum a year or so back. The Catholics trashed Augustine and then accused me of doing what they had done and nearly ran me off the forum. Free thought was worse, having become controlled and zealously guarded by a tiny band of atheists. I was repeatedly called a liar and was locked out of the forum for complaining that being called a liar violated forum rules. They claimed that I broke forum rules for complaining that the sysop wasn't enforcing the rules, and they'd come up with an odd rationale, arguing that "you are lying" is subject oriented and permissible, and just "you are a liar" is a personal attack. But their own written rules specifically forbade "you are lying" and that's what got me shut out, pointing that out in a public message.
My best advice would be to instruct children to the purpose of the birth process and importance of marriage and leave them with that.
I have a friend with a who's girlfriend's birth control method "disn't work", and he's now the proud unmarried father of a delightful son and will be marrying a woman he may not otherwise have married. The lad's just starting life and is already off balance. What really bothers me is that these kids are taught that having sex is right and that not having sex is stupid. He was pressured by the "caring" elements of the the society to perhaps ruin or at least unnecessarily complicate his and a newborn's lives, and perhaps also his girlfriend's. There's no reason for this. Kids should at least be instructed as to what is right and what is of value. A few temporary pleasures which he might have been socially pressured into were traded for a lifetime of possible problems and complications, when prior to that he no worries at all. What is the cost to a society that worships the procreative urge?
When a woman is pregnant, please don't find this offensive, but I would suggest that relations will ahow a great disrespect for the child, and in fact will illustrate the parents true desires, to please themselves rather than acknowledge and honor their new child.
Regarding infertility, the couple could wish for a miracle but should not take it to extremes: if they truely believe they may indeed have a child, even if entirely remote. However, to use this as an excuse for experiencing pleasures would be entirely wrong and counter to their desired wish; no miracle will come.
I would beg to differ that I am a Jansenist. The Moonies hold a similar doctrine. I am not a Moonie. Why? Because I did not receive this instruction from either. I am who I am, if you don't mind the reference; I came to this conclusion on my own accord, but at that time I was aware that the idea had been embraced by the very early Popes.
I'm not Catholic, but I do note that my suggestion is the same as taught by St Augustine, the "moral conscience" of the Catholic Church.
I believe you have a valid point, that one does not want to put unnecessary constrictions on his life, and that the joys of life should be fully realized. However, by stepping over the line of intercourse for the purpose of having children, you essentially condone all the evils associated with recreational sex, justifying or condemning the the same "joys" by wheter the proper papers have been signed and submitted. You essentially say that physical lusts and passions are godly if legally documented and observed by church and state, but are sinful and wrong when not officially recorded by the government, and this is an absurdity on it's face.
Can there be a middle ground, and I think the answer is "no", and I think present conditions in America prove that. When spiritual ideals are compromised, society will naturally begin tearing them down entirely. Either sexual exploitation, whether by two private persons having proper documentation or by kids experimenting in the alley, is a freedom or it is a mental illness.
I quickly read through your reference and will try to study it more thoroughly when I have more time. Nothing in it seeems to be inconsistent with Augustine's message.
I note this: "[Marital sex] ensured that sex no longer dominated society"
Jewish/Christian society has begun slipping back into excactly what the article argues marital sex brought the world out of: a sex crazed society. And it is exactly because the society took a wrong direction when the choice came about of accepting or rejecting birth control. With the former, sex again moves to the forefront of society, and all of the ills of earlier civilizations; homosexuality, premarital sex, adulty, incest, beastality, come back! What caused Western moral values to work was the limiting of sexual activities to the bringing forth of children, and rejecting it as entertainment. Birth control reverses that entirely. Sex dominates society as a primary form of entertainment, and we can easily see the results materialize right before us. I now receive undesired emails sexual advertisements that become more and more bold daily, and they cannot be outlawed because the society has accepted sex as a "liberty" of the people rather than the disease that it is. When married couples use sex for entertainment then sex is for entertainment.
Well, we must look at these quotes with an understanding that none actually encourages an intentional blocking of a child, not even hinting of the rhythm system except possibly due to a lack of self-control, so I don't believe there is a justification found in these (excepting for those with no self-control). Some are also necessarily out of context, and this: "Husbands and wives should satisfy each other's sexual needs" is an interpretion, not exact quote.
None are inconsistant with Augustine, who said that love and pleasures should not be witheld or shunned, and all must be read with an understanding that large families were generally desired at the time, so a marital partner's "needs" cannot be viewed similarly as it would now, with limited births advantageous and modern birth control available. Sexual desires and for increased family size were congruous.
Where we can best look to answer the different needs of modern society would be the underlying religious principles taught by Christ.
Your supplied quote: "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband", rather than speaking of the rightness of sex, seems to be a warning that man's failure of self-control is better served by marriage and loyalty to one person. Let's focus on those words "to avoid fornication". This is a primary message of Christ, that fornication is unholy. Augustine, who lived only a few hunderd years after Christ, proceeds to lay down a law that a man desiring not a child essentially "fornicates" with his wife by reducing her to the level of a prostitute, because what he requires of her is no diferent than what he would demand from the prostitute.
Christ placed no real importance on marriage, instructing the flock to love one another, but he condemned fornication. He also warned that to look at a women with lust is a sin equal to adultry. Was he excluding a man's wife? It wouldn't seem so. Lust is condemned, as are jealosies, possessions, etc. It would seem that Christ would equally condemn the looking at one's wife with lust, a truth clearly understood by Augustine. He could not have made the exclusion: "he who looks at a woman other than his wife with lust", for a wife is then indeed thrust into the role of a prostitute, there being only the lifetime commitment separating differentiating the two. This cannot be Christ's stern spiritual message, instead representing hypocracy.
Thus, becoming "one flesh" cannot mean lust, but must mean something much greater. Can two people give of each other while blocking a child from being born? There is an illogic to this, the giving by the withholding of a new life. It cannot be true.
Augustine's mesage, however, seems to generate new problems for a modern marriage. How do marital partners render "due benevolence" to each other? If Augustine is to be believed, it is hardly a kindly act for a man to reduce his wife to the role of a prostitute, or for one to lust after the other. Due benevolence thus may take on a very different meaning when marital partners find it unwise to bring forth new family members.
I said 50 year or so, and you've provided example of about the past 50 years or so. I don't recall which Pope changed Catholic policy. It was sometime between the 1930's-1950's, and more like the latter, I believe. It may have been Pius XII, but I think it was John. I seem to recall tha Pius stopped short of endorsing natural birth control.
Regardless, it is clear the the rhythm system is contrary to Augustine's message, and Augustine is a foundation of all of the Christian Church (because he lived prior to the Protestant separation), but particularly Catholic.
This idea must hold that any sexual relations of any kind are wrong when no child is desired. Religion teaches to love others, but not to have sex with others. A person need not have sex with his wife to love his wife.
I had never heard of Cornelis Jansen until just now when I looked it up.
The rhythm system of the Catholic Church is kind of a loophole in Augustine's law. Augustine said the child must come first, but the Church has the child playing second fiddle.
By what I'm suggesting, if you have relations with your wife out of desire by both to have a child and with a presumption by both that the act might indeed produce a child then it is very right. Otherwise it is wrong.
Consider that a child conceived (or even feared to have been conceived) by any other primary reason by you or by your wife will likely result in resentment and perhaps anger or fear, and will destroy family unity. This was Augustine's primary concern. Modern birth control methods still hold the same concerns: a society teaching no respect for the birth process will produce a lot of unwanted babies and unhappy or terminated children, plus the sexual orientation confusion issue.
Modern birth control and termination methods can entirely eliminate your justification for the requirement of monogomous marriage, and homosexuality is not applicable to it at all. The policy will bring about a natural erosion of moral standards, and has.
Hmmm...I guess I would still disagree if I'm reading this right. Sex is holy and good because it can lead to the creation of children, but it doesn't cease to be holy and good when engaged in within the framework setup by...i.e. a married man and woman. God gave us sexual pleasure and part of building love, a oneness, a bond, between a man and a woman is intimate physical contact.
What you argue is agreed to even by most contemporary churches, but I believe you will have a difficult time justifying it by scripture. "Having sex" for any purpose but for producing a newborn requires an intentional blocking of a life from being produced, and cannot be construed as anything but a selfish act, from a religious perspective.
Churches have redefined the sexual act as a family unity issue but it in reality causes jealousies and separation. A look at the number of divorces in present times should be ample enough proof. Does mom and dad having sex really bring their children closer to them and strengthen the family? Was this a message of Christ or any other religious teacher? The answer is clearly No!
If Christ condemned fornicating and adultry and did not condon marriage or say it was necessary to religion then what can be the purpose of marriage? It is a lifetime security for the mother and children, and the better solution for those lacking discipline and self-control.
It may be that, as with other habits, the engaging in repeated sexual activity while having no desire for children, whether married or not, will bring a spiritul dullness and cause one to lose sight of the purpose of religion, and the desired family unity may become a family of misfits and rebellous children, and this of course is commonplace now.
A question: Should a marreid couple physically unable to produce children have sex?
For one who has come to accept the religious idea that the birth process is pleasurable for the very reason that it produces children, the idea of a couple "having sex" when they are incapable of producing a child (and not dreaming for a miracle) will be as foolish a behavior as is homosexuality, either being the performing of a futile act and the sending of a message to others that the new life of a child is of little importance when compared to the experiencing of physical pleasures, and may be compromised for that end.
The strict position of an honoring of the birth process entirely eliminates the social sexual ills that our nation is presently experiencing, and any deviation will compromise a religious and healthy reversal. With the sexual process respected as a birth process, there can be no justification for homosexuality or sex outside of marriage, or other deviant sexual practices. The justifying of sexual pleasures within marriage with child out of the equation perverts the message and turns it on end. If marriage is for the experiencing of sexual pleasures then no reason exists for two men not to "marry", or for children to "marry" in thought and experience this same pleasure taken for granted by their own parents, and of course incest and adultry will "rationally" follow. Weaker and confused fathers will try to "love" and find "unity" with their rebellous or distant children, as the church pastor instructed him to do for his wife. The "cure" may be literally the problem, regarding family unity. When you compormise religious ideals out of desire for pleasures, others will also, particularly when "you" represents the established church.
Ghandi, a 1940's era religious and political leader in India, wrote about the wholsomeness of abstinence, and it's healthy effect on him, but I believe "abstinence" is the wrong term, and should imply the abstaning from producing children, not "sex".
I understand your balking at the strict and seemingly foreign idea, but such thinking was mainstream just 50 or so years ago, prior to the "sexual revolution", and was a cornerstone of Catholic and other Christian thought. Early pilgrims, steeped in strict religious priniples, fully understood that sexual activity was for the producing of children and to be otherwise shunned as lustful activity, and that a break from this practice was damaging to society's most precious commodity: newborn children.
In my opinion, our religious ancesters never fully reconciled the feelings of lust with the bearing of children, fulfiling the bibilical scriptures of children being "born in sin", but the resolving of this riddle will cast off the chain of imperfection with genuine family unity.
This would be true, and Augustine addresses it, saying that a man that does otherwise reduces his wife to the role of a prostitute, and he argues that when a child does come of it there will be resentment, creating conflict in the marriage. A reasonable person might ask why simply obtaining a (marriage) license will authenticate a behavior, and the logical answer is that it will not. The behavior must be authentic. A marriage license is for security of the children and protection of the mother, not for "having sex" (not a purchasing of a life long prostitute). Children are the important element. They are lasting and are eternal. We should focus on those things that are lasting and shun the desire for earthly physical pleasures that neither see nor hear nor walk, or here today and gone tomorrow.
Present logic is contradictory. One should love his brother yet love has been redefined to be the sex act. It's no wonder that homosexuality is rampant. The sex act is the beginning process of birth. Those wishing to abuse it will have to live with the consequence, and see a soceity full of broken and problem children.
People typically will not agree with an things which affects themselves. We find no problem in criticizing homosexuality or adultry, and homosexuals haven't a problem condemning our contrary (and seeming hypocritcal) values, and impatient youth reject parental attitudes of waiting until marriage. Each one knows that just the other is wrong. Religion requires us to look within and change ourselves, and this corrects the shortcoming of others.