Obama Wants to Condemn American Kids to Gay Hell

Source: Joseph Sciambria

Tonight, somewhere in America, a young person, let’s say a young man, will struggle to fall to sleep, wrestling alone with a secret he’s held as long as he can remember. Soon, perhaps, he will decide it’s time to let that secret out. What happens next depends on him, his family, as well as his friends and his teachers and his community. But it also depends on us — on the kind of society we engender, the kind of future we build. Pres. Barack Obama

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This statement from President Obama was included in an Official White House Response to enact Leelah’s Law which would ban nationwide all so-called gay conversion therapy for minors. Leelah refers to a young man with gender identity disorder, with a history of mental illness, who committed suicide in 2014. Shamelessly, the gay power-pushers, and their allies in the Democratic Party, are using the tragic death of this teenage boy to further their social agenda: the near impossibility of those suffering from same-sex attraction to seek help within the medical profession. Why? Because instinctively they know it works, and that scares them; first, because if people finally realize they don’t have to be gay – the homosexual world will begin to become irrelevant; unseating many from their thrones of power, secondly, this type of therapy is asking gays to go to the one place they fear returning: to their wounded childhoods – to the point of trauma.

Part of the lie inherent in modern homosexuality is inadvertently evident in the Obama statement: for example, why does the theoretical young man that he mentions “struggle to fall asleep.” As one of those former insomniacs, the lack of sleep experienced as a teen had nothing to do with realizing or coming to terms with my homosexuality, or even concerns about how others would react, but because I was internally trying to understand why I turned out this way when every one of my friends was straight; I believe this goes to a fundamental realization within the human soul that homosexuality is wrong; for, all of us, initially rally against it. Its only through capitulation – usually by viewing pro-gay media images and personalities in the media, watching gay porn, or becoming prematurely sexually active does a full surrender of the will take place.

And, herein lies the fear: when we become gay – we partially give-up that hurt and traumatized self and fuse it with the gay mindset; in other words, acting out sexually our dysfunction, i.e. an irrational longing for masculine love and companionship, eases and then nearly blocks all access to the memories of childhood. When we are forced to deal with the reasons behind our homosexuality, that comfortable complacency vanishes – once again we are a scared little boy trying to figure things out on our own. The distant, even disregarded, awareness that perhaps homosexuality is an illusion strips us of our most cherished beliefs: that we were born this way. Only, what reparative therapy attempts is to heal the person inside a somewhat protective environment of therapy; this is especially effective when the psychiatric and the spiritual are combined. As then, the therapist or doctor can become an agent of heavenly healing; then, the extraordinary can and will happen.

Comments

  1. James Bradshaw :

    Personally, I think people should be able to construct their own identities as they see fit and that will allow them to thrive. For some who have experienced a same-sex attraction not as some early inborn trait (as many do) but truly through some traumatic event of abuse, then therapy may help them get past this (though I still question the efficacy and tools of reparative therapy). This isn’t a wholesale condemnation of SSA, though. It’s simply an awareness that a sexuality grounded entirely in an abuse of others or oneself is undesirable.

    To suggest that all gay men and women would somehow be “better off” by shedding this element of their nature is to reject reality, it seems. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, seems to be doing just fine, as do a number of out actors, politicians and others in the public sphere. I think we’re a better society for allowing these folks to flourish, as well. Alan Turing, considered by many to be the father of modern computer science, may have been able to contribute even more had he not been arrested for homosexual conduct.

    • The circumstances around the burglary of Turing’s residence are very questionable. Of course it doesn’t justify the subsequent barbarous treatment forced on him as a result of forcibly being outed. The point is his partner, 20 years younger was associated with the thief but got off with hardly a reprimand. This is similar to the betrayal of Oscar Wilde by a member of the so-called community. I often wondered if there was some element of self-destruct or rather a backhanded, but desperate cry of help.

  2. Michael Bauman :

    Construct our own identities? Really? That is the premise which divides us Mr. Bradshaw. Yours is essentially Nietzschean a manifestation of the will to power and the transcendence of the Superman.

    One’s own will is never sufficient to be successful in such a task. We have an identity given to us by God, unique and non-repeated that allows us to develop into fully human persons. The basis of that identity lies in the reality of being created in the image and likeness of God. Anything that violates that likeness is destructive to who we are in our unique person.

    Neither is it possible to discover and realize who we are outside of a life in community. We are not autonomous individuals, we are creatures called together to share and partake of the gifts of God together in thanksgiving.

    “Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, seems to be doing just fine, as do a number of out actors, politicians and others in the public sphere.” The operative word in this sentence is “seems”.

    Luke 12:17-19 addresses the actual quality of this “seems” …17″And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18″Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry

    Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation is the remedy for this “seems” Seeking not one’s own will or constructing one’s own identity as a ape of God but finding God and allowing Him to transform and enable you as He created you to be.

    The great saints approach that. The rest of us…not so much. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6 Romans delves into a much more complete explication of this malady.

    Christ is Risen, trampling down death by death. Why seek the land of darkness?

  3. M. Stankovich :

    Let’s be honest. Some are born “broken” and unenlightened. They are victims and know nothing of the mercy of a loving God and the sacrifice of His Son for the destruction we have made of this world. They neither see it, nor feel it, nor experience it because we comfortably shelter ourselves away from their existence, quoting Scripture & philosophers, inventing new language and phraseology – “homsexualists” and “the new anthropology” – while those the Lord declares constitute the Kingdom are hanging from our necks like stones. Gladly we will march in support of Christian Marriage, wearing hokey t-shirts, because it will only dirty the soles of our shoes. And 12-hours later return to our secularist indifference, a bit out of breath, to a sumptuous dinner to argue the villainy of those “renovationist Orthodox” for pointing out there is fundamentally something wrong here.

    I emphatically state that I will not be with you. I will be customarily delivering collected soda cans, recyclables, warm blankets, taking blood pressure, washing wounds, suturing wounds, applying bandages, calling ambulances when appropriate, and simply being human with the loathsome of the earth – and under my breath uttering the Pascha greeting. Young, old, male, female, LGBTQ, drunk, high, sick, well, criminal, believers, and non-believers, I won’t ask & my friends & I don’t care. Where was the Lord found? Among the most despicable, loathsome, and rejected. “Today salvation has come to this house.” And then the doctor can become the agent of heavenly healing; then the extraordinary can & will begin. Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death. Fear not entering into the darkness.

    • Mr. Stankovich,

      Your moral scolding is unconvincing. Why would you begrudge those who try to understand the lay of the land, and speak to meta-cultural FACTS such as homosexualism (as a religious movement) and the New Anthropology? How are we “comfortably sheltering” ourselves? In what way am I? Do I know you know me some how? How is it you judge my charity with my poor, sick, etc. neighbors? Are you somehow looking over my shoulder when I love (or fail to) my neighbor? I thought you just said “I will not be with you…”

      What disabuses your readers of your self trumpeted righteousness is your obvious lack of Joy…

      • M. Stankovich :

        I don’t object to these “marches,” in and of themselves, but they far too frequently give the false impression that the church is taking action when, in fact it is not. I have used this example of Fr. Alexander Schmemann many times, who mocked white silly geese Orthodox from the suburbs (and where I’m from they use gentle euphemisms such as, “Country Living”) by saying: “We will meet next Saturday for our annual feeding of the poor, but please, make every effort to be back to the church hall for wine and cheese before Vespers.”

        So recently we heard the Lord’s words choosing us and instructing us that if the world would hate us for upholding the Truth in which He has entrusted us, it is because the world hated Him first. And as Fr. Florovsky noted in a post I placed on another forum, are we so proud to imagine we cannot miss our calling as did the Jews? We are called to be Ezekiels, to be Nathans, to be John the Baptists – and perhaps marches are a way to begin – but I read an article yesterday on, I believe, Slate, entitled “The Most Fanatical Amicus Arguments Submited to the Supreme Court Opposing Same-Sex Marriage,” and of the theological “fanaticism,” the majority was consistent with our Orthodox anthropology and the theology of Christian Marriage. We do not stand a chance because we are not a church of martyrdom, but a church of indifference.

        Personally, I agree with the conclusion of Fr. Florovsky in his essay, In the Valley of the Shadow of Death, which are words found in the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great: first and foremost, that we repent; encourage the faitnhearted; unite those separated; lead back those who are in error and join them to the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church; prevent schisms; and quickly destroy the uprisings of heresies. This will take courage, leadership, a moral voice, prophets, and martyrs, not to deal with the “world, but with the “church.” Only then will we be prepared to address anything outside our house.

        And Christopher, I choose to walk where I walk and with whom I walk specifically because I feel joy. And it is my business, in the words on Irvin Yalom, MD, by vocation, to instill hope in all those I encounter. God will judge how successful I have been.

        • Mr. Stankovich,

          I agree with many things you said. While this is too often true:

          “We do not stand a chance because we are not a church of martyrdom, but a church of indifference.”

          It is not always true (though mostly true), and in the near future when our very way of life will be considered “discriminatory” and “hate speech”, in other words traditional (what they are already calling “fanatical” as you point out) Christianity will itself be a thought crime, all these “country living” Orthodox/Classical Christians will be found out. This has always been the case (St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great both lamented over these same types of Christians in their day). I also believe that blogs/communication such as this are one small way (the ultimate significance of them will be judged in the future I think) that everything in your 3rd paragraph is put in motion. Are the NA bishops leading? No, the majority of them seem to be willing to follow the culture, or at least indulge in a sort of cultured “lets play nice and we all can get along”. It’s not working, and I believe the time is coming quickly where this failure will be obvious to all also.

          Yes of course, get our own house in order. However, it will never be in any real order short of the Eschaton, so we also must speak in ways we can to those outside the Church, such as marches that are so obviously swimming against the tide and thus are largely “ineffective”. However, you are right, we must always always focus on the plank in our own eye….

          • James Bradshaw :

            Christopher writes: “It is not always true (though mostly true), and in the near future when our very way of life will be considered “discriminatory” and “hate speech””

            People will disagree. It’s axiomatic. They might even say a bunch of not-so-nice things about you, and I’m sure the favor will be returned. So what? We know what some fundamentalists believe about the eternal fate of Jews, Mormons, Catholics and everyone who doesn’t believe exactly everything they do, and yeah, many of us think it’s a pretty grotesque world view. Nevertheless, they’re free to say and believe whatever they want and to fill the airwaves of the media with their ideas.

            I’m sure that you shall continue to be free to preach and live your faith as you see fit, at least in the US. So long as the most extreme speech is protected by SCOTUS (and this one has done just that), I’m sure that yours will be as well.

            • James says:

              “I’m sure that you shall continue to be free to preach and live your faith as you see fit, at least in the US”

              Strange James, you seem like person of normal intelligence – what have we been talking about these last few weeks? In any case, your statement above is demonstrably false:

              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/07/supreme-court-gay-wedding-photography_n_5104699.html

              In this case (this happened in my state – thus as a Christian who would have made the same principled refusal as the photographer I fall under the oppression of the New Mexico’s so called “Human Rights Commission”) the Christian merely suffered financial ruin. The New Intolerance of course will not stop there, as they will move to criminal punishment next (i.e. jail, etc. as Rod Dreher has reported is already being readied in Congress).

              Again, as an ahistorical modernist you don’t recognize religious liberty – you might claim you do, but it is merely a term to be bandied about when it is convenient in political discourse. As a principal, you simply don’t acknowledge it, because you don’t really understand it…

            • M. Stankovich :

              Mr. Bradshaw,

              On the on the one hand I am intrigued by your generally seamlemess deconstruction of moral matters as a “typos” reminiscent of C.S. Lewis’ “Wormwood,” and on the other reminiscent of a child-like Rodney King, dragged into the spotlight of significance he could not quite grasp. Regardless, you seem to conclude that, at least on these pages, we are all reasonable people witnessing a needless, untidy, frequently unnecessary “bickering” that God Himself must consider an annoyance. Wait it out and it will work itself out. Yet, this site – and many like it – refer to the eschaton, to the end of the age of which we so dramatically hear and in which we participate in this season of Pascha, and which so dramatically confronts us in our daily existence. The fundamental concept of the distinction between the sacred and the profane is virtually non-existent; people are horrified by the biological “boundaries” of creation, and a “determination” of gender is no longer by genetics or genitalia but how one subjectively “feels”; and lawyers and judges are determining the moral direction of our society.

              And rather than appreciating the cosmic catastrophe and disaster into which we all have fallen, you, Mr. Bradshaw are the consistent, reassuring voice of God in His recliner, chill with mercy & forgiveness. And I am not particularly focusing on the issue homosexuality – my mother died at noon on Great and Holy Saturday, and amidst my grief is a sudden recollection of every unkind word, thought, and deed committed – but you subtly work in – rarely challenged – the “normalcy” & consistency of your long term relationship , etc. And I happened, for example, to glance over your comment that “Tim Cook seemed to be doing pretty well.”

              If no one one else will say it, Mr. Bradshaw, I will: these are not thoughts & comments inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth. You simply cannot mix truth with error, even inadvertently, nor light with darkness before the Seer of Souls. More than a year ago, I personally encouraged you to stay, but a I also encouraged to seek out a dialog with Fr. Hans personally regarding your struggle. I strongly suspect you did not do that, and I strongly believe you are no longer struggling. It is that obvious, and that offensive.

              • James Bradshaw :

                M Stankovich, I’m not sure what you’re getting at.

                I’ve never claimed to speak for God. That would be you.

                And you must forgive me, but I immediately distrust anyone who makes such a fantastic claim. They usually either want your money … or worse.

                • I’ve never claimed to speak for God. That would be you.

                  This is one of those presuppositions that Modernists hold that is so obviously untrue, yet so often repeated and so large in the zeitgeist that it is rarely questioned. How can it be, it is simply part of the air modernists breath, and thus it is really difficult for them (maybe even impossible given the terms of their self-belief) to gain the intellectual/perceptual distance they need to look at the very ground they are standing on.

                  One of the central doctrines of Modernists is their self described agnosticism, or more to the point their supposedly limited epistemology. When any non-modern (whether it be a Christian or some other belief) says to the Modern (as we so often do) “you do have a God, and he/she/it is the Self” the modern has a built in defense mechanism – namely, his false epistemology.

                  James, I would suggest that you begin to consider the place of the (neo-epicurean) SELF in your religion, because you do have a God, and it is even a jealous God. You speak for it all the time, and you rarely even sin against your God – Modernists are nothing if not faithful. Indeed, it is accurate to say that while Christians are rarely truly faithful to their God, Modernists are perhaps the most truly disciplined religionists/ascetics to have yet lived in human history. There are many places to start thinking about your God, but Descartes’ “I AM” is as good as any…

                  • James Bradshaw :

                    Christopher, you know nothing about me. Implied in your statement is what? That I’m incapable of empathy, self sacrifice or restraint?

                    Even were it true (it’s not), how does religion mitigate this narcissism of the soul? It doesn’t. Just ask the thousands of children raped by Catholic priests who were immersed on a daily basis in these supposedly magical sacraments … or the hierarchy who shielded their rapists from any form of accountability.

                    The Russian Orthodox are hardly any better. Their theology, with its bizarre hypernationalism and anti Semitism, facilitated bloodshed during the time of the Black Hundreds and the Kishinev pogrom.

                    Look, I’m being a bit polemical.

                    I’m aware there are great clerics that exist. Nevertheless, it seems clear from the evidence that belief in a God in no way guarantees one won’t seek to justify anything one does.

                    In fact, once someone’s convinced God IS on their side, they usually become capable of any atrocity. After all, how do you convince them otherwise? As “the enemy”, it can’t be done.

                    • …Implied in your statement is what? That I’m incapable of empathy, self sacrifice or restraint?….”

                      Oh, no, quite the opposite. Indeed, within Epicureanism (if not quite to the same extant in its Modern form) is found an ascetic necessity, a self restraint that is part of the enjoyment and worship of the SELF. look it up…

                      Even were it true (it’s not), how does religion mitigate this narcissism of the soul?

                      Well, “religion” as such does not – as modernism (which is a religion – one that you admit you hold) God is the SELF. However, to speak to your question Christianly, the answer is rather obvious: “Thy will be done”. Christianly, we humans are not truly free (being “slaves to sin”, sin best understood as existential nothingness here) until our will is FREELY aligned with the Divine Will. Thus, the only thing left to be done is to turn away from narcissism (which, actually, is not part of our nature – thus we are truly free to be free of the sorrowful SELF). This is almost impossible for you to understand however as you don’t recognize “The Other”, as you still believe “The Other” is merely a reflection (as in a pool of water) of the SELF.

                      it seems clear from the evidence that belief in a God in no way guarantees one won’t seek to justify anything one does.

                      I would even bolster this statement, I would say that belief in GOD (not “a” God) in no way guarantees “one won’t seek to justify anything one does.”. Every Saint (for example, St. Paul says as much in several different ways) understands this. All this really affirms is that yes, we are sinners, and what we do/think/believe is almost the definition of powerlessness. The question then becomes, what does GOD (not “a” God) do about this?

                      In fact, once someone’s convinced God IS on their side, they usually become capable of any atrocity. After all, how do you convince them otherwise? As “the enemy”, it can’t be done.

                      Well, your being polemical again. I would suggest to you that this is a sort of defense mechanism of your philosophy, something that is reflexively and unconsciously done like when you scratch an itch. Christianly, I would agree, as does St. Paul and every Saint since. Christ Himself was always at odds with those who thought God is “on their side” – indeed, it was they who demanded Pilate kill Him.

                      That said, your understanding of this is again straight from the Modernism Bible: If GOD=”a” God=a created psychological artifact of the organic brain, and thus a reflection of the narcissistic SELF, then of course GOD is simply more of the same SELF. What can break through such a closed loop? Is reality really thus?

                • M. Stankovich :

                  Mr. Bradshaw,

                  You’ve known me long enough to know my patients are murderers, serial child sexual predators, and people who torture other human beings for pleasure. You would dismiss me with this “speaking as God,” and “wanting your money or worse?” You’re not in my league. Let’s try this again.

                  I read your comment that opens this thread and you fit the description of Santana’s (the UCLA Ph.D., not Carlos) marvelous exposition of the fabled Mexican Trixter. You are selling a subtle, non-offensive, fat-free, cholesterol-free, environmentally-friendly, energy-saving “morality” – celebrity endorsed – without all the commitment, intrusive accountability, and chastity. Hell, yeah! It is a “guilt-free” Orthodoxy because you can define yourself and all the parameters that constitute the appearance of “normalcy.” I, the hapless and impotent change-purse of God cry, “Fraud, Mr. Bradshaw!” to which you respond, “I don’t know what you’re getting at.” Round and round the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel… Let me put it another way, “What has light to do with darkness?” (2Cor 6:14). And understanding this, the Church itself – appreciating its own sinners, its own responsibility for the evil that “Christians” perpetrate upon the earth – at the very beginning of Holy Week appoints the reading of the most scathing indictment of the Lord against the elders of the Temple (Matt, 23:1-37), where He cries aloud, “How can you escape the damnation of hell?” (v.33)

                  The fact of the matter, Mr. Bradshaw is that “He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber,” (Jn. 10:1) and the Lord says:

                  I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

                  There simply is no “parallel-morality,” “mirrored-morality,” or “comparable-morality.” There is but one way.

                  In the end, Mr. Bradshaw, you certainly know what I’m getting at. I don’t know if you are purposely being provocative to invoke argument, draw attention to yourself, troll, offend, or mock fools. It’s none of my business because it’s not my blog. Neither do I judge you as your word clearly speak for themselves. Nevertheless, I am saddened by your remarks and how infrequently you are truly confronted for your errors.

                  • James Bradshaw :

                    MS writes: “You’ve known me long enough to know my patients are murderers, serial child sexual predators, and people who torture other human beings for pleasure”

                    Actually, I had no idea. That sounds like a grim job, and I’d probably resort to drinking if I had to deal with those sort of personalities on a daily basis. I just prefer to pretend such people don’t exist outside of tv. I was also not implying that you, personally, were untrustworthy.

                    “There is but one way.”

                    Perhaps, and I don’t doubt you believe you’ve found the door. Unfortunately, my overexposure to similar but mutually exclusive claims from across the religious spectrum make picking one rather difficult. I spent a number of years deeply immersed in Catholicism. Once I came to the conclusion (realization?) that the Church, for all its greatness, was not infallible and that it had even facilitated great crimes, I had to wonder why any other “path” was going to be any better.

                    This doesn’t mean I think one can simply throw up one’s hands and do whatever one wishes. I’m only suggesting that one can only follow their path to “goodness” as they discern it to be. What else can one do? Reject one’s own conscience in favor of someone else’s merely because that person is a cleric or happens to have a popular television following?

                    • Mr. Bradshaw,

                      For what it’s worth, when certain people (I admit not all) say things as, “There is but one way.”, it is not because they believe they have “found” it. On the contrary, it (or rather He) has found them. For many (again, not all) this is not a triumphal statement, for they would be the first to admit that He who is the Way is still very much in the process of conforming them into His likeness.

                    • Michael Bauman :

                      ….and again, it is not simply about goodness. Indeed, it is not about goodness at all. Jesus Christ is the one way because He is God, He took on our nature and our body, He overcame death. He invites all of us to partake in that astounding act of love and self-sacrifice not to achieve any sort of moral goodness, but to enter into life and be transformed.

                      Most don’t do so, choosing other doors instead (like homosexual normalcy, a life of unbridled polymorphous perversity or the simple ennui of the world). That does not invalidate who He is.

                      You are right though, there is no co-existence with any other way. If one is not at least comfortable with Jesus’ “only” claims, then one cannot be a Christian.

                      Jesus Christ is not an idea, He is a person. The Church is not the arbiter of philosophical moralism despite the attempts to make her so. She is the path to life through ontological and spiritual union with our Lord. The path through that door is open to anyone. It can be a scary and challenging path to walk. That is why so many turn away. You seem to prefer the seemingly safe road that allows you to restate the rules anytime it gets a bit uncomfortable all the while blissfully unaware of the bleeding of your soul and the slide into nothingness that you are courting. Don’t look to institutions, existential horrors or hypocrisy. Look to the lives of the saints. There are many contemporary ones, Orthodox and Catholic.

                      David Bentley Hart, in concert with the Fathers of the Church puts it quite eloquently: Christ or nothing.

                      M. Stankovich’s understanding of that is probably the one thing that enables him to do what he does. I can’t figure out any other reason. Stankovich and I have butted heads here and other places but I’d much rather walk the narrow road with him even in contention than the wide and warm fuzzy road you profess.

  4. James Bradshaw :

    Christopher, I said that you can pretty much say what you want and live as you wish as an individual.

    If you wish to attribute personhood to legal entities and extend to them permission to do whatever they/it wish, that’s another debate.

    • James,

      I am not sure what you mean by your second sentence. Your first sentence contains a clue as to how we got to the place where religious liberty simply does not matter: “individual”. Ironic, when you think about it, as Modernism in most of its forms (e.g. marxism/dialectical materialism, “social justice”, “non-discrimination”, etc.) is always talking about “community”, not that Modernism truly understands the word…

      • James Bradshaw :

        Christopher, a person acting on behalf of a commercial, legal entity as an employee who is facilitating a transaction does not have the same religious freedoms they do as an individual.

        Example:
        Abercrombie & Fitch can require their employees to abide by a dress code and does not have to accommodate Muslim girls who wish to wear a hijab.

        “Your first sentence contains a clue as to how we got to the place where religious liberty simply does not matter: “individual”

        Yes, your religious liberty as an individual. What other type of liberty do you want? How many people are you?

        “Christianly, we humans are not truly free (being “slaves to sin”, sin best understood as existential nothingness here) until our will is FREELY aligned with the Divine Will.”

        And why do you want that? Because you care about God’s feelings? No. If He decided to throw you in Hell despite all of your good efforts, I’m doubting you’d be as concerned about His will. Your aim is for your own sanctification and salvation and ultimate happiness. You’re in it for you, too.

        We are all self-involved to varying degrees. Nevertheless, anyone who isn’t a sociopath understands that one’s needs and wants cannot be the sole arbiter of what one does. We don’t need religion to tell us this, and those who are sociopaths aren’t going to “get it” whether they find religion or not.

  5. James,

    The “individual” versus the “corporate”, or in this case the “marketplace” (i.e. “… a person acting on behalf of a commercial, legal entity as an employee who is facilitating a transaction… “) dichotomy has a history behind it, having it’s start in the protestant revolution where the interior, rational, intellectual mind of man was giving precedence over the corporate (life understood “in community”), traditional, and the hierarchy of Saints who knew better than the individual (at least until they were a Saint). By prioritizing (and eventually making a God out of) the SELF the protestant revolution destroyed not only the traditional way of living (in the Church, and out of it in the “secular”) but eventually itself as well.

    I say all this to simply highlight the fact that Traditional Christians (and most any non-modern philosophy) don’t accept the terms of your argument, that “liberty” of any kind is radically limited by the marketplace. Thus, I don’t some how leave who I am, which includes my Faith, somewhere else (behind? at home?) when I enter the marketplace and make a “transaction”. The fact that Modernism wants this, is simply an indication of its fanatical and evangelical character – it is bold enough to try to claim “the marketplace” as its own sacred ground where its own understanding prevails.

    As far as God, as long as you insist characterizing Him in the same way you characterize the SELF, well, of course your reasoning is going to circle back around to it’s own SELF understanding. That’s the closed loop your in, and that’s why God seems to you to be no more than a hamster on a wheel (that is after all, all the SELF is). Look at the language of the SELF you employ: “God’s feelings“, “You’re in if for you, too”, “We are all self-involved”, and the utilitarian understanding of morality. Some day, a bit of enchantmentwill shine through, something from the OUTSIDE will appear incongruously in the closed loop. Be on the look out for it…

    • James Bradshaw :

      Christopher, I’m sufficiently well-read in Christian theology, and your comments sound foreign.

      Christian saints and mystics like Teresa of Avila talk about the transformation of the self and the personality so that it is directed towards what God wills. You make it sound as if the entirety of the self is obliterated so that there’s nothing but a void or completely negation of the “I”. That’s actually the Buddhist “nirvana” where the self simply disappears.

      Just saying …

  6. your comments sound foreign

    Well, that’s probably due to my own limitations. However, it is my experience that to a vast majority of those who adhere to the religion of the SELF, Theosis does indeed sound like an eastern “negation”. It is a common complaint, and one I pondered about myself as a catechumen many moons ago. However, in the end, I think it is the limitations of the perspective of the SELF and not something inherent in Christian theology. As I said before, the SELF is a jealous God…

  7. If the Intolerance Conspiracy against Christianity in the USA is as advanced as some claim it to be, then seems to me like a lot of time is being wasted blogging that would be better spent preparing oneself for real faith and the martyrdom that is sure to come of it. Otherwise, it sounds a lot like a faithless generation of chicken littles speculating about the sky.
    What was that in Matthew 6? Something about each day having enough trouble of its own.

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