Friday, June 27, 2014

How to be an obedient Catholic

Easy, follow everything the Church teaches through the prism of what the Church is really intending to mean.  So Pope Francis came out and pretty much smacked down this movement of legalizing illegal drugs.  Of course legalizing drugs won't solve any more problems than it creates.  So Pope Francis (who is always awesome) steps up and says the solution is elsewhere, not in saying 'just do it!'.  And how is it reported by those warming up to a more progressive manifestation of good old Catholic living?

The Pope condemns legalizing Pot, but not really.  How that wasn't condemning the movement, I don't know.  Perhaps because he didn't actually say Pot.  Maybe he didn't use the exact wording.  Perhaps because he focused on getting at the core problems that lure people into drug use in the first place.  In any event, what he obviously said is suddenly discarded for what he clearly means.  Using any one of the above options, or perhaps others.

Of course when people said Pope Benedict prayed for peace when we bombed Libya, but didn't explicitly condemn the action, the action was OK - why they were the worst.  Or the Church didn't say waterboarding, just torture, why it's heretics on the march!  But you see, there's the trick.  That's how you're always obedient.  When you agree with the Church's statements, it's always what the clear and obvious teaching in black and white happens to be.  But when you're a little uncomfortable?  Why, that's when it's to between the lines we must turn.  I always wondered how, with a living, breathing Magisterium, Catholics could so wildly disagree while insisting they're right and everyone else is wrong.  Now I know!

11 comments:

  1. And don't forget that where the Catholic Catechism talks about just wages, it unambiguously means a mandatory $15/hr minimum wage or whatever it takes not to qualify for any welfare programs in your locality (whichever is greater), and not a penny less!

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  2. Yep. Actually, I'm fine with Catholics agreeing to disagree on areas where a principle is being discussed, or a strong fisted declaration has not been made. Just like this. I can see folks disagreeing and that's fine. The Pope, at this point, has made a fair observation. What gnaws at me is how those who would smack someone down as a veritable heretic over something like welfare or immigration or min wage will then turn around and invoke the same 'hey, it's not dogma is it?' That's my beef.

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  3. Just going to say (at risk of tangent) that there is always one big philosophical hurdle for drug laws and that is: alcohol.

    Any discussion of drugs is going to come down to that (and hey, you want to talk violence? I guarantee you that alcohol causes worse of it than guns) and why it gets an exemption.

    Especially given Catholics' infamous love of the fruit of the vine, any time any of them (even the pope) there will be a challenge as to why that gets a pass when other drugs don't. So far (though I'm open to being wrong) the arguments I see are "just because we say so" or "it's tradition", which will do no good in swaying anyone outside the church that it is making a serious argument.

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  4. The thing about alcohol is this (assuming we're setting aside medicinal purposes): one can drink alcohol and not get drunk. There is no reason to take drugs apart from getting high. And that shows a distinct difference that then continues to diverge into separate paths. Not that alcoholism isn't its own problem. But one could drink forever and never become one, but sadly, I know of too many who dabbled in drugs and not one now hasn't had his/her life altered by it.

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  5. Ok those are better, Dave.

    Some holes though:

    1) What reason is there to drink alcohol apart from getting drunk? I've yet to every taste a beverage I can stand and I always hear "it's an acquired taste", which has an obvious follow: why then acquire the taste?

    2) Conceptually you could take rugs and not get high (no really, #5). I think some of the problem is the allowance factor. For example, if we were to look back during prohibition's period, who during that drunk alcohol apart from getting drunk? (seems like... none?) Or dabbled in it and had their life altered?

    That's one of the problems with laws banning something, that they often end up eliminating the "middle ground" of some of the issues.

    But then I am a bit of a federalist and think the issue should be left to the states. If some want to be teetotalers and some want to be the Amsterdam of this side of the Atlantic... well let them.

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  6. It depends on the alcohol. Some just doesn't seem to exist apart from getting drunk. Others however have long substituted for water and other drinks. And they are not always altogether unhealthy, and many simply like the taste (count me in that group).

    As for taking drugs and not getting high, no clue who would, apart from medicine. And again, if doctors want to get involved, I'm willing to listen. But apart from that, why would someone snort cocaine or shoot heroin apart from getting high? And that goes with pot. I knew a few pot smokers in my day, and can't recall a one smoking it for the flavor.

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  7. Now which drinks do you like the taste of? You always liked the taste from first sip or did you have to develop it? (genuinely curious, maybe I need to keep looking for the right drink)

    It depends on the alcohol. Some just doesn't seem to exist apart from getting drunk. Others however have long substituted for water and other drinks. And they are not always altogether unhealthy, and many simply like the taste (count me in that group).

    That's interesting because I always heard alcohol was a dehydrator so drinking it instead of water is actually WORSE for your health. (of course I'm deliberately not bringing up history since 1) they had no real choices in the matter and 2) last I recall we didn't have a lot of handy ways to figure out if and what drugs were used back then)

    As for taking drugs and not getting high, no clue who would, apart from medicine. And again, if doctors want to get involved, I'm willing to listen. But apart from that, why would someone snort cocaine or shoot heroin apart from getting high? And that goes with pot. I knew a few pot smokers in my day, and can't recall a one smoking it for the flavor.

    That's what I was trying to say by bringing up the "banning" thing. Let me see if I can explain it another way. Imagine during prohibition, how many do you think would drink alcohol "just for the taste"? (or any other reason besides getting drunk or medicine?) I've yet to see any case of such because that's what banning things do. So I totally believe you that you never met anyone who liked any drugs for any non-high reason, I'm saying that's exactly what we'd expect when things are banned.

    And I am curious how the church ruled on these things historical since once upon a time you could buy heroin to give to your kids over the counter. Was there any catholic cry against it then? I still say your church has a huge exposed flaw when it comes to this issue but you've certainly put in more effort to it than some I've seen. ;-)

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  8. Of course one group that chaffed during prohibition was the Catholic (and other similar) churches, as they felt the prohibition of alcohol was a thinly veiled attempt to eventually restrict their Eucharistic celebrations.

    Things like heroin (of which a close relative is an addict) have been found to be more dangerous than helpful, like many others. And that's in the hands of physicians, though similar chemicals may be in some legal drugs. I don't know.

    But recreationally, it's to get high. While alcohol can be cultural, it can be religious, it can be because of taste. I'm a Red Wine guy myself, with a good pint of Harp whenever I read Tolkien or watch LoTR (or eat fish and chips). I really enjoy certain mixed drinks, particularly vodka and orange juice - hence I don't drink or order those.

    But again, apart from medicines which may have some values when heavily controlled, the disastrous results of drugs mixed with no real recreational value simply don't add up, while some alcohols at least can have many uses that aren't bad, a couple that are good or enjoyable without intoxication, and though the bad can be terrible when out of control, it doesn't logically have to go there.

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  9. Oh Dave, did you read the article I linked?

    I did laugh when I saw this line that seemed relevant to our conversation (and I wasn't even thinking it when I linked it at first)"

    "It's probably worth noting at this point that, like methadone, heroin itself was first introduced as a safe, non-addictive cure for morphine addiction -- at least until they started marketing it to children as a cough medication."

    Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_21017_5-unexpected-things-i-learned-from-being-heroin-addict_p2.html#ixzz369ubsuLb

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  10. You mean #5 above? I glanced through it. I know from my relative much of the problems, I also worked with counseling in my pastoral days - though I was never certified for substance abuse. I still ran across the problems as a pastor. Same old story. I knew many who drink but aren't alcoholics. I met few who took drugs who ever beat the habit (though in honesty, if any take drugs then easily kick the habit, it's pot). Nonetheless, I've known nobody who ever took the drugs at this point in history for a reason apart from getting high. A problem in itself, and one that can lead to disaster, despair, and death.

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  11. I see your point, Dave, I just thought "heroin as children's cough medicine" was kind of funny.

    Oh and speaking of drugs and catholics...

    'There's even a saint for drug dealers -- Malverde. They call him "the angel of the poor" or "the generous bandit," and drug smugglers pray to him before driving a load of China White up to New Mexico or raiding another cartel's stash. If they make it, Malverde's shrine gets a new candle.'

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