Comments Posted By R. Howell
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Got any data or evidence to back that up? Or any reputable economist anywhere who agrees?
To me it doesn’t make a lick of sense. The federal government has run a deficit for all but five of the last sixty years. Recessions have occurred intermittently occasionally here as they have in every industrialized country. I’ve not noticed the slightest correlation between deficits and recessions.
» Posted By R. Howell On August 24, 2012 @ 11:02 pm
Father Patrick, bless. If this fact is well known to pastors and confessors, I am curious if you have any theory about why the fact has not made its way into the teachings of the Catholic Church, whose Catechism states simply “its [homosexuality's] genesis remains largely unexplained”?
Further, are there any published studies that substantiate this assertion – e.g. has anyone canvassed pastors and confessors and written up a summary of results, or is it simply your impression from your own conversations?
Genuinely interested, thanks.
» Posted By R. Howell On May 26, 2012 @ 10:56 pm
Yes, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has spoken clearly, forcefully, and repeatedly on the issue.
Many statements on the subject can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection/
While you will not find explicit parallels to Hitler and Stalin drawn here, there is no question that the US Catholic bishops officially and collectively regard the HHS mandate as an assault on religious freedom.
» Posted By R. Howell On May 9, 2012 @ 7:53 pm
First you judge, then you say “let God be the judge.”
Colson converted to Christianity before he went to prison and before he was formally indcited. He was 42 years old, with a reasonable expectation of still having the majority of his adult life ahead of him. He served seven months in prison, then went on to spend nearly forty years in Christian ministry. Let God judge indeed.
» Posted By R. Howell On April 25, 2012 @ 12:30 pm
‘By the way, the WORDS “death,” “manslaughter,” and “murder” ARE synonyms.’
Cite a reputable thesaurus that says so and I’ll my words, and my hat. I’ll even buy a hat so I have one to eat.
For two nouns to be synonyms, it is necessary, though not sufficient, that they refer to the same thing.
I think this is enough of a digression from the main topic that I’ll bow out here, unless said thesaurus citation is forthcoming.
» Posted By R. Howell On April 12, 2012 @ 12:02 am
The term “category error” is a synonym for “category mistake”, as a few minutes Googling will confirm. A section on “category mistake” can be found in The Philosopher’s Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods, and (I’m sure) in many other texts.
An illustration would be confusing words with the things they refer to, as in saying that two things are “synonymous, but not identical with, ” something else. Words can be synonyms. The *words* “murder,” “manslaughter,” and “death” are the sorts of things that could be synonyms, though they aren’t. If they were synonyms, it would be because the things they named were identical (which they aren’t). The things they name are not words, and so cannot possibly be synonyms.
» Posted By R. Howell On April 11, 2012 @ 4:54 pm
Yes, His Grace appears to have made uncharacteristic category error. One cannot be “guilty” of a death. One can be guilty of murder or manslaughter. I think everyone knows Zimmerman is responsible for Martin’s death. Whether he is “guilty” of anything, and if so what, is the much debated question, but “guilty of death” is not a possible answer.
» Posted By R. Howell On April 11, 2012 @ 11:55 am
If that were true, then there would be no reason to mandate that health insurance companies provide free contraceptive coverage. They would see the business sense themselves and do it unprompted.
But the logic only works if you assume that anyone who does not get free contraception from an insurance company will not use contraception at all. That is obviously not even close to true.
» Posted By R. Howell On February 20, 2012 @ 12:18 am
“Only some Catholic authorities limit the individual’s freedom vis-a-vis contraceptives, condemning their use, and denying choice of them.”
This seems a highly misleading characterization of what the Catholic Church does. The CC teaches that the use of artificial contraception is immoral. Just like, for example, it teaches that viewing pornography is immoral. To teach that an act is immoral is not a limitation of anyone’s freedom nor a denial of choice. Would anyone say the Catholic Church limits an individual’s freedom with regard to pornography, or denies anyone the choice of it?
» Posted By R. Howell On February 19, 2012 @ 6:13 pm
Most of the 28 states have broad religious exemptions. The few that don’t do have other loopholes, such as only applying to plans that include prescription medication. California’s law is one of the toughest, and Catholic Charities of Sacramento appealed the all the way to the California Supreme Court before losing. It’s not clear to me if they now cover contraception or have abandoned covering prescription medication (as many Catholic organizations in the states with the toughest mandates have chosen to do).
In any case it is clearly not true that there are 28 states where Catholic organizations are contentedly complying with regulations equivalent to the new HHS ones. At most there are a handful of states whose regulations come close to being as tough as HHS’s, where a few Catholic organizations have conceded defeat after great protest and lawsuits.
» Posted By R. Howell On February 12, 2012 @ 3:41 pm
That’s simply not true Logan46. There are 28 states that have some sort of contraception mandate but all of them have religious exemptions or other exceptions that allow Catholic institutions to avoid paying for contraception.
» Posted By R. Howell On February 11, 2012 @ 8:38 pm
Basil, your math is confusing but your point about defense spending is accurate. The best estimates I can find are the that the US spends about $700B on defense while total worldwide spending is $2.1T, so the US contributes “only” 1/3 of total defense spending worldwide, or 1/2 of the rest of the world combined.
Nevertheless logan46′s point stands, which is that the US is not “bankrupt” by any reasonable definition of that word. We have a large amount of debt and are on a path to accumulating a great deal more very quickly if we not enact legislation making drastic changes in the next few years. This is dangerous, but it is not the same as being bankrupt.
There is a world of difference between being actually unable to pay current bills, which is what “bankrupt” would normally mean, and just being in danger of reaching that point some time in the next decade or two (the actual state of affairs).
Calling the country “bankrupt” is emotion-based exaggeration and not conducive to clear thinking about the country’s fiscal situation.
» Posted By R. Howell On November 27, 2011 @ 11:32 pm
In the interests of accuracy:
Sarah Palin did say “there are places in Alaska where you can see Russia” as part of an answer to a question about her background in foreign policy. This was probably the inspiration for the line “I can see Russia from my house,” which was spoken by Tina Fey while impersonating Palin, and presumably written by a member of the SNL writing staff.
» Posted By R. Howell On November 20, 2011 @ 3:48 pm
I am not sure I follow the point here. Yes, Christian interpreters of the Old Testament have read more into the prohibition against adultery than is present in the actual wording. In so doing, they were, it seems to me, following the example of Jesus Christ, who pointedly extended the interpretation of that law to include looking at a woman lustfully. Just as he interpreted the prohibition against murder to include calling someone a fool. (I notice there is also no prohibition against beating someone senseless with a baseball bat in the decalogue.)
There are many places in the Old Testament where sexual misconduct other than adultery is condemned. I suppose the Apostle Paul was thinking of these when he expressed his shock that the Corinthians were tolerating a man “having” his father’s wife. I don’t suppose he would have been impressed if they had replied that the Ten Commandments don’t specifically mention incest.
Why are the Ten Commandments considered a bigger deal than the rest of the Old Testament law? To treat them as special is itself an interpretation laid on the Mosaic law. It would make no sense to respect that tradition of interpretation, while rejecting the tradition of interpretation that reads more in the laws than would have been understood to be their literal meaning at the time they were given.
Our Lord, his Apostles, and the Holy Fathers, have always understood sexual sin to include much more than adultery, and always condemned sexual sin as particularly grave.
So again, what is the point of dwelling on the fact that one particular brief summary of the law in the Old Testament does not explicitly mention sexual sins other than adultery?
» Posted By R. Howell On October 3, 2011 @ 12:37 pm
Does this surprise you, your grace? http://goarch.org/chapel/saints_view?contentid=527
» Posted By R. Howell On October 1, 2011 @ 9:57 pm
Logan46, see 1 Corinthians 5 for such a list.
» Posted By R. Howell On July 18, 2011 @ 1:43 pm
I apologize for my error. The RSV is the translation used and recommended in my parish, and I think throughout my jurisdiction. I forgot that others prefer the NKJV. This doesn’t alter my main point (the NKJV also refers to the Holy Spirit as he/him) but was an unfortunate mistake anyway. Sorry for sidetracking the discussion.
» Posted By R. Howell On July 16, 2011 @ 5:50 pm
Translations matter. We should use the translations that have been authorized by the Church. The Orthodox Church endorses the Revised Standard Version (RSV) for liturgical use. The RSV uses the masculine pronoun for the Holy Spirit. I do not believe any English text authorized by the Church for worship or study uses a feminine pronoun for the Holy Spirit. So I strongly suspect anyone who insists on such usage is following an ideological agenda contrary to teaching of the Church.
I also doubt the accuracy of Peter’s Greek. Every authority I have read states that “Pneuma” in Greek is of the neutral gender.
» Posted By R. Howell On July 16, 2011 @ 11:48 am
In 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 we learn how the Apostle Paul reacted upon hearing rumors about one of the Christians in Corinth being in an improper sexual relationship. “I’m shocked that people are gossiping about this person,” he didn’t write. “You people should be minding your own business. You have no idea what’s going on between him and his confessor,” the Apostle didn’t continue. “Maybe he’s in a Platonic relationship, or at least struggling to be celibate,. In any case just focus on your own sins and don’t worry about what that man’s up to,” he didn’t conclude.
» Posted By R. Howell On May 17, 2011 @ 3:50 am
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Having read the Indiana List fairly regularly for around ten years, I can say that retired Bishop Tikhon is highly prone to using sarcasm and hyperbole, often in ways calculated to shock people. I can also say that many people who do not read him carefully often entirely miss the point he is trying to make. And that taking passages of his emails out of context often makes it impossible to understand the point he was trying to make.
But no, Chris Banescu, I do not think the Bishop is delusional or insane. A little too pleased with his own cleverness perhaps, but he strikes me as very sane and honest. I see no reason to doubt that an email he forwards to the list is genuine.
» Posted By R. Howell On March 30, 2011 @ 10:54 pm