Yesterday Mark mentioned he had a thing for Irish Wolfhounds… which is an amusing coincidence because they’re rare and most people don’t even know they exist. I’ve had three, Billy, Blue & Tara. My identity was (and forever will be) inextricably connected to theirs. They live short but very full lives, and have a loyalty, the likes of which, I’ve never experienced before or since.
Here they are:
There’s enough information out there already. I decided that adding to it was unnecessary and nothing is gained by the family who must be suffering terribly.
One thing I do think is worth mentioning is the problematic and misguided manner in which we assign value to things in the world. How we confuse the value of what we own for our personal worth. I know it seems so obvious, so cliché to point it out- but it’s endemic. This murder was just the extreme version of it. The mindset that allowed for the chain of events was one whereby people convinced themselves that life wasn’t worth living because they couldn’t afford a luxurious lifestyle.
Senseless as it may seem in the cold light of day, this defective thinking pattern is extraordinarily common, even if not to this extreme. (Many) People spend much of their time obsessing over possessions/social status and in turn that leads to unhealthy competitiveness. Once people are in that cycle, they stop seeing clearly.
If you stop to consider what actually makes YOU happy, rather than what society and the media say will make you happy, you transform your life in the process. A car might be important, or it might not. I’ve discovered my definition of happy is quite different from the conventional version. I enjoy isolation. Seeing a beautiful painting is more important than owning a wonderful watch. My favourite wine is a light Navarre that happens to be quite inexpensive. It’s the one ‘I‘ like. Not the one the critics or experts say is the best.
We should let ourselves be, exist, on more real terms; Taking the time to explore the many wonderful things that the world has to offer (often at very little or no expense). I promise it makes for a much more interesting and satisfying life.
Our guests left this morning to Granada. They’re going to see the Alhambra- which is something that really must be seen if one has the opportunity. It’s magical.
We had a fantastic time. Our guests are celebrating their 47th wedding anniversary. They’ve both known Mike since childhood and brought us a very amusing picture of them when they were little. Mike joked about her wearing a bonnet in the picture only to be informed that it was him wearing the bonnet
We all drank much too much. At this point I’ve gone from a blood/alcohol level to an alcohol/blood level. There were seven empty bottles of wine after dinner (five people), and then we finished a whole bottle of brandy. I’m going to spend the day on the sofa recovering!
The murder thing is still crossing my mind every once in a while. I’ve thought of what I’d do if we were in dire straights financially… It’s happened once before and although it was tough, we weren’t too bothered. If we lost the house, we’d live in a smaller house. We’d buy cheap wine, I’d have to be more creative cooking. We wouldn’t eat out. None of those things are the end of the world. I think I’d get a tiny farmhouse somewhere and have a vegetable garden. It’s almost always possible to make a pleasant life- at least in the developed world. It’s mostly a matter of attitude.
We had a fantastic day last Saturday. Lunch out with some of my favourite people (some of Mike’s oldest friends). The conversation was interesting the entire time, which is s-u-p-e-r-b.
This afternoon we had a visitor and I got the BIG (1 kg) box of Neuhaus chocolate. If you’ve never tried it- YOU MUST!!!! If you’re in Europe you can buy from their website here. Forget Godiva! They have a shop in Manhattan too. It’s not cheap, but if one is going to spend money, this is the sort of thing worth spending money on.
Tomorrow we have guests arriving from England. This is the first time ever we have no-gluten/no dairy guests. I find both concepts rather disturbing. Lunch will be soup and salad and then we’re going out for dinner. We don’t know how long they’re staying yet. Mike went out to get this special food today and came back with (only) a funny looking bread and soy milk.
I have a TON of work to do; Some of which relates to an amazing early Qajar tray. This was actually a lovely surprise. I only bought it because of the size (HUGE) and it was decorative, no idea it was old or of this quality. When I started cleaning it, I could see how amazing it actually was. Pictures shall follow tomorrow if I have a free moment.
The Glasmacher house is on the market. Price €7,000,000 (US$9.63 million). It’s here in the F zone. You drive by us, then turn on the right and it’s at the end of the impasse, hidden by a hedge. Stefan, the owner, is amazing at landscaping. His last house had one of the prettiest gardens in Sotogrande and when this one develops a bit more, I’m sure it’ll be just as nice.
I’ve been watching the coverage of events unfolding in the Ukraine with great interest. In part this is because our nephew’s (technically Mike’s, I’m obviously too young to have a nephew of marrying age) fiancée is from Kiev.
American right wing politicians have been doing the usual sabre-rattling. News channels keep talking about the territorial integrity of Ukraine- BUT NO ONE talks about history or context. On the contrary, they seem to want to ignore it all together.
News Flash: Ukrainian borders (as is the case for most European countries) have been a moveable feast. Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire in the 18th century. The territory was then ‘gifted’ to Ukraine in the 1950′s. Yes, just 60 years ago.
This is a much more complex issue than the lazy idiots talking about it would have you believe.
The populations is composed of:
So before making up one’s mind on whether Russia is right or wrong, or somewhere in the middle- it’s of fundamental importance to at the very least READ about the context of the dispute.
“Real estate assets in Spain – which tumbled more than a third between 2007 and 2013, according to figures from the European Central Bank – have become increasingly popular among investors in recent months, as properties in the UK and Irish markets have become more expensive in the wake of international demand.
Investment into Spanish real estate more than doubled year-on-year in 2013, to €2.7bn, according to data from Cushman & Wakefield – the highest level since the eurozone economic crisis in 2010.”
HURRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! These things are waiting games- and my oh my, I’ve waited. My time is coming, at last!!! And when it happens I’m going to re-enact that Scarlett O’Hara scene… but in my version I’ll say, “and I shall never be seen at a LIDL again!” (and I’ll leave all the lights on, all the time. And I’ll leave the water running and pretend I live by a waterfall. And I’ll open all the doors and leave the heating on- in summer!!! And all of my ice-cubes will be made from Champagne, not Cava, CHAMPAGNE, I tell you!!!)
The mind of a child is a funny thing. Equations are formed without the nuances that only come with age. My equation was terrifying. Horrifying. I spent much of my youth frozen. Being very still and holding my breath in the hope that would stop time.
I was born in March of 1978. In 1985 Rock Hudson died of Aids. Two years later the same happened to my mother’s hairdresser. Three years later it was Cazuza, the singer. Another three years after that came the film Philadelphia.
It wasn’t the ideal time to for any child to realize they were different. The early playground taunts clued me in. There had to be something different about me, even if I had no idea of what any of it meant. I chose to block the concept of sexuality from my mind all together. To be different meant to be one of them. To be one of them meant my lips would one day turn purple, my cheeks would sink in. I’d shrivel up and die. I didn’t want to die.
I also didn’t want to be the object of ridicule. At dinner parties people whispered. They whispered at funerals too. Murmurs of justification. “He was gay“, or “It was probably AIDS.” There was always an oddity to the tone when those words were uttered. The implication, insinuation, of deservedness.
These different people weren’t the victims of a monstrous disease. They were settling their bill with the universe. How could I possibly have accumulated such a bill with the universe before even reaching adolescence? How could anyone?
It didn’t matter. Twenty-five years ago, unless one was confined to the four corners of a LGBT citadel- one had to deal with a public perception of our identities that was grotesque. We had been vilified for centuries. The mythology surrounding gay existence was of biblical proportions. Apparently in some places it still is. That weight on the shoulders of a young lgbt person is as close to unbearable as unbearable can be.
It’s infuriating to see it happening again. I can’t imagine being a young gay person in Uganda today. It’s probably not great for those in Arizona or Russia either. I wonder if they get that same sinking feeling I used to have. An evisceration of sorts. Like being punched in the stomach, but a punch from which one can’t entirely recover.
“I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that ”all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except negroes” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy [sic].” Lincoln, 1855
“We come here today in deference to the memory of those stalwart patriots who on July 4, 1776, pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to establish and defend the proposition that governments are created by the people, empowered by the people, derive their just powers from the consent of the people, and must forever remain subservient to the will of the people.
Today, 188 years later, we celebrate that occasion and find inspiration and determination and courage to preserve and protect the great principles of freedom enunciated in the Declaration of Independence.
It is therefore a cruel irony that the President of the United States has only yesterday signed into law the most monstrous piece of legislation ever enacted by the United States Congress.
It is a fraud, a sham, and a hoax. This bill will live in infamy. To sign it into law at any time is tragic. To do so upon the eve of the celebration of our independence insults the intelligence of the American people.
It dishonors the memory of countless thousands of our dead who offered up their very lives in defense of principles which this bill destroys.
Never before in the history of this nation have so many human and property rights been destroyed by a single enactment of the Congress. It is an act of tyranny. It is the assassin’s knife stuck in the back of liberty.
With this assassin’s knife and a blackjack in the hand of the Federal force-cult, the left-wing liberals will try to force us back into bondage. Bondage to a tyranny more brutal than that imposed by the British monarchy which claimed power to rule over the lives of our forefathers under sanction of the Divine Right of kings.
Today, this tyranny is imposed by the central government which claims the right to rule over our lives under sanction of the omnipotent black-robed despots who sit on the bench of the United States Supreme Court.
This bill is fraudulent in intent, in design, and in execution.
It is misnamed. Each and every provision is mistitled. It was rammed through the congress on the wave of ballyhoo, promotions, and publicity stunts reminiscent of P. T. Barnum.
It was enacted in an atmosphere of pressure, intimidation, and even cowardice, as demonstrated by the refusal of the United States Senate to adopt an amendment to submit the bill to a vote of the people.
To illustrate the fraud–it is not a Civil Rights Bill. It is a Federal Penal Code. It creates Federal crimes which would take volumes to list and years to tabulate because it affects the lives of 192 million American citizens. Every person in every walk and station of life and every aspect of our daily lives becomes subject to the criminal provisions of this bill.
It threatens our freedom of speech, of assembly, or association, and makes the exercise of these Freedoms a federal crime under certain conditions.
It affects our political rights, our right to trial by jury, our right to the full use and enjoyment of our private property, the freedom from search and seizure of our private property and possessions, the freedom from harassment by Federal police and, in short, all the rights of individuals inherent in a society of free men.
Ministers, lawyers, teachers, newspapers, and every private citizen must guard his speech and watch his actions to avoid the deliberately imposed booby traps put into this bill. It is designed to make Federal crimes of our customs, beliefs, and traditions. Therefore, under the fantastic powers of the Federal judiciary to punish for contempt of oucrt and under their fantastic powers to regulate our most intimate aspects of our lives by injunction, every american citizen is in jeopardy and must stand guard against these despots.
Yet there are those who call this a good bill.
It is people like Senator Hubert Humphrey and other members of Americans for Democratic Action. It is people like Ralph McGill and other left-wing radical apologists.”
He was one of the great Latin American stars of the 80′s. He died a long time ago, 1990. I was 12, and young and scared of the life that was to come.
The music begins at 0:23 in the video.
Are you spending too much on electricity bills and afraid you might not make it to heaven? Well, worry no more! Just plug this amazing device into any socket in your home and save up to 75% on your electricity bills while increasing your chances of going to heaven by a whopping 75%!!! 75% + 75% = a 150% better life.
The second you plug it in and flip the switch you already know it’s saving lots of money. You know this because it lit up, which is also a sign Jesus is watching you in the room in which he was plugged into! If you want Jesus to watch you in more than one room, buy our Jesus Super Saver pack which includes five plug-in Jesuses (Is the plural of Jesus Jesi?), and a complimentary mini-Jesus that plugs into your car’s AC adaptor.
Disclaimer: When people buy these things, they may well be 100% convinced that they are saving money and their bills are lower, and they’re going to heaven. There are likely to be three effects that make it appear that they are getting cheaper power and going to heaven. Firstly, there’s the well known and documented placebo effect, where the belief is so strong that the user will be utterly convinced that they are saving money and going to heaven – even if the reverse is true. Secondly, having installed the device and wanting to see lower usage, the owner will change usage habits – probably without realising they’ve done so. This will, in turn, reinforce his secondary belief that he’s going to heaven. Finally, no-one wants to look like a fool, so they’ll tell you it works to save face. If it didn’t work, they’ve been taken for a ride and no-one likes to admit they’ve been scammed.
Recall Notice: We are recalling all of our plug-in Mohammeds due to explosions: Both of the product itself and the bomb threats to our offices.
Well he’s dead, which is sad. I grew up entranced by his music. He’s from here. I don’t mean Spain in general, I mean from here, 15 minutes away from my house, here. In the first video he’s playing whilst Farru does an extraordinary “taconeo”. A very quick sort of Flamenco tap dancing (generally improvised). Farru is rather extreme in his version, a heel actually falls off his shoe. In the second video you can watch Rafael Campallo (one of my favourite flamenco dancers) doing a more classical version. When I was younger I used to be brave enough to do this! Not as well, obviously!!! But I could get away with it.
One of the first times Mike and I went to a club, just the two of us, I was pulled up on a stage by a flamenco singing drag queen. I couldn’t resist doing a little demonstration (Mike being British and all). It must have worked
When they passed the law, they had no idea of the chain of events they were about to set into motion. People all over the world were excited. They had dreamt of this promised land. A place where they could exist solely with the like minded. Splendid isolation from the ills of the world. People were finally going to be able to live and breathe freely,without the hindrances of ideological opposition.
Race, religion, political affiliation- even gamers. Now they could all band together. Be neighbours. They were going to live in their zones, in New-Zoneland. In this promised land the aggression of dissent would be no more. Evangelical Christians could live amongst each other and anyone who didn’t strictly follow their regulations would have to leave. Jews would have special neighbourhoods. They were to be called the Jewry(s). Even smaller groups could have their zones. The Spanish Jews could band together in their own zone, the Juderia. To live there being a Jew wasn’t going to be enough. One had to prove Sephardic descent.
The great promise of the promised land was that one’s views would never again be confronted with those who didn’t conform to the rules. A Catholic would never again be insulted by having to allow a divorcee into their establishment. A Muslim wouldn’t have their dignity defiled by the sight of an unveiled woman. The followers of Candomble wouldn’t have their animal sacrifices criticised by animal-rights groups. Vegans and Muslims and Jews would never again see the word bacon on a menu.
In the beginning the new immigrants to New-Zoneland were jubilant. But as these things go, the jubilation was short lived. The Jewry’s were the first to fall apart. Too many of the inhabitants insisted on comprehensive educations in classical music, of all things. They wanted their children to be taught about all famous composers, including Wagner. That was a mistake, the Wagnerites, as they were known, were the first to be asked to leave.
Exclusivism began to spread and take over, like gangrene. Communities got smaller and smaller. There were particular problems in the Muslim zones where women had to wear the Chadri. Some of the men were afraid the thin veil covering the eyes could lead to temptation, the eyes being a window into their sensuality. Soon thicker fabrics were required. This made it impossible for women to circulate freely. The thicker fabrics made basic tasks like walking a near impossibility without risk of serious injury. Women were de-facto confined to their homes.
Turmoil wasn’t limited to the religious zones. There was violence in the Aryan Quarter once they instituted the Colour Charts. It was a caste system. The lighter (sky-blue) the blue eyes, the higher your caste. Steel grey was the other extreme. Your caste determined what sort of jobs you could do with the people with the lightest eyes not having to work at all. People with brown eyes had never been permitted residence, but the big surprise was when those with green eyes were asked to leave. Contact lenses were prohibited and anyone caught wearing them faced public floggings.
While New-Zoneland was descending into chaos and infighting, a new place had been created. It was founded by the first Jews to leave the Jewry. They called it Globalia. The rules there were very different. People were free to make their own choices. Laws were instituted to protect those freedoms. Every citizen of Globalia could choose their religion freely, or even choose not to have one. Citizen equality was at the backbone of their system. Women could choose to wear a veil, but they could not be forced to do so. Caste systems were banned, which meant people were no longer limited to a pre-determined life.
Globalia flourished. As time went by, more and more laws were enacted to protect each citizen’s right to lead the life of their choice, always balanced by the rights of others to also do as they pleased. They put particular emphasis on education. The more people learnt of other cultures the more they were able to incorporate the best of each and eliminate the worse. This made for extraordinary advances in all aspects of life. Literature, music, food and even social justice.
Some Christians, including Catholics, insisted on programs to help the poor. Jews taught of the importance of a sense of community. Doctors of all groups formed an association so they could share their techniques with each other.
It wasn’t long before people from all over the world were trying to model themselves on Globalia. Occasionally one group or another would try to push for supremacy. To limit freedoms in an effort to make their ideology more prominent, but fortunately the law did not allow for that. The memories of New-Zoneland were too fresh to the older generations. They still remembered the claustrophobia of the confinement. Being restricted to certain zones, being unwelcome by others and eventually by their own people. No, they weren’t going to let that happen again.
Four Mr. de Mas’ back from me there was a curious man. I’ve been researching his life recently because he seems, not unlike myself, a non-conformist. While some of his family members were preoccupied with the titles of Baron Barlatier de Mas and Count de Mas, he changed his named to Barlatier-Demas, in effect hiding the little de (particule) which ordinarily (but not always) denotes nobility/aristocratic lineage in French culture. For some reason he changes it back in 1852, which is the same year Napoleon III is proclaimed Emperor of the 2nd Empire. I can’t figure out why, although I know his wife and children were fervent Monarchists, so maybe he just decided to give in to the nagging.
In the 1830′s he was the lieutenant on the Astrolabe which was only the 2nd French expedition to Antarctica. Recently the French naval academy put up his career biography, which is fascinating. And if you ever visit the Museum of Fine Arts in Dunkirk you can see his collection of artifacts from the expedition.
The Astrolabe stopped in Tenerife (Spain) where some of the crew got into a brawl and were arrested. Then they stopped briefly in Rio, then explored the Straights of Magellan. Then they got caught in the ice! That must have been (more) terrifying in 1838. Next they reached the South Orkney Islands. Then the South Shetland Islands and the Bransfield Strait. Despite fog and tough conditions they still found the time to name things after themselves. The captain, Dumont d’Urville, named the Terre de Louis-Philippe (after the King) and at some point they saw some rocks and named them after Mr. Demas. So if you’re ever near the trinity peninsula in Antarctica and see some rocks, think of me!
Many in the crew became ill, mostly scurvy. So they went to Chile to recover.
Then came the Pacific. They visited various islands in Polynesia. “On their arrival in the Marquesas Islands, the crews found ways “to socialise” with the islanders. Dumont’s moral conduct was irreproachable, but he provided a highly summarised description of some incidents of their stay in Nuku Hiva in his reports.”
From this period I found an interesting quote by my great-great-great-great-grandfather (keep in mind this is the 1830′s):
Obviously, I love this. Could there be a gene that causes a propensity to criticise religion?
They returned to France in 1840 and since then various books have been published on the expedition.
I was re-reading yesterday’s post when something extraordinary occurred to me. (I can’t be the only one to do this, but) I generally write (and speak) operating on the presumption that everyone knows exactly what I’m talking about. This is due mostly to my personal life in which I’m surrounded by people who do know exactly what I’m talking about because we have similar backgrounds and life experiences. I will work to correct this because it can be confusing.
Case in point, when answering True&Reasonable (a devout Christian), I presumed the secular definition of ethics was widely understood- and there wasn’t much confusion on the concept of sentient beings. That came from a presumption that everyone at some point studied Greek philosophy, eudaimonia etc. I realize this is not the case; So from now on I’ll try to give a bit more background, or at least more links to references. What’s obvious to one person can be unknown to another. For yesterday’s post on ethics to be more clear, it’s probably helpful to know, at least, Plato’s ethics. Stanford provides some excellent (free) information online here.
This whole thing, unfortunately, also made me realize the difficulties inherent to the religion/atheism/science/philosophy debates. It’s nearly impossible to have a coherent discussion on these topics when one side isn’t in possession (or refuses to be) of the pertinent information. If anyone wants to discuss ethics it’s of primordial importance to make a little bit of an effort and first study what’s out there. We’re not re-inventing the wheel here. This is a topic discussed ad-nauseum for a very, very long time.
The comments section of the post titled Christianity and the Strong Arm of the Law: Do the religious not trust themselves? is getting very long, so I’m moving the discussion here. A Christian asked me various questions recently, mostly concerning secular ethics and law, and the atheist definition of morality which I quoted as “a set of concepts and principles that guide us in determining what behaviour helps or harms sentient creatures”. Here are the answers. If you have better answers, you’re welcomed to join in. Questions are in bold, my answers in plain text.
Do you think you know all of human history? If so what part of human history logically implies that ethics is all about helping sentient creatures?
I don’t know all of human history (although I am a historian, so studying history is an important part of my life). I know enough of human history to know that every culture attempted to create a system of rules/ethics to ensure co-existence and some degree of social cohesion.
This journey, or desire, for society to run smoothly automatically implies the ethics of helping sentient beings. I can say this without doubt because this search has existed no matter the geography, traditions, customs or (many) religions. This search pre-dates (by far) the creation of Christianity or Islam and the intent is always to assign rights and obligations (hence protecting sentient beings). Babylonian law did this, harshly establishing a system of retaliation (If you hurt someone, you will be hurt back in equal measure, aka, an eye for an eye). The Sumerian code of Ur nammu is quite similar in its somewhat simplistic retributive nature. The early history Shang Shu (China) records the earliest forms of their “five penalties” as tattooing, disfigurement, castration, mutilation and death.
How does (a) historical fact prove morality even exists let alone prove the rules of morality? Or do you think some other event in history proves that morals exist and not only do they exist but that the aim of morality is to help sentient creatures? (whatever that is supposed to mean.)
I answered that in the question above. You misunderstood my point. When I say historical facts demonstrate a permanent search for morality, I mean the study of all societies show mankind progressively moulding laws to ensure the well being of sentient creatures. Citizen’s rights, worker’s rights, children’s rights, women’s rights- laws of equality etc. More recently animal rights are being codified into law as well (finally!).
Do you think morality is something “mankind has come up with” or do you think it exists in reality independent of what we think it is?
I don’t like the term ‘morality’ because that’s often confused for the traditions of specific cultures and religions. I think the term ethics is better, and yes, it’s a human invention. A very good invention, and the fact that it’s an invention doesn’t mean it doesn’t stand on its own as a concept. It exists on its own because we created it.
You said the basis for ethics is rational but then you start talking about laws. Laws are just made up by people – who are sometimes rational sometimes not so much.
Laws are the ‘officialization‘ of man’s understanding of ethics. They’re not ‘just made up’ randomly, except in the case of religion who tend to use laws to force people into their belief system. The prohibition of murder reflects the ethical belief that one person does not have the right to take the life of another. Prohibitions on robbery demonstrate another ethical belief, prohibition on sex with children shows another ethical belief and so forth. Laws are codified ethics.
You refer to “a form rights and laws” That seems vague. Do we have rights that are not enacted by law?
We have human rights that aren’t necessarily codified by local/regional law. They’re the result of our invention of ethics. Fortunately free democracies are trying to catch up with the progress of the understanding of ethics and more and more laws tend to protect citizen’s rights.
Do all Christians have to accept your set of rules?
Christians don’t have to accept ‘my’ anything. Nor do I have to take their ideology seriously. We all, however, need to obey the law and find a way to co-exist.
I wonder if you can answer any of these questions. Most are yes or no questions.
Hopefully I’ve answered all of them (again) in a way you can understand. And to be clear, none of them were yes or no questions because a debate is not a game and I’m not an 11 year old playing courtroom.
I saw this cartoon on WEIT last week and found it quite poignant. No, Mike and I aren’t separating This is a friend-related post. To be more precise it’s about knowing when it’s time to let friends go. I think it’s human nature to try to hold on- despite the evidence that may not be a good idea. Life changes, priorities change, circumstances change and sometimes certain things just don’t work any more. I’ve always been very good at drawing a line under situations and moving on. It’s harder when people are very insistent and refuse to cooperate in saying goodbye.
I feel a certain measure of guilt for not having the same sort of sentimental attachments that other people have- but I just don’t. I also feel guilty because rejection hurts people. In a perfect world, things like this wouldn’t be taken personally. After all, some people love pineapple and other people don’t. That some people dislike it doesn’t mean pineapple is bad, just that it’s not to some people’s taste.
I’m also/always surprised at some people’s inclination to wishful thinking/self-deception. Things rarely happen like in the cartoon above. Rather, it seems to me, people hold on to the idealization of relationships. The fantasy version that exists only in one’s mind. This is particularly true when there’s an imbalance of powers, when dependency on the relationship is one-sided. As another friend explained to me this morning, this is a natural reaction. It concerns the justification of the self. In certain cases it also concerns the justification of bad behaviour.
Yet another study has come out pointing to genetic markers as an indication (or influencing) homosexuality. I’ll admit I’ve always found this discussion moot. People on either side seem to be missing the point entirely.
How I was born is entirely irrelevant. I wasn’t born speaking five languages. I wasn’t born enjoying caviar or red wine. I wasn’t born interested in art and history. Those are all characteristics that I developed in which genetics played some part and environment another. The fact of the matter is I’m who I am, with various characteristics and as a free citizen I have the inalienable right to be myself within the parameters of the law.
Even if homosexuality were 100% a choice, like playing tennis or joining a certain religion- it’s THE CHOICE OF THE INDIVIDUAL. Not a choice that anyone should/can make for us. Particularly not a choice followers of any religion can force on us; So putting so much emphasis on this debate is a pointless endeavour that does nothing but leave one more door open for anti-gay bigots to play their propaganda games.
New research published by Erez Ben-Yosef and Lidar Sapir-Hen (archaeologists,Tel Aviv University, Israel) demonstrates that camels weren’t domesticated until hundreds of years after the events documented in the Book of Genesis. Apparently camels weren’t domesticated until the 10th century B.C. However, they’re mentioned over and over alongside Abraham, Jacob and Isaac, which shows how the Bible’s inspired writers and editors were portraying what they saw in their lives and pretending it had been the same in the past…
CNN‘s Joel Baden has responded with accommodationism:
“Biblical authors simply transplanted the nomadic standards of their time into the distant past. There is nothing deceptive about this. They weren’t trying to trick anyone. They imagined, quite reasonably, that the past was, fundamentally, like their present.”
Unfortunately Mr. Baden’s explanation doesn’t cover the part where, if they’re being guided by an all knowing god, why is this god giving them such rubbish information that’s verifiably untrue?