I am always amazed that any human being pretends to speak for God. I am most amazed when those that have covered-up child abuse for decades pretend to do so. And, to make it worse, pretend they have some moral authority to do it. Anyone who claims to be a "man of God" is a fraud, a liar, and probably after your wallet or your obedience. Certainly, many who have claimed it within Catholicism were also after your kids.
John Nienstedt plays at being an "archbishop," a rank within Christianity unobtained by Jesus during his life time which, I guess, makes Nienstedt his superior.
Nienstedt, who wears the funny little outfits that the Vatican thinks makes them look pretty, has issued a "marriage prayer" for Catholics. His whole purpose of the prayer is not as a prayer at all but to push his own political agenda on Catholics, most of whom actually know the Church has no moral capital left to spend.
Prayers, in my opinion, are not actually meant for some god. They are meant for the person praying. They give the supplicant a false sense of being in control, it is an assurance they are "doing something," even when they are just talking. None of it makes sense to me, even if I were to accept the premise that there is a magic man in the sky. The Christian concept of prayer contradicts basic Christian theology.
First, the supplicant can not, according to the nonsense theologians vomit out, tell God anything he doesn't already know. You can't tell God what you need, or what terrible thing needs righting. He already knows. And, you sure as hell can't manipulate God and force him to act in ways that he doesn't want. So, you can't tell him anything he allegedly doesn't know, and you can't get him to do anything he doesn't already want to do.
And since he knows all this before you get down on your knees (Please note I do not recommend allowing children to be on their knees in front of priests or even archbishops), and since he already knows what he's going to do, then your entire prayer is an exercise in futility.
Of course, it does appear that a lot of believers actually do think that they can use prayer to manipulate God into acting in new ways. They can get him to change his mind by harassing him with whinny supplications, especially if they throw the right combination of words at him. In the Nienstedt's "prayer" the right combination is "We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, who is Lord forever and ever. Amen."
The problem with that is that a god who is all-knowing would already know his final decision. And since he would know instantly, you can't even call this a decision. There is no process of mulling things over. He doesn't have to say: "Let me research that and get back to you." He already knows all the relevant facts and has made a decision instantly. And he did that an eternity ago, already setting the course of action as to what would happen.
In fact, I pity the Christian God. He can't learn anything. He can't discover new ideas or even change his mind. Everything is now an eternity old for him. He's already made all the decisions he will ever make and set into motion all the actions he decided upon. He makes no effort to do anything. There can be no sense of accomplishment as it takes no effort for him. Spewing out universes, for him, is like stepping on an ant—something we do with little thought and no effort. His entire existence is a pretty boring one. Me, I'd be thrilled with exploring the universe, but I don't pretend to know everything already. I would be learning new things constantly. He just has the same old stale information, knows the answers to every riddle, can't find something new and can't change his mind. God goes for eternity without the wonder of surprise. That's the drawback of perfect knowledge.
If God could change his mind, then what he previously "knew" regarding his action would be wrong. He would lack perfect knowledge. And if he lacks perfect knowledge, then like us, he could make mistakes. Which, might explain Nienstedt and the Vatican—big mistakes made by an imperfect God who didn't know what was the right way to go.
Nienstadt's entire prayer is directed against the right of gay couples to have legal marriage contracts. In Nienstadt's prayer there are "holy marriages and holy families," that would be anyone who fucks to have babies and for no other reason. And that excludes gay couples because they don't procreate together and the ONLY justification for an orgasm, in Catholic theology, is to make babies. Otherwise sex is evil and disgusting. And if there are "holy marriages and holy families" then there are unholy marriages and unholy families—and if you think Catholic theology ONLY means gay couples in that "unholy" category, you are in for a surprise.
In the so-called New Testament, Paul told the Corinthians that he wished they were all celibate. In truth, the Vatican has never given up the idea that a sexual, loving relationships is second best. Celibacy, like what priests are supposed to obtain, is superior. Paul said that marrying was only preferable to burning. To quote
the book, From Sacrament to Contract
, "Augustine regarded marriage as less virtuous than virginity and chastity and sexual intercourse as per se sinful. But marriage, as a creation of God, had its own inherited goods, which at least mitigated the sinfulness of sex." Marriage was a suboptimal choice left for those who couldn't resist the temptations of sex. So, Vatican, how did that work out for you?
In the ideal Catholic world everyone would be celibate, which would sort of bring about the end of the world. But before the last celibate Catholic died a lonely death, we would all be sexless, souless people. Imagine that the perfect world is one where all men are like priests and all women are like nuns: angry, drunken, frustrated, hateful, dried-out hypocrites. At least in this world the "children" would be safe because their wouldn't be any. No kids for nuns to smack around, none for priests to offer a little extra communion wine to, in exchange for a quicky in the confessional. What an awful world it would be. Now, I happen to favor celibacy for Christians. I can't think of a faster way for their religion to die out.
The so-called Shakers tried this model. They relied on other people having children that they could adopt, in order to stay in existence. But since adoption by religious groups was banned they have dwindled down to three celibate members in one location. Otherwise the religion has totally died out.
But, back to this Nienstedt fellow. His prayer includes the supplicant saying: "Grant to us all the gift of courage to proclaim and defend your plan for marriage, which is the union of one man and one woman in a lifelong, exclusive relationship of loving trust, compassion, and generosity, open to the conception of children." (See, that last bit about conception is necessary since any sex without it is from the pits of hell, demonic and evil.)
But, what gets me is that the supplicants are telling God what his "plan for marriage" is, as if God didn't already know what he planned, and know it before Nienstedt even started running around in red dresses.
If they want to play dress-up, chant, swing stinking incense around, and pretend to manipulate the creator of the universe, that is their right. They can even imagine that they are doing so on behalf of magic men in the sky. But they are insisting that their religious delusions be the foundation of secular law. Now, given that I can't think of an institution with more sexual pathologies and problems than the Catholic Church, I really think they should mind their own fucking business. Before they start interfering in the loving relationships between adult same-sex couples, maybe they ought to stop lying about their priests raping kids. Maybe they should tell their frustrated nuns to ratchet things down a bit, put the rulers down, and leave the kid's knuckles alone. Maybe they should worry about the beam in their own eye before bitching about the splinters in the eyes of others.
Labels: bigotry, Catholic Church, hypocrisy