Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Julian Assange, Anti-feminist


Something I wrote about Julian Assange on Facebook today:

“Julian Assange has been anti-feminist for a long time. His experience in Sweden would have confirmed this. He seems to be a right-wing libertarian. He clearly disliked Hillary.

I doubt that lack of vitamin D [in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London] is the issue. It is perfectly possible for someone to espouse his views and ideas on sexual politics and geopolitics and be as sane as most people.

He has an unusual mind and is not your typical progressive.

I understand what drives him because I tend to agree with him.”


Say Goodbye

Say goodbye to the world, Soul.
We are going on a short, night
Let us make a happy death,
as in
an old catechism.
You always liked to move on
and travel light.
So leave all that behind.
We won’t be needing it.


(Julian O’Dea)

Wearing funny hats

Here is an analogy or a parable.

I sometimes think we all go about in life wearing (symbolically) a strange-looking hat on our head. We can’t see it: but other people can, clearly.

The hat looks foolish. We are oblivious to it. Everybody else has a foolish hat we can see. But we can’t see our own. As far as we are concerned, we don’t personally have one.

It is nearly impossible for a person to hide his or her hat. One person’s hat might be composed largely of anger. Another’s of lust. Or greed. It is often all too obvious. Except to the person himself.

We constantly betray our true faults. By word. By choice of phrase. By what we don’t say. By what we do. By how we spend our time.

We are all wearing an ugly or ridiculous hat. One we can’t see.

Should wives be spanked?

The topic of corporal punishment has raised its head in the Manosphere again.

From what I have read, erotic spanking is common in marriages. This is consensual of course. And usually it is the husband spanking the wife. Although occasionally the opposite – there is no accounting for taste.

Personally, I don’t see a problem with a wife being spanked as a form of “punishment”. But only if it is consensual (either formally or tacitly). And, frankly, in most cases I suspect this would be largely erotic anyway.

I can’t see corporal punishment working in a real marriage. Without consent I mean. That is not the way Christian marriages are meant to work.


Not one … both

Sometimes a penny can take a long time to drop. I have read a lot about concepts of feminine submission in marriage, and I have “commissioned” guest posts from Christian women here. I have reviewed the arguments about complementarian and hierarchical views of the marriage relationship. I have puzzled over Ephesians and its varying interpretations.

It dawned on me recently that most of the problems could be mitigated by simply recognising that Christian marriage is neither simply complementarian nor simply hierarchical. It is both. A lot of Catholic (including papal) exegesis on the text – and apparently Protestant too – actually includes elements of both.

(I exclude egalitarian interpretations because I think they are a lot less tenable than complementarian or hierarchical interpretations.)

Recognising that both complementarian and hierarchical elements co-exist also solves the problem of trying to explain why St Paul, for example, tends to convey an Old Testament view (based on Genesis in particular) as well as a view moderated by a Christological, New Testament approach. His intention is to present both – in fact, to present a modified patriarchy.

Perhaps this is obvious to many people. But it took me a while to move past the black-and-white thinking that infests this topic.


More questions from a woman (“L”) answered

Mr. O’Dea,

Thank you for answering my last two questions, but like I said I have more.

My next question:


I am rather curious about your Catholic faith.

What does being Catholic mean to you?

[My response: It gives structure to my life and thinking. Ultimate meaning. A set of moral precepts to provide a rough guide to ethics.]

How much of an impact does it have on your life?

[My response: A lot. I think about ethical issues a lot, from a Catholic perspective. I am very interested in religion and naturally religious. But I am not very spiritual or mystical. My faith and practice tend to be mainstream. To give a mundane example of the effect of Catholicism on my life, there are various sex acts that I enjoy, but choose not to do if possible because they are contrary to Catholic morality.]

What is your favorite part of being Catholic? (ie Mass, confession, communion ect)

[My response: I suppose I am impressed by how much the Catholic Church has contributed to culture, especially perhaps visual culture. And I am pleased that people take the Catholic Church seriously, even if they don’t like it. And that they find it mysterious and intriguing. That said, it has not been a good time to be an ordinary Catholic in recent decades. And yet young people continue to become nuns and priests, with great hope and enthusiasm. Being a Catholic has not brought me much social satisfaction though, apart from occasionally getting a tasty fish dish for Good Friday in college (we Catholic kids got something special at a college at university once, which was nice of the college people, because it was a secular college.) But more seriously, sometimes there is a pleasant fellow-feeling with other Catholics – although I don’t find them generally better people than non-Catholics – as a rule.

At times there is the negative of always being slightly an oddity in an historically Anglo-American Protestant culture. Very occasionally I have felt that something I am reading or watching is more-or-less anti-Catholic. More recently, having traditional Catholic views on marriage and life issues has made me feel that society as a whole views me increasingly as some kind of extremist.]

When do you feel closest to God?

[My response: As I said, I am not the mystical type. Sometimes I feel what CS Lewis called “Joy”. Sometimes I feel that God is nearer than usual. But, as a scientist, I tend also to be sceptical of subjective feelings. I have a feeling or intuition that God has guided me, in a broad sense, in my life. But I don’t like to make too many such claims.]

What and when was your most meaningful religious experience?

[My response: I am not sure that I have ever had such a thing. Some people are “religious geniuses”, which can have its own problems. But I am definitely not a “religious genius”. I suppose I believe or at least hope that my being taken to Lourdes as a small boy might have given me graces to lead a full life despite being born with a moderately serious congenital condition. But a sceptic would disagree of course.]

“Where’s my penis, God, you patriarchal bastard?!”


” Of all the ways that men differ from women – beards, hairy chests and deep voices – no feature has historically served as a more prominent symbol of male superiority over women than the penis.” (Loretta Cormier)