Jason Evans is Arrested for Begging

Jason's anti-social behaviour order
I just took a call from Hove Police Station's custody. Poor Jason. He was arrested last night for that most shocking crime of begging.

He was two days from getting his benefits and was planning to give them to me to look after so he wouldn't spend it all at once. The last time he received some benefits, a weeks ago, he went to his street friends and dished it all out to them. "When I've got, I give out," he said, "because that's what good people do." Of course, I urged him not to, but Jason is as Jason does.

I spoke to his rough sleepers worker and he said, "He'll get 30 days inside for breaching his ASBO." His rough sleepers worker is right when he says that Jason needs re-hab, detox, encouragement to face up to his dual addiction, face his problems, get clean, access services and all the rest and yet, the punative method of dealing with Jason clearly doesn't work. Yes, he begs. Yes, he begs to get beer or something which is apparently not as harmful as beer, but I really take issue with the police's approach to Jason and the Council's approach to Jason. It beggars belief that he should receive 30 days in jail for begging! Of course, when he is released from HMP Highdown he'll just get kicked out onto the street with 40 quid in his pocket!

His rough sleepers worker says that he has been trying desperately to house Jason but he is barred from all the hostels of Brighton, making his job all the more difficult. These hostels, all but one or two ran by the Council, remember, are owned by private landlords who just can't wait to get their hands on the poor's housing benefits and nick some more out of their income support by demanding £20 a week for 'top-up fees'. The place from where he was most recently turned away is owned by Baron Homes, a company which, according to its website, 'is committed to the City of Brighton and is working closely with the Council to satisfy the ever-growing demands of this cosmopolitan city.' By all accounts, I expect that that company is raking it in.

The rough sleepers worker says that if Jason asked for re-hab/detox then the services would kick in to help him and that he makes himself an outcast. He would be housed, he says, if he co-operated fully with the services and did what he should do. Yet, somehow, I can't help feeling that that analysis misses the mark. It suggests that the authorities are trying to bully him, force him into detox, viewing him as a social menace, but it is a choice that can only come from him. "He's not in that place yet," admits the worker. True, he is not in that place yet, but I think it is really rather cruel not to house him until he is in that place. Apart from anything else, if it gets colder he could die of hypothermia. Also, I expect that in order to go into rehab and do detox programmes you really have to have some kind of self-worth or value yourself enough to do it. That takes a great deal of love, effort and compassion on behalf of those who work with him, to even try and convince him that he is worth enough to make a better life!

As I've said before Brighton is a place of intense hedonism. Why is this draconian policy, whereby drug takers and alcoholics are forced to sleep outside in the cold, not extended to the countless students and 'professionals' who are doing cocaine, ecstacy and staying in the pub from 5.30pm to closing whenever they choose? The axe of the law falls upon the Poor. 

The idea that Jason would be housed properly after detox is nice but surely naive. Relapses from rehab and periods of detoxification are common. What would the authorities do if Jason fell down again and gave into his temptations? Even if he gets clean, are all of these rogue landlords and proprietors of hostels going to say, "Jason! How wonderful to see you now that you are clean! Come on inside, we've got a bed made up especially for you!" or are they going to say, "Jason Evans? Sorry, you're barred. We know what you're like." Furthermore, exactly where would the Council place him? All of the homeless hostels in Brighton are full of drug addicts. Jason has spoken about this before.

"When you're in a hostel," he said, "you've got people banging on your door asking if you've got any gear, whether you want some gear. It becomes impossible. You can tell people to go away but they're everywhere all the time. If you want to give up you're better off outside."

Welcome to the United Kingdom. Jason Evans is evidence that as a society we never really recovered from the Reformation. He had been promised that he would be housed at New Steine Mews by the weekend. The weekend came and went and he wasn't housed even though he had filled in all the papers for it. He had been promised he would receive his benefits on Monday. Monday came and went and he hadn't received his benefits. Say a prayer for him, because I expect that right now he is just sitting in a cell dying for a beer and in urgent need of some methadone. That is his reality, right now and it doesn't take too much imagination to realise that that is not fun.

What a grave scandal it is that a poor man with addictions will do time for begging, while abortionists are free to destroy innocent life and the act of homosexuality is promoted and paraded every year down the same street on which Jason was doubtless arrested. Jason is one of society's losers in the tyranny of moral relativism embraced by this country, once called Our Lady's Dowry.

Comments

Catholic pragmatist said…
Why do you always have to bring being gay into it and make direct comparisons with being homeless with being gay. It's like comparing apples and oranges. You can (like many young people)actually be homeless and gay (or because you are gay). Jason is homeless because of his own unique set of cirumstances and difficulties. He deserves proper help and care for that. The fact that there are lots of gay people living in Brighton has nothing to do with him not getting help. His own relucance to accept help is sadly a more relevant factor.
Not in my backyard said…
I can well understand why housing agents and associations refuse to house people with drug and alcohol problems - they don't usually make very good tenants or neighbours. Having had a heroin addict alcoholic upstairs neighbour for a few dreadful years, I can sympathise. It took myself and my residents association almost three years to get him evicted. He took no notice of warnings or behavioural contracts, police raids etc and refused to engage with treatment or services. We had to start legal action against our landlord in order to force them to take firm and decisive action to put an end to the nightmare scenario. I lost time off work after being kept up all night, there was damage to the communal areas (which I had to pay a proportion of the repair costs via my service charge), post/parcels/pot plants being stolen/vandalised. I suppose I directly contributed to his eviction (and subsequently being labelled as intentionally homeless so he was not rehoused) bt I'm sorry I don't regret it as the situation was ruining my life. I don't know what the solutio is but there needs to be some kind of structural cohersion into treatment because just giving someone with an addiction everything they needs just makes them too comfortable and maintains their difficulties. There's something to be said for 'tough love'.
I guess you can humbly thank God that you are not walking in Jason's shoes.
Catholic Pragmatist said…
I do humbly thank God that I am not walking on Jason's shoes but that doesn't mean I can't empathise with his difficulties. I've also had problems in the past dabbling with party drugs. However, I had to confront the problem when I got sacked because my drug use was making my performance variable and my attendance unreliable. If I hadn't got the sack then I probably wouldn't have faced up to my demons.

In the real world there are consequences to your actions. I don't see that cushioning people from reality ultimately helps them - it's treating them as children not adults.

The consequences of Jason's drug use is anti-social behaviour, which has resulted in him being evicted and unable to hold down a job. Ultimately the only way to help his overall situation is by resolving the root cause - his drug use. To what extent are we complicit in his situation if we assist him materially in maintaining his problematic drug use? He needs to detox, he wil never be able to move forward oterwise. Telling him anything else, won't help him.

If he wants to be housed, he needs to sign up to detox and face up to his problems through counselling etc. I know it's not easy though.
Imish said…
I guess Jason should angrily blame God that he is walking in his shoes. After all, the Almighty could intervene if he wanted to
Well, I have to say, why is that his probation services are not doing that!?

If what you say is true then probation and the Council and the authorities need to take him to one side and say, "Look, Jason, there is a detox support project here. We cannot house you until you are able to cope, etc..."

Does this ever happen? No! He gets kicked out of jail with £40 and comes to me asking if he can sleep in my car, in the pissing rain. Knowing full well that no other f***er is going to house him, what am I to do?

Then the Council, the Rough Sleepers team, tell him they'll house him, they bullshit him, knowing nobody will take him and lead him on. Meanwhile, he's still sleeping in a car wearing the same clothes for a week.

Then the £40 is gone, and there's a shortfall in his benefits because his circumstances have changed. He has to wait. He needs money, he can't live off fresh air, so what does he do? He begs! Then he gets arrested!

Of course, I am not saying he is blameless, I'm just saying that even his rough sleepers worker doesn't seem to be telling him the truth. If the Council want to take a firm line on it then they need to say, we've no housing for you, but here is a detox support project.

Of course, it has to come from him, the 'yes', but nobody seems to be putting the offer on the table. Jason was signed off by his doctor as unfit for work permanently ages ago.

Finally, I can't help feeling that he is made something of a scapegoat for the rest of society. Ultimately, we are all addicts, sinners, and it is all too easy to point to Jason as the source of Brighton's ills. As far as I know, Brighton is flooded with drug addicts and piss heads and half of them work for the council. I know, mate, because I once worked there!
Also, as I said in the post, if Jason wants to detox/change/come off whatever then he has to want it.

I have to say however that he is a deeply scarred individual who, like a lot of people who suffered in childhood, doesn't think he's worth anything. You would not believe the amount of heroin users who were abused in childhood.

Nobody in their right mind would decide they wanted to change their lifestyle because Brighton and Hove City Council thought it a good idea. The State only punishes and thinks that that will bring about 'correction'. You may think he is foolish but only a fool would change his 'anti-social' behaviour because the State said so. The State endorses a lot of things which are profoundly immoral. Ultimately, the Council don't give a crap about Jason. To them he's just another statistic. If he became another statistic in the 'drug-related deaths' figures, they still wouldn't give a shit.
It becomes a society based on hypocrisy. If coffee, cigarettes, alcohol and tea were all made illegal tomorrow, I'd go looking for a supplier, not to mention chocolate digestives!

Never mind that we're a society so obsessed with sex and money that we're happy to kill unborn children to pursue a selfish lifestyle! What could be more anti-social than that! But of course, Jason's the bad guy! Don't house him until he's given up his sins!

Uh-huh. Now that's what I call a post-Reformation society!
Imish

He did when He died for him.
Imish said…
Yeah, but my point is, when our Holy Father died for our sins, he atoned for them. If I thank God I am not poor, I am surely implying that somehow I have been 'chosen' and spared poverty - that I am somehow less of a sinner. Jason is unlucky, I can't thank God that I am not because God didn't put either of us in that position did he? He put us all in the same position - sin. We are all sinners, so I see no reason to sympathise with one sin (causing a social disturbance through theft and addiction) while constantly berating another (sodomy, abortion etc).
Because poor and stigmatised drug addicts are punished in this life for their sins, yielding no compassion from a city full of sinners, blind to their own sins, many of which cry out to Heaven for vengeance.

While Lazarus is comforted in the next life, remember that Dives is punished after he dies. Though his wealth bought him great favour with men in this one, he did no favours for Lazarus.
By the way, don't assume that Jason steals.
Imish

A society that kills unborn children and that enshrines homosexual acts in law has no moral authority to condemn Jason for his substance misuse and the begging that results.
Catholic pragmatist said…
''Ultimately, we are all addicts, sinners, and it is all too easy to point to Jason as the source of Brighton's ills.''

Just to make very clear, I did not say the above nor do I believe it.
Catholic solicitor said…
''A society that kills unborn children and that enshrines homosexual acts in law has no moral authority to condemn Jason for his substance misuse and the begging that results.''

Our society has not enshrined homosexual acts in law. That's just daft inaccurate hyperbole. However, homosexual acts have been decriminalised. Big difference.

If you disagree, please provide the reference in law to support your assertion.
Imish said…
A society that kills unborn children and that enshrines homosexual acts in law has no moral authority to condemn Jason for his substance misuse and the begging that results.

But it's not even a question of moral authority - I would agree if (God forbid) the Church or some other religious body went for moral condemnation on this basis, but the secular laws are just there for social protection. People have decided they don't want drug addicts ont he streets as it leads to danger - so they criminalised drug addicts. They decided that homosexuality did't bother then so they de-criminalised it. I don't see what moral authority has to do with any of that - State laws are just forms of social protection
...'but the secular laws are just there for social protection.'

Indeed, for the social protection of SOME citizens, sadly not ALL.

'People have decided they don't want drug addicts on the streets as it leads to danger - so they criminalised drug addicts.'

Which people decided? On what authority and on whose authority? Did they decide in your name and mine? And on what basis can society assert that all drug addicts are a danger to society? If a Government minister said that about homosexuals you'd never hear the end of it.

'They decided that homosexuality did't bother then so they de-criminalised it. I don't see what moral authority has to do with any of that - State laws are just forms of social protection.'

Yes, 'they' did decide. Homosexuality and drug addiction are quite similar don't you think. Both involve injections for pleasure alone. Both are highly addictive. Both can cause fatalities.

So the laws are for the protection of some. However, are you saying that the laws are only forms of social protection? What about the international human rights law? Does it apply not apply to beggars and drinkers and drug addicts?

I don't agree that there is no value or moral judgement when people are convicted. Don't you remember recent cases where the judge says to the defendant that he is a 'wicked, evil individual who is a danger to all'.

It sounds like there is a morality going on there, not just 'laws of social protection'.

When a terrorist explodes himself on a bus, the Government doesn't say, "If only this individual had agreed with our laws of social protection". They say, "This was a callous act of barbaric evil" or something such like.
Imish said…
'Indeed, for the social protection of SOME citizens, sadly not ALL.'

It seems impossible to protect ALL citizens since the claims made by each individual will necessarily come into conflict. As such, it is not really reasonable to protect a disruptive drug addict's rights at the expense of social tranquility. There should of course be means of assisting such unfortunate people back into 'respectable' society, and that is precisely what you are trying to do with J. Evans. But there has to be some form of punishment/sanction - the law can't excuse habitual law breakers on the premise that they have had a hard life (since the - admittedly inadequate - social services are a supplement to the law intended to assist those who are facing difficulties in this way). It's not perfect, of course, but simply suspending the rule of law would hardly make things better

'Which people decided? On what authority and on whose authority? Did they decide in your name and mine? And on what basis can society assert that all drug addicts are a danger to society?'

I suspect there are very precise answers to these questions in the common law. Since we have a precedent based legal system I assume the authority of judges who have, over hundreds of years, decided that certain types of social nuisance are to be punished have settled the question legally. Of course you could say 'they didn't ask me', but that's not how any system of law (including Canon law) works - no system of laws asks each individual, it paints in broad strokes to ensure there is a general set of rules that benefit the majority. Sadly this has been to Jason Evans's detriment, but it is also to the detriment of other law breakers who we would not want to see excused punishment (paedophiles, drug dealers, murderers), even though they may have equally convincing personal stories. It is sad that these laws sometimes fail people, and I do admire the work you are doing with Jason, but I also sympathise witht he judge who has to make a 'one size fits all' law for 60 million British citizens!
Imish said…
'I don't agree that there is no value or moral judgement when people are convicted. Don't you remember recent cases where the judge says to the defendant that he is a 'wicked, evil individual who is a danger to all'.'

Agreed, but the point about moralising language within the law is presumably that it marks out a person as being 'socially dangerous' (exactly what I claimed). What is the difference between a premeditated murder and an accidental death? The premeditated murderer is 'wicked' - that is, legally speaking, has intended to damage society. He is therefore the type of person whom the law should lock away. Wickedness functions here only to emphasise the degree of threat to society (as your own quote demonstrates). The important point is that this 'threat' is largely public. Hence, homosexuality was, for hundreds of years, brutally punished. It was punished because the law concerned itself with private life. But, it appears, it no longer does. Hence, homosexuality is not a 'crime' in modern society, it does not damage the public good.
And of course the right to life of an unborn child impinges terribly on the freedom of a mother, doesn't it? I mean, it is so difficult for these freedoms to co-exist happily. How can we even think of protecting the rights of the unborn child!?

Stop that unborn child from living! It might endanger the common good!
Pre-meditated murder and all sanctioned, condoned and promoted by the State.
Imish said…
'And of course the right to life of an unborn child impinges terribly on the freedom of a mother, doesn't it?'

WTF are you on about? I said nothing about abortion! I am a staunch anti-abortionist. Are you incapable of seeing shades of subtlety in anything. What's your point? Abortion is legal therefore ALL laws should be broken?

I think the state has got it wrong on abortion by not defining the foetus as a human being with rights. I think the state has got the cannabis law wrong (criminalising a relatively harmless act while allowing binge drinking). But these disputes hardly mean I can't support ANY laws EVER. After all, there is a lot I don't think it has got wrong. And even though I think it has these laws wrong I don't see the problem with punnishing a hypothetical repeated weed smoker who has been warned several times and put on probation. You can;t simply choose the laws you want to keep - that, after all, would not be a system of laws. Isn't this a Catholic site? Surely WE can't just ignore the Church laws we don't like and claim to be Catholic. Law is law. You can appeal for change, but it's crazy to dismiss the rule of order and justice because there are a few inconsistencies.
It is not 'inconsistencies' it is totally arbitrary criminalising whosoever it chooses, with no particular appeal to reason. It is about calling out as criminal, those who offend the law at that time.

The law does not appeal to any hitherto recognised notions of justice. It reflects a society that is offended by those who beg, but not those who murder the unborn.

It does not appeal to 'natural law'. It appeals only to the passing beliefs of the time.
And certainly in Jason's case, I would suggest that the recourse to law is based not on what Jason does in terms of his drug use and drinking, but how he does it.

In other words, how the law treats Jason is different to how the law will treat a man who works for a media company who has a £5,000 a week coke habit or binge drinking problem.

Drugs and drink are actually quite accepted in the country. What is not accepted, is homeless or very poor drug addicts and binge drinkers. These are the ones who are criminalised.

Where is the justice? There is, of course, none.
There is of course, nothing 'respectable' about this society.
Imish said…
Begging has been illegal in Britain since 1824. More generally, there have been laws against vagrants and beggars since the 1300s:

'While legislation dealing with vagrants and beggars dates back to the fourteenth century, perhaps the first English poor law legislation was enacted in 1536, instructing each parish to undertake voluntary weekly collections to assist the "impotent" poor.' [http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/boyer.poor.laws.england]

The prosecution of beggars is not, as you claim, recent and arbitrary, but based on a 700 year old legal tradition.

Similarly when you say 'The law does not appeal to any hitherto recognised notions of justice' you are (I think) bang wrong. The law ONLY appeals to these notions (by referring to past cases in determining future punishments).

The law does not refer to Natural Law, that is correct. But then name me a single legal system used ever, by any society, that has. Again, I fail to see your point. No society has ever used Natural Law as the foundation for its civil laws therefore we can always break the law?
Imish said…
I would have to see evidence that this is true (i.e. a statistical sampling of punishments awarded to people for drug offences broken into social and economic groups). It might be true, but hear say and conjecture wouldn't prove it. Actually it seems the law is rather lenient with Jason Evans if what you say is true (his frequent arrests but short sentences).

However, without wishing to defend this point, I guess a judge could say the (hypothetical) award of a lower punishment to a rich cocaine user who does not break any other laws would be in keeping with other laws. He is not going to have to steal to pay for drugs, so he is not endangering anyone else by choosing to take them.

But we know the rich and poor are not treated int he same way. Should we vote for a leftist government? I'm not sure how to solve the problem
What was the law against homosexual acts appealing to, if it was not appealing to natural law?

What was the law against abortion when it was enforced appealing to if it was not appealing to natural law?
Imish said…
I don't know, but I would rather check and see what the lawyers of the time actually did say than simply assume the confluence of the past with my own assumptions justified the theory I wanted to defend. I doubt very much that, say, the Victorian laws that persecured Oscar Wilde made much reference to Catholic theology. They might have said homosexuality (or sexual inversion as it was then known) was 'unnatural', but I suspect the prevailing justification would be some variant of pop-Darwinism, not Catholic theology. I still don't see why you have to mention abortion and homosexuality yet again to defend a point about begging.

Anyway, if you're right about the laws of the past being based on NL then surely the 700 year old anti-begging laws were similarly rooted in NL and is not, like you said, an 'arbitrary' pronouncement with no moral authority.
Slavery laws?

Were they arbitrary or just convenient?
Imish said…
They were based on the Enlightenment principle of necessary liberty, I still don't see your point. Why did these laws take off in the Protestant North and not the Catholic South? It had little to do with NL. There is, in any case, a fatal flaw in your logic here - namely, slavery was permitted throughout Europe during the golden age of Catholicism and Natural Law

I quote Augustine:

It is 'true that servitude itself is ordained as a punishment by that law which enjoins the preservation of the order of nature, and forbids its disruption. For if nothing had been done in violation of that law, there would have been no need for the discipline of servitude as a punishment. The apostle therefore admonishes servants to be obedient to their masters, and to serve them loyally and with a good will, so that, if they cannot be freed by their masters, they can at least make their own slavery to some extent free' [De civitate Dei]
Imish said…
'It is with justice, we believe, that the condition of slavery is the result of sin. And this is why we do not find the word 'slave' in any part of Scripture until righteous Noah branded the sin of his son with this name. It is a name, therefore, introduced by sin and not by nature.'

St Augustine, The City of God, 19: 15

Clearly NL had nothing to do with informing people's beliefs on slavery
Imish said…
'It is with justice, we believe, that the condition of slavery is the result of sin. And this is why we do not find the word 'slave' in any part of Scripture until righteous Noah branded the sin of his son with this name. It is a name, therefore, introduced by sin and not by nature.'

St Augustine, The City of God, 19: 15

Clearly NL had nothing to do with informing people's beliefs on slavery
Not sure. The Holy Father suggested in a speech in his visit here that it was fundamental to the change in law on slavery.

I think that on the whole, it is not ludicrous to contrast Jason's treatment with that of an abortionist.

Jason's treatment is made more unjust, compounded if you like, by the fact that so many are untouched. The police hound Jason for begging while the abortion mill just keeps welcoming ladies in so they can destroy their unborn children.

I just find it terribly macabre, surreal and frightening.

That is why Jason was arrested, by the way, begging, not heroin use.
Imish said…
'The Holy Father suggested in a speech in his visit here that it was fundamental to the change in law on slavery.'

I know he did, I was there. But he is 200 years too late, and secular thinkers got there before him anyway (while, conversely, our own tradition supported slavery, as I have shown).



'I think that on the whole, it is not ludicrous to contrast Jason's treatment with that of an abortionist'

But you haven't shown why, you have just said there are laws you don't like and therefore it is permissible to break any law.

'That is why Jason was arrested, by the way, begging, not heroin use.'

I know, that's why I pointed out that begging has been formally illegal in Great Britain for 186 years and more or less illegal for over 700 years. If that's not tradition then what is?

Look, it's a tragedy that a poor man who has to support himself through the charity of others is arrested for that misfortune. But hey, bad things happen and society is fundamentally unfair. It's not fair that the Queen has millions and I don't. Or that Jason Evans doesn't. But until someone takes that wealth back I don't see how attacking the law against begging is going to make Jason happy (it will just keep him as an unprosecuted beggar)
Imish,

It is not a sin to beg. That which offends man in this instance is not a sin against God. It may be 'inconvenient' for people but it is not a sin.

It just so happens that sodomy and abortion are sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance and they receive no punishment.

I think that's what I am really talking about. I know its not a theocracy, but in the eyes of God, reflected in the Catechism, the laws in this country are warped.
Catholic pragmatist said…
''Yes, 'they' did decide. Homosexuality and drug addiction are quite similar don't you think. Both involve injections for pleasure alone. Both are highly addictive. Both can cause fatalities.''

Homosexuality is not an acquired addiction, it is a tendancy for same gender sexiual attraction which one is born with. There is no scientific evidence to support the assertion that homosexual is an addiction. Sex of all types may be addictive but homosexually per se is not. Is it just to outlaw a sexual tendancy which one is born with, I (and society as a whole)now thinks not.

No one has died from homosexuality as such. There have been more fatalities because someone is gay and persecuted or lead to suicidal, than there have associated with homosexuality. And before you harp on about HIV/AIDS it is not caused by being homosexual - it can be caused by unprotected sexual exposure (or drug use or through medical procedures)but not by merely being homosexual per se. Many more heterosexuals die of HIV/AIDS in the wold than do homosexuals, most of whom are geographically in Africa. Can you therefore say that being African leads to fatalities? Obviously not in any accurate way although indirectly it may be an assocaited factor statistically.

More confusion Lawrence, you should try taking a philosophy course in logic - it might help you think straight.
Catholic pragmatist said…
''It just so happens that sodomy and abortion are sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance and they receive no punishment.

I think that's what I am really talking about. I know its not a theocracy, but in the eyes of God, reflected in the Catechism, the laws in this country are warped.''

You're not actually advocating oulawing sodomy though, are you? You're advocating outlawing homosexuality. That's the difference. Firstly you're assuming that all homosexuals practice anal sex which is far from the truth. Secondly, research shows that a fair proportion of heterosexuals practice anal sex (at least on some occasions). Indeed JPII's encyclical on the theology of the body says that anal sex within marriage is not immoral if it is part of the couple's love making and it ultimately leads to procreative sex. So outlawing sodomy would potentially be against the natural law (and as such would have been in the past).

In any sense, it would be against the philosophy and nature of the law to outlaw an entire condition such as homosexuality. It would only be possible to outlaw the practice of homosexuality and that would be very hard to define, as well as difficult to enforce. Would, for example, it be illegal to like ABBA or guesticulating in a certain manner, or speaking in a cetain way? All sounds rather improbable to me. I mean it's been tried in the past and the law has got itself in terrible knots.
All sins are highly addictive. Some even get the taste for murder.
Sin is slavery and it is all too easy for us to become enslaved to sin. Christ comes to break that with His love, forgiveness and healing, primarily through the Sacraments of the Church. This truth is as relevant to the drug addict as it is to the (active) homosexual as it is to the adulteress or gambler and, dare I say it, over-obsessed blogger!
catholic pragmatist said…
''This truth is as relevant to the drug addict as it is to the (active) homosexual as it is to the adulteress or gambler and, dare I say it, over-obsessed blogger!''

You are the over obsessed blogger. You are the one that brings homosexuality into an argument about almost everything, including a posting about homeslessness and begging. One might think your obsessio about homosexuality is related to an internal remains unresolved. The fact that another person responds to your posts in order to correct them, doesn't constitute an obsession in my view.
catholic pragmatist said…
''I think that's what I am really talking about. I know its not a theocracy, but in the eyes of God, reflected in the Catechism, the laws in this country are warped.''

Be honest, what you are advocating is really a catholic theocracy and not just a catholic theocracy but one based upon your erroneous interetation of catholic doctrine.
Not in my backyard said…
''All sins are highly addictive. Some even get the taste for murder.''

One might say that your blog demonstrates the sins of judgmentalism, priide, lack of charity, deliberately attempting to cast others in a bad light, stereotyping and prejudice, being selective or inaccurate in the reporting of events / scientific evidence / qouataions of others who you disagree with, envy, sloth etc. But the law does not seek to outlaw or punish any of these vices. There is not a simple equatation between sin, morality and the law.

I don't think all sin is highly addictive, some maybe but not all. Even if it was true that does not mean that everything addictive is sin.
Legal eagle said…
''Sin is slavery and it is all too easy for us to become enslaved to sin. Christ comes to break that with His love, forgiveness and healing, primarily through the Sacraments of the Church. This truth is as relevant to the drug addict as it is to the (active) homosexual as it is to the adulteress or gambler and, dare I say it, over-obsessed blogger!''

If what you say is true, then it also applies to drug use, and the consequences of drug use such as homelessness, begging, theft, refusal to get a job to support oneself, refusal of engagement to engage with treatment and support to resolve these issues.
Yes, it goes without saying. I was just saying that drug use (by the poor and homeless) is heavily punished whereas sodomy and abortion is not. In other words, why ONLY pick on these people when the latter two sins are, according to Church teaching, more grievous?
Notinmybackyard

I never claimed to be a Saint. I am a poor sinner seeking God's mercy.

Not everything addictive is sin, but our attachments to certain things can become sinful if they are more important to us than the love of Christ.

Every man has a weakness.
'If what you say is true, then it also applies to drug use, and the consequences of drug use such as homelessness, begging, theft, refusal to get a job to support oneself, refusal of engagement to engage with treatment and support to resolve these issues.'

Ah, but do you remember the days when the same was said of homosexuals? Surely, homosexuals above, perhaps above all people, should have the most compassion for poor and despised drug addicts, since homosexuals can identity with stigma?
CP,

Look up the 4 (or is it 5) sins crying out to heaven for vengeance in the Catechism and then tell me I've got it wrong on doctrine.
catholic pragmatist said…
''One might think your obsessio about homosexuality is related to an internal remains unresolved. The fact that another person responds to your posts in order to correct them, doesn't constitute an obsession in my view.''

should have read ...internal conflict which remains unresolved...
Catholic pragmatist said…
Iknow what the sins that cry out to heaven are (whatever that anachronistic meaningless abstract concept means) and I responded by demostrating using a logical agrument that sodomy does not equal hmosexuality. I even responded to your comment about the so called natural law referring to JPII's encyclical on the human body. It's very noticeable that you didn't respond to this post which demonstrates the logical fallacies in your argument.

The law is not there to punish sin (though some things which are illegal are also sinful which is why being homosexual is not illegal. Equally it is not illegal to be homeles pers se. However begging is illegal which is why this crime is punished.
Catholic pragmatist said…
JPII's encyclical on the theology of the body suggests that anal sex within a marriage can be consistant with natural law if it ultimately leads to procreation (ie as foreplay) and helps maintain the couple's loving sexual attraction to one another. Making sodomy illegal would outlaw these married persons which would be against catholic teaching. So are you in fact advocating the outlawing of sodomy for all or just certain groups such as homosexuals or unmarried heterosexual couples? In that case, why not just outlaw sex between any non married persons and be done with it? Is that what you want. Coz it sounds very much like a catholic theocracy to me.
Okay CP

I see that you have problems with actually accepting the Catholic Church's position on acts of homosexuality. Perhaps, divorce is the most dangerous anti-social behaviour in the UK.

The point of the Gospel is this. We are poor sinners. In a country in which the sins of abortion and homosexuality are, sins crying out to Heaven for vengeance, are practised regularly far and wide, is it not wicked to pick on beggars and drug addicts? Yes, I know its not a theocracy. Yes, I know it is not an ideal world.

In the light of this, all I am saying is that in the eyes of God, this society is very, profoundly unjust. It is as a result of moral relativism that this is the case and Jason is the loser in that climate of moral relativism.

If you do not like this opinion, you are welcome to despise it.
Catholic teaching said…
I don't have a problem accepting the church's current teaching on homosexuality (because I know the underlying theological arguments are weak and so that teaching will change sooner or later). What I do have a problem is you trying to equate the law with church teaching and advocating that the law is used to enforce church teaching even on those who do not share your belief system.
Catholic pragmatist said…
You haven't responded to my earlier comment, what is it you want to outlaw? Sodomy (for all, including married heterosexuals) or homosexuality? Because it sounds like the latter from your posting. Please can you clarify your position (sorry it will require you to think and use critical judgement instead of just spewing out the usual hateful ignorant and arrogant vile spew).
You don't like the fact that I've drawn a contrast between the way in which some poor sinners are treated by the State, whereas other worse sinners, who actually kill unborn babies and commit sodomy are let treated with the utmost respect.

Church teaching won't change on the sin of sodom. You'd have to wait an eternity for that. What is 'anti-social behaviour' is really in the eye of the beholder, hence this post. You don't like it, that's fair enough.
catholic pragmatist said…
The law isn't there to punish sinners, it's there to punish those who commit crimes and to protect the common good of society.

You're deluded if you think church teaching won't change on homosexuality (which isnt the same as sodomy). It's already moving in that direction by signalling greater acceptance of gay unions. I'm sure you're aware of the comments of various Cardinals like Danieels, or our own Archbishop Nicholls. The CDF has also given permission for the soho masses which are being replicated in various other places in the country. It's just a matter of time and I am sure I will see it in my lifetime. What you going to do when that happens, join the SSPX?

Can you please please answer my simple question with a straight forward answer. Are you advocating that anal sex (or sodomy as you prefer to call it) be made illegal for married heterosexual couples? And if so, how do you reconcile that view with JPII's teaching on the theology of the body. I'm not going away so stop evading the question and give me an answer.
'The law isn't there to punish sinners, it's there to punish those who commit crimes and to protect the common good of society.'

The common good of society? Is the common good of society served by Civil Partnerships? I do not think setting up a distorted vision of marriage and the family is in the common good, no. Is the common good of society upheld by abortion - an attack on the most vulnerable and dependent? No. Is the common good of society upheld by Divorce, destroying the family unit? No.

'You're deluded if you think church teaching won't change on homosexuality (which isnt the same as sodomy)...'

Bishops are there to teach the Faithful the truths of the Faith. The fact that some do not and concoct their own gospel is not surprising, since the 'road to Hell is paved with the skulls of Priests and Bishops'.

Pope Benedict XVI and many more faithful to the Magisterium defend the Infallible Teachings of the Church very well, thanks be to God! The teaching will never change and I am sure those homosexuals who die in a State of Grace will be very thankful the Church did not, nor ever will change this Holy Doctrine.

'It's already moving in that direction by signalling greater acceptance of gay unions. I'm sure you're aware of the comments of various Cardinals like Danieels, or our own Archbishop Nicholls.'

See above.

'The CDF has also given permission for the soho masses which are being replicated in various other places in the country. It's just a matter of time and I am sure I will see it in my lifetime. What you going to do when that happens, join the SSPX?'

Most likely the SSPX will be in full communion before too long (much to the chagrin of our Bishops). Another generation and I expect the LGBT Masses will have disappeared.

'Can you please please answer my simple question with a straight forward answer. Are you advocating that anal sex (or sodomy as you prefer to call it) be made illegal for married heterosexual couples? And if so, how do you reconcile that view with JPII's teaching on the theology of the body. I'm not going away so stop evading the question and give me an answer.'

I never suggested that sodomy should be punished. All I was doing was saying that IF the State is going to punish begging, alcoholism and heroin addiction for the poor, THEN it should be consistent and punish homosexual activity and abortion as well since the latter two vices are more grievous, more destructive and more anti-social than the former.
catholic pragmatist said…
''More confusion Lawrence, you should try taking a philosophy course in logic - it might help you think straight.''

...did you get the pun? classic! you plastic hetero
homo erectus said…
you still haven't explained how homosexuality leads to fatalities, or how it is supposedly an addiction.
I never claimed to be a heterosexual. Because I have experience in this area, I can tell you that homosexual activity is an addiction. It's like alcoholism or drug addiction. Oh, and ironically, drug deaths seem to be high in the hedonistic gay community as well. Fr Ray Blake once preached that he had lost count of how many young gay men in Brighton for whom he has said funerals Masses since he has been parish priest in Brighton.

'Figures published yesterday showed that over 90 Scots were diagnosed HIV positive since the beginning of this year. Between January and March 2010, 91 people were affected, bringing the overall Scottish diagnosis rate to 6,338.

All of the diagnosed cases involved those aged between 25 and 44. In response, several sexual health charities in Scotland warned that rates were reaching an “all time high” owing to the growing disregard for using protection of any kind.

Of those diagnosed, 25 were in the Lothian area, 19 in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, nine each in Grampian and Tayside, eight in Lanarkshire and six in the Highlands. Fourteen new AIDS cases were also detected in the Glasgow health board area.

Alarmingly, this trend has been on an upward trajectory for over a deacde. In 1998 there were 168 new cases, 95 of whcih had been caught in Scotland. By 2007 the figure had soared to 452 new HIV infections, with 226 caught outside the UK. In 2008 numbers dipped to 411 and then rose again in 2009 to 417.

Of Scotland’s HIV population, over a third – 36.8 per cent – are gay men. Catherine Murphy, policy and parlimentary officer for Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland, said: “HIV diagnoses are at an all-time high in Scotland. Certain groups are more at risk of infection, such as gay men and people from countries where HIV is very common.'

Pink News, 27 May 2010
Social commentator said…
''The common good of society? Is the common good of society served by Civil Partnerships?

Yes, i think so. It provides legal protection to registered people living together. It means when one civil partner dies, that the other isn't made homeless by the other's family. It means that a partner may be involved in decisions regarding their partner during chronic illness. Civil partnerships are not contary to catholic teaching. They are not based on a sexual relationship like marriage is. All this is explicitly stated in the legislation. Two siblings may register their partnership if they so wish in order to extend to each other basic legal and civil rights.

''I do not think setting up a distorted vision of marriage and the family is in the common good.''

Well civil partnerships aren't marriage so no problem there then (see above). Families come in many forms and types, always have done and always will.

Is the common good of society upheld by abortion - an attack on the most vulnerable and dependent?

Depends on your view really. In middle ages times the church was rather relaxed about abortion before quickening and did not condemn forced miscarriages. It's only a relatively recent phenomenon that the churrch has condemned abortion in all circumstances. Anyway, the argument is really about whether the common good is upheld by criminalising aborton - subtle difference, don't you see.

Is the common good of society upheld by Divorce, destroying the family unit?

Does divorce destroy families or does it recognise legally the reality that a marriage has irretrievably broken down. In any case, families are not disolved by divorce, the families remain in a changed form. Is the family and more intact when a couple eperates rather than divorce, probably not.
"It depends on your view really".

Yes, in this case, it depends whether you are a Catholic and believe all that has been revealed to Holy Mother Church, whose Teaching is perfect and cannot err, to be true, or whether you are not and you do not.

It is very easy to reconcile being a homosexual with being Catholic. We are given Grace through the Sacraments to help us to live the Christian life and should we fall, we can turn back to God, repent and go to Confession, since God does not desire the death of our souls but our salvation.

It is, however, impossible to reconcile dissenting from the Magisterium with being a Catholic, since through dissent from the Truth, we can fall into error, choose not to repent since we are misguided and lose our souls, eternally.
catholic pragmatist said…
Heterosexuals also have unproteced sex and thus can be infected with HIV. Same with injected drug users. By your own figures, two-thirds of those recently infected were not homosexuals but heterosexuals. worldwide most people infected are heterosexuals (many living in africa). homosexuality per se does not lead to fatalities anymore than being arican does.

Sex per se can be (but not always is) addictive. Saying homosexuality is addictive is like saying heterosexuality is addictive.It's just stupid and demonstrates a prejudice.

Ditto drug use, lots of young people use party drugs. Ever been to a straight nightclub? You're confusing association with causation. Basic statistics dude.
catholic pragmatist said…
oh btw, thanks for publically admitting that you are not heterosexual - there is now a legal impedient according to church law against you to get married. Don't forget to let us know the date of your planned sham marriage, I'll start drafting my letter to the bishop. I have cached this page for future reference.
catholic pragmatist said…
Er, except it was accepted catholic teaching in times past that forced miscarriage before quickening was not immoral.
Catholic theologian said…
It is not possible for you to contract a ''marriage'' to a woman being a homosexual man, it is an impossibility. It is against the natural law and tradition of the church also. Your planned ''marriage'' is a sham, a blasphemy and an insult to God. It is a danger to society which undermines marriage and the family. It is intrinsically morally disodered, objectively ordered towards a grave moral evil. It is ultimately a selfish act, which inherently decieves your poor intended ''spouse''. As a gay man, God has destined you to chastity - this is both your gift and cross to bear. It will bring you immense spiritual riches and closer to Jesus Christ our saviour who sacrificed his life for you. This is the plain and simple teaching of the church which you attempt to circumvent. You can only save your soul from etrnal damnation by remaining a celibate gay man.
moral theologian said…
The church itself requires civil divorce before annulment proceedings can begin. Thus, is the church complicit in grevious sin by its actions and laws?

If divorce really is a grevious sin, why are divorced catholics permitted to recieve communion? It's only if you remarry (without an annulment) that you are barred fro recieving communion.The church tacitly accpts that divorce in some circumstances may not be against the common good nor sinful.
catholic pragmatist said…
if you hadnt brouht homosexuality into an argument about homelessness, you would have had 2 or 3 comments tops. Can see why you keep doing it, gives the false impression that your blog is popular.

ps - didn't see your crap article appear in the catholic herald, guess it got rejected so it's not just me that thinks your innane writings are hyperbole.
Do whatever you choose.

You really are a terribly bitter old queen aren't you?

If it is God's will that we should marry, it shall be . If it is not God's will, then it shall not.

Funny, Ed West told me the article is in this week's Herald. I'll have to pick up a copy today.
p.s You are the ONLY person who is keeping this blogpost running because you just can't help yourself! Just because you keep using different names, doesn't fool me.

As with regards to my marriage, well, for all you know I may have in my possession a document which makes the 'stumbling block' to marriage dissipate.