The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):


  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”


Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A new pope

The Catholic Church has chosen a new pope — and broken ground in many ways, though on the other side, shown how conservative they are. The new pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, to be known as Pope Francis, is the first non-European pope in nearly thirteen centuries. He is the first ever from Latin America, the first Jesuit, and of course, the name Francis has never been taken by any earlier pope. (Although some people have taken to calling him Francis I, apparently the correct thing is to call him just Francis until there is a Francis II. They did, however, refer to John Paul I before John Paul II became pope, but of course, that was only a 34-day reign.)

Yet for all that is new, ths pope is deeply conservative. Bergoglio has been as anti-gay as any Catholic clergyman around, having stated that same-sex marriage was the work of the devil and a “destructive attack on God’s plan.” Even gay adoption was in his eyes “discrimination against children.” His conservatism has been demonstrated in other ways. He has been associated wuth a group named “Communion and Liberation,” known to be very conservative.

So, despite the new ground broken by the Catholic Church, one can assume that under Pope Francis, it will still be the same in ways that really matter — anti-gay, anti-equality for women, sure of itself as the only true religion. One could perhaps have hoped for a different direction, but I would never have expected it; the previous pope, Benedict XVI, was moving them in a more conservative direction, and there seemed little likelihood of a change.

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