I\’ve mentioned this religion and sex thing before

And here\’s Nick Cohen not understanding the point being made:

It is not true that all we ever \”think about is sex\”, protested the Catholic journalist Melanie McDonagh in the Spectator. Without a blush, she then went on to demonstrate that she could think of little else. Society should tolerate men and women whose attraction to their own sex is not expressed in sexual relations, she explained, as she began her discussion of vicars\’ todgers. If a vicar uses his penis for sex \”without a procreative purpose\”, however, then out of the church he must go.

For a start, if it\’s the sex life ov vicars which is under discussion, as it is, it seems fairly reasonable to discuss the sex lives of vicars: what they do with their todgers.

And as I\’ve pointed out before it helps greatly to understand the underlying theology. You most certainly don\’t have to agree with it. But as long as you accept the basic presumption then it does indeed make logical sense.

Sex, to be moral, must be inside marraige and open to the possibility of conception. And that\’s about it really. From that comes the verboeten nature of gay sex: not open to the possibility of conception. And do note that doing entirely the same things with todgers inside a marriage are also verboeten. Anal, oral, frotting (not, in detail, quite possible in a heterosexual sense) handjobs: all just absolutely fine as horses douvers but not as the main course leading to ejaculation.

As I say, you most certainly don\’t have to agree with this or even the starting assumption. But it would behove you to take the time to actually understand what is being said and the logic being used to get there. Only sex open to the possibility of conception is moral.

And I do find this abnout Montgomery to be most amusing, most funny.

Many homophobes, who make a great show of their disgust at \”unnatural practices\”, imitate the old man. In 1965, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein tried to stop the repeal of criminal penalties on homosexuals by bellowing that \”one may just as well condone the devil and all his works\” as allow gay sex. True to form, Nigel Hamilton, his biographer, revealed that Monty had passionate, if unconsummated, relationships with young men.

What, you mean that man who lived by his own expressed moral code is doing something wrong? Is a hypocrite in some manner?

Man who quite clearly understood the attractions of same sex relationships, but thought that to make them physical was immoral, did not make his own same sex relationships, however passionate, into physical relationships?

Blimey. That\’s like attacking a man who says that stealing is wrong for not stealing.

7 comments on “I\’ve mentioned this religion and sex thing before

  1. Montgomery was loathed by his peers (particularly the Americans) for being a stubborn and argumentative hard bastard. He was loathed by Churchill for not being prepared to move at El Alamein until he was convinced that the allied forces had overwhelming superiority.

    My father, who served in North Africa, had unbounded respect for Montgomery. He would not risk the lives of those under his command for vainglorious stupidity.

  2. Hector Pascal – “Montgomery was loathed by his peers (particularly the Americans) for being a stubborn and argumentative hard bastard.”

    By all accounts Montgomery was a vile person and it wasn’t merely for being stubborn and argumentative. Arrogant too.

    “He was loathed by Churchill for not being prepared to move at El Alamein until he was convinced that the allied forces had overwhelming superiority.”

    Churchill replaced generals he loathed. I see no evidence Churchill loathed him. Rather they seem to have got on fine as Montgomery flattered him and sucked up to him.

    “My father, who served in North Africa, had unbounded respect for Montgomery. He would not risk the lives of those under his command for vainglorious stupidity.”

    Vainglorious stupidity was a common feature of a lot of WW2 Generals. Especially among the Americans. But I wouldn’t claim Monty was immune to it. He was perfectly capable of distorting military planning to suit his own need for publicity.

    Notice that El Alamein had entirely WW1 casualty levels among the troops who actually fought. It is just that there were a lot more line of supply soldiers than before.

    However I am dubious about the nature of these allegedly “passionate” relationships he had with young men. If they mean he liked a lot of the young officers that surrounded him, and that friendships tend to be strong in war, well yes. But it is a bit pathetic that a modern British male cannot see any point to friendship that is not homosexual.

    I also think Ms McDonagh’s theology is weak. There is no theological reason to remove a priest who uses his todger for non-procreative sexual acts. Indeed it is rather hard to undo the making of a priest. He may be disciplined by the Church. One would hope he would be. But that would not mean he would cease to be a priest.

  3. Fair enough SMfS, but my point stands. Whatever Mongomery’s personal peccadillos, his troops had confidence in his strategic nous. El Alamein was a bloody mess, but it was an assault on an entrenched opponent. Allies 1: Axis 0.

    He did respect his men. My father’s opinion was: it was helpful when moving forward, to believe that you would win.

  4. Having readHamilton’s biography of Montgomery, I would hesitate to draw anything from it. He starts it seems to me, with the idea that Montgomery suffered from repressed homosexual urges, and spends the entire biography attempting to fit such facts as he wishes to include to fit that preconceived notion.

    Montgomery’s biggest failure at Alamein was, IMHO, an inability to turn the most pathologically stupid British armoured division leaders into capable fighters. Ask any veteran of 2 NZEF what they thought of the British armour.

    And WW1 casualty levels were in fact the norm in hard infantry fighting, the main reason that this is not widely understood is because in the West, apart from Alamein, the period of such combat was short, D Day until the crossing of theRhine, about 10 months not the over 4 years in WW1. The Russians knew about casualty levels I infantry combat too.

  5. Ed Snack – “Montgomery’s biggest failure at Alamein was, IMHO, an inability to turn the most pathologically stupid British armoured division leaders into capable fighters. Ask any veteran of 2 NZEF what they thought of the British armour.”

    That may be true. But it does not explain why Sir Richard O’Connor had such an easy time it driving from Egypt right across Libya – until in one of Churchill’s dumbest moves, he stripped O’Connor of soldiers and sent them to Greece.

    With the right leadership the British were just as capable as the Germans of armoured warfare.

    Except O’Connor was everything Montgomery was not – modest, quiet, adverse to publicity and good at his job.

    “And WW1 casualty levels were in fact the norm in hard infantry fighting, the main reason that this is not widely understood is because in the West, apart from Alamein, the period of such combat was short, D Day until the crossing of theRhine, about 10 months not the over 4 years in WW1. The Russians knew about casualty levels I infantry combat too.”

    Even then the Germans gave up France without much of a fight once the Allies landed. Then they tried to hold them at the border and when that didn’t work, they quietly let the allies in. The Soviets knew about casualty levels due to their mind blowingly stupid political leadership that could not trust any officer – and the fact that raping every German woman all the way to Berlin did not encourage anyone to surrender.

  6. It’s not clear what Cohen’s getting at, but along the way he makes the fair point that it seems to be not uncommon for those taking the strongest positions against homosexuality to have homosexual leanings. It’s as if they are grateful to legal or social proscriptions against homosexuality for protecting them from themselves.

    But he doesn’t explain what relevance he thinks this has to the Catholic Church, which I think should be allowed to make its own rules for its priests, however daft they may be.

    btw, the past participle of verbieten is verboten. No umlaut.

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