Thursday, February 17, 2011

Good Story 004: The Castle

Julie and Scott take a look at The Castle, an Australian comedy from 1997.

And here's the podcast!
Download or listen via this link: |Episode #004|

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner

Or subscribe via iTunes by clicking: |HERE|

Extra Stuff mentioned in the podcast:
Neeta Lyffe: Zombie Exterminator by Karina Fabian.
By the 2040s, the shambling dead have become an international problem. While governments and special interest groups vie for the most environmentally-friendly way to rid the world of zombies, a new breed of exterminator has risen: The Zombie Exterminator.
Boardgames! Smallworld, Ticket to Ride, Carcassone, Zombies!!!


  1. Another good episode, and I definitely want to see "The Castle", unfortunately Netflix does not currently have it.

    As for Scott's skepticism about same sex marriage affecting traditional marriage I would make a couple of points. These points in no way are intended to doubt that Scott believes what the Church teaches.

    First off I agree the greatest threat to marriage is no fault divorce and how easy it is for people to bail from a marriage. No surprise the divorce rate skyrocketed after no fault divorce first became law in California - something Ronald Reagan later regretted passing.

    Sweden and Norway which legalized same sex marriage in 2003 and 2004 have experience a rapid rise now have over 50 percent of children living with unmarried parents. So we have declining marriage and higher rates of family dissolution.

    When marriage is viewed as a relationship between two adults for some period of time that does not have to be fruitful it denies the procreative aspect of sex. Homosexual activity is the ultimate form of contraceptive sex. When marriage is just viewed as a semi-permanent vehicle for adults to have a sexual relationship you have totally redefined marriage to mean hardly nothing at all. This view of course will lead to marriage also to be defined to also mean 2 or more consenting adults. When the idea of same sex marriage become acceptable you can't complain about heterosexual couples acting in exactly the same way. The homosexual culture is also extremely promiscuous, something that has not been dampened by having civil unions or same sex marriage. Again we have heterosexual following this behavior. The whole mind set that accepts same-sex marriage can not fail to also accept contraceptive marriage and fornication.

    The same factors that allow a culture to accept same-sex marriage are the same factors that allow the so-called sexual revolution and it is no surprise that the false view of the sexual revolution made way for the false views of homosexual acts so common today.

    It is not some same-sex couple living next to you is gong to damage your marriage - it is the whole idea of same-sex marriage denying the procreative aspect of marriage that causes the damage.

    Adding in to this is the damage same sex marriage does to adopted children who have a right to a father and mother.

    As this document shows we can never unjustly discriminate against those who suffer from same-sex attraction, but we can also not pretend that homosexual acts are not intrinsically evil.

    On another topic. You correctly mentioned that the Church does not see the Single life as a vocation in and of itself. This is an area that could see doctrinal growth since it has not really been defined that the Single life can not be a vocation, but certainly the documents that do discuss this do not include this category. We use to have many more people who entered the consecrated life who still lived in the world - this has been something mostly neglected in modern times with some exceptions.

  2. Thanks for this commentary, Jeff!

    We both agree that the greatest threat to marriage is indeed the divorce rate. My comment during the podcast was meant to say that we really need to be cleaning up our own yards (divorce rate) before telling everyone else to clean up theirs (same-sex marriage).

    I understand and accept what you've outlined here, but how does that change the fact that here in the United States we have no right to insist that people live in a way that we Catholics think is right? My view is that we don't - in this case.

    It's also important to note that I would never consider a same-sex marriage a sacramental marriage and I would not condone the Catholic Church changing their stance on this. But that doesn't change the fact that we're talking about a Catholic teaching, not a law of the United States. When folks started talking about changing the Constitution to define marriage, I viewed that as in essence adding an "except these people over here" phrase, and I found that bothersome - as an American - because I don't ever want that same Constitution to say "except Catholics".

    That said, I have not heard this statistic before:
    "Sweden and Norway which legalized same sex marriage in 2003 and 2004 have experience a rapid rise now have over 50 percent of children living with unmarried parents. So we have declining marriage and higher rates of family dissolution." I would be interested in looking into that. Assuming it is factual, I don't see the causal connection there. I also don't know what the current rate in the USA is for children living with unmarried parents, but I suspect that that number grows every single year and same-sex marriage is not legal here.

    If there is a proven causal link between the legalization of same-sex marriage and the acceleration of the dissolution of the family unit, then I would have to re-think my position, because I do see the dissolution of the family unit as a negative thing for the country.

  3. Dear Scott,

    Marriage as being between a man and a woman is part of the Natural Law and not a distinctive Catholic teaching like for example the Assumption. The Natural Law is accessible by all and things such as murder, theft, etc can be understood as being evil by men of good will. The same goes for Same Sex Marriage and the acceptance of homosexual acts. We would never want to legislate that all people go to Mass, but for the most part things involving the natural law should have a corresponding civil law.

    It would be near impossible to prove a causal link between acceptance of same-sex marriage and destruction of the family since there are other factors. But it is hardly a coincidence that the modern view of marriage and sex has become open to homosexual acts and same-sex marriage which certainly was not evident before the sixties and the sexual revolution.

    I believe this is a subject that as Catholics we can't be neutral on. As the document written by then-Cardinal Ratzinger said:

    "In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection."

    We have no choice but to oppose this. Besides it is an evil to encourage those who suffer with same sex attraction to pretend that homosexual acts and homosexual marriage are intrinsically evil. By being neutral we end up encouraging sin instead of rebuking it in charity.

  4. Julie is having trouble posting comments. While we get that solved, she forwarded this to me to post for her:

    My attitude about gay marriage is the last point that you mentioned, Jeff.

    " is an evil to encourage those who suffer with same sex attraction to pretend that homosexual acts and homosexual marriage are not intrinsically evil. By being neutral we end up encouraging sin instead of rebuking it in charity."

    I think the problem is that we can't "see" the damage that is being caused to people's souls in this situation. Just as I can't in good conscience give a bottle of whiskey to an alcoholic (a tired analogy but it is the one I think of the most often), supporting gay marriage would make me culpable for helping to foster sin. That's a responsibility that I'm definitely don't need. That is why I like the apostolate Courage so much because they offer support and assistance for those with same sex attraction. (

    I also wasn't aware of those statistics about Sweden and Norway. Those are telling ...

  5. Hi Jeff,

    I don't think I can put homosexuality in the same Natural Law box as things like murder and theft. If we step outside religion and ask folks about murder, theft, and homosexuality, I imagine that we'd have near total agreement on murder and theft, and large split on homosexuality. Folks of good will differ on this one.

    Which is kind of my point, and Julie helped me a bit there by stating that we can't "see" the damage being done, and therefore it's nearly impossible to explain that to a person who hasn't accepted a whole lot of other things first.

    So this split exists, and is going to exist. I therefore still see this as a freedom issue. I can see the point both of you make about fostering sin, and admit the difficulty. It's a choice between restricting freedom or making legal what is a general practice anyway. My conclusion is that the lesser evil is the latter.

  6. Hi Scott,

    I think your example fails since understanding abortion is wrong is also part of the natural law, but the culture has conditioned us to believe otherwise. More people support abortion than support homosexual acts. All cultures throughout history have condemned homosexuality and it is only in later stages when a culture is in decline that it accepts it. People can come to believe other than what is clearly part of the natural law as had also occurred with contraception.

    The Church's belief on homosexual acts is clearly taught in the Catechism which explicitly states it is part of the natural law.

    Chastity and homosexuality

    2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

    Freedom is the ability to do what is right. The Church would never frame this as restricting freedom. That definition is license not freedom. The magisterium has spoken clearly that we must object to civil unions and same-sex marriage and it is not a prudential option for Catholics to decide on there own whether it is an evil that should be accepted.

  7. That is very clear in the Catechism, but what the conversation has really come to here is how exactly does our Catholicism affect our citizenship. I read that in the Catechism, I appreciate it, I don't argue with it, and in my personal life that's what I follow.

    But what right have I to enforce that on others?

    I've much to think about here.

  8. Have you read Chaput's book ... Render Unto Caesar?

    It discusses living one's faith in the public arena, such in voting, etc. I don't recall that it addresses this issue specifically but it is a good overall meditation on this subject from a Catholic we can trust. I think I might have passed my review copy on to our church's library, but if not I'd be happy to lend it to you, if you're interested.

  9. Hi Julie!

    Yes, I think I ought to read that. I'll grab a Kindle copy, though, so I can start right away. Thanks very much!

  10. I think I need to reread it. Our book club is choosing the next few books on Monday and I'm going to bring that with me (I now remember that I held onto it for that very reason).

  11. Hello CurtJester,

    If you search for "The Castle 1997 torrent" you could probably find it.