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8/06/2021 -- Born With It: Does God Will It? Part 3 of 3
STOSS Books

Born With It: Does God Will It?

 
Part 3 of 3 Parts
  

The Father of Lies Presents to His Followers a Straw God Whose Essence is a Lie

It is to this straw god[1] that Satan desires us to worship and follow. This straw god is an actual image of its perpetrator, Satan, the Father of all lies. It is in this straw god’s kingdom that Satan desires all of us to dwell. Tricking us into accepting this straw god of lies and rejecting our Trinitarian God of Truth, Light, and Love is one of Satan’s most effective debating tactics. A straw god is a flimsy God. He is a god who can assume whatever form is needed to justify evil in all its various manifestations. Satan’s straw god has no foundation in Truth.
Jesus tells us, “The wise builder built his house on the rock [Truth–SML] while the foolish builder built his house upon the sand [lies–SML]. When the storms came, the house built on the rock stood firm against the winds and rain. It had a solid foundation. But the house built on the sand collapsed in ruin as its shifting foundation was washed away” (Mt. 7:2429). A straw god is a modern version of Jesus’ Parable about the foundation.
The One True God is unchangeable Truth (the Rock). The foundation upon which the straw god is built is a constantly shifting lie (i.e., sand/straw). Atheists blinded by their rejection of Truth build their conception of God on a foundation of sand. Their arguments present us with a false, fictional, and non-existent god instead of the One True God. They do so, hoping that we will accept the straw god as being the God of the Rock. Once we accept this straw god, we will readily accept the evil for which these evildoers are arguing.
The premise of any argument the worshippers of the straw god presents to us can only be seriously entertained by those whose knowledge of the True Nature of a Triune God is highly deficient. When presented with this straw god as a premise for their argument, don’t fall for the trap. Respond to any such fallacious argument by responding: I do not accept the existence of your false god. Nor would any Bible-believing Christian accept your straw god. That for which you are arguing is not grounded in Truth and Love but on a lie.
 

The Trinity — Our Biblical and True God

 
Let’s elaborate on our understanding of the True God, i.e., the Trinity. According to Thomas L. McDonald:
 
The Father is the principium, the first among equals who initiates the processions. [Saint Augustine of Hippo; John E. Rotelle; Edmund Hill, The Trinity: The Works of Saint Augustine, (New City Press: Kindle Edition), 148] A “Father” is someone who “communicates life and existence to another.” [Kenneth Baker, S.J., “God Our Father,” Fundamentals of Catholicism Vol. 1 Part 1, Chapter 4 (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1995), 30-32.] There are two kinds of “creation” in God. … The first is an external process that results in something outside of God. The second is an internal process of knowing and willing by the substance of God.
One is “changeable nature,” while the other is “unchangeable truth.” [St. Augustine, 280.] The creation of man and the material universe is an external process of creation, while the procession of the Son and the Holy Spirit are an internal process by which the single substance of God communicates the divine essence to the other two persons of the Trinity. To better understand this, we must separate the processions into two terms: the “generation” of the Son and the “spiration” of the Holy Spirit. …
Generation
The relationship of the Father to the Son is self-evident in their titles: a son comes from a father. A mortal father [pro-]creates his progeny through an act of love with the mother. The Son of God, however, is not “created” in the same way. He is eternally begotten by the Father alone, “God from God.” Neither made nor created, the Son is instead generated by the Father. This generation is the “origin of a living being from a living principal of the same nature.” [Kenneth Baker, S.J. “The Origin of the Holy Spirit,” Fundamentals of Catholicism Vol. 1 Chapter 31 (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1995), 92-94]. …
But what is the nature of this generation. The Church is very careful about the terms it uses to describe these complex mysteries, which is why the word “creation” is best avoided when addressing the procession of the Son from the Father. In the wake of the Arian heresy, which taught that Jesus Christ was a “creation” of the Father, and thus not equal to the Father, the Church had to be very cautious when using terms of “creation” when referred to the Trinity.
The Arian error was never how the Church understood the clear teaching of Christ and the Apostles. As we read in John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”
Several things are made clear in these lines. First, the son is co-eternal. He always was. Second, he was not merely “with God,” he “was God.” Third, all things—that is, all created things—were “made through him.” Jesus Christ was not merely equal to God or favored by God, he was of one substance (consubstantial) with God.
It is through knowing and willing [emphasis SML] that the substance of God became three “persons.” The Father is the “originless origin,” [Kenneth Baker, S.J. “The Origin of the Holy Spirit,” Fundamentals of Catholicism Vol. 1 Chapter 31 (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1995), 92-94] who in turn generates the Son through an act of the intellect [SML]. The thought of the Father generates an image of himself that is identical in all ways except Fatherhood. This image is of the same substance with the Father, sharing a single will while remaining diverse in person.
A normal image may be less than the source, much like a copy of an artwork is less than the original. The generated Son, however, is a perfect image of the Father. He is “true God from true God.” In this process of generation, God the Father communicates his substance to God the Son.
It was left to St. Thomas to clarify the exact nature of this generation. In the Summa, he explains two types of procession. One is an outward act of creation, while the other is an “inward procession corresponding to the act remaining within the agent.” [St. Thomas, Summa Theologiae, Part 1, Q 28.] This second kind of procession is purely an act of the intellect. If you have a thought, that thought may proceed outwards and become manifested as words or actions, or it may proceed inward as a “conception of the object understood, a conception issuing from our intellectual power and proceeding from our knowledge of that object.” [Ibid.]
St. Thomas describes this as an “intelligible emanation.” An idea, even after spoken, continues to exist in the intellect of the speaker. Once you’ve spoken a thought, for example, it’s not erased from your memory. Thus, it becomes possible for an object of the intellect to “proceed” from its origin while remaining part of that origin. The act of intellection is itself a procession.
This divine act of knowing does not result in [a philosophical] accident, as it would for a mortal creature. Since God is not potential but pure act, the result of His knowing is to create a simulacrum of the object being known. What God is knowing is Himself; His own essence, which He obviously comprehends. “The concept of the intellect is a likeness of the object conceived,” write St. Thomas, “and exists in the same nature, because in God the act of understanding and His existence are the same.” This act of self-knowing results in the generation of the Son, identical in all ways except for paternity [Ibid.].
Spiration
As we move from the Son to the Holy Spirit, we encounter a second kind of procession, which St. Thomas called “spiration.” The procession of the Holy Spirit was a thorny issue even among orthodox Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church, particularly between the Eastern and Western churches. The insistence of the Eastern Churches that the Holy Spirit proceeded only from the Father was one of the instigating factors in the Great Schism.
Yet the Western understanding of the Holy Spirit proceeding from Father and Son was quite common among the Fathers. Even if we assume that the Athanasian Creed was not in fact written by St. Athanasius in the 3rd century, it existed at least by the 5th century, and reflects clearly the thought of St. Athanasius on the subject in asserting that “the Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son, not made, nor begotten, but proceeding.[Ibid.] …”
[T]he holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son, not as from two principles, but as from one principle; not by two spirations, but by one single spiration. This the holy Roman [C]hurch, mother and mistress of all the faithful, has till now professed, preached and taught; this she firmly holds, preaches, professes and teaches; this is the unchangeable and true belief of the orthodox fathers and doctors, Latin and Greek alike. But because some, on account of ignorance of the said indisputable truth, have fallen into various errors, we, wishing to close the way to such errors, with the approval of the sacred council, condemn and reprove all who presume to deny that the [H]oly Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son, or rashly to assert that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as from two principles and not as from one.”[The Second Council of Lyons, Papal Encyclicals Online, (http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Councils/ecum14.htm), Constitution II, Section 1.]
This important (and binding) declaration by the Council clarifies two important points. First, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Second, this procession is from a single spiration, proceeding from a single substance. This means that a single act of the will, shared through the consubstantiality of Father and Son, results in the spiration of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit has its origin not in an act of the intellect, as with the generation of the Son, but in an act of the will. It is, in fact, an act of love between Father and Son. St. Bernard of Clairvaux called the Holy Spirit the kiss of God, saying “If, as is properly understood, the Father is he who kisses, the Son he who is kissed, then it cannot be wrong to see in the kiss the Holy Spirit, for he is the imperturbable peace of the Father and the Son, their unshakable bond, their undivided love, their indivisible unity.”[St. Bernard of Clairvaux, “Sermon 8 on the Song of Songs,” (http://www.pathsoflove.com/bernard/songofsongs/sermon08.html).]
The Holy Spirit is thus not generated, but proceeds from the love of the Father and the Son through an act of their unified will. Together, they breathe forth the Holy Spirit.
In John 15:26, Jesus says, “But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me.” We see in this quote that 1) the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, and yet 2) it is Jesus who will send him. Since Jesus also proceeds from the Father, and has authority to send the Holy Spirit, we may conclude that Jesus is equal in every way to the Holy Spirit.[2]
It’s important to distinguish between generation and spiration in order to truly understand the [T]rinity. If the Son proceeds from the Father and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, then Son and Holy Spirit would be the same. God would have two Sons. This, obviously, is not the case. Each has a distinct origin. The Son is often called the Wisdom of God, proceeding from an act of the intellect. Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit is the love of God—the very breath of God—proceeding from an act of the will: an act of love. In these two great acts we find the two processions which form the eternal Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.[3]
                                         
Summarizing the essential aspects of our God as described above, we can say:
1. The Trinity is an eternal and fruitful expression between The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
2. Man was made (expressed) in great glory from the dust of the earth in the image and likeness of an eternally Good and Fruitful God. However, when man fell, he was held in existence by God’s power, but he ceased to be unceasingly expressed by God. After the Ascension of Jesus and the Sacraments (especially Baptism and the Eucharist), he once again became eternally expressed.
3. All creation came into being through a fruitful and eternal expression of the Trinity; Three Divine Persons in unceasing dialogue.
As a foundation for their argument, atheists, agnostics, and the uninformed pre-suppose or intellectually construct a false/straw god. Their construct eliminates from its essence one or more of the three essential aspects listed immediately above. Having done so, they then put forth a lie based on their foundation built on shifting quicksand.
This lack of knowledge brings us to a considerable problem relative to Christian catechesis. I would venture to guess that less than 10% of Christians possess even the limited understanding of the Trinity provided above. While current theological understanding of the Trinity is comprehensive, the core teachings passed down to the laity are either insufficient or taught in a manner hard to comprehend. A deeper understanding of the Trinity is necessary to build a sufficiently solid foundation upon which can be built a compelling argument to counter false/straw god-based arguments. Likewise, at a minimum, the knowledge provided above is vital for man to understand himself. After all, we all are created in His image and likeness.
Antagonists love to exploit our shallow understanding of the Essence of God, i.e., the Trinity. Using the straw/false god debate tactic is very effective for them. Unfortunately, too many people are ignorant of the shoddy foundation upon which their argument is built. One such argument goes like this: Evil exists. Therefore: 1) God is evil; 2) a good god does not exist, and/or; 3) God is not powerful enough to defeat evil; He is not Omnipotent.
So, the appropriate response to any of their arguments based on a straw god would be something along the lines of this: I agree with you. Your conception of god does not exist. Now, let’s discuss the Nature of the One True God as described in Scripture. I wrote an article that goes into greater detail to refute the “evil versus good God” argument. It can be found here.
 

Some Lies That Flow from the Straw/False God Argument

 

First Lie: Same–Sex Attraction is Part of God’s Image and Likeness

 
What happened to creation when Adam and Eve sinned? The very first consequence was the immediate death about which God had warned them (Gen. 2:17). However, it was not an immediate bodily death (that would come to all later in their biological life) but the death of the spirit, in which the Holy Spirit could no longer dwell. The spirit did not cease to exist, but it no longer received the life that is of God. When they sinned, they lost supernatural grace. They lost their ordered and harmonious nature and became disordered, unharmonious, and incoherent in both body and spirit.
To understand what death is, we must understand what life is. As was said earlier, the Life of God is the eternal, fruitful, and unceasing family dialogue occurring between the Three Persons of the Trinity. In summation, mankind could no longer be described by God as good/very good (Gen. 1:31). Therefore, we could no longer be an expression of what God knows of Himself since God knows no evil.
 
Remember, the Son is eternally and unceasingly begotten (an intellectual generation) by the Father. Therefore, creation was intended to be unceasingly expressed by the Father, through the Son, and in the Holy Spirit. We know this because all that was made was made through the Son (Jn. 1:3), and, as we just said, the Son is eternally begotten (Ps. 2:7).
One thing God cannot do is contradict Himself. The God who is unchangeable Truth cannot express — send out — a lie. If God could unceasingly express an evil/bad creation, then we would be forced to conclude that God, too, was substantially/essentially evil. No being can truthfully express or love what they do not know.
If you ask me to give a one-hour class on calculus, the only truthful thing I could say is: I know nothing about calculus, nor can I tell you whether I love or hate calculus — because I don’t know anything about it. Since no person (including the Three Persons of the Trinity) could express what they do not know, it must, therefore, follow that if God were capable of expressing evil, then God, himself, must be evil.
 

Second Lie: We Have the Right to Control Our Fecundity

God has told us that an inseparable part of his Divine Essence is fruitfulness. When Moses asks God what his name is, God responded, I Am that I Am (YHWH). This very name informs us of the Divine Essence of God as a Trinity, which is an eternal fruitful relationship between each Person of the Trinity. The first I Am identifies the Father, who is eternally generating (begetting) the Son (Ps. 2:7) — who is identified by the second I Am. The singular “I” indicates that from the Father and the Son proceeds the Holy Spirit, which is the Unity and Divine Charity of God — the Heart of God on fire.
The hermeneutics of the ancient Hebrew word, which translates as “that” or “who” in Exodus 3:14, is detailed in this Endnote.[4] Being created in the image and likeness of the Trinity, man cannot know and understand himself (and the reason we have been given a body) without first gaining a deeper understanding of the Trinity. Nowhere in Scripture does it say he created man in the image and likeness of God — except for our bodies. On the contrary, the opposite is true. In Genesis, we read, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27).
The very first positive command God gave to our first parents was to be fruitful and multiply. Why? Because we are in the image and likeness of an eternally fruitful God. Therefore, God can’t create the substantial form of a man who is both in God’s image and likeness and sterile. That does not mean that all rational humans are born fertile. Due to our disordered nature, which we receive from our fallen parents, some offspring may be infertile due to the genetically disordered seed that fertilized the genetically disordered egg, which then grew subject to a disordering environment.

Third Lie: Nature was Created in Chaos — Undirected by God

Is our creation an expression of God? Scripture gives us the answer. In Genesis, we read, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen. 1:26, cf. 3:22–23). There is much that can be gleaned from these ten words. This passage is not simply an idle conversation between the Three Persons of the Trinity. First, they are in dialogue about creating and the design of that creation. They are dialoguing about how man is to be made. Second, they are telling us that all three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are together intimately involved in that creation. The Unity of the Trinity is such that absolutely everything God does, is accomplished through the actions of all Three Persons together.[5] Third and last, because all Three are involved, we can conclude that all creation is an expression proceeding from the Trinitarian Dialogue.
Simply put, God speaks creation into existence as an expression of what God knows. The Father knows Himself perfectly and fully. He is Perfect Order. He is the fullness of perfect Truth and Life.[6] The Psalmist wrote, “For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood forth” (Ps. 33:9; cf. Ps. 33:6, 104:30).
In the Book of Judith, we read, “Let all thy creatures serve thee: because thou hast spoken, and they were made: thou didst send forth thy spirit, and they were created, and there is no one that can resist thy voice” (Judith 16:17 DRA). This verse is like the previous, but it adds another component. God sent the Word (Truth) in the Holy Spirit (Light of Life) and made the creatures. Furthermore, a voice is only required when a thought is sent out. All sendings and sending-outs are expressions. All works are an expression, whether it be of God or man. In Ps. 8: 3–4, 6, we come to realize that the heavens are the work of God’s finger (i.e., the Holy Spirit), and all God’s works are under the power of man.
Since all creation is an expression of a good God, it follows that creation reflects the knowledge God has of Himself. The Father’s knowing himself is the generation/begetting of the Son. This knowledge had to be of infinite goodness. Otherwise, the Holy Spirit could not have proceeded from the Father and the Son. This knowledge is why God tells us all of creation was very good (Gen. 1:31). In other words, creation was made perfectly ordered, reflecting all the perfections of that same God (cf. Ps. 19:1) whom the Father created through the Word sent/expressed in the Holy Spirit.[7] A straw god could not make a perfectly ordered man.
Hildegard writes, “And why is [Jesus] called the Word? Because he has awakened all creation by the resonance of God’s voice and because he has called creation to himself! For whatever God expressed in a verbal [i.e., spoken — SML] way was ordered by the Word with his resonance, and whatever the Word ordered [not as in commanded, but as in making harmonious, coherent, etc. –– SML] was spoken by God once again in the Word.”[8] The book of Wisdom tells us, “But thou hast arranged all things by measure and number and weight” (Wis. 11:20).
Since the Son is begotten from all eternity (see Scripture passage below), then creation would, necessarily, have been expressed, through the Word, by God continually and unceasingly throughout all of created time. Thus, in the eternal now of God, it would be impossible for there to be a point in creation history during which the Son of the Father is not unceasingly begotten. Therefore, creation itself would be unceasingly expressed by the Father through the sending out of the Word. Also, take special note of the phrase, “whatever God expressed in a verbal way,” in direct relation to spoken creation.
Let us look at a couple of Scripture examples that help us understand God as eternally expressing:
1) “He said to me, ‘You are my son, today I have begotten you’” (Ps. 2:7). In the eternal ‘now’ of God, the Father is eternally and fruitfully begetting the Son, which would necessarily encompass all of creation … within time. Does the term today suggest that two years ago, or two days ago, the Son had not been begotten;
2) “Jesus answered them, ‘My Father is working still, and I am working’” (Jn. 5:16). This can be understood further by Genesis 2:2, where it is written, “And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.” As I said earlier, working is also ‘Doing’, and all doings are expressions … all creation is an expression of God;
3) “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing’” (Jn. 5:19–20). Hmm. There’s a lot of doing / expressing going on in this verse;
4) “I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me” (Jn. 5:30). How would the Son know what the Father’s will was, unless the Father communicated it to him? Also, being sent is an expression of the sender, and lastly;
5) “No longer do I call you servants … I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (Jn. 15:15). Again, doing, hearing, and befriending are all forms of expression.     
If God is in an eternal dialogue among the three Persons of the Trinity, then we can ask the question: are all Three Persons necessary for God to be God and for God to be Love? God tells St. Hildegard (one of only four women declared a Doctor of the Church) that God would not be God if any one of the three Persons were missing.[9] Ergo, God could not be Truth and Love. This conclusion is valid because the Three Persons of the Trinity are One Indivisible Unity that cannot be separated. She writes, “In the Father is the Son, in both the Holy Spirit, and They are one, and work inseparably with each other … They are undivided unity.”[10] They are together — Love. This fact is also how we can understand the difference between True Love and so-called biological/chemical love.
We have already amply discussed the Trinity and how fruitful expression of what is truly good is the very Nature of a Triune God and, therefore, of man, who is created in the image and likeness of God. The Holy Spirit, by appropriation, is the breath (the force) behind all fruitful expression. The modus operandi of His operation is multiplication—not addition. Fruit is always in the image and likeness of that which produced it; otherwise, how could the Lord tell us that a tree can be known and judged by the quality of the fruit that it bears (cf. Matt. 7:17–18). We learned that the body (i.e., the scriptural mouth that sends out the overflow of the inner heart) of man accurately expresses the spiritual heart of man and does so in the language of the body. So, if a man’s heart loves selfish pleasures, then his mouth will send out the fruit, which is in the image and likeness of his lusts/weaknesses. Does this apply to our offspring? Yes, it does.
 

Fourth Lie: Same–Sex Attraction is Natural

Throughout this blog series, we have demonstrated that our Triune God does not, cannot, and will not — create anything that is disordered. It is fallen and disordered man who produces even more disorder. The Philosophical Sciences provide us with the most complete understanding of disorder relative to creation, i.e., natural versus unnatural. Let us undertake a short examination of the philosophy of created man.
The laws of Nature are preexisting, immutable, and universal (Kindle Location 327). … Aristotelian anthropology claims that man is by Nature a rational, political animal for whom the basic societal unit is the family (Kindle Locations 319-320). … By Nature or natural law, we mean the principle of development that makes any living thing what it is and, given the proper conditions, what it will become when it fulfills itself or reaches its end. For Aristotle, “Nature ever seeks an end” [Aristotle, Generation of Animals, 1.715b15] (Kindle Locations 358-360).
By unnatural, we mean something that works against what a thing would become were it to operate according to the principle of its development. For instance, an acorn will grow into an oak unless its roots are poisoned by highly acidic water. One would say that the acidic water is unnatural to the oak or against its “goodness”—its “goodness” being the fulfillment of its Nature. The term teleological, when applied to the universe, implies that everything has an end, and the ends inhere (inseparable element or quality of the substance) in the structure of things themselves. There is what Aristotle called entelechy, “having one’s end within”. The purpose of an eye, for instance, is built-in; it is for seeing. Were this not so, one would have to believe that the eye—and indeed every organ of the body—came about by chance and that the eye can see only by sheer accident. Teleological means the goal [i.e., the “natural end”] of the thing is intrinsic, not extrinsic, to it. These laws of Nature, then, are not an imposition of order from without by a commander in chief, but an expression of it from within the very essence of things, which have their own integrity (Kindle Locations 364-373).[11]
The Laws of Nature are written within the very essence of each substance. The book of Wisdom tells us, “Thou hast arranged all things by measure and number and weight. For it is always in thy power to show great strength, and who can withstand the might of thy arm? Because the whole world before thee is like a speck that tips the scales, and like a drop of morning dew that falls upon the ground” (Wis. 11:20-22). Hildegard writes, “And why is [the Son of God] called the Word? Because he has awakened all creation by the resonance of God’s voice and because he has called creation to himself! For whatever God expressed in a verbal way was ordered by the Word with his resonance, and whatever the Word ordered [not as in commanded, but as in making harmonious, coherent, etc.] was spoken by God once again in the Word.”[12]
According to these Philosophers,
Deeds are considered good or bad, natural or unnatural, in relation to the effect they have on man’s progress toward his end in achieving the good (Kindle Locations 422-423), … Socrates and Plato, were unambiguous in their condemnation of homosexual acts as unnatural. In the Laws, Plato’s last book, the Athenian speaker says, “I think that the pleasure is to be deemed natural which arises out of the intercourse between men and women; but that the intercourse of men with men, or of women with women, is contrary to nature, and that the bold attempt was originally due to unbridled lust.”12 By its nature, lust is unbridled, irrational, and therefore destructive of what it is to be human. Giving in to it is therefore dehumanizing (Kindle Locations 451-455).[13]
O’Reilly continues,
Once Eros [sexual/romantic love] is released from the bonds of family, Dionysian passions can possess the soul. Giving in to them is a form of madness, because erotic desire is not directed toward any end that can satisfy it. It is insatiable—what Plato calls in the Laws “endless and insatiate of evils”. Once loosed, it will destroy the rational [and Divine — SML] order of things. “That which causes evil in the soul”—in which Plato includes homosexual intercourse—will ultimately result in political disorder. The liberation of Eros is not freedom but annihilation [emphasis SML].
 
For Aristotle, the irreducible core of a polity is the family. Thus, Aristotle begins his Politics not with a single individual, but with a description of a man and a woman together in the family, without which the rest of society cannot exist [same-sex so-called marriage produces an poor imitation and artificial family — SML]. He says: “First of all, there must necessarily be a union or pairing of those who cannot exist without one another.” Later, he states that “husband and wife are alike essential parts of the family.” The family is the nursery of virtue, which reaches its perfection in the polis [community, city]. “Every state is [primarily] composed of households”, Aristotle asserts. Without the family, there are no villages, which are associations of families, and without villages, there is no polis. In other words, without households—meaning husbands and wives together in families—there is no state. In this sense, the family is the prepolitical institution. The state does not make marriage possible; marriage makes the state possible. Homosexual marriage would have struck Aristotle as an absurdity since a polity cannot be founded on its necessarily [and inherently] sterile relations.[14]
Sex has a natural purpose. In using or treating any part of our body, the critical question is: What are the ends to which the Nature of the thing directs it, and is the action outside of, or within, those ends?
Human generative organs are perfectly matched, the male for penetration [through which the seed is sent], the female for reception [in which the egg is fertilized by the seed]. [The natural end of this one flesh union is always procreative, for–creation of a third person]. The matching takes place only in heterosexual intercourse and is a perfect biological fit, which causes no physical harm to either party. There is no anatomical fit in [any] same-sex couplings. There is and can be no union of sexual organs in any same-sex act. Unlike the vagina, the anus is solely an excretory organ; it is an exit, not an entrance.[15]
Just as the Trinity is both unitive (One Family consisting of Three Persons in One God) and procreative (the Father generates the Son), man, who is made in the image and likeness of God, must also be open to fruitful multiplication following God’s very first positive command (Gen. 1:28). Nowhere in Scripture is the command to be fruitful and multiply rescinded. Therefore, a Marriage is only unitive and procreative when it is open to multiplicative generation/begetting. Inherent or forced sterility makes one be in a state that is not in the image and likeness of God.
 

Why Same–Sex Attraction Can Never Be Accepted as a Moral Sexual Act

 
At least six passages in Scripture (Lev 18:22, 2–:13; Rom 1:26–28; 1 Cor 6:9–11; Jude 21:7; and 1 Tim:8–10) explicitly condemn homosexual and/or lesbian sexual acts. They also threaten dire consequences for engaging in those acts. Endeavors that promote the acting–out of same–sex lusts are, whether knowingly or unknowingly, following the desires of the personification of all evil, Satan and his demons. According to Fr. Amorth (former head of exorcists for the Church),
The devil generally acts through temptation and deceit; he is a liar (cf. John 8,44). He can deceive, induce to error, cause illusion and, probably more than arouse vices, he can support the vices and the origins of the vices that are in us. In the Synoptic Gospels, the first apparition of the devil is the temptation in the desert, when he subjects Jesus to several incursions (cf. Matthew 4:11 and Luke 4:1–13). This event is of great importance. Jesus cured sicknesses and pathologies. Altogether, they refer to the devil, because all disorders [emphasis SML] afflicting humanity are reducible to sin, of which the devil is instigator.[16]
I have written a three–part blog that details Satan’s 100 to 120–year plan to destroy Jesus’ Church (marriage and the family are the domestic Church). See Endnote for links.[17] Satan’s plan is illustrative of the topic we are dealing with in this blog series. Satan is not satisfied with getting only 20%, 50%, 75%, or 99% of man to fall. He won’t stop until he gets 100% — or until the time when God thoroughly and permanently throws him down.
What does that mean for us who are still alive? Satan has succeeded in convincing most of us that we should not impose our morality on others through those who govern us. Look around you. What is the condition of our society as a result of the laissez–faire attitude we who are governed (the general population) have toward those we have chosen to represent and govern? In short, we see widespread civil and moral apostasy. I believe the following is a fair statement. If the morality of the governed is not imposed on the government, then the immorality of the government will inevitably be imposed upon the governed.
Following are a couple of quotes that illustrate the accuracy of my prediction:
1. “‘The Lord showed me that our present times are worse than Babylon and Sodom and Gomorrah,’ writes [Marino Restrepo], a former musician, now evangelist, who lived the life of Babylon before an experience that puts us in mind of Saul.”[18]
2. “The present times are worse than at the time of Noah. Then the world was scourged by a deluge of water; now the world is going to be scourged by a deluge of fire” (Apparition of Our Lady to Anna at Seredne, December 20, 1954).[19]
3. “In 1634 in Quito, Ecuador, Our Blessed Mother warned about our present times. In an apparition approved by the Church, Mary appeared as Our Lady of Good Fortune/Success to Mother Anne of Jesus Torres... At the end of the Nineteenth Century and for a large part of the Twentieth Century, various heresies will flourish on this earth, which will have become a free republic. The precious light of the faith will go out in souls because of the almost total moral corruption. …. the air will be filled with the spirit of impurity which like a deluge of filth will flood the streets, squares and public places. The licentiousness will be such that there will be no more virgin souls in the world. … The devil will take glory in feeding perfidiously on the hearts of children. The innocence of childhood will almost disappear. … Satan will take control of this earth through the fault of faithless men who, like a black cloud, will darken the clear sky of the republic consecrated to the Most Sacred Heart of my divine Son.[20] This republic, having allowed entry to all the vices, will have to undergo all sorts of chastisements: plagues, famine, war, apostasy, and the loss of souls without number. And to scatter these black clouds blocking the brilliant dawning of the freedom of the Church, there will be a terrible war in which the blood of priests and of religious will flow.... Men possessing great wealth will look on with indifference while the Church is oppressed, virtue is persecuted, and evil triumphs. They will not use their wealth to fight evil and to reconstruct the faith. The people will come to care nothing for the things of God, will absorb the spirit of evil and will let themselves be swept away by all vices and passions.”[21]

Quotes Relating to Tolerance

 ·         Craig McMillan writes,
America has become dysfunctional not because of incompetence, but because of bad ideas that bastardized our limited government and corrupt officials at every level of governance. ...Stupid people aren’t always evil. Those we disagree with aren’t always evil. Corrupt people are always evil. ...A secular nation...is unable to understand the true nature of evil; its people don’t comprehend that evil is a living, growing, consuming thing. In the end, evil consumes even the people who cooperated with it.
Evil has an insatiable appetite. Evil is intent on destroying everything God has created, especially humanity. ...Coexistence is not a strategy for countering the evil that has overtaken our nation. Faith in God’s ultimate goodness is. And remember: It never hurts to ask Him for help in defeating the evil that has overtaken our nation.
As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn observed of his homeland Russia, “Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’”[22]
     
·         Daniel O’Connor PhD,
 
Scripture is a guide as to how a Christian should view tolerance of grave moral disorder: – “‘I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and beguiling my servants to practice immorality [specifically sexual immorality — SML]’ — a quote from Jesus to the Church in Thyatira. Revelation 2:18-20. Recall, cf. 1 Kings, that Jezebel, wife of Ahab, persecuted the true prophets, protected false prophets, and incited the faithful to idolatry. Jesus here condemns so much as tolerating such a person.’”[23]
This does not mean that you hate the sinner! It is, however, a reflection of truth that tolerated sinful acts are like a pebble dropped into a pond. The ripples will spread, affecting the entire pond.
 
·         Archbishop Charles Chaput
“We need to remember that tolerance is not a Christian virtue. Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honesty – these are Christian virtues. And obviously, in a diverse community, tolerance is an important working principle. But it’s never an end itself. In fact, tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of serious evil.”[24]
·         Archbishop Fulton Sheen
“There is no subject on which the average mind is so much confused as the subject of tolerance and intolerance. Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to principles. Intolerance applies only to principles, but never to persons. … Modern man has so long preached a doctrine of false tolerance; he has so long believed that right and wrong were only differences in a point of view, that now when evil works itself out in practice he is paralyzed to do anything against it.”[25]
 
Characterizing the world view of Dr. Lowery regarding an autonomous view of reality, he wrote, “moderns have embraced an autonomous view of reality: ‘I can do what I want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.’” This view is a complete falsehood. The colloquial phrase that best clarifies the falsity of that belief is — no one is an island unto him (or her) self. Based on visions from God, Saint Catherine of Siena (a Doctor of the Church) informs us there are no actual dividing lines between our neighbors and us. So close is this sense–able and meta–sense–able relationship; whatever deed one does for oneself has a sense–able and meta–sense–able effect on their neighbors.[26]
Most of us tend to think of our body as a fence — a dividing line as St. Catherine characterizes it. We foolishly believe what happens in the heart stays within the body unless we choose to make a sense–able expression. Through a deeper understanding of STOSS, we can discover the body is not even close to being a fence. So permeative are the sense–able and meta–sense–able words (i.e., works, acts, and deeds) pronounced by our mouth/body, that we would be correct in believing the body is the reason that there is no fence. Through STOSS, we come to view the body as a veritable transmission tower for the overflow of the inner heart. It broadcasts sense–ably (we can, for example, hear the music on our radio), but it also broadcasts the same message meta–sense–ably, i.e., beyond the reach of our sensible faculties.
 
The Church has done an excellent job of teaching about the evils of abortion. However, we should keep in mind that abortion is the most extreme example of contraception. However, abortion is the proverbial cart that comes after the horse. It is a direct consequence of the growth of the contraceptive (intentional sterility) mentality. Therefore, focusing our attack on the consequences of evil while ignoring the root cause is counterproductive. It is equivalent to attempting to extinguish a trash fire by cutting by ¾ the amount of gas pumped onto the fire. Taking that approach will never end the culture of death. We must first eliminate the fire feeding it.
There is no doubt that abortion is the most barbaric evil we have ever known. However, what does Scripture tell us is the evil we should fear the most? “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Mt 10:28). I feel confident in my belief that the aborted baby will never see hell. However, intentional sterility destroys the state of our being in the image and likeness of God. Absent repentance, those not in the image and likeness of God will never see God. There are far more acts employing Artificial Birth Control (many of which result in abortion) than there are abortions. Sexual acts by same–sex couples are inherently sterile.
 
By accepting and promoting a lascivious disordered sexual act, we disincentivize making the effort needed to heal all the factors contributing to that disordered inclination. These efforts must be exerted by the individuals who suffer from it, by spiritual and medical caregivers, and by the scientific community. As a society, we are ignoring the fact that epigenome changes occur due to behavioral and environmental factors. If we know what causes epigenetic plasticity, we should be able to find a way to reverse those changes.
To be very clear, I am not explicitly referring to so–called Reparative Therapy, Conversion Therapy, or any other type of psychological therapy (they may be effective, but I have not researched their therapeutic track record). However, the following is an example of that to which I am referring. From a research article published in The Scientist, we read, “In mice, epigenetic marks made on histones during infancy influence depression–like behavior during adulthood. A drug that reverses the genomic tags appears to undo the damage.”[27]
Another example comes from Dr. Carlo Ventura. According to Drs. Carlo Ventura and Rollin McCraty, organic chemistry is an integral part of the epigenetic phenomenon. So, too, are various forms of physical energy, such as light, magnetic fields, and sound vibrations. The epigenetic mechanism is controlled by a complex interaction between cell signaling, environment, and a non–stop remodeling of (what used to be thought of as junk) DNA into a seemingly endless array of loops and domains. In experiments performed by Dr. Ventura and his team, they were able to change cell chemistry and reprogram stem cells to become beating cardiac cells. They accomplished this using extremely low–frequency magnetic fields (magnetic waves run perpendicular to electron waves as part of electromagnetic energy).[28],[29]
It is indisputable that the human body generates electromagnetic energy (not spiritual, but created photons of light). The body functions via static and moving electrons (which produce electricity). It is electrons in motion that make electromagnetic radiation — photons of light. Dr. Robert Becker wrote an entire book on the subject. It is appropriately titled: The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life.
A twenty-minute video of the electric body phenomenon is available for viewing by following the link contained in this Endnote.[30] The video shows one way (but not the only way) the body generates and uses electricity. It also shows how the energy of sound vibrations will generate electrical activity (light) in our cells. The video primarily deals with nerve cells, but it doesn’t come close to revealing the extent of electricity biologically generated by ions, water, and light, within the entire body — especially light in the infrared light spectrum. Dr. Gerald Pollard has discovered a fourth state of water which explains how every one of the biological surfaces within every cell of our body uses light and biological water to generate electrical charge and electromagnetic radiation.[31]
I believe there are two long-standing mysteries explained by the science behind the phenomenon described in the above paragraph. When coupled with the Divine Light of the Holy Spirit, the Shroud of Turin, and the mystery behind the incorruptible bodies of some Catholic saints can be explained. However, that is for STOSS, Vol. II.
It is essential to understand the significance of these examples. If science can reprogram cell function, it does so by rewriting our biological software (epigenome), thus changing the function of our DNA hardware. On a mystical note, there is some evidence that the above–mentioned technology for reversing SSA is possible via further advances in the science of the type discussed above by Ventura and H. Kronman et al.
 
Michael Brown tells us:
If mankind reverts back to the Lord, and lives in a simpler, more harmonious way, as He did, in concert with nature — will come what she describes as devices far more revolutionary than even computers. Esperanza [a link to more background on Esperanza is contained in the Endnote below — SML] has foreseen a day when a new type of music [sound waves — SML] will be devised that brings health instead of the disintegrative effects of current music. There will be “amazing devices,” she claims, with far more capacity to diagnose and heal human sickness — if science and religion join forces in God’s plan. One example: a new technology that will allow a powerful new means of illumination, turning dark into day. She foresaw that as tapping into a “stellar curvature.” She also saw forces of light and music [emphasis SML] combined together in ways that currently are unimaginable. In equally surprising language, she foresaw “the registration of equations to their final expression” and computer devices that will replace many of the functions of a doctor. She describes such inventions as coming from “secret forces” hidden in rhythms of nature.[32]
Is SSA prone to forming an addiction to sex? Saying that SSA is an addiction is equivalent to setting up a logical fallacy known as the Straw Man.[33] After doing so, it becomes straightforward for an antagonist to knock it down — while virtue signaling simultaneously. It must be understood that the genomic predisposition to SSA is entirely different than the sexual act. The attraction does not lead to addiction, but repeated engaging in the sexual act can lead to an addiction.
In this blog, I intended to introduce the topic as another example of why this type of sexual activity can never be tolerated by a society whose collective moral compass is functioning correctly. However, this is not the place for a lengthy treatise on the issue. Instead, I will link to a couple of articles that will dig a little deeper into the topic for those interested.[34],[35],[36]
 

How Does God View Artificially Sterile Sex Acts?

·         According to Sr. Lucia of Fatima, I find it revealing that the final battle with Satan focuses on marriage and the family. Why the family? The family is the closest earthly image of the Trinity and the relationship between Jesus and his Church, his Mystical Body in creation. Satan asked God for time and power to destroy the Church, so it makes sense that his attack would center on the family. Mortal sins of a sexual nature alienate us from the Church.
·         According to Pope Pius XI, “‘These,’ says St. Augustine, ‘are all the blessings of matrimony on account of which matrimony itself is a blessing; offspring, conjugal faith and the sacrament.’ [St. August., De bono coniug., cap. 24, n. 32.] And how under these three heads is contained a splendid summary of the whole doctrine of Christian marriage, the holy Doctor himself expressly declares when he said: ‘By conjugal faith it is provided that there should be no carnal intercourse outside the marriage bond with another man or woman; with regard to offspring, that children should be begotten of love, tenderly cared for and educated in a religious atmosphere; finally, in its sacramental aspect that the marriage bond should not be broken and that a husband or wife, if separated, should not be joined to another even for the sake of offspring. This we regard as the law of marriage by which the fruitfulness of nature is adorned and the evil of incontinence is restrained [ St. Augustine, De Gen. ad litt., lib. IX, cap. 7, n. 12.].’”[37]

Procreation: God Destroys That Which is Deliberately Rendered Unfruitful/Sterile

 
Almost every passage in Scripture that directly or indirectly deals with unfruitfulness also assigns to it dire consequences as a result of God’s justice. Why? Short answer: we are in the image and likeness of an unceasingly fruitful God. He requires us to be fruitful and multiply (there is a big difference between multiplying and adding to) as well. The case of Sodom and Gomorrah provides us with an extreme example of how grave are the consequences of unfruitfulness.
The story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is in Chapter 19 of Genesis. Let us start by quoting a couple of passages from Chapter 19, then extrapolate on them to obtain a better picture of the hows and whys of the destruction of these cities. Two angels (traveling under the appearance of men) were sent to investigate the cries received by God concerning the sins of these cities. God sent them to find out if these cries were justified. If they were, the angels would destroy the city.
After meeting Lot at the entrance to Sodom, Lot took the angels to his house to rest for the night. Then we are told, “The men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house; and they called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, so that we may know them’” (Gen 19:4–5). Earlier in Genesis, we are told about Abraham bargaining with the angels. His last question to the angels was this: would you destroy the city if there were only ten just men in the city. To which they replied, no. In verse 4, we learn that every man in the village “to the last man” came to Lot’s door with gravely sinful intentions. What was the sinful intention? To know Lot’s visitors. One of the common interpretations of the word know in Scripture is to know them through intimate sexual union. An example is in Gen. 4:1, where it is written, “And Adam knew [SML] Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bore Cain, and said, ‘I have gotten a man from the LORD’” (Gen 4:1).
Was the correct interpretation of the intentions of all the men who came to Lot’s door to engage in unnatural sex? In verse 8, we read, “Look, I have two daughters who have not known [SML] a man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please” (Gen 19:8). That did not satisfy the evildoers. It is evident from this previous passage that the men of Sodom wanted to have sex with the two visitors. More precisely, they wanted to have unnatural sex with them. They wanted inherently unfruitful/sterile sex with them.
Notice that Scripture makes sure to describe the specific sin the men were seeking to commit, the same sin to which this unnatural act is given its name, i.e., Sodom. That is the city that was destroyed because of the commission of that horrendous sin. I am reasonably confident that many other grievous sins were regularly committed by the people of the five cities of the plains. So, the question arises: would the same fate have occurred if all the men were committing a different grievous sin? For example, would adultery (which is classified as a natural, though still grievous, sin) instead of the unnatural sin have lead to destruction? The answer is definitely not.
God Himself confirms the correctness of my answer to this question. Quoting God, St. Catherine of Siena writes:
The sins of Sodom were “not simply [committed] with the sort of impurity and weakness to which [fallen man] are all naturally inclined because of your weak nature ... No, these wretches not only do not restrain their weakness; they make it worse [SML] by committing that cursed unnatural sin [i.e., homosexuality]. ... they do not recognize what miserable filth they are wallowing in. The stench reaches even up to me, supreme Purity, and is so hateful to me that for this sin alone [emphasis SML] five cities were struck down by my divine judgment. For my divine justice could no longer tolerate it, so despicable to me is this abominable sin.”[38]
 
God told St. Catherine, “You, who were created kin to the angels, have made ugly beasts of yourselves! You have stooped so low that even the demons whose friends and servants you have become cannot stand the sight of such indecency .... It is true that it was they who in the beginning shot the poisoned arrows of concupiscence, but when it comes to the sinful act itself they run away.”[39]
Genesis 19 only mentions two cities (Sodom and Gomorrah), but Wisdom 10:6 tells us five cities were destroyed that day. The others were, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar (see Dt. 29:23 and Gen. 19:29). The unnatural act is so horrendous to God because it is impossible for it to be a fruitful and natural one-flesh act. It removes the very likeness to God from our creation in the image and likeness of God. Unfruitfulness is the same reason why the Old Covenant Temple of stone was destroyed — the Jewish people rejected the Messiah and became unfruitful.[40] They couldn’t become new creations (cf. Rom. 6:4, 2 Cor. 5:17) through Baptism and the Eucharist.
There is a third instance of God initiating widespread destruction as a direct result of intentional unfruitfulness. We are all familiar with the destruction of the world through the Great Flood of Noah’s time. The Bible only tells us that there was great wickedness, but it is not specific. The visions God gave to St. Hildegard of Bingen, who is a Doctor of the Church, provides us with greater insight. These are God’s words to Hildegard:
 
In this manner [Satan] enticed them to defile themselves with the animals, so that the image of God would be destroyed in man [emphasis SML]. If the product of their unnatural union was of the human kind, they hated it, but if it had more of the form of an animal, they caressed it.
At that time men had forgotten God and acted more like animals than according to the will of God. Hence it came about that many loved animals more than people, so that women as well as men mixed with animals and had relations with them to such an extent that the image of God in them was almost completely destroyed. The whole human race was changed into monsters, and transformed so that in fact some men modeled their way of life and voice after the way of wild animals in their walking about, howling and life.
But after the earth was filled with such a perverse people, I Who Am could no longer tolerate this criminal outrage. I decided to destroy the people in the water, with the exception of the few who acknowledged me. (W. M. 253) Since I could no longer tolerate that kind of thing [SML], I drowned them in the Flood. (World and Man, 285).[41]
Intentional unfruitfulness is why God killed Onan after spilling his seed on the ground (Gen 38:8–10). Rather than risking a child by his deceased brother’s wife, Onan chose artificial conception — sterility. This sinful and deliberately fruitless act is how we make ourselves beasts. Remember what we revealed in our discussion of the Trinity: Fruitfulness is an integral part of God’s very Essence. When we intentionally block openness to fruitfulness, we effectively kill the Image of God within us.
 

Does God “Will” That Some People be Born with Homosexuality?

 
Throughout this blog series, it has been demonstrated that God does not — cannot — create anything disordered. God will not take any blame for SSA. He specifically tells us so. Regarding the defects of human seed, God tells St. Hildegard,
Often … when male and female unite in forgetfulness of Me and in the mockery of the Devil, those who are born are found to be stunted so that their parents, who transgressed My precepts, may feel anguish at having these children and so return to Me in penitence. … You see also on the earth people carrying earthen vessels … both men and women, who have in their bodies human seed … and from it strong … semen … [which] produces energetic [i.e., strong] people, to whom brilliant spiritual and bodily gifts are given by their great and noble ancestors. … [Some] semen is basely emitted in weakness and confusion and mixed uselessly, and it produces misshapen [probably referring to phenotype[42]] people, who often have bitterness, adversity and oppression of heart and are thus unable to raise their minds to higher things.[43] For something clings to Man that the ancient serpent always pursues ... The lust of the flesh, which can be ensnared from ambush by that malignant enemy.[44]
What makes our seed weak, as God describes it, are those types of sins/behaviors referenced in the Bible passages as being passed on by the Father to the sons to the third and fourth generation (e.g., Ex 20:5, 34:7; Num. 14:18; Deut. 5:9). As an example, I will cite from earlier in this blog series. A team of researchers at Penn State University have shown an epigenetic link between: 1) alcohol consumption (chronic/addictive); 2) dopamine (the pleasure and addiction hormone); and, 3) SSA among male fruit flies. According to research team-leader Kyung-An Han — Associate Professor of Biology and Neuroscience at Penn State — research points to dopamine as the critical mediator of ethanol–induced (ethanol is a key component of alcohol) homosexual behavior in male fruit flies.[45]
 
Other factors that will make the sperm weak are:
1. Steady consumption of some types of food and drink;[46]
2. Repeated behaviors triggered by fight, flight, or stress hormones such as norepinephrine, epinephrine, adrenaline, and cortisol;[47]
3. Repeated behaviors that trigger reward hormones/neurotransmitters such as dopamine (often associated with addictions), oxytocin, endorphins, and serotonin;[48]
4. Repeated behaviors/substances that feed the three lusts described by St. Paul. i.e., lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life (1 Jn. 2:16). Typically, behaviors of this nature are also usually closely involved with numbers 2 and 3 above;[49]
5. Traumatic experiences with parents, loved ones, and/or others,[50] and;
6. Experiences that result in unhealthy and/or chronic levels of fear.[51]
Does God will same–sex attraction? Without doubt, NO!! Does God want us to tolerate and encourage such behavior? Without doubt, NO!! Does God want us to help heal and provide for the spiritual, physical, and psychological wellbeing of those who are burdened with this heavy cross? Without doubt, YES!!
Links:
Part One
   
ENDNOTES

[1]. A straw man is a form of argument and an informal fallacy. “A straw man fallacy occurs when someone takes another person’s argument or point, distorts it or exaggerates it in some kind of extreme way, and then attacks the extreme distortion, as if that is really the claim the first person is making.” https://owl.excelsior.edu/argument-and-critical-thinking/logical-fallacies/logical-fallacies-straw-man/.
 
[2]. Thomas L. McDonald, “Generation and Spiration: The Processions of the Trinity,” Wonderful Things, https://thomaslmcdonald.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/generation-and-spiration-the-processions-of-the-trinity/, June 4, 2012 (accessed 07/20/2021).
 
[3]. Ibid.
 
[4]. Exodus 3:14 is the passage in which it is written, “Moses when he asks, who shall I say sent me. And God said to Moses, I Am That I Am. And he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel: I AM hath sent me unto you” (Ex 3:14, KJV). The Hebrew word that is most commonly translated into that or who, is either aher (אחר) or asher (אשר). Aher, as an adjective, means another. Asher, “occurs in two different ways: There's the verbal root אשר ('ashar), which indicates progression, and there's the particle אשר ('asher) that indicates relation.” According to Brown-Driver-Briggs, the word can be translated as: “so that” or “in order that” [Richard Whitaker; Francis Brown; Samuel Rolles Driver; Charles Augustus Briggs, The Abridged Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1906)]. Putting all of this together, it is clear that I Am that (or Who) I Am, can be summarized thusly, I Am (the Father) so that I Am (the Son — indicating Divine Fruitfulness). Additionally, the single “I” for the two “I Am”’s indicates a Unity that can only come through the Holy Spirit.
 
[5]. Hildegard, Scivias , (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1990), 419 (© Paulist Press; all rights reserved; all quotations from Hildegard’s book, Scivias, are used with permission of Paulist Press).
 
[6]. Ibid.
 
[7]. Ibid.
 
[8]. Hildegard of Bingen’s Book of Divine Works: With Letters and Songs. All rights reserved. http://www.Innertraditions.com, Reprinted with permission of publisher. Kindle Locations 2316–2318.
 
[9]. Hildegard, Scivias, 418.
 
[10]. St. Hildegard, Scivias, 419.
 
[11] Robert Reilly, Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything, (Kindle Locations 486-510), Ignatius Press, Kindle Edition.
 
[12]. Hildegard of Bingen’s Book of Divine Works: With Letters and Songs. All rights reserved. http://www.Innertraditions.com Reprinted with permission of publisher. Kindle Locations 2316-2318.
 
[13]. Robert Reilly, Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything.
 
[14] Robert Reilly, Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything, (Kindle Locations 486-510), Ignatius Press, Kindle Edition.
 
[15]. Robert Reilly, Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything, (Kindle Locations 983-1006).
 
 
 
[18]. SpiritDaily, “Man Who Was In ‘Fast Lane’ of Hollywood and Drugs Finds God, Kidnapped in A Cave.” SpiritDaily.com, https://www.spiritdaily.org/marinofolo1.htm: Spiritdaily.com.
 
[19]. Paul Anthony Melanson, “The present times are worse than at the time of Noah,” La Salette Journey, https://lasalettejourney.blogspot.com/2008/08/present-times-are-worse-than-at-time-of.html.
 
[20]. Apart from Portugal, there are 23 other countries consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They are: Albania, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Slovakia, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Mexico, Moldova, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, Romania, Spain, Tanzania, East Timor, and Zimbabwe. The entire human race was consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1899 by Pope Leo XIII.
 
[21]. Ted and Maureen Flynn, The Thunder of Justice. (Sterling, VA: MaxKol Communications, Inc., 1993), pp. 245-246
 
[22] Craige McMillan, “Election Fraud and the Nature of Evil,” WND, https://www.wnd.com/2021/05/election-fraud-nature-evil/, May 7, 2021, accessed 5/8/2021.
 
[23]. Daniel O’Connor PhD, “Resisting the Diabolical Quantum Leap; or, Keeping Your Head Screwed-On Straight,” Daniel O’Connor’s Blog, https://dsdoconnor.com/2021/05/26/resisting-the-diabolical-quantum-leap-or-keeping-your-head-screwed-on-straight/, May 26, 2021 (accessed 5/26/21).
 
[24]. Archbishop Charles Chaput, “Modernity,” ed Greg Aitchison, Catholic Quotations, https://catholicquotations.com/modernity/, Accessed 07/21/2021.
 
[25] Archbishop Fulton Sheen, “Modernity,” ed Greg Aitchison, Catholic Quotations, https://catholicquotations.com/modernity/, Accessed 07/21/2021.
 
[26]. St. Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, trans. Suzanne Noffke, O.P (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1980), 62.
 
[27] Asher Jones, “Early–Life Stress Exerts Long–Lasting Effects Via Epigenome: In mice, epigenetic marks made on histones during infancy influence depression–like behavior during adulthood. A drug that reverses the genomic tags appears to undo the damage,” The Scientist, https://www.the–scientist.com/news–opinion/early–life–stress–exerts–long–lasting–effects–via–epigenome–68561, Mar 18, 2021 (accessed 3/22/2021).
Journal Source: H. Kronman et al., “Long–term behavioral and cell–type–specific molecular effects of early life stress are mediated by H3K79me2 dynamics in medium spiny neurons,” Nat Neurosci, doi:10.1038/s41593–021–00814–8, 2021.
 
[28]. His findings were published in Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal in 2004 and 2005. Ventura, “DNA and Cell Reprogramming Via Epigenetic Information Delivered By Magnetic Fields, Sound Vibration and Coherent Water,” Webinar transcript.
 
[29] Dr. Ventura’s findings (upon which this webinar was based) were published in Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal in 2004 and 2005. Ventura, “DNA and Cell Reprogramming Via Epigenetic Information Delivered by Magnetic Fields, Sound Vibration and Coherent Water,” Webinar transcript can be downloaded at Scribd, https://www.scribd.com/document/161598761/Dna-and-Cell-Reprogramming-Transcript.
 
Dr. Ventura’s brief biography: Prof. Carlo Ventura, is MD, Cardiologist, and Ph.D. in Biochemistry. He was Researcher at the “Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science”, N.I.A./N.I.H., Baltimore, MD, U.S.A. from 1988 to 1992, and then for repeated periods until 1994. He is Full Professor of Molecular Biology at the School of Medicine of the University of Bologna, Italy, and Chief of the National Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Stem Cell Engineering of the National Institute of Biostructures and Biosystems (NIBB – INBB) – ELDOR LAB, at the Innovation Accelerators of CNR (National Research Council), in Bologna. Carlo Ventura is member of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), and of the Cell Transplant Society. He discovered nuclear endorphin receptors and small peptide signaling responsible for cardiogenesis in mouse embryonic stem cells, paving the way to the new field of “intracrine” regulation of cell biology. He developed new molecules harboring differentiating and paracrine logics for cardiovascular regeneration. He found that “extremely–low frequency” and asymmetrically–conveyed radioelectric fields were able to enhance stem cell expression of pluripotency, and afford a direct reprogramming of human skin fibroblasts towards myocardial, neuronal and skeletal muscle lineages.
 
 
[31]. Gerald H. Pollack PhD, The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor, Ebner and Sons, 2013, Kindle Edition.
 
[32]. Michael H. Brown, “In Startling Language, Mystic Claimed A Message About ‘Future’ Of Technology,” https://spiritdaily.org/blog/prophecy/esperanza-technology, August 10, 2017. For more background on Maria Esperanza, go to https://spiritdaily.org/blog/mystics/esperanza-story.
 
 
 
 
 
[37]. Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, n. 10, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, given December 31, 1930, https://www.vatican.va/content/pius–xi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p–xi_enc_19301231_casti–connubii.html.
 
[38]. Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, trans. Suzanne Noffke (New York: Paulist Press, 1980), 237.
 
[39]. Ibid., 74, 237.
 
[40]. Emmett O'Regan, Unveiling the Apocalypse: Prophecy in Catholic Tradition (Kindle Locations 760–787), Seraphim Press, Kindle Edition.
 
[41]. Helmut Posch, The True Conception of the World According to Hildegard von Bingen, trans Dean H. Kenyon, (Mount Jackson: The Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation, 2015), p 83.
 
[42]. According to the California Academy of Sciences, “An organism's genotype is the set of genes that it carries. An organism's phenotype is all of its observable characteristics [both sense–able and meta–sense–able] which are influenced both by its genotype and by the environment.” [https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/genovspheno_01].
 
[43]. St. Hildegard of Bingen. Scivias. (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1990), pp 118–119, and 403.
 
[44]. Ibid., p 403.
 
[45]. Penn State, "With Daily Alcohol Use, Male Fruit Flies Court Other Males," Science Daily, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080102222901.htm: Science Daily LLC, Jan. 10, 2008 (accessed 01/16/2008).
 
[46]. Some research examples are cited in Subsections of “BEIRBO — Behavioral & Environmental Input à Reactive Biological Output,” in Part One of this blog series.
 
[47]. Ibid.
 
[48]. Ibid.
 
[49]. Ibid.
 
[50]. Ibid.
 
[51]. Ibid.
 


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