Also, a story from the other day which I seem to have missed earlier (it came to my attention via yesterday's CathNews):
"Keneally denies Greens deal on adoption"
A 'female-to-male transsexual' on the differences between men and women
In an opinion piece in today's Herald: (warning: The article could be an occasion of sin for some readers)
[Dr. Bettina] Arndt told [the opinion piece's author, Mr. Paul Sheehan] her favourite person in [her latest] book is a transsexual, Anita Wolfe Valerio, who became Max Wolf Valerio, and wrote a memoir about the metamorphosis from woman to man. In The Testosterone Files, published in 2006, Valerio confronts, from first-hand experience, the divide caused by differing male and female testosterone levels: ''Now that I am Max, I see this rift, this fundamental chasm between men and women's perceptions and experience of sexuality, is one that may never be bridged. There certainly can be no hope for understanding as long as society pretends that men and women are really the same, that the culture of male sexuality is simply a conflation of misogyny and dysfunction. That the male libido is shaped and driven primarily by socialisation that can be legislated or 'psychobabbled' out of existence.''
Mr. Muehlenberg on justice: "Biblical justice", retributive justice, and distributive justice
I don't have time to do a proper rebuttal, or at least critique, of Mr. Muehlenberg's post, so I'll just offer a few thoughts without weaving them into a properly-structured essay:
Mr. Muehlberg says that his intention in writing that post is to
concentrate on just two [kinds of justice]: retributive justice and distributive justice. The former goes back at least to Aristotle and means simply, “to each man his due”. It has to do with giving people what they deserve. Thus we speak about ‘just deserts’ and so on.
The latter term is a more recent concept, and has to do with equality of outcome, and redistributing certain goods, including wealth, to ostensibly help out the less fortunate. It is what is often meant when the left – both secular and religious – speak about social justice.
As for distributive justice: As regards the virtue of justice among humans (obviously neither Mr. Muehlenberg nor I are concerned with justice towards God, which is the virtue of religion), there are two 'sub-virtues', so to speak, under it: Commutative justice and social justice. Commuative justice is individual-to-individual justice, whereas social justice is individual-to-society or society-to-individual justice. Sometimes the term 'social justice' is (or perhaps I should say "before the term 'social justice' was appropriated for describing what would be at best really social charity, and at worst assorted politically-correct causes, the term 'social justice' was ...") used only for individual-to-society justice (otherwise the term 'legal justice' is commonly used, since the individual's duties as a member of society are prescribed for him by law), while distributive justice is society-to-individual justice. All distributive justice means is that the burdens and benefits of being part of a society are distributed to each member of society in proportion to each member's talents and abilities and capacities and so on. So there is nothing sinister or 'un-Biblical' about the term at all; the alternative to distributive justice would be the injustice of burdens and benefits being conferred on everyone without taking into account the burdens and benefits which they have already received from nature or other circumstances.
Mr. Muehlenberg goes on:
At the risk of oversimplifying matters, it seems that the notion of retributive justice is more closely aligned with biblical notions of justice, while distributive justice is further afield from Scriptural principles. But this can hardly be defended adequately in a brief article, even in a most superficial fashion.
We would need to closely examine biblical terms such as justice, righteousness and the like. We would need to look at contemporary economic options as well. And we would need to study the historical record to see whether wealth redistribution has in fact worked, and really helped the poor. But let me tease things out just a bit more here.
Feast of St. Stephen, King, Confessor, A.D. 2010