11 votes

"Hide Nothing"

27 comments

  1. [27]
    aphoenix
    Link
    This is a standard rebuttal of "if you're not doing anything illegal, you don't have anything to hide". I thought it was a pretty good rebuttal of that sentiment as it also included a couple of...

    This is a standard rebuttal of "if you're not doing anything illegal, you don't have anything to hide". I thought it was a pretty good rebuttal of that sentiment as it also included a couple of tidbits that may be new for some people; they were new to me. If you're not familiar with a standard defence of people's rights to privacy and you are reading the comments before the article, then I recommend giving up on my comment and reading the article right away - it's short and to the point and is an admirable summary.

    The statistics quoted around the Patriot Act were of notable interest to me; I knew the numbers were bad, but I didn't think they were this bad:

    Indeed, following the passage of the Patriot Act in the US, the FBI issued 192,499 National Security Letters, meaning they collected the records and online activity of nearly 200,000 people.

    In the end it only convicted one person.

    Now, many have argued that stopping one terrorist might be worth giving up some security for, but according to the ACLU, the conviction would have occurred without the Patriot Act.

    The story further down about the priest was one I was not familiar with. While I personally think that the priest does deserve to lose his job, the way in which he lost it is kind of crazy and it seems possible that it's an infringement. It is notable that if he was using Tinder and not Grindr, he would have been similarly dismissed, as celibacy is required.

    In July of 2021, a Catholic priest by the name of Jeffrey Burrill lost his job and was forced to resign after data collected through his cell phone showed that he was active on the Gay dating app Grindr, and that he had visited multiple gay bars in the area.

    However the way in which the data was not discussed in this article, but I found this from the linked article:

    It wasn’t clear who had collected the information about Burrill. USCCB spokespeople declined to answer questions Tuesday about what it knew about the information-gathering and what its leadership feels about it, except to say the USCCB wasn’t involved. They also declined to comment on whether they knew if Burrill’s alleged actions were tracked on a private or church-owned phone.

    It's a compelling story overall, but I wish we had more details. If he was using a "company" cell phone to get on Grindr, then he actually brought this on himself via incompetence.

    As a general disclaimer - I think requiring priests to be celibate is archaic and stupid, and I definitely wish that wasn't the case, and this should not be the case, but as it stands, Clerical Celibacy is important to the Catholic Church. It's ecclesiastical law (ie. not doctrine, ie. not a Rule From God), which sometimes seems like it's even more important to the Church than doctrine itself.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      vord
      Link Parent
      There are many good ones. Sadly they often fall on deaf ears. People will applaud the survielance state as it gets rolled out to stop package delivery theft (see Ring) Here are some of my...

      This is a standard rebuttal of "if you're not doing anything illegal, you don't have anything to hide".

      There are many good ones. Sadly they often fall on deaf ears. People will applaud the survielance state as it gets rolled out to stop package delivery theft (see Ring)

      Here are some of my favorites:

      3 votes
      1. aphoenix
        Link Parent
        All three of those are great reads. Thanks for sharing. And yes, this does seem to be one of those arguments that falls on deaf ears frequently, as most people are divided solidly into "I support...

        All three of those are great reads. Thanks for sharing.

        And yes, this does seem to be one of those arguments that falls on deaf ears frequently, as most people are divided solidly into "I support the surveillance state" and "I already oppose this vehemently".

        Still... nice reads.

        2 votes
    2. [24]
      NoblePath
      Link Parent
      Not necessarily related to privacy- I am not opposed to a chaste priesthood. I do not believe that chastity, by itself, leads to problematic behavior, and can lead to positive behavior. There are...

      Not necessarily related to privacy-

      I am not opposed to a chaste priesthood. I do not believe that chastity, by itself, leads to problematic behavior, and can lead to positive behavior. There are plenty of clergy who are allowed to marry who have also committed bad sexual acts. Although, there does seem to be a correlation between fundamentlism and coercive bad acts. There's plenty of lurid (and arguably immoral) behavior among Episcopal priests, but it is largely consensual acts among adults.

      The problem, I think, is that standards for entering the priesthood are otherwise too low. The Church should be far more exacting in the spiritual condition of those who might enter the priesthood, with a long period of apprenticeship to filter out those who are good at pretending.

      2 votes
      1. [23]
        aphoenix
        Link Parent
        I did introduce this sidebar, and one of the joys of forums is that sidebars can be very interesting. I am opposed to imposed chastity. I think that for adults, it should be their choice to be...

        Not necessarily related to privacy-

        I did introduce this sidebar, and one of the joys of forums is that sidebars can be very interesting.

        I am not opposed to a chaste priesthood. I do not believe that chastity, by itself, leads to problematic behavior, and can lead to positive behavior.

        I am opposed to imposed chastity. I think that for adults, it should be their choice to be chaste or not, regardless of profession, and that requiring chastity just adds to the belief that sex is a sin, which is, in my opinion, completely wrong.

        I think that the bar is actually quite high to become a catholic priest, but the main component - faith - is one that is impossible to test for. There is also the problem that is harder to address, which is that Goodness should be one of the primary requirements for priesthood, but it's barely on the list, well after adherence to rules.

        1 vote
        1. [22]
          lou
          Link Parent
          Nowadays most priests chose to be priests, so in a way they did make a choice for chastity.

          I am opposed to imposed chastity

          Nowadays most priests chose to be priests, so in a way they did make a choice for chastity.

          2 votes
          1. [21]
            aphoenix
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Disclaimer: from here down, I started a lengthy discussion over a misunderstanding on my part. Read on at your own peril! I find that argument to be pretty specious. You could apply it to other...

            Disclaimer: from here down, I started a lengthy discussion over a misunderstanding on my part. Read on at your own peril!

            I find that argument to be pretty specious. You could apply it to other arguments similarly; "Nowadays most Texans chose to be Texans, so in a way they did make a choice to not be allowed abortions." Or you could say, "People choose to be employed by Amazon, so in a way they did make a choice to not be allowed to be use the washroom and piss in bottles."

            Bad rules are bad rules, and we tend to get outraged at a lot of other bad rules, so it seems weird to defend this one.

            2 votes
            1. [9]
              NoblePath
              Link Parent
              Your examples don't hold. Celibacy is a defining feature of catholic priesthood, proclaimed well in advance of anyone discerning their calling thereto. Arguably, reactionary religiosity is and has...

              Your examples don't hold. Celibacy is a defining feature of catholic priesthood, proclaimed well in advance of anyone discerning their calling thereto. Arguably, reactionary religiosity is and has been for a while a defining feature of Texas political leadership, so in that sense maybe it is the same, and it's a result of choice.

              That Amazon thing is way out in the field. Amazon is breaking laws and rules, and is also merely a commercial enterprise. Noone professes any noble principle to join Amazon, nor do they take any vows our make spiritual promises.

              To your point of faith, it is hard to measure, but one way to do it is by discerning commitment to difficult things, like maintaining celibacy.

              In any event, my main point is simply that chastity, by itself, is not the problem with Priests acting badly. Most of those folks were going to act badly anyway, the celibacy thing just kind of sets the tone.

              3 votes
              1. [8]
                aphoenix
                Link Parent
                I think my examples do hold, though. It's important to understand that examples don't have to be exactly the same. These are analogous, and I chose them because many people have a fundamental...

                I think my examples do hold, though. It's important to understand that examples don't have to be exactly the same. These are analogous, and I chose them because many people have a fundamental reaction to them.

                My point was that having knowledge of the rules of a group before joining don't mean that the rules of the group are okay. I am not saying that being in Texas or working at Amazon is the same as being a priest; I'm saying that the underlying "You knew what you were getting into when you joined the group" doesn't make the rules of the group okay.

                You've basically just pointed out that the rules of the group aren't okay. I agree! Amazon is breaking the law with their rules. They should be changed! Texas has crazy rules. They should be changed! Celibacy for clergy is denying a fundamental human experience from people who are supposed to be leaders of people. That's also a crazy rule that should be changed!

                Celibacy is a defining feature of catholic priesthood, proclaimed well in advance of anyone discerning their calling thereto.

                Actually, celibacy of the priesthood isn't even a requirement. There are married Catholic priests - not many, but they do exist (Anglican priests who are married and convert to Catholicism can stay married). It's not doctrine that priests are celibate, it's just a practice, and it was not introduced until the 1100s via a papal proclamation. Celibacy is not the Word of God, it's just something that a pope introduced, and a papal proclamation could remove. The underlying reason for celibacy is because of asceticism, which, well, is a bit of a mockery with all the gold and frippery of Catholicism now.

                3 votes
                1. [7]
                  NoblePath
                  Link Parent
                  The vagaries of the rules is not really an issue. And the tradition atretches far beyond the catolic church and far older. Ancient buddhist and hindu orders (at least) also have similar...

                  The vagaries of the rules is not really an issue. And the tradition atretches far beyond the catolic church and far older. Ancient buddhist and hindu orders (at least) also have similar requirements. There is spiritual benefit to asceticism.

                  Ut your analogies don’t work. If we must analogize, it’s more like requiring a soldier to kill and to put themselves in harms way, or a doctor to expose themselves to sick people.

                  2 votes
                  1. [6]
                    aphoenix
                    Link Parent
                    Why do you think this? For both of your analogies, you're talking about a core concept of being a doctor or a soldier. Celibacy isn't a core concept of being a priest; in Christianity, it's only...

                    it’s more like requiring a soldier to kill and to put themselves in harms way, or a doctor to expose themselves to sick people.

                    Why do you think this? For both of your analogies, you're talking about a core concept of being a doctor or a soldier. Celibacy isn't a core concept of being a priest; in Christianity, it's only actually for Catholics and some Orthodox sects. There are monastic and ascetic traditions in other religions where they forego marriage, but it's easier to list the religions where celibacy is a requirement than the ones that aren't, due to numbers. A lot more priests can get married than can't.

                    Now consider soldiers - how many soldiers have to put themselves in harm's way at some point? Almost all of them.

                    Now consider doctors - how many doctors have to expose themselves to sick people? Almost all of them.

                    I think that what you're trying to get at is that celibacy is a core concept for priests, similar to helping the sick for doctors or peacekeeping for soldiers. But what I'm trying to get at is that it shouldn't be. That's why I chose the analogies that I did; because the rules in the analogies that I chose are similarly stupid to the celibacy rule.

                    A quick reminder - celibacy is not a doctrine, it's an ecclesiastical guideline. There was no point where God said, "and all priests cannot have sex." That was a man that said it, and they said it because they valued asceticism, and did not want priests to have worldly attachments. I think that if you've been in any church, from a simple country church to a grand cathedral, you can see that asceticism isn't valued anymore by the Church. On top of that, priests are supposed to be community leaders and guide their flock. Priests have no practical ideas about marriage, because they never experience it, and yet if you have a Catholic wedding, you have to learn about how to be married from a priest. Having gone through that, I can say wholeheartedly that there was almost no value in any of the things that we had to learn; there was almost no practical application to anything that the priest was mandated to tell us.

                    I think that celibacy is archaic, it undermine's a priest's ability to help his congregation, and it says that sex is a sin. All of those are problematic in my eyes. That said, I'm not catholic, and my opinion on this doesn't matter to the church one bit, and celibacy is only one thing in a long litany of things that Catholics get wrong.

                    1 vote
                    1. [5]
                      NoblePath
                      Link Parent
                      I think I see our disconnect. Forgive me if I am reading too far between you lines. It seems that your opinion is that no sect or order should require celibacy feom its members, that such a...

                      I think I see our disconnect. Forgive me if I am reading too far between you lines.

                      It seems that your opinion is that no sect or order should require celibacy feom its members, that such a requirement is fundamentally, universally wrong.

                      My question to you then is why/how do you come to hold that opinion?

                      In my moral worldview, groups are free to define themselves and their rules, so long as membership is not compulsory. Even when membership is compulsory, such as comes by birth sometimes, some limitations and impositions are practical to healthy functioning and reasonable. For example, citizens of the united states are barred from murdering each other.

                      2 votes
                      1. [4]
                        aphoenix
                        Link Parent
                        That's not quite it. I think in this specific case - Catholic priests - that the celibacy is unhelpful, anachronistic, and hypocritical. Unhelpful - a priest is supposed to be a leader and...

                        It seems that your opinion is that no sect or order should require celibacy feom its members, that such a requirement is fundamentally, universally wrong.

                        That's not quite it. I think in this specific case - Catholic priests - that the celibacy is unhelpful, anachronistic, and hypocritical.

                        • Unhelpful - a priest is supposed to be a leader and advisor. As stated above, how can someone with no experience whatsoever help when you have questions about marriage? Or sex? They can't
                        • Anachronistic - this was a rule from the middle ages, and it shows. We're not stuck in the 1100's and it's time to move on from this rule, as the Church has also moved on from many other anachronistic thoughts.
                        • Hypocritical - the basis of celibacy for priests is in asceticism - self-discipline and deprivation of worldly things to focus on the divine. However, for the most part, priests are not ascetic.

                        I simply thing that Catholic priests would be better guides and leaders if they were not necessarily celibate. But all of this really comes about because of how weird the Church is about sex, which is the ultimate issue. I don't think that the Church should not be allowed to say that priests have to remain celibate, I just think it would be better for the Church, for priests of the Church, and for parishioners of the Church if priests were not celibate.

                        All that being the case, I actually said at the outset that the priest deserved to lose his job, because of how the rules are currently. It was really a throwaway comment about the nature (and silliness) of celibacy that started this discussion. Well that and my ability to whinge on at length about bad decisions of Catholicism.

                        1 vote
                        1. NoblePath
                          Link Parent
                          The story goes that the newly ordained monk was taken to dinner after his ceremony. It was his first time in the main dining hall, and he was dazzled by gold inlays, marble features, burled...

                          The story goes that the newly ordained monk was taken to dinner after his ceremony. It was his first time in the main dining hall, and he was dazzled by gold inlays, marble features, burled walnut. The dinner was finest erluropean cuisine, rich sauces and tender meats, served on very fine china and silver cultery.

                          A brother turned to him and asked what he thought. His reply was “If this is poverty, I can’t wait to see chastity!”

                          Hypocrisy of the chirch is of course renowned.

                          Your other two legs, unhelpful and anachronistic, are highly contextual, depending on the purpose and goals of the church, which oerhaps you do not share. And if you are not a member, then perhaps you should temper your opinions as those of an outsider.

                          Now you may have an objection to the degree of influence the church exerts outside its walls, as do I. But the solution to that is better walls, not changing the church. Except of course when the church harms innocents.

                          1 vote
                        2. [2]
                          DrStone
                          Link Parent
                          Re: Unhelpful - Celibate priests can advise on marriage and sex the same way that a therapist can council on trauma they haven't personally experienced, a critic can analyze a film without ever...

                          Re: Unhelpful - Celibate priests can advise on marriage and sex the same way that a therapist can council on trauma they haven't personally experienced, a critic can analyze a film without ever having produced one, or a researcher can speak on a topic they are not directly affected by (and even sometimes more accurately than the average person who is).

                          Re: Anacrhonistic - It is an old rule, yes, but that's irrelevant. Whether the rule is still worth applying today, based on its own merits and the current situation, is what should be questioned (and is in this comment thread).

                          Re: Hypocritical - While there's certainly hypocrisy in the church (and most religions), the degree here depends on how you view the situation. No sex outside of marriage is a fairly hard rule in the Church, even if the layperson often breaks it, so to have sex requires being married. Marriage is about love, devotion, and union into one. A priest not marrying is less about self-discipline and deprivation [of worldly pleasure], and viewed more like already being "married" to God, so there is no room for marriage to another.

                          1 vote
                          1. aphoenix
                            Link Parent
                            Agreed, and I concede that some advice from priests is likely good advice. And maybe it's changed in the 15 years since I took my marriage prep course with a priest. "This is an anachronism" is a...

                            a therapist can council on trauma they haven't personally experienced, a critic can analyze a film without ever having produced one, or a researcher can speak on a topic they are not directly affected by

                            Agreed, and I concede that some advice from priests is likely good advice. And maybe it's changed in the 15 years since I took my marriage prep course with a priest.

                            It is an old rule... Whether the rule is still worth applying today... is what should be questioned

                            "This is an anachronism" is a short form of saying "It is an old rule, and the rule is not still worth applying today."

                            A priest not marrying is less about self-discipline and deprivation [of worldly pleasure], and viewed more like already being "married" to God, so there is no room for marriage to another.

                            A key thing is that priests often consider themselves to be married to the Church, not married to God, which is a small but important distinction. But the "why" of clerical celibacy usually comes back to Paul and his asceticism. For some reference, I'd recommend "Papal Sin" by Gary Willis - he talks about celibacy and the drive to make it policy and how it was based on ascetics who forsook worldly things.

                            I think it's notable that no scripture requires celibacy and even the current pope describes it as "discipline, not faith" and seems somewhat open to the possibility of change. There have been synods dedicated to discussion, with some of them voting in favour of removing celibacy, especially in Latin America where the priesthood is struggling.

                            1 vote
            2. [11]
              lou
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              Aren't Texans, like, born in Texas? And I'm not saying it's a good rule, I'm just saying that there is a degree of choice in adopting it.

              Aren't Texans, like, born in Texas? And I'm not saying it's a good rule, I'm just saying that there is a degree of choice in adopting it.

              2 votes
              1. [10]
                aphoenix
                Link Parent
                This argument also isn't particularly fruitful. Some Texans are born in Texas, but some Texans aren't. The exact numbers, though, don't really matter that much, because people are not legally...

                Aren't Texans, like, born in Texas?

                This argument also isn't particularly fruitful. Some Texans are born in Texas, but some Texans aren't. The exact numbers, though, don't really matter that much, because people are not legally compelled to remain in Texas after the age of 18. With very few exceptions, every free adult resident of Texas has the choice to also not live in Texas. So there is a choice in being subjected to the rules of Texas.

                What I'm getting at is that the "you choose to be in this group, so it's okay that you're subject to the rules of the group" is not a particularly good argument. Even though I think it's understandable that the priest lost his job as a priest (I stated support for that in my first comment) the rule itself that requires celibacy is still stupid.

                1 vote
                1. [9]
                  lou
                  Link Parent
                  That is absolutely true. But you're answering to something I didn't say or implied.

                  What I'm getting at is that the "you choose to be in this group, so it's okay that you're subject to the rules of the group" is not a particularly good argument

                  That is absolutely true. But you're answering to something I didn't say or implied.

                  1 vote
                  1. [8]
                    aphoenix
                    Link Parent
                    You wrote almost exactly this. It's almost a word for word exact conceptual match.

                    Nowadays most priests chose to be priests, so in a way they did make a choice for chastity.

                    you choose to be in this group, so it's okay that you're subject to the rules of the group

                    You wrote almost exactly this. It's almost a word for word exact conceptual match.

                    1. [7]
                      lou
                      Link Parent
                      I absolutely did not. I merely made a distinction, you arrived at the conclusion by yourself.

                      I absolutely did not. I merely made a distinction, you arrived at the conclusion by yourself.

                      1 vote
                      1. [6]
                        aphoenix
                        Link Parent
                        Okay, so let me figure something out, because I think there's something I'm clearly missing. When you said this (and it's a direct quote of something you wrote above. I just copy and pasted): You...

                        Okay, so let me figure something out, because I think there's something I'm clearly missing.

                        When you said this (and it's a direct quote of something you wrote above. I just copy and pasted):

                        Nowadays most priests chose to be priests, so in a way they did make a choice for chastity.

                        You said this in response to my saying, "I am opposed to imposed chastity"

                        What are you saying?

                        My interpretation was you saying that in this case, priests chose to join a group that has this rule, so it's okay that this rule is applied to them; because they joined this group, and knew about chastity beforehand, it's okay for there to be a requirement of chastity.

                        You must have meant something else, though. Can you please explain your comment to me, because I do not understand.

                        1. [5]
                          lou
                          (edited )
                          Link Parent
                          I'm saying that, while I'm personally opposed to enforcement of chastity for a number of reasons, I'm capable of taking into account the fact that, in today's world, most Catholic priests entered...

                          I'm saying that, while I'm personally opposed to enforcement of chastity for a number of reasons, I'm capable of taking into account the fact that, in today's world, most Catholic priests entered the Church through their own volition.

                          Edit: I'm sorry if you meant another church, I defaulted to Catholicism because that's my default association to celibacy in the Western world.

                          1 vote
                          1. [4]
                            aphoenix
                            Link Parent
                            Well, if you'll forgive my bluntness: so what? Does that absolve the group of their responsibility for having good rules? Does that put the blame for being the victim of a stupid rule on the...

                            Well, if you'll forgive my bluntness: so what? Does that absolve the group of their responsibility for having good rules? Does that put the blame for being the victim of a stupid rule on the members of the group? What's the value of recognizing the volition that we have to join groups?

                            1. [3]
                              lou
                              (edited )
                              Link Parent
                              I do not forgive the bluntness, but that is a valid objection. The reason for my initial comment is that I don't know you, and therefore I don't know your knowledge or proximity of the workings of...

                              I do not forgive the bluntness, but that is a valid objection. The reason for my initial comment is that I don't know you, and therefore I don't know your knowledge or proximity of the workings of the Catholic church and Catholic communities, so I wanted to provide a clarification which you might find valuable or relevant. It seems that you don't find it either valuable or relevant, which is totally okay.

                              1 vote
                              1. [2]
                                aphoenix
                                (edited )
                                Link Parent
                                Then I apologize. I tried to apply the Principle of Charity to what you were saying, but I misinterpreted. To be clear, I am quite familiar with Catholicism, and I know that people are generally...

                                Then I apologize. I tried to apply the Principle of Charity to what you were saying, but I misinterpreted.

                                To be clear, I am quite familiar with Catholicism, and I know that people are generally not kidnapped or otherwise forcibly coerced into becoming priests (though I would state that coercion certainly does occur, it is not forcible), but I appreciate that you put the information out there for posterity.

                                Edit: because there definitely are religions where people are kidnapped and coerced into forced celibacy (or kidnapped and coerced into other things). Catholicism tends not to do so. Also because tone is hard to read via text - this is a genuine apology and genuine appreciation for sharing of information.

                                2 votes
                                1. lou
                                  Link Parent
                                  That's awesome of you to say that, thanks.

                                  That's awesome of you to say that, thanks.

                                  2 votes