Friday, May 26, 2006

Kessler Is A Living Argument For Birth Control

It's bad enough when an "outside" keynote speaker* ruins your graduation, but when a fellow student points a disapproving finger at you in a graduation speech, it must feel like a betrayal from a member of your own family.

That’s what Ben Kessler did when he addressed the 2006 graduating class at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.

The theme of the speech he chose to send his classmates out into the world with was “selfishness.” Apparently the man doesn’t know the meaning of the word.

Kessler used the podium as a platform for his own retrograde Papist beliefs. In a world full of turmoil, Kessler singled out birth control and cohabitation as some of his chief concerns for his community, calling the practices “selfish.”

Notably, Kessler failed to substantiate his assertions with any facts about how these ultimately harm the community.

Whereas, for the church to continue to push its views on this birth control to populations where AIDs and starvation are rampant is demonstrably selfish. Perpetuating archaic tenets is more important than facing contemporary realities, it seems.

I doubt the Bible has a single syllable dedicated to birth control, though there are always those who can interpret and distort anything to suit themselves. "Wear thou not the lambskin on thine swollen member, lest thou be wicked in Mine eyes."

Kessler also addressed his school's policy of forbidding unwed couples from sharing hotel rooms during school trips. If it's on the school's dime I suppose it's their right to set the rules, but this goes beyond cohabitation between consenting adults to an attempted prohibition of same-sex relationships.

Dear, naive Mr. Kessler, you, Messrs Robertson and Dobson, the church, the Congress and everyone else who thinks one can "end" homosexuality through prayer, counseling or legislation are fooling yourselves. They're here, they're queer and everyone had better get used to it.

Kessler's words typify the ignorance, arrogance and blind obedience to obsolete dogma that drove me away from Catholicism. Well, those are some of the things, anyway.

Kessler is a football star with a 4.0 GPA, so I guess some arrogance from him is to be expected. And since he's heading off to a semenary (not a typo) to become a priest, I guess some ignorance regarding normal physical relationships is to be expected, too.

Kessler has since apologized for his remarks, feigning ignorance about the potentional reaction from some in attendance at the graduation. But this wasn't an off-the-cuff sentence or two he spoke, it was a planned diatribe against what he views as some of the major evils of the world.

I suggest Kessler get a mirror, so he can see the evils of selfishness and willful ignorance incarnate. Hell, he won't even have to turn around to see what an asshole looks like.

*A practice I think should be done away with entirely; whether it's John McCain or Michael Moore, it tends to politicize and may potentially ruin a very special accomplishment that a student has worked hard for years to achieve. Not cool.


Jack K. said...

Right on, Bogs. I couldn't agree more. I am in the process of writing Chapter Nineteen for the Things I have Stumbled Across. It has to do with self serving behavior. I'll let you know more later.

The neighbor next door just stopped by with a blender of Maragritas, salsa and chips. It is time to go to the patio as soon as I start the jazz in iTunes.


ardlair said...

succinctly written PB
missed tampa given lightnings exit

eye to eye
on this one
eye to eye

Pete Bogs said...

jack - mmm, Tex-Mex and jazz...

ardlair - yeah, I had heard about the Lightning being eliminated... I don't follow the sport, but occasionally I hear some news about it... we'll have to have that pint another time...

Jack K. said...

Well the evening went quite well. After we finished the blenderful of Margaritas we finished a bottle of Alice White Cabernet-Shiraz (2003). It is a very nice wine from Southeas Australia.

That new patio is going to get used a lot, if only the temperature would cooperate.

Jack K. said...

Now back to your posting. (Apparently the man doesn’t know the meaning of the world must have been a pun. I suspect you might have meant word, but I like the use of world too.)

Ah, the joys of freedom of speech. Anyone can say just about anything at anytime. However, as you have so nicely expounded, we don't have to believe a word/world of it. We have the right to dissect their assertions.

I, too, have wondered, if the anti-birth control, -cohabitation, -abortion folks are so intent on .....?

Another thought, they don't want to reduce the population, they just want to be sure that the population looks, acts and thinks the same way. Almost sounds like other religious fantatics/zealots/fundamentalists.

I had a sociology prof. make the comment that the extremes of any issue are not polar, but circular. All they have to do is turn around and introduce themselves. It would be like looking in a mirror.

What most folks have refused to acknowledge, from my perspective, is that we are rapidly running out of space and support for a burgeoning world-wide population.

So back to Kessler's assertions, we really need to teach sex education more than just abstinence. Sure, the best way to reduce the population is to abstain. But, let's get serious. Hormones will win out almost everytime in the heat of passion.

Enough for now. Just some thoughts.

Pete Bogs said...

jack - I have been of late enjoying Lindeman's wine from SE Oz... Merlot and Shiraz... quite good! where are our Aussie friends these days???

you caught a typo there with the world/word thing... but, it may have been one of those Freudian slips... "there are no accidents..."

I don't think the graduation podium is any place to preach at people... it's a happy occasion... as my footnote said, I don't think special guests are appropriate... in this case it was a student who rained on everyone's parade... shame on him for that...

The Flabbergasted Heathen said...

Jack, we have lots of space to put people, they just don't want to live there. Lets focus some attention on biospheres! Who wouldn't want to live in a dome?

rusty shakelford said...

Since when is it wrong to give your opinion when asked to speak. Its your prerogative to disagree and write about it, but you fall into the same category as he does.
By excelling more in academics than any of his peers, the school has asked him to impart his wisdom on his fellow classmates, a tradition among most schools.
By typing your URL in our browsers we are asking you to impart your wisdom on us. Mr Kessler uses the bible to explain his moral view, you use your hatred of the bible to attack his moral point of view. Whats the difference?

By the way you cant escape the reality that if those poor countries you speak of were to adapt Kessler's moral stance then they wouldn't be so poor and AIDs ridden.

Jack K. said...

Bogs, I didn't know you hated the Bible.

Jack K. said...

tfh, we may have the space, but we will run out of the resourece for survival.

BJ said...

nice blog.. found ya on huffington..

i posted about this nut kessler on my blog too lol

Liberal Reason

Jack K. said...


I do know how to spell resources.

I must not know how to proof before publishing.

I'll try to do better in the future.

Jack K. said...

Bogs, the Aussie friends are on hiatus or changing their form.

Jack K. said...

Bogs, fatty is still prolific in her postings.

Pete Bogs said...

rusty - nice to see you again... Mr. K's simplistic beliefs are one thing - the true "moralists" of this world oddly seem to focus on the fine details instead of the broad problems... none of his words will matter if we don't have a world with honest leaders whose policies won't cause us all to suffocate from lack of atmosphere 50 years from now... those are REAL problems, you see...

Kessler and I are the same in that we rant about what we see as the ills of the world... however, he did so by raining on everyone else's parade... it's sad people were so offended they had to leave their own graduation, a very special time as I recall... whereas, no one has to visit this blog, he took advantage of a gathering that people thought they could visit without being hassled and just celebrate their achievements... and besides the negativity of the topic, the irony is it was he himself who was being selfish by giving that speech...

those problems could be avoided in Africa with birth control, but the church is fighting that... it's like Bush pushing abstinence and suppressing info on birth control - self-serving and selfish!

Pete Bogs said...

jack - I don't hate the Bible, though I do think it is a collection of fiction and allegory written by mankind and not God... I saw a show on cable yesterday where an archaeologist was seeking out the ancient cities of Sodom and Gamorrah... I guess it never occurred to him that those places may have been allegories of sin and wickedness... as in, not real!

Aunty Belle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aunty Belle said...

Bawgs, jes' chucklin' over heah---fer a fella that's so "over" the Church, ya shur seem ter have a compulsion to pick at the topic

Kessler demonstated poor taste, I does agree wif that fer shur--right thoughts, wrong venue.

Scientific fact: abstinence and monogamy will radically reduce rate of AIDS infection. This holds true even if gorillas teach it, or warthogs, or gasp! The Church.

(Fer perspective, keep in mind that most folks who have "had it with the Church" are those who want to live outside the moral boundaries taught by the Church and scripture. This is their right, but once they adopt a subjective moral system, they need not keep tilting at the Church
...jes' go on about your way, dally heah and theah, experiment, test and discover...this is OK. Break some eggs. The Church will still be where ya left it last, it ain't gonna disappear and will keep the light on fer ya', and She is still a'knowin' how ter make a great omlette.)

Why is chastity and monogamy a problem fer folks who say they care about AIDS victims? If ya believes in "choice" why not teach the pros and cons of absintence so folks can decide? tell the AIDS infection rate of condom users and the infection rate of those practicing chastity...and let folks choose.

Scientific fact: Aids virus is smaller than human sperm, small enough to be transmitted through the typical perferotations in latex condemns. Conclusison: Condoms give false sense of safty while increasing sex with risky partners.

The bible does prohibit "birth control"...ain't'cha heard on Onan?

False assumption: sex is a toy; everybody should get to play.

Greatest resource on earth:human ingenuity.

(If US birthrates were not so low, we'd have plenty of people working and thus no need of illegal immigrants. Whar ya'll been? All of Europe is dying--more coffins each year than cribs, even UN stats warn of "birth dearth"---Russia and Japan PAYING women to have babies, folks)

All the same, Kessler picked wrong venue--Bawgs, youse right, the day is for happy, encouragin', inspirin' speeches, not preachin': Send kids out into their future wif' a sense of excitement and wonder.

Pete Bogs said...

Aunt B - I was wondering where you were; I was sure you could smell this post a mile away... I'm not over the church, I'm just done with going or believing in it... the damage has been done and will stay with me until my dying day...

it's obvious that abstinence will reduce the possibility of AIDS... and if you never get in a car you'll never be in a car accident, but that's just not real life... I've blogged on this topic several times, including that one where I said you SHOULD have sex before marriage... I don't think a blog is going to change either of our views, so we may as well leave it there...

I'm glad you agree that Kessler picked the wrong place for preaching; he'll have plenty of time to do that after he becomes a father... "Father Ben"

Aunty Belle said...

BAwgs said:

"Aunt B - I was wondering where you were; I was sure you could smell this post a mile away."

Well, sweet chile' ya knows I doesn't like to disappoint mah favorites!!

CROAK said...

Really enjoyed your blog. I enjoyed your comments even more.
Aussies are still here, but as Jack said, just metomorphosising.
Miss you visiting, but love how clear you are in your writings and beliefs.
On on.

Jack K. said...

bogs, it took a little time but I finally decided to make a couple of postings concerning Selfishness and Kessler.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention.