The Lidless Eye is watching you!

The Lidless Eye is watching you!

A self-identified liberal … I mean … progressive Catholic blogger has set up a new web site called the Index Blogorum Prohibitorum, on which he will list, in his words, “those Catholic weblogs and websites whose content is objectionable.” By objectionable he evidently means that they are loyal and profess to the Catholic Church’s immutable and publicly proclaimed teachings on a variety of topics. Based on his first two listings, it seems he’s most concerned about the Church’s teachings on sexuality.

He rates the sites among three levels: Questionable, Objectionable, and Offensive. The youth-oriented web site Phatmass gets the stinging Objectionable rating, mainly for the level of discourse in its discussion forums. The only actual blogger to receive the honor of a listing (so far) is Bill Cork who gets the light tap of Questionable.

Personally, I’m hoping for an Offensive rating for my blog.

In fact, I am a bit offended that Bill and Phatmass got listed first. Surely I have been solidly on the forefront of saying that homosexuality is a root cause of the Scandal, that same-sex marriage is a bad joke, that the Church’s teachings on sexuality are unassailable, and that Howard Dean and John Kerry are weenies. (Don’t ask me why, but I suspect that the latter is a criterion for inclusion.)

Here’s hoping the Lidless Eye turns my way.

Seriously, doesn’t it just smack of the joylessness and oversensitivity of liberals that rather than make a (positive) list of web sites he agrees with, instead he makes a (negative) list of sites he disagrees with. And just who does he think is going to use his list as a guide? For me, and I’m sure for many of you, it’s just a source of amusement. I give him my pity.

Update: Alas, he has taken the site down. Good move.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • Hey Dom…

    Tolerance raises its ugly head… 

    If I don’t like it, I am going to try to shut it down… 

    Me.. I link to the liberal pages and simply make fun of them.  Then they call me intolerant. 


  • I have known Nathan for over a year at Phatmass.  He’s got serious issues, all related to his sexual identity issues.  One week he’s with the Church, the next week he is with Call to Action.  It makes my head spin . . .

    I hope I make the list.  He’s already taken me off of his links.  Maybe there is hope?

    BTW, would someone notify Catholic Exchange that they shouldn’t carry any more articles by him . . .

  • Carrie… my thoughts exactly!  I think I’ll send him an email with links to the celibacy pieces I’ve posted on my blog.  He would probably find them “offensive”!

    Those who get listed in his index should get an icon to put on their blog—maybe someone here can make one! (I would, but I don’t currently have a working graphics program)

  • Sorry Theo, got my “Mark Shea metaphors”(TM) mixed up. The Lidless Eye are the reactionary traditionalists and the Brown Shirts are the stampeding liberals. Got to get that drilled into my head.

    (*Now picture me as Chris Farley pounding my head and muttering to myself, “Stupid! Stupid! Why do I have make such stupid mistakes!” *)

  • Okay, it’s funny and I too would covet a spot on the list (course I’d have to write more and that means WORK and…well…there you are),


    A quick look at Nathan’s site——kinda makes you want to run to the nearest empty room and pray as hard as you can for this guy. His links alone…CTA, Dignity—you get the drift.

    Another thing about this site and its owner? He claims to be 20. Now it seems to me that lately, the someone the age of 20 is “A Youth.” I don’t think so. I think of anybody aged 20 as an adult. I mentioned this to a friend who thought I was being “harsh.” Am I?

  • Darn – wish I didn’t have my blog (Perky Papist) down – I’d be sooo “objectionable”!

    No, Kelly, I agree with you, but some people are very grown up at 18 and others seem to be having a protracted adolescence at 40+. But, in our society, when you are 18, you reach majority (well, except for alcohol – whatever). I would argue for 21 myself, but I have a feeling someone arguing pro delaying sexual as well as fiscal maturity until the 21st birthday would not be veeeeerrrrry popular today . . .

    And I haven’t listened to his show in years, but why, when I see that word (in this sort of context), do I always hear Rush Limbaugh, pronouncing it “yout”?

  • Well so far, Brother Nathan has only given out two ratings, both mere “objectionable” pronunciamentos. Nothing labeled “offensive” yet.

    Dom, I think you might be the man to break the taboo, you sexist, racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic bigot.

  • There’s a history here.  For starters, the idea is goofy, and so subjective as to be useless.  Indicting a forum for stray remarks of a kook or two?  Please.

    But, as I said, there’s a history here.  Nathan’s been struggling a lot with his SSA and identity questions over the past nine months or so.  Over the course of two months during that time period, I saw him close his blog permanently, restart it, change blog formats (and links) three times, and so forth.  He actually has maintained a remarkably orthodox set of links during that time frame.  Now he’s back to the CTA/Dignity format.

    The message is silly, but I’d be inclined to be gentle with this particular messenger.

  • I’m not after conservatives.  The charges brought against both of those websites were very serious and nothing to laugh off.  For instance, the proposal that HIV/AIDS is divine punishment for homosexuals—one of the charges against Phatmass—is very serious and has nothing to do with either Catholic conservatism or Catholic orthodoxy.

    I have a lot of respect for many conservatives—just look at my other blog’s sidebar (, where you will see Catholic Light, Catholics in the Public Square, Against the Grain and a number of others.  I’m one of The Lady in the Pew’s biggest fans (and I’m hurt by her comments above).  I also recognize a number of your names—Mr. Price, for instance, and of course Mr. Bettinelli—and I have a lot of respect for you, although that does not seem to be reciprocated.

    In any event, this is not a blog against conservatives.

    Stephen—My articles were removed from Catholic Exchange per my own request.  Nice try, though!

  • Nathan:

    Further, the fact that I called your *idea* silly is not the same as calling *you* silly.  So if you’re taking it as a lack of respect for you as a person, you are taking it wrong.  You should know better than that—you have apparently forgotten, but I’ve tried to reach out to you in support before.

    Your new blog could even work if you engaged and criticized in detail what you found objectionable in the non-kook posts (no one has to argue against moral insanity like that of the Phelps-type comments by the phatmass forum dweller). 

    But merely saying “anathema sit” isn’t enough.

  • At least there’s one good thing about this. If he maintains a list of the blogs and sites that contain conservative and/or traditional material, we won’t have to do it ourselves. His idea may be very useful.

  • Nathan,

    You and I both know that many of the people in the Phatmass phorums are young, or ideological, or crazy.  It is a phorum.  Those of us who are a bit more inclined to be patient with these personalities do our best to educate rather than censor.  In fact, I’ve long been someone who is particularly patient with you, and you know how much I love our friend Hyper.  It’s not the case that Phatmass is a hotbed ot anti-catholic ideas concerning same sex attraction, rather it is more the case that a few individuals have had a rather poor education in this regard.

  • “For instance, the proposal that HIV/AIDS is divine punishment for homosexuals..”

    Nathan, any person who believes that has gone over the edge and needs our prayers – like that wacko “rev” Fred Phelps. However, I would like to point out that actions have consequences… fer instance, I smoke cigarettes which I know will probably kill me eventually – I accept the responsibility for that and with God’s help, I hope to overcome the temptation and addiction to cigarettes. Risky sexual behaviour entails health consequences too, regardless of our sexual orientation.

    Last night I had a discussion with a guy I work with who said the Catholic Church condemns gays… this is such a pervasive misunderstanding (and I think some push it deliberately). I patiently explained to him that it was the acting out of the behaviour that is the sin – not the ‘tempting’ to which we are all subject. This goes for ALL sex outside of marriage.

    Being involved with Dignity is just going to lead you down the path of selfishness… caving into your basest wants with lots of group affirmation—- ALL of us have temptations no different from your own but there is a way to overcome them – there’s help out there to show us the way to a life where you don’t hate yourself in the morning or where your whole self isn’t based on who you want to have sex with.  I’m sure you’ve looked into ‘Courage’? I know when I am confused about something important I sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament – easier to find in parishes during Lent especially, and I leave with a newly found peace – and an answer. Hey, it’s hard when the world tells you one thing but Jesus says something else.

  • Nathan,

    First, I regret very much the fact that you were hurt by my remarks above. Please forgive me.

    While I’m grateful that you enjoy my work, I’m also confused…surely I’ve made no secret about my opinions of Dignity, CTA, Voice of the Faithful, etc., all of whom you link to. I stand by the notion that you—like all of us—could benefit from prayer and look forward to continuing to offer prayers on your behalf.

    I do hope that you will keep me in yours, and, again, that you will forgive me for hurting you.

  • The idea of a website based on critique isn’t bad.  “Nihil Obstat” did all right with it, though he or she seems to have run out of new material: people tend to repeat the same old mistakes. 

    Good Heavens, what do confessors have to put up with, hearing people’s boring sins?  Oh, well, at least the people are worthwhile.

  • For those of you who sent well wishes for my grandfather—thank you.

    Stephen—I honestly haven’t seen much education of the ignorant at Phatmass going on lately.  Mostly I see ignorance, and then agreement with the ignorance.  I would welcome actual education, even if it were orthodox, because orthodoxy is certainly better than the extremism that’s been going on there lately.

    Colleen—I don’t deny that HIV/AIDS and other STDs are a consequence of sexual promiscuity.  For that matter, so is an unwanted (or perhaps unintended would be a better word) pregnancy.  The idea I’m arguing against is that HIV/AIDS is a divine *punishment*, created by God specifically for punishment, and something which gay people or other sexually promiscuous people “deserve.”  I have no problem with saying that AIDS and other STDs are consequences of sin—that’s pretty obvious.  But consequence is not the same thing as punishment.  A consequence is a self-punishment, not a divine punishment.

    Kelly—I am an enigma, frankly.  It’s only been a few months (if that) since I blogged on your post regarding the new institute for lay ministry in the Archdiocese of Boston and encouraged my readers to write to Archbishop O’Malley for its closure.  The problem is that I am a convert to Catholicism and I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing… some people tell me that I must obey Rome on these things and believe what they’re saying, and others tell me that I don’t have to, and both have darn good arguments for why.  I’m very torn between both of these arguments, and from time to time I’m not sure which to believe.

    As a gay Catholic, it is extremely difficult for me to believe the Church’s teaching on it, and there are some people who have very good reasons for why I don’t have to.  If I thought I had to, I would do it—but wouldn’t it just suck to get to Heaven and have Jesus tell me that I didn’t have to live my life celibate and lonely, after all?  That’s the thing.  If the orthodox Catholics are right, great—but what if they’re wrong?  That would come at great cost to me… and I’d hate for the cost to be for nothing.  My fear is that obedience to the Church on these matters will cost me much for absolutely nothing.

  • On the other hand, if you’re wrong and the Church is right (and come on, which is more likely), then the cost of ignoring that teaching isn’t just 80 years of celibacy, it’s an eternity in hell, to be frank.

    Just on the scales of potential cost alone, I would err on the side of caution if you’re not absolutely certain.

  • Nathan said: “My fear is that obedience to the Church on these matters will cost me much for absolutely nothing.”

    Since when has obedience to the Church on any matter not come at a price. When we follow Christ it means sacrifice.  Your above comment is a prime example of the creeping individualism within Roman Catholicism, and I fear it will be creeping into Eastern Orthodoxy before we know it.

  • Nathan: as Dom suggests, Jesus promised that the gates of the Church would prevail against hell, not that any one of us would be given greater vision than the Church.

    Don’t forget that the disciples of Jesus are called to face death for the sake of Jesus, nevermind abstinence.

    And do you really think that homosexuals are alone in their fight against sexual desire, do you think that we heterosexuals have it easy with all the temptations coming from the world to have sex outside a proper marriage?  Or within a proper marriage while respecting our spouse? Do you think that I do not feel attraction to the gorgeous females that live close to me at work and other places?  Or that I would not want to have more sex than my wife allows (the stereotypical jokes here are based on something).  If you think so, think again!

    So, look at it this way: it ain’t easy, but it’s the right thing to do.  Because God tells us it is.

  • My fear is that obedience to the Church on these matters will cost me much…

    Nathan if there is a place where you seek common ground with others, I think you’ve stumbled upon it.  Because you are not the only one who visits these blogs and is called to celibacy.  Those of us who are single have the exact same calling. 

    I don’t want to speak for other single folk around these parts but speaking as single guy…

    celibacy sucks.  (chime in folks if you agree) But just because it is difficult, doesn’t make it wrong.

    But I strive to be right with God and to not rationalize the loneliness and the frustration. Its those rationalizations that always lead me away from God. I work on the struggle daily.

    I know that you would probably argue back “But you can still get married”  True in theory, but my friends and the women I meet would suggest that theory and reality don’t always mix.

    I would imagine that being gay and converting to Catholicism could leave you feeling rather isolated.  However, being celibate and Catholic, you’ve got a large brotherhood (lacking inclusive language in deference to Ms Kelly Clark) around these parts. 

    I don’t know Nathan,  but reading your posts here and other places, it feels like you are looking for a place to belong.  If you are,

    Welcome to celibacy! 

    Our Motto?

    “No the water heater isn’t broken.  Its just not turned on”

  • Nathan, wrote, regarding, in this instance, the whacky Archdiocese of Boston “Ministry Institute”:

    The problem is that I am a convert to Catholicism and I have no idea what Ithor_IP>
    2005-02-16 20:02:53
    2005-02-17 00:02:53
    RC—I’m recommending the abolition of the Archdiocesan Institute for Ministry because of Kelly Clark’s (AKA the Lady in the Pew’s) article on the topic.  She is from the Archdiocese of Boston and had a very well-informed article on it, and it was what formed my opinion.  I suggest taking your concerns up with her.  smile

  • Nathan’s right, RC.

    But I never wrote that the Archdiocesan Institute for Minstry was “new.” Inane, dangerous, dumb…yes.

    Nathan-in-Ohio might’ve formed his opinion based not just on my little article but on examining the “Institute” itself.

    Off topic, and I apologize for that. But hey, as long as I’ve got the horn here let me say this:

    It is NOT unusual in the blog o’ sphere for folks in one state—or one country—to make recommendations to folks in another state. (Or country.)

    Back to the regularly scheduled program wink