From: "Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2007 7:32 PM
Subject: Re: Fearing death by water

> The problem with the distinction you are trying to make is that the
> Catholic Church--and others of course--has historically identified sin
> with the body and its desires.  So hatred of sin and hatred of the body
> are inextricably connected.
> This comes of a false (and I think destructive) hierarchy of body as low
> or ignoble and spirit as high or noble.  It's already there in Plato's
> Phaedrus very explicitly, and it runs all through much theology--and is
> unavoidably linked to monastic idealization of a soul that transcends
> the body.

How so unavoidable?

>  If there is a god, I see no reason at all why we should
> assume she hates her creation or thinks loving it is sinful.  I wish
> there were half the fretting over sins of the spirit.  (Yes, I know it's
> there in the texts and in Dante is far worse than those of the body; I'm
> talking about what is, not just what has been said.)

I'm unaware of any pre-Reformation theology adopted by the Church that
supports the idea that God sees His creation as in it essence sinful. The
idea is in fact heretical in the extreme. From the earliest days of
grace is seen as building on nature. Nor would such heresy have been
tolerated in
monastic traditions, where nature is lovingly looked on as a kind of
Love of and celebrations of the body (sometimes to an excess) is quite
characteristic of Latin cultures, even today. Let's hear it for Carnivale!

I do admit that the foregoing misconception does exist on a fairly wide
basis, so it's nobody's fault if it is believed.