Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Steven Tyler

The quickest way to connect Steven Tyler to Pope John Paul II is via first degree, Bono.
Tyler and Bono

But this is the month of fathers, so let's connect Steven Tyler through fatherhood.
Steven Tyler in the 1970s with his teenage girlfriend.  He refers to her as "Diane" in his autobiography.  I'll
use that name here too.  She was 14 years old when her parents gave Tyler guardianship of Diane.  She had
several abortions, it is not clear if Tyler was the father of all the aborted babies.  There was one abortion that Steve mentions in his books.  
“It was a big crisis. It’s a major thing when you’re growing something with a woman, but they convinced us that it would never work out and would ruin our lives. . . . You go to the doctor and they put the needle in her belly and they squeeze the stuff in and you watch. And it comes out dead. I was pretty devastated. In my mind, I’m going, Jesus, what have I done?”
Actually, this is a misquote.  The part about Diane was,
 "It's a major thing when you’re growing something with a woman, but they convinced us Diana was too young and it would never work out and would ruin our lives." 
Weather you abide by the pro-choice article or the pro-life National Review article, it is clear that this abortion was disturbing to Tyler and a deep injustice to the teenage Diane.  She never should have been sexually active at that age.  She should not have been given to Tyler as a sexual plaything by her own parents. She should not have been used by Tyler (an adult) because she was a child.

Sex with underage children has been romanticized in our culture.  Here is an example that I grew up with.

At the time that "Big" came out, I didn't think much of it.  Now, as an adult and a mother, I'm appalled by the "love scene" with Tom Hanks (a 14 year old in a 25 year old body) and Elizabeth Perkins (a professional 20-something woman.)  This movie wasn't controversial when it came out in 1988.  The moral of keeping one's innocence to become the best adult version of yourself was universally accepted.  Did the character of Susan become pregnant after her encounter with the character Josh?  Did she greet him around Christmas time with the news that he'd be a father when he turned 14?  Did the character of Josh discover he had contracted a disease from Susan?  What a way to begin High School.

Here is another example of romanticizing sex with underage children, Lolita with Jeremy Irons.  Note how the girl is shown as the aggressor and the adult man is doing what he does against his better judgement.  We don't know if this 13 year old Lolita conceived.  I would imagine that she would within a few months of this relationship beginning.  What of that?  What of her heart?  What about her body?  What about her soul?

One source said that after Tyler broke up with Diane, Diane was suicidal.  In any event, he took up with a model after Diane and fathered fourth degree, Liv Tyler with a new girlfriend.
Liv Tyler was Arwen in The Lord of the Rings, a film adaptation
of the epic by J.R.R. Tolkein

Third Degree, J.R.R. Tolkein was a colleague and admirer of G.K. Chesterton.  We met Mr. Chesterton in the Charles Dickens post.  Dr. Alison Milbank wrote the book, "Chesterton and Tolkien as Theologians."  In it she analyses both men's works and their intellectual, literary relationship with one another.  Here is an excerpt from an interview with Dr. Milbank.  
Tolkien refers several times to Chesterton’s essays in On Fairy-stories, and I argue that these references show he knew a posthumous compilation of Chesterton’s writings, The Coloured Lands, edited by Maisie Ward in 1938, just before Tolkien’s lecture on which the fairy-story essay was based. Maisie Ward actually introduces the idea of sub-creation that is so important an aspect of Tolkien’s understanding of his literary project. It’s interesting that Tolkien is anxious to state that his view of the role of fantasy goes beyond that of Chesterton – this shows to me how closely influenced he feels himself to be. So Tolkien says that Chestertonian fantasy shows you the actual world from a new angle but thoroughgoing fantasy is like opening a box that allows out new things and releases them from our ownership of them. This is a really philosophical statement. The Enlightenment philosopher Kant said we have no access to things in themselves, and all we have is our own perception of the world. This leads to an alienated form of knowledge. Tolkien, following Chesterton, is a realist in a philosophical sense, because he thinks that we can be aware of a world beyond our own perceptions. Paradoxically, fiction – creating your own fantasy world – is not a way ofowning your own private reality but setting the things in that world free – like Tom Bombadil putting the contents of the barrow-wights’ hoard out on the hillside.
As mentioned in the Dickens post, Pope Pius XII sent condolences to G.K. Chesterton's family upon his death.

Hell, Purgatory, and The Body
According to, Tyler was guilty and remorseful about his relationship with Diane and the abortion that resulted.
"It affected me later when I tried to get my real wife pregnant. I was afraid. I thought we'd give birth to a six-headed cow because of what I'd done with other women. The real life guilt was very traumatic for me."
Tyler did not sire a "six-headed cow".  All of his children, who were allowed to be born, were healthy.  God doesn't punish people with deaths and diseases any more than He rewards people with good health and riches.  God loves all of us, sinners and saints.

Pope John Paul in peaceful conversation with the
man who shot him
So what happens to someone like Mr. Tyler at death.  Is he forgiven?  Well, if he wants to be forgiven, he is.  It appears as though he does want that forgiveness.  Being right with God does not mean that all consequences for sin are forgiven here on earth.  People who are sorry for rape, murder, theft, etc. can still be prosecuted and punished through the legal system.  Even when sentences are served, victims can still suffer ongoing damage from the sin.  A good example of this is the subject of this blog, Blessed John Paul II.  He was shot in 1981.  The Pope forgave the man who attacked him but, like Jesus, his body bore the scars for the rest of his life.

Let us imagine a person who was NOT repentant.  Perhaps someone who is an adult and is currently sexually involved with a minor.  This could be part of a plural marriage, a family molestation, or a consensual student/teacher relationship.  In any event, under common sense and the laws of most countries, it is wrong.  More importantly, it is wrong in the eyes of God.  As Catholics see it, children cannot give consent to a lifelong sexual union and therefore cannot have lawful sexual relationships under natural Christian law.  If a person has given his (or her) sexuality and genitals to sin, he (or she) has disallowed God to be part of that aspect their human life.

Nothing sinful or imperfect can be in heaven.  If part of a person's body has been whole-heartedly given over to sin, how can it be resurrected in the second coming?  If the soul intends to use the body's members for sin, how can God allow that soul to enter Heaven?  How can God burn off the sinfulness and keep the good of a person if they've given over whole parts of themselves to sin WITHOUT RESERVE.

We cannot forget that death is not the end of the journey.  We are soul/body beings.  We will be reunited with our bodies which will be glorified.  If a fundamental part of our bodies cannot be resurrected, how can we be resurrected?  Giving one's alimentary canal over to sin via alcoholism, gluttony, popping pills, etc. means that, unless we are sorry for what we've done with our bodies, that system must die forever.  Christ ate with his apostles after his resurrection.  Our glorified bodies might have all the systems of our current ones.  The same would be true for giving one's brain over to substances and evil thoughts, our likeness over to vanity and self-worship, and our words and senses over to evil, we cannot bring those things to heaven and to the life to come.

A spiritual Father can help you get to Heaven
The fact is, we do not know how God could save someone with this kind of Swiss cheese soul and body.  I think the best that we can determine is that, with unrepentance comes the very real possibility of damnation.  We have to realize that not repenting can result in our inability to be saved because we refuse salvation.

Both the Orthodox East and Catholic West believe in a purification for souls after death.  We Catholics pray for the repose of the souls of the dead.  Only when circumstances make clear that a particular soul is definitely in the company of Jesus Christ do we venerate the dead as saints.  We NEVER imagine or determine who is not saved.

Confession in the Russian tradition
What to do?  Only speculate about the repose of your own soul.  Get to confession often.  Pray a little more every year.  Work with one confessor and try to find your spiritual father.  Examine your life, your body, your soul, and determine how you can begin to make yourself better.  Notice when you are tempted to judge others.  Use judgement and discernment in your choice of friends, colleagues, and influences.  Learn the difference between good judgement and judgementalism.  This difference is as subtle as the difference between evangelism and proselytism.  

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