The Story of Hank

Blast from the past…


sadlegacyBy John O.

Once upon a time, many years ago, there lived a guy named Hank. He was a regular fellow, and at about thirty or so years of age, he lived in the poorer part of a small town in the mid West. Each day, Hank would sweep out the local grocery story, and when he’d finished his stocking chores, he’d shoot the breeze with his buddies in the local bar or at someone’s home, and they all drank lots of beer. Hank had a good flair for telling stories and weaving some homespun philosophy into them, and people listened to him, usually agreed, and they always looked to him as a local friend. We can all live in peace, he had said, and the folks all agreed. He never had a girl friend.

Hank was raised in a state orphanage, as no one knew where he came from or what his origins were. He didn’t learn much in the orphanage, but he did show a talent for woodworking and, in that orphanage, he learned to be quite skilled at practical first-aid. When Hank went out into the world and started to work as a stock clerk, he was simply regarded as a nice, peaceful guy . . . nothing much else.

One day, one of the local girls fell into a nearby lake. Since Hank was close by with some friends, they all went to see what happened when a local sheriff pulled the girl from the water. Since she was not breathing, everyone there concluded that she had died. But Hank remembered his mouth-to-mouth. He applied what he’d learned, the girl breathed, and Hank was suddenly a hero.

A short time after, a man in the local bar swallowed too many peanuts one evening. Hank and his buddies were there. They watched this man start to choke and turn blue. Hank remembered his Heimlich maneuver, applied it, and the man upchucked the peanuts. All his friends were amazed, and the word about Hank got around. People now listened to him whenever he spoke in the bar, and they took his homespun advice, no matter how trite or incorrect it may have been.

About a month later, a young boy suffered a snake bite in the nearby wood. He was woozy when he finally reached home, and Hank was immediately summoned. Once again, Hank remembered his first aid. He made the cut, sucked out the poison, spat it out, and the young man eventually recovered. Now, Hank had become the town’s healer.

Word spread abroad about Hank, and the local towns and counties brought their sick and wounded to him for healing.

“Hank just hugged his choking friend in the bar,” went the rumors, “It was just a big love hug, and the friend was healed.”

“Hank drank poison,” said others, “so that the young boy would live.”

“And he was not affected by the poison,” said others. “This is surely a man of God.”

“Hank breathed the breath of life into a girl’s lifeless corpse,” said one gentleman, “and gave her the gift of life. I know,” he added. “I was there and actually saw him raise her from the dead.”

But the more Hank tried to minimize anything he’d done, the more the word was passed around. It was not long before a trickling of people from all over the state had heard of this young prophet and healer, and of his great works and deeds. A pilgrimage was planned.

The night before the mass of people arrived in the town, Hank and his buddies were, as usual, in the local bar drinking. After a multitudinous number of beers each, they staggered out into the nearby woods to relieve themselves. Since they were all so inebriated, most of them kept on walking and staggering to find a convenient place, not realizing they were veering toward the major highway that ran through the area.

Hank drunkenly wandered onto the highway, still looking for a large tree, and he yelled, “God, I need to go. I’d give anything to go . . . ” He never finished the sentence as he was hit by a speeding semi whose driver yawned for a moment and never saw Hank. The driver felt a minor “blump,” and thought little of it. Maybe another deer? He kept on driving, and Hank lay dead on the road.

After some moments, his friends found him. In their condition, they’d not heard the semi, among other occasional traffic noises, nor could they put together what had happened. But they all heard Hank yelling his last words.

As they pulled his body from the roadway, one spoke. “I heard what he said. His last words were – ‘I’d give anything to go’ ”

“I heard that,” said another. “He did. He gave himself for us.” They all agreed.

The fact that the eventual official coroner’s report declared the cause of death as “hit-and-run” made no difference to the local people. But the day after Hank’s death, when the many folks, from near and far, came to town, the stories were already well under way.

Hank threw himself in front of that semi to save his friends, the rumors said. He gave his life for us, his buddies reported. In doing this, many voiced, Hank with this symbolic gesture, actually saved all . . . those who both loved and hated him. The last words of “I’d give anything to go,” it was speculated, simply meant that it was his time to leave, and surely he would come again. But the next time he came, it would be with majesty and power.

And as the years went on, the rumors grew. After about forty years, many were tired of the oral traditions about Hank, and several tried to write their own accounts of his life and (what was now called) his ministry. The problem was that they all differed. So a committee of religious folks – pillars of the community – got together to decide which writings were genuine and which were not. Since the committee obviously believed they knew the “plain truth” about Hank, it was up to them to interpret all the writings and pass on a final version for all to read.

No photos (only blurred ones) were available of Hank. So the artists from near and far drew their impressions of how he actually looked. The results were confusion. He had short hair, dark hair; light skin, dark skin; he was short, he was tall; he had a mustache, he had no mustache; he only wore jeans, he only wore shorts; he liked T-shirts, he liked tank tops; he had a beard, he had no beard; and so it went. The committee again intervened to decide exactly how Hank looked. They gave their version, their decision, and everyone said, “Amen.”

People all over the country were now receiving the official Book of Hank, his likeness, and his edited philosophy. Many chose to raise buildings, churches, yea . . . even cathedrals to his honor. Meetings were held weekly, hymns to Hank were sung, and great oratory was thundered from each pulpit which was derived from Hank’s teaching and dogma. Since they could not determine the circumstances of his birth, the committee therefore determined that he must have been born in mid-winter in the snow, in impoverished circumstances, and therefore, he surely must have been born in a barn among cows. No other scenario made any sense to them. And so, that seemed acceptable to everyone. Even the heavens, it was determined, gave special twinkles on the night of his birth. Since that time was now considered holy, worship was an expected duty, praises of “King” were offered to Hank’s name, and gift giving and Hank-like drinking and celebrating were deemed as an acceptable celebration.

And so, they celebrated Hank’s birth with great festivity. Images of his nativity scene were made . . . the manger, the cows, and Hank’s parents looking down lovingly at a laughing and almost naked baby Hank in a rough wooden box on this freezing winter’s night. Lights decorated the many scenes, special music was composed and played in every home, and people came from all around to look in awe at all the variations of the birth scene, and many knelt and prayed to Hank. The towns and cities were awash with lights, decorations and rejoicing, the good news was announced to all, and all the stores made a fortune by selling gifts.

And so, it came to pass that in time, Hank’s doctrines were spread abroad. Missionaries went to far countries to preach this good news of Hank and the imminence of his Earthly return. Laws, statutes and ordinances were preached to all. Churches were established, rules were enforced, and the legends grew, until the knowledge of Hank covered the whole Earth.

But it wasn’t long before other nations took exception and many disagreed with the standard version of Hank’s doctrines. They decided Hank’s dogma must have been different, and more to their own particular flavor and preferred customs. His teaching, they reasoned, must have been more to their own individual nation’s interest, and not another’s, and any celebration would not be at the old stated time of the year, but at another time, coinciding with their own particular nation’s holidays.

And so, a huge difference arose between nations, as each nation claimed that their version of Hank was better than the other. “My Hank,” it was said, “is better than your Hank.” Since each nation believed that it alone was better guided by Hank than any other, each nation figured they had the only “plain truth,” and it was the responsibility of each individual country to set things right. All this was done and assumed as correct after they’d offered prayers in the holy name of Hank.

And while some countries praised the Book of Hank, others decided to re-write it with more of their own slant and more toward their own image and likeness. The differences were discussed over the many years, but no agreement was reached. Each country had their own version of Hank, and each believed that they were correct. But when one such meeting broke out in a fight, it was time for all to get serious.

War was declared. Each country went to war to defend their own sayings and beliefs about Hank and the peace among men that he had once taught. They ravaged each other’s nations, they destroyed each other’s cities, and they slaughtered anyone who didn’t agree with their personal doctrine of Hank. Each group had a crusade, and each sought for many conversions to their explanation of Hank and his teachings. In each one’s crusade, they ransacked cities and massacred anyone who opposed them. Heretics and infidels were put to the bullet, threatened, and thus, millions were thereby “converted” to another version of Hank.

Each country burned books that didn’t agree with their version of Hank’s teachings, and the educated of each nation were the first to be slaughtered. Anyone who questioned this methodology was immediately silenced, then executed. There was to be total agreement or total annihilation. To die for Hank was considered an honor. Billions were massacred.

And it came to pass, that in the course of time and many years, the wars took their ultimate toll. Each country was now destroyed. The cities were leveled, the countryside scorched, and the ecology ruined. The sun looked like a reddish blur through the clouds in the aftermath of multiple atomic wars, and eventually, there was no life remaining on the planet. Silence was everywhere as the charred Earth finally settled down for its rest, and the name of Hank was heard no more.

And God said, “It is good.”

Pope Francis vs Corporations

Pope Francis Thumb's Up
Pope Francis Thumb’s Up

Pope Francis seems to be moving the Catholic Church forward into the new millennia with what some see as controversial but progressive propositions. The first of these for us to examine is the proposition that the church should not have leaders for life, as reported in a Reuter’s News Release:

The Roman Catholic Church should not have “leaders for life” in its ranks, otherwise it would risk being like a country under dictatorship, Pope Francis said on Friday.

“There should be a time limit to positions (in the Church), which in reality are positions of service,” he said in an address that was in part prepared and in part extemporaneous.

It is convenient that all (positions) in the Church should have a time limit. There are no leaders for life in the Church. This occurs in some countries where a dictatorship exists.

Elsewhere he said:

The Pope has issued a strong warning against those tempted by personal charisma to be authoritarian leaders in the Church, describing such leaders as “servants of the devil” … He warned against the temptation for leaders to believe themselves essential to all tasks and described such leaders as “peacocks”… Such people would be drawn by this temptation into considering themselves irreplaceable, and would draw power and domination over others to themselves.

He compared such abuse of leadership in the church to dictatorships.

He asked the crowd present: “Who is the only irreplaceable in the Church?” They responded en mass: “The Holy Spirit!” He repeated the chant: “And who is the one Lord?” They replied: “Jesus!”

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church has just proposed a mandate for expiration dates for those in religious power when their shelf life is exhausted.

Now this is not a problem for at least one of the Armstrongist churches which has as its charter the leader is to retire at 70 years old. The deadline is early October this year. We will have to wait and see if the charter is changed by that time to allow a convenient extension. Nevertheless, a term limit is an excellent idea for religious leaders. Unfortunately, though the Pope probably doesn’t know one thing about any of the 700+ Armstrongist churches (in spite of the claims of some of the Armstrongists), he has just made a proposition which will result in collateral damage to such people as Roderick Meredith, David Pack, Gerald Flurry and Ronald Weinland because these are the sort of people who want to retain control of the church cult corporate for their own purposes of power and money.

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

There’s more bad news for the Armstrongist leaders — Pope Francis is on the attack against corporations:

Pope Francis does not just criticize the excesses of global capitalism. He compares them to the “dung of the devil.” He does not simply argue that systemic “greed for money” is a bad thing. He calls it a “subtle dictatorship” that “condemns and enslaves men and women.”

He says that the poor have been tossed aside by a “throw away culture”:

Francis has such a strong sense of urgency “because he has been on the front lines with real people, not just numbers and abstract ideas,” Mr. Schneck said. “That real-life experience of working with the most marginalized in Argentina has been the source of his inspiration as pontiff.”

Francis made his speech on Wednesday night, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, before nearly 2,000 social advocates, farmers, trash workers and neighborhood activists. Even as he meets regularly with heads of state, Francis has often said that change must come from the grass roots, whether from poor people or the community organizers who work with them. To Francis, the poor have earned knowledge that is useful and redeeming, even as a “throwaway culture” tosses them aside. He sees them as being at the front edge of economic and environmental crises around the world.

In Bolivia, Francis praised cooperatives and other localized organizations that he said provide productive economies for the poor. “How different this is than the situation that results when those left behind by the formal market are exploited like slaves!” he said on Wednesday night.

In a previous post, The wonderful world tomorrow — what will it be like… under…, we described the life of Benjamin Dickmann as he demonstrated just what it’s like to be in an abusive corporation run by the Armstrongist leaders. What most people absolutely do not get is that the Armstrongist churches are corporations and are the very picture of the abuse Pope Francis is talking about.

While we covered Moral Mazes in The Corporation of God™, there is so much more evil to the modern corporation, particularly the modern church cult corporation of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia. The underlying problems as touched on by Pope Francis are explored in much greater depth in The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power by Joel Bakan:

The CorporationBy exploring the material, we can see exactly what is wrong with the Armstrongist churches of God because they have chosen the worst of the Corporate Model and implemented it badly.

 The first thing we learn is that the Corporation exists solely to make a profit. There is no social responsibility attached. There is no conscience attached. There is no empathy. The Corporation, though it is fictionalized as being ‘a person’, the Corporation is an ‘it’ — a ‘thing’. The Corporation is positioned to break the law, pollute the world, even kill people (as was the case with the Ethyl Corporation) as long as the maximized profit is more than any penalties. In an ideal world, the Corporation is beholden to no one. There is no real accountability and limited liability for the stakeholders. The Corporation as a ‘legal person’ is a psychopath with all that is attached to that appellation. Moreover, the Corporation externalizes costs to maximize profits, which means that the Corporation does as it can to make others pay for its operations. In many cases, this externalization pushes costs outward to tax payers. For the church cult corporate, the externalization of the costs of Herbert Armstrong’s divorce from Ramona in the amount of $5 million (and court fees) was laid upon the rank and file tithe payer.

People don’t get this is ugly stuff. People don’t want to get that this is ugly stuff. They want to believe that the leadership of their cult is the hero of a spiritual organization. This is sadly evident in the annals of the PKG as Ronald Weinland continues to con them from prison where he is incarcerated as a felon who committed felony Income Tax Evasion. Roderick Meredith externalized the expenses (both monetary and emotional) by wrecking the Global Church of God, yet people continue to follow him as their spiritual guide because he has the best (false) prophecy. We’ve already seen how callous David Pack was in his treatment of low level employees in the Restored Church of God. Gerald Flurry is a malevolent force creating havoc for members, particularly for single young women. There’s no accountability. The Corporate executives shrug off detractors because as far as they are concerned it just doesn’t affect their bottom line of profit and power. In that, there is little difference between their innate behavior and that of Enron.

Returning to Pope Francis, it is likely that the Pope is especially sensitive to insensitive corporations because of the incident in Bolivia:

It all began when the Bolivian government, under pressure from the World Bank to privatize water utilities, contracted with Aguas del Tunarim, the major shareholder of which is Bechtel subsidiary International Water Ltd., to run the water system of Chchabamba, a water starved region in central Bolivia. At the time, Chochabamba, was served by an old and decaying system that did not reach areas of the countryside where many peasants lived. Aguas del Tunari, when it took over the system, raised rates, to up the three times what they had been, and began charging peasants for water they drew from their own wells. The government, in compliance with its contract with the company, passed a law that prohibited people from collecting water from local lagoons, rivers, and deltas, and even rainwater. the company confiscated people’s alternative water systems, without compensation, and placed them under its control. All of these actions, including the rate increases — which imposed sever hardships on many people, according to Oivera — were justified by the company as necessary to meet contractually mandated profit levels.

People organized in the city and in the countryside, with the help of Olivera and others, and demanded that the compoany leave, which it did, eventually, byut only after bloody confrontations between citizens and the police and military. “We started to see many injured youths, young people at sixteen or seventeen years old who lost arms, legs, were left paralyzed, had brain and nervous system injuries, had one young man, Victor Hugo Daza, Killed … there had been five people killed in the countryside,” recalls Olivera. “It was a victory at a real great cost.

The Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia is a corporate entity, split between the two factions of the hierarchical patronage of the bureaucracy: The headquarters elite, represented by Roderick Meredith and the Regional Pastors, represented (originally) by Dennis Luker. If one understands the church cult corporate bureaucracy, the governance of the original WCG was irrational and chaotic at the regional level and above with contentious competition among and between the various centers of power and authority. The two major divisions left with the worst of the corporate model representing the preponderance of the philosophies of each of the entities respectively. This left each faction with severe problems with the ethics, morals and legality of its own.

Why should any of this be a surprise? It’s the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia after all.

The CoHAM has always attracted the evil, vile, the psychopath, the sociopath. Why wouldn’t it? It is the hotbed of all sorts of scams; an opportunity that is irresistible.

This should all so very clear after reading “Snakes in Suits” by Dr. Robert Hare and Dr. Babiak, “Moral Mazes” by Robert Jackall (read the twentieth anniversary edition) and “The Corporation” by Joel Bakan.

Why should any of this be a surprise? It’s the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia after all.

The CoHAM has always attracted the evil, vile, the psychopath, the sociopath. Why wouldn’t it? It is the hotbed of all sorts of scams; an opportunity that is irresistible.

This should all so very clear after reading “Snakes in Suits” by Dr. Robert Hare and Dr. Babiak, “Moral Mazes” by Robert Jackall (read the twentieth anniversary edition) and “The Corporation” by Joel Bakan.

  1. Each of the sects of the CoHAM are corporations with the “middle management” (read regional pastor and above) living the lies of situational ethics, abstract morality, patronage bureaucracy, networked authority, self-promotion and abject compromise;
  1. Each of the sects of the CoHAM is a cult replete with distorted perceptions and outrageous beliefs, not to mention the bootlicking devotion to “authority” where people are comfortable with letting others do their thinking for them;
  1. Each of the sects of the CoHAM is high maintenance demanding an excess of resources from the ‘membership’ through great sacrifice;
  1. Each of the sects of the CoHAM require absolute loyalty, no matter how immoral, illegal or unethical the leadership may be;
  1. Absolute secrecy is required to cover up misdeeds;
  1. There is constant internal chaos as various parties of the upper echelons of the bureaucracy vie for ascendancy — it is this instability that provides vast opportunities to the narcissist, sociopath and psychopath to scam and manipulate those in the CoHAM;
  1. It is a dysfunctional environment of insanity where fantasy is sold as reality: Anyone remaining in the venue will not be able to be rational for very long;
  1. The CoHAM screws with your priorities so that you do all the wrong things for the wrong reasons while causing you to believe that you are ‘holy’, ‘righteous’ and ‘doing a great work’;
  1. The CoHAM fosters divisions, pitting members against members, often manifesting itself in spying (such as the recent revelations about “The Amazon.com Way” of management.

The structure is highly efficient to induce people to compromise their morals and ethics while making them believe that they are just fine.

It’s disgusting and repulsive.

Just ask yourself (seriously, in those rare moments of honest insight): “Do I really want to associate with members of a cult”?

And the answer to that is extremely telling by revealing what sort of person you are and how much crap you will tolerate to prevent the discomfort of perceived loss in terms of dysfunctional relationships.

 It is also how attractive Armstrongism is to the marginal. Denis Michael Rohan was only one of many. David Ben Arial (Chuck Hoover) springs to mind: Apparently he didn’t cause the same damage as Rohan, but he was ejected from Israel and permanently banned.

It should give people pause to realize that by making the utterly ridiculous seem plausible, the stage is set to attract all sorts of darkly insane people.

And so it is, Pope Francis has declared corporations as “dung of the Devil” with a “subtle dictatorship”, decrying their enslavement of people for profit.

It should be clear that the Armstrongist churches of God fit this profile, and, what’s more, each of the fiefdoms have their very own dictator for life.

It isn’t just the doctrines that are worthless, it’s the social order.

Award

I hate science
I hate science

John G. Cramer presented “The Retarding of Science” in The Alternate View in the October 2015 edition of Analog Science Fiction and Fact:

The Mark Gable Foundation achieved this goal by creating, for each major field of scientific investigation, a panel of distinguished scientists that would meet monthly to award prizes and grants for the best recent scientific work. (The Foundation, as Szilard pointed out, bears some resemblance to the U.S. National Science Foundation.) This plan , it was explained, would keep the best of the older scientists away from their laboratories and busy with unproductive travel, meetings, and report writing and would cause the younger scientists in need of funds to go for the “sure thing” that would be certain to lead to publishable results, thereby filling the scientific journals with trivial results and channeling research in the direction of the safe, the fashionable, and the obvious, and away from the more risky innovations and break-throughs at the frontiers of knowledge.

Inspired by this concept, in 1984, I announced the creation of the American Association for the Retardation of Science and Engineering (acronym: AARSE), dedicated to the retardation of scientific progress wherever it may occur, in whatever field, in whatever place. AARSE is created for the specific purpose of encouraging the retardation of scientific progress and giving appropriate recognition to those who have done the most in recent times to further this goal.

All of this because Science, Engineering and Technology are advancing too fast for everyone to keep up. Training is obsolete by the time the courses are completed. There’s no way to keep up.

In the first incarnation of AARSE, the 1984 Gold-Plated AARSE AWards went to Senator William Proxmire, to the administrators of Columbia University and Catholic University, to the Institute for Creation Research of El Cajon, California and to the State Legislatures of Arkansas and Louisiana. However, many other awards were presented privately by active AARSE members.

However, there was a lapse in the awards for reasons Dr. Cramer elaborated in the article, but now they have resumed:

The first 2015 Gold-Plated AARSE Award goes to the Boston Patriots Coach Bill Belchick for the press conference in which he provided a “scientific explanation” of how 11 out of 12 Patriot footballs and zero out of 12 Colts footballs became deflated during their playoff game. Belichick set a new standard for “baffle ’em with BS” in his pseudo-scientific explanation of the deflate gate phenomenon, which should strongly promote the retardation of science. The “scientific experts” quoted by the media, and reaching a variety of conflicting conclusions, did not do much better and also deserve Gold-Plated AARSE Awards.

There were two other awards.

The second 2015 Gold-Plated AARSE Award goes to the 56% of Congressional Republicans who deny the existence of climate change of human origin. This group has done an outstanding job of ignoring the views of the roughly 98% of climate scientists who have a consensus agreement that anthropogenic warming is real and serious, while quoting profusely from fringe sources and the 1-2% of climate scientists that have expressed other opinions.

The next award of the year has particular relevance to Armstrongists.

The third 2015 Gold-lated AARSE Award goes to the many anti-vax parents of children in the U.S.A. and U.K. who have wisely protected their children from autism by preventing their vaccinations for measles and other childhood diseases. They have bravely resisted the heavy handed prompting and requirements of government agencies and health authorities, who think that just because a link between vaccination and autism has been overwhelmingly rejected by a long series of scientific studies, all children should be vaccinated. These parents instead prefer to be “on the safe side” by accepting the validity of an autism-vaccination link originally suggested in 1998 in a paper by British gastroenerologist Andrew Wakefield. Wakefield’s publication has since been discredited and retracted by the publishing journal, and he has lost his medical license. These thoughtful parents cover a broad range of ideologies from Oklahoma redneck libertarians to California alternative medicine liberals, and they have done an outstanding job in confusing the distinction between medical science and uniformed opinion.

Now it is true that Herbert Armstrong often made it seem that he supported science, engineering and technology, but he made it clear that he only supported them under the condition that they be used for his religion. If they were not, they were “bad” and of the “Devil”, destroying not just faith, but the world at large which was going to hell in a handbasket because of them. Of course, it was obvious in retrospect that the real reason the Herbert Armstrong rejected science, engineering and technology is that he lacked structural visualization which would have given him the ability to understand them. As it was, his father was a craftsman and inventor in the structural field which created a huge rift between them, possibly resulting in Herbert Armstrong’s narcissism. It also didn’t help that Herbert Armstrong never finished high school and did not value education because he lacked the inherited aptitude of foresight.

Herbert Armstrong established any number of antiscientific stances now embraced by his hireling successors who have established a few of their own. He didn’t let members go to doctors for treatment, opposed vaccines and held other views which retarded science, engineering and technology, particularly when they interfered in the advertising efforts to draw more people to his cult. Actually, it was not a bad strategy because 75% of those in the United States don’t really understand science anyway (the statistics of scientific ignorance is appalling). His world was filled with religious magic rather than rational observation and process.

Folks like Robert Thiel have helped advance the antiscience nonsense by proposing that sin — particularly homosexuality — causes earthquakes, natural disasters and drought.

Armstrongists live in a world they cannot possibly understand and science, engineering and technology are unfathomable mysteries for which they create creative explanations, such as gap theory with Intelligent Design not far behind.

This doesn’t even begin to address the issues of British Israelism.

And so it is that we here at The Painful Truth now issue our very own 2015 Gold-Plated AARSE to honor the Armstrongists:

The 2015 Gold-Plated AARSE Certificate of Meritorious Effort
The 2015 Gold-Plated AARSE Certificate of Meritorious Effort

Against nature? Homosexuality and evolution

Professor Volker Sommer (UCL Anthropology)

Same-sex sexual behaviour is often condemned on the grounds that it is “against nature”. Indeed, biology tells us that selection favours those who leave more offspring. But then, homosexual behaviour is widespread – not only amongst humans, but other animals alike, be they flamingos, gorillas, dolphins or bisons. Doesn’t this constitute a paradox for Darwinian Theory? And is there a connection between what goes on in nature and what is morally desirable? This talk addresses these controversial topics.