Peter Abelard

Sex & Scandal involving the church. Peter Abelard, a brilliant religious philosopher whose writings helped reform and strengthen the Medieval church, appears on the Howard Stern show (Parody).

Peter wants to discuss his theories on biblical issues and the interpretation of Christ’s works. Howard just wants to talk about how Peter was forcibly castrated for knocking up a church officials daughter.

Original Air Date: April 19, 2002

YouTube Transcript

Welcome to History Bites I’m Rick Green.  One of the more disturbing trends in
television today is its increasing
sensationalism from Monica’s stained
dress to John Wayne Bobbitt scut off
jeans we can all agree that modern
television consistently aims below the
belt thankfully here at history bytes
our standards are a little higher so get
ready to be riveted to your seats by the
extraordinary exploits of medieval
French theologian Peter Abelard he was a
major player in the fields of dialectics
and ethics his views on logic and
Scripture ignited groundbreaking
theological debates and if television
had been around in the 12th century it
would have just focused on the dirt you
Peter’s affair with one of the students
and then her getting pregnant and then
how her angry relatives castrated him
luckily we’re above that sort of thing
from high atop the Howard Stern siege
tower this is the Howard Stern radio
all right lords and ladies welcome to
the dungeon today on the show we got
Peter Abelard coming on now if you
haven’t heard of this guy you’re still
in the dark ages
this guy’s a professor he’s written
books on theology he’s shaking things up
in the church that’s about all he’s got
left to shake well exactly thank you
Robin you see because the thing is with
this guy well there’s just no way to put
it delicately Peter Abelard has been
castrated somebody pruned his twigs and
picked his berries yeah
they carved his join him eat and scallop
his potatoes so now no one will touch
his left oh yeah exactly
oh man that’s sick okay apparently Peter
got hired by the canon of Paris this is
the guy who runs the parish church right
yeah yeah well to tutor the canons nice
one thing leads to another all of a
sudden he’s teaching her hands-on yeah
from book knowledge to carnal knowledge
but then get this her uncle catches
Peter with his pants down next thing you
know it’s like Peters Peters Peters got
can you imagine that
and he’s also famous because he’s done
some stuff about reforming the church or
something – I don’t know welcome to the
show let me say it is an honor to have
you here with us today oh it’s a
pleasure to be here Howard you know I
spend so much time in the monastery it’s
it’s just great to make the journey to
Paris to talk theology with me alright
sure we’ll get to that in a bit but
first my listeners are really interested
in hearing about your recent laws yeah
well yes right it’s uh it was painful
you know to lose it like that watching
it go precious book on the Trinity but
the church forced me to burn a town
talking about something else you lost
something a little more important than a
book thing a man has and enjoys every
day yes well my freedom and in a sense I
lost my freedom when I was confined to a
monastery but that was that was my come
on Peter talk about it be a man is that
still possible
you are talking about me being punished
for my worldly sins aren’t you I was
hoping you wouldn’t bring that I had to
I mean you can’t Robert which two
relatives are currently ravaging England
with their family feud Anglo and Saxon
Stefan and Matilda Teresa st. Thomas
Aquinas has said that a Christians
behavior is heavily influenced by what
the stars in astrology correct will if a
vassal wants a Fife of land to live on
he must do what kind of service for the
nobleman who owns it look II know
military service lumpy
coming up on Oprah today some weight
loss tips that don’t involve family plus
leeches to bleed or not to bleed it’s
every new mother’s toughest decision now
that was the musical boundary of the
minstrel cycle
now before we bring out Thomas the town
crier here’s something for the kiddies
with bells on their legs
the musical monotone merriment of Morris
dancing I would be the last one to deny
that the scripture is the sin
acquaintance of moral rectitude and yet
okay all right we’re all going analysis
leads us to the conclusion if I may play
the chorus on here oh yeah yeah go right
ahead did they cut your card off someone
who claims that a book was written by
more than one author Oh so the Bible
originating from a multiplicity of
authors is is fraught with internal
inconsistencies no we cannot merely
disregard reason for a mystical
contemplation or ecstatic vision we need
scholarly investigation and reasons you
see what I’m saying tell me was it worse
than a paper cut on the tongue Peter
Abelard was a theologian and a teacher
not a member of the clergy still he had
decided to take a vow of celibacy
why asks pretty much every guy watching
well remember during medieval times the
church frowned on sex except of course
if it was for procreation and even then
their position was strictly missionary
since the church controlled almost all
the spheres of learning to get ahead as
an academic you had to steer clear of
sex talk about the paper chaste come on
Peter you’re a popular guy smart right
guy I read somewhere you’re a
charismatic speaker
you probably had women lining up at your
door so why this Heloise chick you know
how is it her beauty your great gams no
did you have a big balcony or was it was
actually her mind her mind oh no no no
no I get it I mean Peters an intelligent
guy he needs a sophisticated woman to
share your ideas with right and a
mistress on the side to share your bed
would live like a king or a No it was
just Heloise no mistresses
I knew it he’s gay ya see Peter I’m
having a tough time getting my head
around this did you get tired of the
bimbos no the night before Heloise I was
selling really see I don’t get that and
this Daniel celibacy what’s up with that
I mean it’s not like you’re a priest or
anything and hey hey celibacy didn’t
even become a rule for priests until
that thing last year in Rome where they
were talking about only having one Pope
instead of two right you’re the second
Lateran Council of a yeah yeah yeah yeah
that’s it suddenly suddenly know Nucky
for clerical guys am i right yes I am a
philosopher all the great philosophers
knew about the temptation of women and
they resisted pagan and Christian
philosophers Saint Jerome the only
reason those guys didn’t fall prey to
women was because they were too busy
with little boys beware of Greeks
bearing quiche time to say goodbye to
the old fashioned legal tactics such as
plunging people into cold water many top
prosecutors say yes the old methods for
determining guilt or innocence are
unreliable and should be replaced by
more scientific methods like cleansing
their limbs into boiling water great
thinkers can’t afford the luxury of
women women drain you of all reason will
drain you all right but not of your
reason you were just celibate for the
hell no no I’m Robert what do you call a
person who spurns meat sex does not
believe in procreation and rejects
worldly things the little woman a katha
Teresa where is the one place you will
see lots of unicorns on a knight’s
shield all right she wanted to stay your
mistress but you wanted to get married
now for a guy who debates logic that’s
pretty stupid a century is this who
knows ask a monk Heloise thought
marriage would be bad for my career for
a philosopher a wife’s a liability now
on the other hand I argued that for her
to remain my mistress would mean that
she’d have a bastard son and as a woman
that brings her values been there done
that so what’d you do well
all good relationships are based on
compromise so we compromise we were we
were married in secret
hey sneaky all right now Peter as
promised we’re going to debate some of
these theological ideas of great finally
I gotta meet this chick you know your
after-school special oh yeah look at you
oh hello he’s just wearing a nun’s habit
man is that sexy oh you look good honey
you know I give up a piece of me to get
a piece of you be careful what you wish
for Howard Thanks
coming up knowledge for knowledge is
sake and biblical knowledge
in the early eleven hundreds all of
Europe was smitten and shocked by the
true but tragic student-teacher love
affair between Peter Abelard and Heloise
why were they shocked because he gave
her sex and a big deal because he gave
her a baby yeah so what no he gave that
woman an education and they medieval
France that sort of thing just wasn’t
done okay Heloise darling tell me this I
know Peter can’t be a man for you
anymore but why’d you have to go deprive
the rest of us and become a nun
Peter said get thee to a nunnery so I
woke a white a nunnery Peter well
full-bird said he keep the marriage a
secret but not now full burg this is her
uncle right the guy who wanted hello
he’s tutored and had you neutered
yes anyway it was important to keep our
marriage quiet to protect my reputation
as a teacher and a philosopher but then
full Bart started shooting his mouth off
telling everyone we’re married and she’s
pregnant I had to set people straight so
I told them oh I said we’re not married
he is not my husband
okay I can understand that I’d be pretty
embarrassed if I had a eunuch husband
what would you say if someone asks for
the man of the house sorry can’t help
you the knockers gone off the door
before the castration okay anyway
filbert was angry and he beat the hell
out of Heloise and I decided then and
there to put her in a convent to protect
her cuz nobody beats my wife that’s the
husband’s job right okay yeah yeah right
right so uncle Forbert thinks you dumped
his niece off at a nunnery and ran off
right that’s why he had you fixed or to
be more precise buying a new dress is
just a dream
own a new outfit remains the exclusive
realm of the nobles but when the noble
women wear out their designer originals
these counts are handed down to their
ladies and lady you’ll eventually hand
them down to the maid to eventually hand
them down to the serfs so let’s take a
look at the latest new creations that
you’ll be wearing in about eight years
no this is fabulous but of course by the
time it reaches you it’ll be faded torn
worn filthy and cut now Heloise you’re
in a nunnery now right you’ve been
through a lot of changes in your life I
sure have you’ve had a child nurse that
child did you find it affected the shape
of your hooters
a bit maybe could we see well come on
for me now you know one theologian
desire it’s okay for a confessor to
fondle a nun’s headlights if there’s no
evil intent all right that’s true but I
would argue to always get for a quick
look come on this is the 12th century we
see price every day the street in the
fields but with the price of cloth I’m a
modern free thinking woman but what I
couldn’t do something like that unless I
was ordered to by my husband okay hey
Peter how about it Howard
this is blatant exploitation of a woman
in order to further your own career I
will not allow her to show her body on
the show well unless unless we can
discuss my new religious work all right
it’s a deal tip for track now come on if
Peters punishment seems cruel and
unusual by today’s standards if medieval
justice sounds barbaric if the laws and
the rules of society back then seem
harsh and cruel and arbitrary they were
and you want to know who you can sue
well as our caller got a case well you
know through that depends you might be
able to sue the manufacturer the hammer
oh okay well you might consider suing
the cart maker or the wheelwright made
the wheel in the first place
on me well sounds like this caller can’t
see anyone well you know what actually
he can sue sue under or dole ah
under or dole ah that’s true sue you see
since since every living thing in
inanimate object has its own legal
status it can be prosecuted and it can
be held accountable for its actions even
an animal like a duck chuck even a duck
doesn’t matter if chuck you’re saying
our caller can take the hammer to court
under order law yeah yeah objects
creatures anything they all have their
own legal status okay and if he wins his
case how much can you win innocent oh
well I would guess to me probably well
as much as a hammer
let’s face it when you gotta go you
gotta go
and at my age sometimes you don’t even
know you got to go you just know you’ve
gone well thank goodness our streets are
just one big public washroom we don’t
have too many freedoms in this world but
it seems to me that the freedom to
dispose of our bodily wastes when and
where we want is one that’s worth
hanging on to you know despite the fact
that you’ve degraded the love of my life
to base your listeners made fun of my
missionary Park – thank you yeah for
what I’ve been condemned by some heavy
weights Bernard de Clairvaux yeah
William st. Terry cubes st. Victor never
heard of him I dated a Hugh who had a
brother named Victor look I’ve had a lot
of trouble from the French church to say
hey hey hey look the fcc’s after me all
the time – that’s why I’m like hey you
don’t want to listen you got fingers
plug your ears now Peter come on you
came on the show to debate theology but
I don’t feel qualified to debate you I
can’t sit here and pretend I’m some kind
of endo like you can’t even pretend he
has an intellect that’s right thank you
very much Robin okay so here’s what
we’ve done we’ve scoured the countryside
to find you a suitable mental sparring
partner someone who can debate even the
great Peter Abelard
please welcome Gary the village idiot
okay Gary the village idiot what can I
say Howard I can’t debate this man you
see Gary yeah yeah Peter recognizes your
genius and already he wants to forfeit
let’s just do it okay good good now
gentlemen the rules are simple each of
you will present your theological case
that I as the judge will pick the winner
to be awarded the title okay Peter you
Gary Anselm of Canterbury stated that if
God created Christ as a man then surely
God would approve of man’s attempts to
understand okay that’s a good point yeah
however understanding Christ and His
redemptive book requires questioning and
the church is not a proof of questions
it’s a relief to know I can relieve
myself wherever and whenever I need
leaving means I don’t have to keep
things bottled up and that’s got to be
healthier for everyone but in Paris are
trying to change that they’re talking
about painting Christian crosses on the
walls to stop people from urinating on
them I wonder though
well that really stopped anyone because
when nature calls
you got an answer you can’t put nature’s
call on hold
not even for God it maintains that faith
is more important than understanding
what’s next they’re gonna paint prices
on the streets so we can’t throw our
waste out the window is my wife gonna
start putting little crosses around the
chamber pot so I won’t pee on the seat I
guess I’ll have to live with the crosses
and just cross my legs but that’s one
cross I can’t promise I won’t pay on
faith as one’s guide on the road to
truth is is like the blind leading the
you see if if faith is your guide then
any discovery that runs contrary to the
tenants of that people could be ignored
I’m sorry Peter I have to cut you off
there that’s okay he’s used to it yeah
okay Gary the village idiot
George Burke you’re questioning the
church makes more sense than Peters
because you wouldn’t be dumb to question
the church that would be heresy and
you’d be burned or loser yeah you know
what’s the title of master debater to
hey how do you feel my head smells like
according to the Old Testament a man
with missing or damaged stones was
outcast from the Assembly of the Lord
and while it might not have been taken
literally the notion that eunuchs were
somehow less than human carried through
to Christian Europe so even though Peter
Abelard was a great scholar and teacher
his castration was a major source of
shame to make matters worse Abelard
believed that the loss of his stones was
divine retribution
yeah God knows how to get you where it
hurts okay if you just joined us we’re
here with Peter Abelard a philosopher
whose writings have clarified the works
of Aristotle
oh yeah and Peter also knocked up a
chicken got castrated for it so what’s
next for Peter Abelard well I checked
myself into a monastery for a while I
want to make peace with God we don’t
know why do you have to make peace with
God are you ticked off Odin no no he’s
mad at me I mean that’s why all this
happened it’s it’s God’s punishment I
mean I made a vow to him to be chaste
and I broke that vow yeah yeah that’s
right not much good cheating on God I
mean you know the guy’s omnivorous you
mean omniscient yeah yeah that too I
mean the guy’s everywhere he knows when
you’ve been naughty or nice come on
he’s like the ultimate stalker no
restraining orders for God you know as a
philosopher the only logical conclusion
that I can arrive at is that here we go
again God is responsible for everything
right even though my manhood was removed
by the hand of man the hand guiding that
hand was God’s hand I’m lucky I didn’t
sin with your neck okay how about your
music career now you’re a great
songwriter you wrote some dynamite love
songs for Heloise we don’t have much
time left on the show so would you do us
the honor of singing us out all right
this will be great okay sometimes us
mere mortal man
go astray and we do bad and meanwhile up
in the firmament it makes the pink eye
man well since he wrecked his awful
revenge hurts to meal and prey cat us be
feeling testy
does it just took mine away
love me with her man I didn’t know that
if I left God I’d leave a piece of me
behind added wine and subtracted our
clothes we all heard a God must be
feeling testy cuz he just took a
forgotten to the Lord you cannot lie
okay or he’ll make your life a living
send you there when you died is free of
my troubles of how I’m here for man and
how I went from standing up to sitting
down why along the cam the story of
Peter Abelard and Heloise remains one of
the great romantic tragedies some
sources even claim the couple where the
inspiration for Romeo and Juliet
fortunately neither of them committed
the very talented and intelligent
Heloise went on to become head of a
convent Peter lived out his days as a
monk continuing to stir up controversy
and excitement in the church with his
writings he was repeatedly charged with
heresy and his books were on the
churches forbidden list for years
luckily Peters autobiography survived he
called it
historia Kalama Tatum or history of my
troubles maybe a better title would have
been historic a stratum bytom now when
the fellows draw their swords I have to
say to shape as it just took mater way
God must be feeling testy cuz it just