Well Now I'm Convinced

You know, it looks like I might have to change my mind on gay marriage.  I’ve been opposed to the concept for some time, but this video has completely changed my mind thanks to its persuasive logic.  WARNING: Extremely not safe for work or probably your own house language at this video.  Do not click on this link if you do not tolerate cussing, because there’s a lot of it.

The video, for those that didn’t feel like clicking over and having their audio canals violated, was essentially a bunch of really peeved off gay marriage advocates engaging in a collective primal scream.  The long and short of it is that gay marriage opponents are bleeping hypocrites because Rush bleeping Limbaugh has been married four bleeping times, and also because we don’t bleeping oppose no fault bleeping divorce, and bleep bleep bleep we’re just a bunch of bleeping bleeps.

Yeah.

I have to say that this video does hammer home one thing for me: the most convincing opponents of gay marriage are gay marriage supporters.

39 Responses to Well Now I'm Convinced

  • All that being said, we would probably look less hypocritical if everyone could get on board with the universal sanctity of marriage – i.e., no divorce, etc. Kind of in the same way as pro-lifers might be more convincing if some here-unnamed idiots didn’t advocate a “life-is-sacred-except-for-rape-and-incest” perspective.

  • That’s the thing. I think for most of us in these parts, we’d have no problem with laws eliminating or at least making it more difficult to obtain no fault divorce.

  • No doubt. I just don’t think that’s typical of the most vociferous and visible elements of the group. Same as the fab fascists we see on the other side…I actually know people on the other side who you’d not only not specifically peg as gay, but who won’t even share their opinions with you unless they’re comfortable with you personally. I think I get better traction with those people precisely because there’s not nearly as much screaming.

    I just think everybody would be better off if the loud people on every side of a controversy were flatly and roundly ignored.

  • we’d have no problem with laws eliminating or at least making it more difficult to obtain no fault divorce.

    I think you mean ‘eliminate no-fault divorce’ and ‘make it more difficult to obtain a divorce’.

  • Art,

    Correct. That was quite the awful sentence construction on my part.

  • Homosexuals already have the exact same equal right to marriage as heterosexuals or anybody else in America and yes, so-called “no-fault” divorces need to go.

  • How dare they be angry about not being allowed to visit their loved ones in hospitals! How horrible of them to scream when the majority won’t let them get married!

  • Yes, another convincing argument from the pro-gay marriage crowd. Thanks, NAS.

  • By no means was it an argument. Rather an attempt to elucidate your point…that because they yell and scream, they must be wrong? Or if they yell and scream we should be against them?

  • No, I’m just simply pointing out how moronic and foolish they sound. Nothing more profound than that.

  • How dare they be angry about not being allowed to visit their loved ones in hospitals!

    A few years back a friend of mine was hospitalized for about a month while he was being treated for cancer. I visited him often and never had a problem; no one ever told me I couldn’t be there or asked if we were married.

  • How dare they be angry about not being allowed to visit their loved ones in hospitals!

    Restrictions on visitors are characteristic only of intensive care units.

  • I think the (rare) examples of the hospital scenario are drawn from instances where blood relations (say parents) specifically ask that a gay partner be excluded from visiting the loved one in hospital. Obviously, this suggests a pretty high level of family strife to start with, nor is such behavior relegated only to gay relationships, there are plenty of cases where blood relations hate a straight boyfriend/girlfriend.

    I suppose marriage would help with this to an extent, but it’s a very outlier circumstance for there to be such nasty family in-fighting going on in a hospital in the first place. It wouldn’t surprise me if there are also other ways to achieve a similar effect, if people are that committed to fighting it out.

  • Couldn’t the hospital/treatment decision situation be dealt with simply by drawing up a health care power of attorney designating the partner as the decision maker and granting them specific permission for visitation in ICU, etc.? Of course that would require some advance planning, which may not be of help if a medical crisis has already occurred.

    Is there really anything, other than perhaps adoption, that gay couples could not ALREADY legally do the same as traditional couples if they simply got an attorney to draw up the proper papers for them?

  • Elaine,

    It is my understanding that it is not so simple. Sometimes such things are not honored. If I were not so limited in time here, I would give a more thorough response — I would just recommend ‘googling’ it to get a more detailed perspective.

    More generally, a comment or two here — in my view — reflects a deficit of empathy for gays in conservative Catholic circles. I can’t say that I’m not glad that I am indefinitely done with blogging.

  • “… was essentially a bunch of really peeved off gay marriage advocates engaging in a collective primal scream.”

    I couldn’t help but notice the exploitation of minors in the video. Why, yes, my elementary school child can say “f***” — what an stunning endorsement for gay marriage.

  • More generally, a comment or two here — in my view — reflects a deficit of empathy for gays in conservative Catholic circles. I can’t say that I’m not glad that I am indefinitely done with blogging.

    Instead of taking passive aggressive shots, why don’t you point out what comments show a lack of empathy for gays?

  • I somehow don’t imagine it would be worth arguing with you — nor any good for the endurance of my faith-life.

  • No, better to lob allegations and then play the moral superiority card when called on it rather than justifying what you’ve said.

  • If you insist; pray for me then.

  • If such agreements are not honored, then that is a matter readily solved by legislation. Rather than lobbying to change the law on marriage, why not lobby to change the law on hospital visitation? I imagine that they would be more successful at that.

    But then, securing rights is not the real agenda – securing approval is.

  • Once they regularize men marrying men and women marrying women: they will necessarily recognize three men marry each other, right? Not to mention: calves and sheep . . .

    “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” — Abraham Lincoln

    Who knows the first commandment? Hint: it is in Genesis. The vast majority do not keep it.

  • “Not to mention: calves and sheep . . .”

    Because all of a sudden, calves and sheep will have become US citizens?

  • “Because all of a sudden, calves and sheep will have become US citizens?”

    Because all of a sudden, only US citizens have the legal right to marry in the US?

    Also amen to the thesis of T. Shaw. If it’s legal rights they want, I’ll hop on the train. If it’s religious approbation they want, I’m jumping off before the next town.

  • “Because all of a sudden, only US citizens have the legal right to marry in the US?”

    If I remember correctly, they have to be citizens or planning on becoming citizens.

    And there’s also this thing called ‘consent’ which, unless the laws have been suddenly altered completely, animals cannot give. The “then they’ll be marrying animals” argument is absolutely ridiculous. Unless you happen to believe homosexuals aren’t human.

  • The homosexual folks I know certainly look human. And no, your recollection is incorrect. I have a close friend who married a resident alien who has no intention as of this moment of becoming a US citizen. I also work with a woman who is not a US citizen and who is legally married to a US citizen.

    Further, if we follow your supposition to it’s conclusion, then that would mean that no aliens residing in the US who may have been legally married in their country of origin – say, e.g., Italy – would be considered legally married in the US until an “American wedding” takes place. I reserve the right to be wrong on this, but I’m fairly confident that this is an absurd proposition.

  • “But then, securing rights is not the real agenda – securing approval is.”

    We live in a world were “rights” are highly disputed, even among people who believe in the natural law.

    I’d make a distinction that gays want acceptance, not necessarily approval. Even without the distinction, your point implicitly points to the larger, ignored problem — why do gays feel, as persons, unapproved of or unaccepted? This is where Christians have failed us.

  • Regarding the Rush Limbaugh comment:

    Jesus said: Moses only gave you certficates of divorce because of the hardness of your hearts, in the beginning, it was not so.

    Divorce courts were not always built with revolving doors in this country. So, just because we got mowed over by *that* crusade, we should allow ourselves to surrender to yet another war? How does that make sense?

  • The only reason a government has anything to say about marriage is because it is where it’s future citizens will come from. Because, by it’s nature, it is a sterile relationship a government has no reason at all to institutionalize a same sex relationship.
    Government has to promote stability for marriage. Divorce does violence to this stability. So we must work to end divorce, not compound the governments mistakes by sanctioning same sex marriage.

  • why do gays feel, as persons, unapproved of or unaccepted? This is where Christians have failed us.

    Only gays can answer that question. It seems Christians have been rather quite accepting of them as persons, while not approving of the conduct. If they feel unaccepted as persons because their conduct is not approved, I don’t know what to tell them. Divorcees probably feel the same way, but why should I abandon my morality so you feel more “accepted”? I have no need to be rude about disapproval (whether to the divocree or the SSAed), but I am not going to pretend to approve the conduct either.

  • Amusing in the video are the pre-pubescent kids who use the vulgarity for copulation, and have no idea what it means.

  • Eric Brown,

    How can a Christian approve a homosexual relationship? As a Christian, I can tolerate it – after all, I’ve my own sins to deal with and it isn’t for me to remove the mote from a gay man’s eye – but I can’t approve of it, nor accept that someone who is living in a gay relationship is doing something other than wrong.

  • Mark,

    I do not think that Eric is asking you to approve of homosexual relationships.

  • It seems Christians have been rather quite accepting of them as persons, while not approving of the conduct.

    This is the ideal. I don’t think it has always been lived out well in practice.

  • c matt,

    Do you honestly think this? Forgive me, but I sincerely find this response—so typical in conservative Catholic circles—to be pathetic, awfully disingenuous, and very delusional.

    The cavalier way in which you frame your answer, which seems to suggest that Christians have been virtually blameless in loving gay people — “accepting” them as much as possible, “while not approving” their sexual conduct is very disconcerting. In fact, this reading of your carelessly presented perception is given credence by the subsequent remark: “If they [gay people] feel unaccepted as persons because their conduct is not approved, I don’t know what to tell them.”

    It is almost as if you are suggesting that gays are the only ones at fault here — which I presume is not what you intended to say. To put it crudely, it reads as if you are saying this: Look, we love you, we accept you, we respect your rights and dignity as much as the moral law requires. If you do not feel loved and accepted, even as we do all of this, I do not know what to tell you. Maybe you should get over it? This perception stands on the edifice of a single presumption: that Christians love gays and the rise of the gay rights movement and its nihilistic “agenda” of acceptance in our culture is just baffling and perplexing. I think such a view is untenable.

    Since you said only a gay person can answer the question I initially raised (of why gays might feel unaccepted or unapproved of), I’ll answer it then. There are two things that I wish to point out, considering this from a different perspective:

    One. To experience the human condition attracted to persons of the same-sex is obviously to experience it differently. In terms of social dynamics, the lived gay experience is one of being bad. The subject of homosexuality is often avoided, discussed in hushed tones or with great hostility. More often than not, the whole subject and experience is reduced to genital acts. The problem is that sexuality is not just about sex, regardless of orientation, it is an integral part of human personality — a center-point, from which we develop self-understanding and a determining point in how we relate to others and the world.

    Flowing from such antipathy is social silence on the subject because it is, allegedly, preferable to the great antagonism in discussing it. Gay persons experience this phenomenon for great portions of their lives in silence and in secrecy. Don’t ask. Don’t tell. Whatever interior destruction or psychological trauma this may cause, all that matters is that the greater society is uncomfortable with or unwilling to address homosexuality. Keep it to yourself. Become two people, live in two worlds — subscribe to a pattern of behavior, cerebrally constructed, to mask any external manifestations of internal homosexual desires. Show us one face, live with the other. Why share it? The consequent gay jokes are unbearable anyway.

    Not surprisingly, the gay experience involves a profound sense of loneliness. Years are spent withholding a truth — and that secret begins to haunt you and becomes a focal point in one’s life. And this creates an unbearable rift in the most profound and closest of friendships because the “you” that everyone knows is a façade. The greatest difficulty for gay people — the greatest desire for those who come out of the closet is intimacy, self-disclosure, acceptance, and love because the overwhelming sentiment is that one has gone through life fundamentally deprived, in a unique way, of these things. And this sense of loneliness is the breeding ground for dysfunctional lifestyles, compulsive behavior, depression, and even suicide.

    This is why gays, in general, have a predisposition toward modernist conceptions of “freedom” — freedom from, say, religious expression confined to “unwelcoming communities” of organized religion, freedom from rigid definitions of gender roles and conceptualizations of masculinity and femininity, which to the minds of many is the only way for gays to achieve recognition and acceptance — the only way to not live a fragmented, broken life. Thus, the heart of the gay rights movement and its subsequent “agenda” is a unique bond, built on a shared experience of loneliness and isolation, which brings gays together in a somewhat nihilistic movement for self-affirmation.

    I do not believe that gay subcultures exist for the purpose of luring people into a certain way of living. They exist as safe havens for gays who have lived silent and rejected in a heterosexual world. Some families (like mine) react terribly to such revelations and some (again from personal experience) totally disown you. The principal motivation is not some in-built perversion but seeking intimacy, companionship, and the embrace of those who love you for who you are, without reducing your whole person to your sexual orientation. It is to be surrounded by people who realize that “coming out” of the closet is not a once in a life time act, but a daily task. One must prudently discern whether this or that occasion calls for revealing one’s sexual orientation because it almost always bears some sort of risk — of alienation, rejection, misunderstanding, violence, an ill-effect on some sort of a relationship, or some other consequence. For example, just last week in a conversation with two classmates (both ignorant of the fact that I am gay) one said that she “could not understand why people are like that” [i.e. gay], followed by a shudder of disgust at the idea of it. I was faced with the question, as I have been countless times before in similar situations, of whether it is prudent or necessary to “come out.” A lifetime of experiencing such a scenario, I think, illuminates why many gays when they “live openly” over identify with their sexual orientation — “being themselves” is to express the part of their “self” which was always held back.

    It is for these reasons that the grossly oversimplified and generalized “gay lifestyle” is arguably the result of such social dynamics; that is to say, the positive correlation, in many circumstances, with anonymous sexual encounters, constant living in club scenes, drugs, sexual deviancy, and an over-identification with one’s sexual orientation with homosexuality is the fruit of a common experience—it is an incorrect way of seeking true, healthy intimacy and companionship, it is a vicious response to a lifetime of internalizing silence and negative messages, of conditioning one’s self not to accept and recognize a truth about one’s self. What we see then in the sometimes exaggerated presentations of the “gay lifestyle” is the fruit of the worst kind of sin and oppression: self-deception: a way of living, borne of all the aforementioned, that opens the door to spiraling moral compromise that involves a constant need of approval from others—because it has been lacking for so long—and one might do, literally, anything to gain that approval.

    Quite obviously, I do not find such things, these patterns of behavior to be intrinsic to homosexuality—thus, they can be changed.

    Two. Failure to address this problem adequately is a major moral failure of Christians. The Catholic Church herself is facing an extraordinary deficit of commitment according to her own teachings and standards on this issue.

    In the United States there is church ministry in less than half of all Catholic dioceses in this country to homosexual persons and in each diocese that does offer such a ministry, no more than one parish does so. One has to search in vain, going through several obstacles to get into contact with anyone who knows anything about such a ministry. There is a chance too that the chapter is no longer active or is grossly under-funded. If it is active the meeting times (which tend to be once a week) may be inconvenient and one is virtually out of luck unless one can find a priest for one-on-one pastoral counseling. Though not all priests are trained for such pastoral care—I had a personal experience with a priest that was an unmitigated nightmare; I was scandalized by the lack of pastoral sensitivity and the impatience of this particular priest. While I do not think this is a widespread problem (i.e. insensitive priests), the problem extends well beyond the episode I am citing.

    The clergy has done a terrible job ministering to homosexuals. I cannot see how anyone can deny this pastoral nightmare. I cannot see how things are getting better when the problem is universal scope, reinforced by other structural problems, and is not addressed (to my knowledge) to a sufficient extent in priestly formation outside of knowing doctrines. In my experience, priests simply do not know what to say to a homosexual Catholic. I have been counseled before “not to focus on that problem” as if it is either possible or practical to ignore such an over-riding, deeply felt reality that has such far-reaching implications for one’s life—and I do not call into question the good intentions of any priest sincerely wishing to help.

    Gay Catholics find themselves with a tremendous cross, usually finding themselves victim to serious personal incoherence from hiding their sexuality, of clothing themselves with falsehoods to conform to societal standards, confused and hurt by the ambiguities of statements such as “the sin of homosexuality” and the heated disposition of public discourse over homosexual people, their rights, and place in society, is not given its proper consideration, in practice, when dealing sensitively with Catholics who are attracted to people of the same-sex. Without saying it, it is almost as if gays themselves are the problem. The issue is never framed or approached in positive pastoral terms. I do not even see how it can be at this point without substantial changes in other areas.

    Given such a problem and the aforementioned experience of gays (which is obviously my personal perceptions), I find the conservative Catholic to be perplexing. I am not sure that a gay person with an experience anywhere near to what I have described, who has established an incredible bond with another person, often reinforced in its strength by the desperate desire of gays to love will come to a crashing halt after a conversation about the Christian understanding of the ontological difference of men and women and the complementarily of the sexes. I think it would be naïve to think otherwise.

    The crusading lay Catholics defending the Church from internal dissent on the issue of homosexuality and defending the sanctity of marriage (or what is left of it) in our culture no matter the intrinsic goodness of such activities are working toward a band-aid solution, a façade unity or a sort of “Pleasantville.” This is all such activities can be without confronting their root causes, which very few seem interested in. I cannot gather such a desire from those who view those so-called “homosexualists” as vicious, demonic people out to destroy society and “get” our children rather than hurt, confused souls who need to be led from the grip of the real enemy into the loving arms of the Body of Christ.

    The vocation of celibacy is a difficult one and it can only be achieved through a deep sense of self, through spirituality, and through a support system. Celibacy is impossible without adequate resources. From what I can see, conservative Catholics are content to drop the moral standard, hard and heavy, while remaining unconcerned regarding the scant resources. Are we not our brother’s keepers?

    It seems that gay Catholics hardly get the support they need and deserve from their own. We have an obligation to build a just and moral society, which does not include legal same-sex marriage. Yet there remains a deep-seated hypocrisy in the way Catholics and other Christians make extraordinary demands—like the Pharisees placing “heavy burdens”—on gays in our society on the basis of “loving” them, yet the terrible lack of effort—like the Pharisees again, not themselves “lifting a finger”—in offering support and accommodation in a Catholic moral framework is very disheartening. It is simple to critique the moral inadequacy of society, as we all know, but it is another thing to consider how much we contribute to and perpetuate that inadequacy.

    It is for these (and other) reasons that I think that collectively conservative Catholics are suffering from a sinful lack of empathy and a lack of credibility. I am not how sure how most truly imagine how gays should react to them when they do not even love and support their own adequately. It is nothing other than Pharisaic hypocrisy even if it is done, by technicality, in the name of righteousness. This is the heart of why I think conservative Catholics find themselves constantly frustrated and frustrating in particular on this issue. It is the reason why we are all upset by so many things—we want the moral standard without any burden on ourselves, without a change in the way we live and think, and without any obligations that make us go us out of the way for our neighbors.

    By the standards suggested in the above comment, the operative definition of “accept” seems to be “merely tolerate.” We Christians are called to love and love does not merely tolerate—love is active and transformative. You do not know what to tell gays who feel unaccepted. True as it may be (and I do not think it is something to be regarded as sinful), seeking to empathize may be a good place to start. Simply saying Christians “accept” gays sufficiently enough without accepting homoerotic sex conduct (given faith’s track record on this), and if gays do not feel accepted, you do not know what to say is, in my view, not only caustic and simple, it is offensive.

  • At a certain point, we have to leave people to the fate they choose for themselves. We cannot force gays such as the ones who made this video to understand that they are loved in spite of our moral condemnation of homosexual acts. We cannot force our love upon those who do not want it.

    Push has come to shove, and lines are being drawn. What I see emanating out of the partisans of a very real, no not imagined gay political agenda is rabid hatred. Perhaps it was provoked, and perhaps much of it simply comes from their own pride, the audacity that they believe the Church has to condemn their idea of what it means to be happy or fulfilled.

    But I do agree with what Edward Feser recently argued; that conservatives who do not begin taking a hard line on divorce, fornication, contraception, and other sexual sins cannot be taken seriously on gay marriage. I take such a hard line myself. I do not hold heterosexuals to a different or lower standard.

    It’s the same deal with feminism, with abortion. Men are as responsible as women for abortion; but they are rarely the focus of the discussion. This is the fault of both sides, one out of neglect, and the other because they know that to highlight the role of men is to reduce abortion as a “women’s issue”, as having to do with “women’s rights.” The point is, men must be held to a higher standard, and so must the “straight” Christian and/or conservative.

  • I’d like to point out here a remark made by N. T. Wright. Tolerance is an enligtenment virtue. Love is what Christians are called to do. And he went on to describe the difference in these terms: If one sees another person standing on the other side of a room and they wave at each other with a plastic smile, that’s tolerance. Love, on the other hand, requires you to interact and get involved. They are really two quite different things. In society today we highly value tolerance—yet we lack love.

  • So I think what we have today are a lot of people saying it’s OK to be gay, but we’re not so get over there. And they hold them at a distance, as opposed to embracing the person even if their behavior is less than civilized.

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