As the US continues it’s “national conversation” on same sex marriage, it’s fairly standard for someone to suggest that it’s time for the state to get out of the marriage business and have marriage be a strictly religious/personal arrangement. This seems like a fairly neat way to sidestep the issue of having to reach a state consensus on what marriage is, with the inevitable one-side-tramples-the-other problem that suggests. However, I’d like to suggest that it’s an impractical and illusory solution.
To start with, I think we need to look at why the state is involved in marriage in the first place. I’d suggest that the reason has little to do with managing morals or family values, it has to do with the essential function of government: being an arbiter in disputes, primarily about property. In this regard the state ends up needing to define marriage and know who is married in order to answer two questions: who owns what and whose kids are whose.
Say two people have been spending a lot of time together for the last five years. Now they’ve had an argument and want to not see each other again, but one of them claims that some things in the possession of the other are actually his. Are they? The state gets pulled into these questions because its job is to arbitrate disputes rather than leaving people to solve them the old fashioned way (which was by raising themselves up on their hind legs and bashing each over the head with flint axes.) Continue reading
Some things truly do not need any commentary, but this is too sweet a target to forego the obligatory ducks in a barrel:
1. Somebody buy our rag, please!: Newsweek has been suffering financial woes for a very long time. Since 2007 it has lost 50% of its subscribers. I assume that the management at Newsweek now thinks they have nothing to lose from being an open arm of the Democrat party, rather than a hidden arm of that party, which was their usual mode of operation in the good old days, for them, when the magazine actually managed to make money.
2. Bubble people: The powers that be at Newsweek obviously live in an ideological bubble where calling Obama the First Gay President will help him. Most of the country does not inhabit that bubble.
3. Halo Twofer: The halo above the President is of course no accident. The folks at Newsweek regard Obama as a saint, if not higher in the celestial hierarchy. As for gays, they are by definition on the side of the angels, a somewhat patronizing attitude on TV these days where gays are trotted out to deliver lines filled with wit, wisdom and tolerance, occupying the slot previously alloted in television land decades ago to ministers, priests, nuns and rabbis.
4. Not a Put On: No clever satire is intended by Newsweek. They are in deadly earnest. More is the pity.
5. The meaning of Gay: Judging from my teenage daughter’s use of the term, “gay”, among the younger generation, frequently means “lame” or “weak”. In that sense Obama is most assuredly a gay president, albeit far from the first one. Continue reading
Of all the things in Obama’s
performance interview where he came out of the closet and ended his farcical opposition to gay marriage, his citation of the “golden rule” as one the impetuses behind his “evolution” was most revolting. Msgr. Charles Pope details why Obama’s usage of the golden rule as a prop was problematic.
It is a common problem today that people often present simplistic portraits of Jesus Christ to support a variety of agendas. And the portraits of Jesus are not only simplistic, they are incomplete (usually intentionally so), and fail to accept that Jesus cannot be reduced to a simple sentence or two.
I would argue this is what the President is doing here. As if to say, “Jesus, was basically a nice and affirming person, who spoke of Love, and so beautifully and taught us to do unto to others as we would have them do to us. “Surely,” the thinking goes, “this Jesus would affirm and rejoice over two Gay people getting “married.”” It is as if this were all Jesus was or said, “Love…Do unto others”. Never mind that he had some pretty high standards when it came to sexuality (Matt 5:27-30; Matt 15:19; Mk 10:11; Rev 22:15; Rev 21:8) Never mind that he told his apostles he had other things to teach them and would send his Holy Spirit, and never mind that His Holy Spirit inspired the Epistles writers like Paul to speak clearly in the ancient Biblical tradition about the sinfulness of homosexual activity, fornication, and adultery  “Never mind all that,” says the modern world, and our President, “I chose the Jesus who said only, ‘God is love, and be kind to one another.’”
Msgr. Pope also touches upon something that has always annoyed me, and that is the left’s depiction of the hippy Jesus.
The modern tendency on the left, from which the President speaks has been to reduce Jesus to a rather harmless hippie who went about talking about love and inclusion and healed people. Gone from this harmless and politically correct Jesus are volumes of verses that help complete the picture: a Messiah who claimed authority in our lives, who spoke quite clearly of sin, yes even sexual sin, and who warned repeatedly of the coming judgment, and the reality not only heaven, but of hell.
But Jesus is not either of these descriptions alone, he is both. Orthodoxy is in the balance, not choosing one or the other or tipping in one direction.
Much more at the link. Msgr. Pope discusses at length the heresy of picking and choosing the parts of Scripture one adheres to. Clearly the cafeteria is open, and Catholics aren’t the only ones at the buffet.
Actually I am rather surprised, not by the fact that he supports gay marriage, his alleged opposition was the most transparent lie in contemporary politics, but by the fact that he announced his switch in positions now. As the thumping that gay marriage took in North Carolina yesterday indicates, gay marriage is not popular in swing states crucial in November. Additionally, his support ensures that there will be a plank in the Democrat platform calling for gay marriage throughout the nation and that this will become a major issue in the fall. I assume that Obama and his advisors think that this will excite his base, but this makes zero political sense to me. Homosexual activists are most powerful in deep blue states that Obama has in the bag. They are relatively weak on the ground in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania where this election is going to be decided. Continue reading
In a Presidential election year, primaries become much less newsworthy after the presidential nominees for each party are decided. However, last night’s elections were of interest, and the results are bad news for President Obama:
1. President Obama won the West Virginia primary with approximately 60% of the vote. His opponent, who got approximately 40% of the vote, was Keith Judd, or as he is also known, Inmate No. 11593-051. Judd is serving a 14 year term for extortion in a Federal prison in Texas. Democrat Senator, and former West Virginia Governor, Joe Manchin refuses to say if he voted for Obama in the primary.
2. There is a strong push in the Democrat party to have the President come out in favor of gay marriage. Biden recently came out in favor of it, citing the old sitcom Will and Grace, which I am sure played a huge role in his decision to support changing an institution as old as Man. There is a move afoot in the Democrat party to have a plank put in their party platform calling for gay marriage. The party convention will be held in North Carolina. Last night the voters of the Tarheel State approved a constitutional amendment, 60-40, banning gay marriage and the fake gay marriages called civil unions. The Democrat party in North Carolina is in chaos as a result of the party chairman of the state party being accused of gay sexual harassment. It is rare for a party to wish to raise a social issue that will harm them in the general election, especially in the key swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, but that is apparently what the Democrats are in the process of doing. Pass the popcorn!
I’ve been told by more than a few people who support “gay marriage” that my take on it is somewhat unique. Given that I am virulently opposed to “gay marriage”, this is no small victory. It may be my absolute lack of fear when it comes to self-criticism (which may spill over into self-loathing if I am not careful), my willingness to unload heaps of criticism on those with whom I agree (lovingly of course), and/or my high level of intolerance for self-congratulatory nonsense that is responsible. I don’t really know. But I will tell you what I think about “gay marriage”, a phrase I will never utter or write sans-scare quotes, and you can decide.
First and foremost, I’ll acknowledge that a lot of criticism of “gay marriage” just misses the mark. Just the other day I witnessed a college-age conservative Catholic attempting to argue to a mob of atheists, some gay, some straight, that homosexuality was not a valid expression of human love. Woven in were concepts from modern Catholic teaching on the theology of the body and things of this nature. Setting aside the validity of such arguments, I have to say that attempting to argue that what someone experiences as “love” is not really love is going to be a pretty tough sell. I can’t imagine it working at all, especially coming from a stranger. Arguments that homosexuality will naturally lead to the acceptance of pedophilia or bestiality don’t tend to go over well either.
One of the great farces in modern political times is President Obama’s “opposition” to gay marriage. His opposition is given with a wink and a nudge. One of the reasons gay marriage supporters haven’t pilloried Obama on this issue is that everyone knows that he is completely insincere in his convictions, or lack thereof.
Here’s further proof of that.
Obama’s top political advisers have held serious discussions with leading Democrats about the upsides and downsides of coming out for gay marriage before the fall election, a Democratic strategist who has discussed these matters directly with Obama’s campaign inner circle tells me.
This does not mean that it will happen, and there are plenty of reasons to assume it won’t. Indeed, it would be political malpractice if Obama’s top advisers didn’t discuss every permutation and possibility, no matter how far fetched. However, the fact that it has been discussed seriously at high levels means it’s not out of the question.
So Team Obama is basically poll testing his position on gay marriage. Presumably if they see there’s enough support, he can proudly finally come out of the closet.
It’s a good thing his likely opponent is a man who would never dream of running his positions before focus groups in order to come to the right conclusion.
The great conservative hope, at least according to the likes of Ann Coulter, recently appointed a gentleman named Bruce Harris to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Harris is openly gay – a point that Christie made sure to highlight when he introduced Harris as his nominee. Unsurprisingly Harris is a supporter of gay marriage, and has been very vocal on this issue. Blogger Paul Mulshine reprints an email that Harris sent to Republican legislators in the state:
As a Republican elected official and someone who has worked hard (and successfully) to get Republicans elected in Chatham Borough, it disturbs me that same-sex marriage has become a Republican versus Democrat issue (understanding there are some Democrats who do not support same-sex marriage). I was encouraged to see former Governor Christine Whitman’s op-ed piece in the Sunday, November 29, 2009 Star-Ledger supporting same-sex marriage, I hope you read her article and will seriously consider her suggestion.
You have met me and my partner of nearly 30 years, Marc, on more than one occasion at various political gatherings. The New Jersey Supreme court has determined that our relationship is entitled to the equal protection guarantees of the State Constitution. The New jersey Civil Union Review Commission determined that civil unions do not provide the equality the State Constitution mandates.(Please take a few moments and visit www.gardenstateequality.org. which has two short videos that provide sad examples of the failures of the civil union law.)
When I hear someone say that they believe marriage is only between a man and a woman because that’s the way it’s always been, I think of the many “traditions” that deprived people of their civil rights for centuries: prohibitions on interracial marriage, slavery, (which is even provided for in the Bible), segregation, the subservience of women, to name just a few of these “traditions.”
I hope that you consider my request that you re-evaluate your position and, if after viewing the videos, reading Governor Whitman’s letter and thinking again about this issue of civil rights you still oppose same-sex marriage on grounds other than religion I would appreciate it if you you’d explain your position to me. And, if the basis of your opposition is religious, then I suggest that you do what the US Constitution mandates – and that is to maintain a separation between the state and religion.
Surely Chris Christie knew of this.
That led me to ask the obvious question at a press conference Wednesday: Did Christie know how Harris stood on Lewis v. Harris?
Christie said of Harris and his other nominee, Phillip Kwon of Bergen County, “I did not ask them about specific cases.” He pointed to two other cases of concern to conservatives, the Abbott school-funding decisions and the Mount Laurel decisions on affordable housing, and said “to the extent that they’ve taken positions on those issues, they’re going to have to let us know that.”
The governor sure did his due diligence in this important duty, didn’t he?
Of course this brings out the band of merry GOP apologists, such as this commenter at NRO.
Good grief, throwing Christie under the bus ALREADY? He’s not even to the Greyhound station yet.
Is there anyone who in your view IS pure enough to be a Republican president? Talk about making perfection the enemy of the good ….
So now it a sign that you’re some fire-breathing purist to expect a Chief Executive to actually do his research before making critical appointments. Supreme Court appointments – be they federal or state – have long-lasting impact well beyond the life of a governor. Judicial appointments are among the three or four most important job functions of any president or governor. Even if Harris recuses himself from any matters pertaining to gay marriage, it is clear from this email that he is not what you’d call a sparkling originalist. As such, Chris Christie has failed in this vital aspect.
Unfortunately we have so lowered the bar of expectations that some will just overlook this minor inconvenience. After all, Governor Soundbite has so many cool Youtube clips of him berating his constituents, and as this entire election season has proven, bluster is a lot more impressive than actual accomplishments.
Newt Gingrich’s lesbian half-sister, Candace Gingrich-Jones, has taken advantage of her half-brother’s moment at the top of the polls in order to get an appearance on a pseudo news program. In the most anticipated public political pronouncement by a relative of a presidential candidate since Meghan McCain like totally said something like totally profound, she indicated that her brother’s opposition to gay marriage means that she will be voting for Barack Obama. This will undoubtedly send shockwaves through our fair polity and could possibly sway hundreds if not thousands to shrug their shoulders in complete apathy.
This wouldn’t even be worthy of comment if it did not perfectly symbolize the complete stupidity of the American left. Newt’s sister won’t vote for him because he’s opposed to gay marriage, so instead she’s going to vote for a guy who is also opposed to gay marriage.
Oh, forgot about that, huh? Yeah, you see Barack Obama is still on record as opposing gay marriage. Yet that hasn’t stopped the left from basically talking out of both sides of their mouth. You see, Obama’s official position on gay marriage is trotted out whenever they want to persuade those bitter clingers that he’s not so radical after all. Then, after they issue their press releases and mouth their talking points, they all just wink at each other and nod in some kind of secret, knowing way that he’s not really anti-gay marriage. In his heart of hearts dear old Barack is with them after all. He just has to tell those rubes out there in the hinterland that he is on their side. Well, they’re just a bunch of stupid homophobes, so it’s totally okay to lie to them in order to serve the greater good.
Basically either the left is lying to us about Barack Obama’s position on gay marriage, or they’re just lying to themselves. If it’s the latter, they’re not alone in this. After all, in a world of Doug Kmiec and the Catholic left, Obama sycophants will believe just about anything about their guy in order to justify supporting him. Cults of personality are such amazing things to behold.