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.
At this early stage of the game, I’d say that my top choices for the GOP nomination are two Ricks: Perry and Santorum. The latter has as much chance as I do of actually getting the nomination, but he’ s also the one who I am most sympathetic to ideologically.
I say this all as a preamble because I’m going to disagree with parts of both of their comments from this past weekend. Rick Perry had this to say about New York’s decision to permit gay marriage:
Perry, who is considering running for president, at a forum in Colorado on Friday called himself an “unapologetic social conservative” and said he opposes gay marriage — but that he’s also a firm believer in the 10th Amendment, the Associated Press reported.
“Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. And you know what? That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me,” he said to applause from several hundred GOP donors in Aspen, the AP reported.
“That is their call. If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business.”
Perry’s argument on behalf of federalism is completely legitimate. For now I’ll leave that specific debate aside and focus on the tenor of Perry’s statement. While one can argue that a state has a right to do x, it does not follow that the state should be free from criticism. This is similar to something that Rudy Giuliani said, and which I criticized last week. All that federalism means is that individual states have wide latitude to formulate their own laws, free from interference by the federal government. Federalism does not mean that citizens of other states cannot criticize these decisions. This idea that federalism entails complete silence on the doings of other states is akin to those who hide behind the first amendment when they say something silly and earn public ridicule. Just because you have the right to do something or say something it doesn’t mean that you should do something, and citizens of other locales absolutely have the right to speak out against these decisions and perhaps persuade the citizens of the state in question to change their mind.
That said, I have a slight issue with Santorum’s response:
That prompted a response from Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who tweeted overnight: “So Gov Perry, if a state wanted to allow polygamy or if they chose to deny heterosexuals the right to marry, would that be OK too?”
It’s not unfair to employ the logic of a slippery slope argument. There are already rumblings from polygamist groups who want to legalize polygamy now that the floodgates have opened. That said, there are a couple of problems with this rhetorical strategy. To me the slippery slope argument is the last refuge when all other arguments fail. It doesn’t really address the actual issue at hand, and in fact there’s a subtle implication that the subject under consideration is not all that serious a concern.
I guess what bothers me about Santorum’s tweet is that it doesn’t tackle the issue of gay marriage head on. I acknowledge that this is just a tweet, and Santorum has no doubt argued well on behalf of traditional marriage before. But this smacks too much of a dodge, as though gay marriage isn’t that bad – but polygamy and the outlawing of heterosexual marriage, now that’s bad. If the issue under discussion had been abortion, would Santorum have raised the specter of something semi-related? I doubt it.
I’ll admit I might be nitpicking here, and that Santorum is simply mocking the absurdity(in his view) of Perry’s federalist stance. Again, you’re not going to capture a lot of nuance in a single tweet – which says something about the nature of twitter, but that’s for another rant. I just fear that too often defenders of traditional marriage rely upon the slippery slope argument too facilely. If gay marriage is as bad for society as we think it is, we should argue against it on its own merits (or demerits) instead of attacking semi-related subjects.
Despite my opposition to his presidential candidacy in 2008, I’ve always liked Rudy Giuliani. Most of that stems from having grown up in New York and seeing the city’s renaissance under Mayor Rudy. Also, despite his socially liberal views, Rudy generally refrained from head-on confrontations with social conservatives. He always struck me as the type of guy who understood that his positions were in the minority within the party and so, unlike other social liberals, Rudy focused his fire on the left and largely kept mum on social issues.
He may not agree with the vote in New York to legalize gay marriage, but former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said the Republican Party should butt out of the bedroom and stick to fiscal policy.
“I think the Republican Party would be well advised to get the heck out of people’s bedrooms and let these things get decided by states,” Giuliani said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We’d be a much more successful political party if we stuck to our economic, conservative roots.”
There are so many problems with this statement that I almost don’t know where to begin. First of all, we need to retire the “stay out of people’s bedroom” meme. It’s a silly cliche and it is used to shut down debate. As is the case with abortion, I don’t think too many marriages take place in the bedroom. The implication is that this is ultimately an issue that revolves around sexual morality, but that misses the point. Nobody is urging that gays be prohibited from doing what they want behind closed doors. Gay marriage opponents simply do not want the definition of marriage to be changed. In point of fact, the libertarian position on this issue would not necessarily be for marriage to be opened to gays, but rather for the state to get out of the marriage business altogether.* The people advocating government involvement in this area are gay marriage advocates, not opponents.
*The merits of this particular argument have been debated here and elsewhere, and I’m not particularly concerned with continuing that discussion here. I just bring it up as an example of what the libertarian position is, not what it ought to be.
Giuliani also seems confused as to which side is making all the noise. Conservatives aren’t the ones who started this debate by advocating for a change. We’ve been the ones fighting a rearguard action to fend off those who would fundamentally alter the definition of marriage. Saying that we’re the ones who need to be quiet about the issue is completely hypocritical.
Rudy then tries to have it both ways, later saying that he’s personally opposed to gay marriage but that he supports the democratic process in New York. Well which is it, Rudy? If you think that it’s a bad idea, why are you telling others who share your view to shut up about it? Do you think that you can play both sides by feigning opposition while ultimately taking the side of gay marriage advocates? More importantly, Giuliani reverts to another tired meme that is constantly trotted out during this debate. Just because one believes in the principle of federalism it does not mean that one should not inveigh against states making bad decisions. Curiously the same people now talking about the glories of federalism didn’t seem to have the same opinion about remaining silent on state laws when it came to the Arizona immigration debate. Just because a state has the right to do such and such doesn’t mean that you can’t lobby the people and legislators of said state to reach a different conclusion. This is akin to the first amendment argument wherein people use the freedom of speech as a crutch when criticized for saying something stupid. Freedom is a two-way street, and we are allowed to criticize bad ideas and work for change within the states.
Finally, the political calculation is just off. Perhaps it’s unsurprising that the man who waged one of the worst presidential campaigns in history is offering bad political advice, but time and again polls show that it’s on social, not economic issues that conservatives are more in line with majority opinion. It’s one of the great fallacies of our era that conservatives should concentrate on economic issues in the interests of electoral gain. There’s a reason New York is the first state to enact gay marriage through the legislature. If being pro-gay marriage were a winning issue, then more states would have permitted it through the democratic process by now. And of course this ignores the more important issue about abandoning principles in the interests of political expediency.
Update: Semi-related, here is a story linked at Creative Minority Report about Vermont Inn Keepers being sued for refusing to host a gay marriage reception.
What now Rudy? Should gay marriage advocates stay out of Catholic innkeeper’s bedrooms?
A round-up of some of the best punditry in the Catholic Blogosphere, courtesy of ThePulp.it:
“Why Is Mugabe Visiting the Vatican?” – James Kirchick, New Republic
. . .Mark Stricherz of Catholic Vote wrote about this here. . .
God & Political Science – Timothy Shah, Daniel Philpott & Monica Toft, PD
Exposing the Death Dealers – Amy Welborn, Crisis Magazine
Pro-Lifers Help Win Canadian Baby Battle – Maryann Gogniat Eidemiller, OSV
About Face on Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ – Joan Frawley Desmond, NCRegister
Abp. Jose Gomez: You Have a Duty to Confront This Culture – Cal Cth Daily
Fig Leaves & Falsehoods (Lying & Planned Parenthood) – Janet E. Smith, FT
Quaeritur: Selling a Rosary & Other Sacred Things – Father John Zuhlsdorf
Paternalistic Violence in the New World – David, The School of Salamanca
Monster Baptism & Chemical Pregnancy – Doctor Stacy Trasancos
The Sistine Chapel, In the Depths of Wales! – Richard Collins, The Guild
If you liked this roundup of the best posts from around the Catholic blogosphere, visit ThePulp.it for daily updates twice a day.
The same-sex marriage debate is heating up in Maryland, and our Bishops continue to fight the good fight. Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore, and Bishop Francis Malooly of Wilmington together wrote a statement condemning the State Assembly’s vote to approve of same-sex marriage, and urged Catholics to continue mounting opposition. This drew the ire of Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director of something called New Ways Ministry, which is is described as a “Catholic [sic] ministry of justice and reconciliation for lesbian/gay Catholics and the wider church community.” He writes: Continue reading
There are a pair of companions bills working their way through the Maryland legislature. HB 55 and SB 116, titled “The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act” will soon be coming up for debate. Religious freedom and marriage protection – must be a law that good Catholics can get behind. So what do the bills provide for:
Altering a provision of law to establish that only a marriage between two individuals who are not otherwise prohibited from marrying is valid in the State; prohibiting an official of a religious institution or body authorized to solemnize marriages from being required to solemnize any marriage in violation of the constitutional right to free exercise of religion; etc.
So it’s a gay marriage bill. Oh sure there’s a little codicil about protecting religious officials from having to perform gay marriage, but this is a bill about altering the definition of marriage.
You almost have to hand it to the Democrats here in Maryland. They recognize that while Maryland might be a deeply blue state, there is a very large segment of social conservatives that don’t fully embrace social engineering and attempts to subvert traditional morality. So how coy of them to slip this issue under the radar in the guise of protecting religious liberty.
The phrase “culture of death” has been employed the anti-life agenda of the radical left. I think the “culture of deceit” might be equally as apt. From the shenanigans on abortion statistics to this action undertaken by the Maryland legislature, progressives continue to use obfuscation in order to advance their political agenda. Thus the debate over abortion is morphed into one about choice, privacy, a woman’s “control over her body.” Gay marriage becomes a civil rights issue.
We complain about the left utilizing the Courts to advance their agenda, and that is indeed a problem. But they’ve also advanced their agenda simply by lying through their collective teeth, or creatively using and abusing the English language.
George Orwell may have gotten some things wrong, but he certainly prophesied correctly in this regard.
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.
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.
A Panel of the 9th Circuit has surprisingly issued a wise decision, deciding to allow Proposition 8 to remain in place while the 9th Circuit considers its constitutionality.
This was undoubtedly the right decision. It makes no sense to force a state to marry people while knowing that a later decision could invalidate all those marriages.
One hopes that this is the beginning of a trend in reversing Judge Walker, whose rulings in this case can best be described as what happens when judicial activism meets the dictatorship of relativism.
People justly tire of the term “culture war” and find themselves asking, like the philosopher Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”
And yet watching the disparate reactions to yesterday’s Federal Court ruling overturning California’s Proposition 8 (for now) it struck me that the culture war terminology is quite apt. What is termed the culture was is essentially a zero sum game over which of two roughly equally numerous groups will be allowed to define the dominant understandings of culture and society in our country. by taking this to the federal level, same sex marriage advocates have made it clear that no degree of regional acceptance is satisfactory — their understanding of the nature of marriage must be the single dominant understanding enforced throughout the country, and those with a traditional understanding of marriage must be the ones who find themselves aliens within their country. And, presumably, is same sex marriage advocates lose, they will in turn consider themselves aliens within the country. Given that it is the most basic units and purposes of society which are in dispute, it seems hard to see how it can be any other way. And while the dispute is to an extent regional, it is much more so philosophical and ideological, making the culture war more resemble the Spanish Civil War than the American. Every city and region has representatives of both sides.
A few short years ago the mere suggestion that the Son of God, His Apostles and Saints would face arrest for hate speech would have seemed absolutely ludicrous. However, events have spiraled out of control across the western world. In his opinion that strikes down California’s recently voter approved marriage law, Judge Vaughn Walker wrote that those who speak in the name of religion to put across their views that same sex marriage is wrong are “harmful to gays and lesbians.”
Across Europe and Canada, faithful Christians speaking out for traditional marriage face the threat of being hauled off to court for citing the teachings of the Catholic Church and various Evangelical Churches. Where will this all end? Some see a great persecution coming against the Christian faithful. Though possible, one need remember that the Christian faith always grew when persecuted.
The Catholic Church has long taught that some individuals have an inclination toward same sex attraction; they are to be loved as all people are to be loved. The Church teaches that these feelings are not to be acted upon. The Church goes on to teach that all individuals are given a cross to carry in this world and for those who are same sex attracted; this is their cross. An organization exists for those who are same sex attracted called COURAGE. It has many chapters and members.
Recently a profile was done in The New York Times on same sex attracted Eve Tushnet, the Ivy League educated Catholic daughter of Harvard Law professors. She has chronicled her growth in Catholicism and the logic of the Church’s teachings on sexuality. For years the Catholic Church took some heat from some quarters of Christianity for not stating that anyone who is same sex attracted would be going to hell. The Church now is facing a maelstrom of vitriol from those who claim the Church hates homosexuals.
For the Church to change her teachings would be to deny not only what Christ said (Matthew 11:20-24,) but his Apostles, not to mention Saint Paul’s lengthy discourse on the subject (Romans 1:26-28, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.) In addition to the Apostles and saints, there is a rich history of saints writing on the subject, particularly the Early Church Fathers like Saint Augustine, St Justin Martyr, St. Basil and St John Chrysostom as well as Church intellectuals like St Thomas Aquinas, Saint Albert the Great (the greatest scientist of his time,) along with mystics like St Catherine of Sienna to name but a few. To say that the greatest minds of their respective eras were all wrong is simply breathtaking.
Many who disagree with the Church tend to forget that homosexuality was much more common and approved of by the Roman government in the early Christian era than it is even in 2010. Many in the upper echelons of Greek and Roman culture experimented with all sorts of sexual practices. It would have been far easier for Jesus, the apostles, saints and popes to approve of this conduct than it would to disapprove of it. Christianity might have grown at a faster pace. However, there was a reason for this swimming against the tide, and the faithful accepted it.
I must confess that today’s judicial ruling out of California which overturned Proposition 8 has riled me up, suprisingly so. I heard about the ruling while listening to the livestream of a tech podcast in which one of the three podcasters is a lesbian (previously “married” in CA) and the other two (middle-aged married men) evidently supported the decision. The ease with which they threw out bromides (“finally, equality!”) bothered me, primarily because it revealed two things: 1. a group of intelligent people couldn’t grasp that there might be real objections to same sex “marriage”, and 2. as I’ve noted previously, too many (probably most) Americans simply don’t understand the essential nature of marriage. Simply put, the state’s interest isn’t strong feelings or commitment… it’s children. And — to state the obvious — a homosexual relationship isn’t structured towards procreation the way marriage is.
By now I’m sure you all know that Proposition 8 was struck down by a federal judge. Who knows what will happen on appeal. There is much to be said, but I want to focus on one narrow and possibly tangential point. This phrase from the judge’s ruling, a phrase being reposted on facebook in many statuses:
“A private moral view that Same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples is not a proper basis for legislation.”
The absurdity of that sentence really struck me. There was nothing “private” about the view of the “superiority” of hetereosexual couples. It has been carried on through generations of communities and in the present day was represented by 52% of Californians. How a popular decision that represented thousands of years of ethical thinking and concern for the family became a private morality is baffling.
More troubling is the implication of the judge that a “moral view” is not a proper basis for legislation. Since when has this been the case? Our laws on pedophilia, minimum wage, health care, torture, human rights, etc. are based at least on part on “moral views,” views that in some respects may be just as if not more private than the ones the judge rejects today.
If morality is not a basis for legislation, what on earth is? Morality guides us in making decisions; without a moral or ethical compass (or perhaps even without a religious one) there is no basis for legislation to be made. Laws are supposed to help make society run better, but there is no way to make society run better unless you have a notion of what a “better society” looks like, and you don’t get to that notion without morality.
State recognition of homosexual marriage is one thing, but this ruling attacks the foundation of our government. Morality must have a place in the public sphere and must be one of the foremost foundations of legislation.
To be sure, the judge is simply smoke-screening for the fact that he is imposing his own standards of morality. But the fact that his statement rejecting a moral basis for legislation is being so celebrated should worry all Americans.
All that is necessary for the triumph of the same sex agenda is that good men do nothing. The fear of reprisal, both materially and physically, can cause good men to do nothing.
Having not experienced this form of intimidation, I am still disturbed by the tactics that are utilized by the more militant arm of the same sex marriage agenda. This exposure to such violence is almost non-existent for me.
The American Bar Association will be considering supporting same-sex marriage at their next meeting in San Francisco.
It urges state, territorial and tribal governments to eliminate laws restricting marriage between same-sex partners.
Supporters say the adoption of the measure would build on past ABA policies supporting protections for gay couples and their families. The House of Delegates in 2004 approved a recommendation opposing efforts to enact federal legislation preventing states from allowing same-sex marriage. “Everyone who worked on it is hopeful,” said Michele Kahn, a partner at Kahn & Goldberg who chairs a New York State Bar committee on gay rights. The State Bar in June 2009 came out in support of same-sex marriage, dropping its support of civil unions or domestic partnerships as alternative measures.
Kahn said so far no formal opposition has come forward against the measure.
What I find amazing is that there is no formal opposition.
I know a lot of pro-life and practicing Christian lawyers, how can this be?
The title of this article almost sounds surreal. At first one could be forgiven for thinking it was some sort of low budget End Times movie seen on some local cable access channel. However, the information contained within this article is real, fortunately, as believers and specifically those of us who are Catholic we know that Jesus promised that His Church would not fall despite the attempts of those working for the evil one. God is the truth and God is love, but the mere fact that He is both has caused many rebellions against him literally from day one. Sadly, those who often claim to be the smartest act the most childish, by at first claiming God doesn’t exist and then claiming if He does exist, He doesn’t make sense at least to them. This article will look at this behavior from the world’s earliest moments, but will mainly focus on what has happened in the last few years, right up until this very moment.
After the breaking news that showed direct links between John Carr, a top executive of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, with pro-abortion groups dating back 30 years, John Carr has denied any wrong doing.
Below watch the full eight minutes for the most current update of this USCCB scandal on RealCatholicTV.com‘s Daily Catholic News Roundup and The Vortex. Vic Faust and Michael Voris will report how both the USCCB and the pro-abortion group scrubbed their websites simultaneously to hide any connection they had with each other plus much more.