Talking About “Gay Marriage”

Monday, April 16, AD 2012

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.

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40 Responses to Talking About “Gay Marriage”

  • Good luck finding someone that will argue in good faith.

    I’ve yet to find a single person who won’t go straight to the “then why should whites and blacks marry?” card– apparently, they think there’s as much difference between someone with dark skin and one with light as between two biological sexes.

    Who’s the racist, again?

  • Fox,

    They don’t really think that. It’s just intellectual laziness.

    And I have found some people willing to have an honest debate about the issues. Or at least somewhat honest.

  • Then I wish– for the umpty-bazillionth time– that I were around less lazy people.

    It’s a sad thing when the most intelligent person of my generation that I know can’t tell the difference between “saying everyone needs college” and “we shouldn’t have everyone go to grade school.”

  • GOP President Lincoln said something to the effect of, “You can call that tail a leg. But, that dog still has only four legs.”

    It makes little sense to argue with moral bankrupts and imbeciles that equate “love” with sodomy.

    Possibly, the problem’s root is in the 1960’s birth control defeat. That moral disaster separated the sex act from its biological purpose: procreation. Now, it’s all recreation.

    The world is ruled by fornicators.

    People of Faith are in the world, not of this world.

    The moral moron will lisp, “But, they’re in love (sniffle).” That’s not love. That’s lust . . . and perverted lust.

  • “In discussing the question, he used to liken the case to that of the boy who, when asked how many legs his calf would have if he called its tail a leg, replied, ” Five,” to which the prompt response was made that calling the tail a leg would not make it a leg.”

  • I agree that arguing that someone doesn’t love someone else is not productive. For one thing, it’s not true. We are all called to love one another. There is nothing wrong with someone loving a member of the same sex, but one should not act on that love in a sexual way. I know some very devoted same sex couples who love each other very much. That doesn’t make their sexual relationship right, but the whole relationship is not based on “perverted lust.”

  • I agree completely with your first point, that gay marriage is a symptom, not a cause, of societal breakdown. Non-Christians, and even gay churchgoers, make the point that gays can’t break down marriage. It’s already been broken, by a Christian’s own standards, through co-habitation instead of marriage, divorce, and porn, as you said, and though you did not explicitly mention the contraception mindset, I think it’s worth adding. The logic of concentrating on gay marriage seems like a malicious persecution separated from the larger reality of general disorder concerning love and marriage. Our arguments, quite frankly, make no sense to them.

    And they’re not making a tu quoque kind of fallacy, either. “Well, you Christians are messed up too, so you can’t talk to gays about their issues.” It seems to me that “they” have highlighted a real structural flaw — one we really must continue to answer and be responsible for.

  • The more you discuss something that is either ludicrous or lacks any validity the more you give it credence. You are playing into the hands of those who want you to take the notion of same-sex “marriage” seriously.

  • All good and substantial points, especially the “symptom, not cause” situation.

    But, Bonchamps, how does the moral Libertarian approach enforcement of laws against same-sex cohabitation or union? If, in fact, a marriage in its moral sense cannot exist between members of the same sex (which is both Scripturally aand doctrinally proven,) then there can be no law broken with respect to those who would pretend to, but could not actually, enact such a relationship. Would there be laws prohibiting civil or religious (if you could find one) ceremonies? I doubt any attempt at that would pass muster, nor would it be effective to any degree should it actually become law.

    As well, short of Thought Police viewscreens, how does one know the details of the relationship between two very good friends who have been “roomies” or co-domesticants for years, but remain inscrutable and respectable in public? No outward indications of their relationship are given – private lives are nobody else’s business – so who can tell if they are lovers, friends or even relatives? In decades past, unmarried women had such arrangements quite commonly. Such distinctions would be necessary for laws to be enforced properly, but how could that information be gathered without violating the Constitution?

    Finally, is the Constitution of the US, or of any state, the place to “define” marriage? Constitutions are supposed to be the enumerations and definitions of, and limitations on, particular governments. It seems incongruous that a definition of marriage would go there. Even Roe v Wade did not produce a Constitutional amendment – it’s codified law.

    The estate of marriage has already been defined in a much higher text of authority. To quote Max Lucado: “God created marriage. No government subcommittee envisioned it. No social organization developed it. Marriage was conceived and born in the mind of God.” What God has ordained let no man put asunder, to borrow a phrase.

    If anything, trying to “define” marriage in a Constitution opens the door for government to theoretically define marriage, and with the direction governments are going these days, that’s not too attractive an option.

    So, IMHO, the whole thing is a trap – by getting conservatives to argue over this small symptom, the larger cause grows unabated. Such are the works of The Enemy, The Deceiver, The Prince of Lies. The sooner we see the truth behind these works the sooner we can stem that tide.

  • And I tried to undo the italics but they must be on a higher operational level.

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  • Mr. Green,

    BINGO!!!

    You are the voice of reason.

    There is one valid response to all liberal asininistries: “There you go again.”

    Gibbon: “I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.”

    Somehow, I am on some moron’s Moron.org email list. Can you imagine?

  • Joe Green: Here in Maryland if voters do not take back their prerogative, same- sex marriage becomes law in January 2013. 150,000 signatures on a petition must be got to put the issue on the referendum in November. A tsunami of ignorance and filth has inundated our children’s minds and hearts and all. Gays can do what they want and go to hell, I cannot stop them but, VIRGINITY IS THE ONLY REASON TO SURRENDER VIRGINITY, one’s own virginity AND another person’s virginity, the holy innocence of the virgin child about to be procreated. If somebody does not love you enough to want more of you, it is not love. Lust, a vice, cannot be codified, no more than stealing, lying or ass ault. Same -sex behavior is assault and battery. A person cannot consent to a crime of any magnitude or inanity. A person who seeks homosexual relations has lost his rational soul and mind and cannot give consent. The mob mentality is encouraged by our present regime because while rational man is engaging the lower beasts in vice, our sovereignty is being abrogated. The hope of a virgin is the only rational equality demanded.

  • Doggone it, I double-checked that closed italics tag. Sorry. For good measure I’ll add another:

  • Having several members of our immediate family exposing their “gay” lifestyle recently and having several of my college age grandchildren (Catholic educated) completely reinforcing their decisions I found myself in that “love the sinner hate the sin” mentality. I find many of the arguments in this article to be right on and as I told the kids, “if God would have wanted this type of lifestyle there would not have been nor will there be any future. Beyond the relavant behavior of the homosexual act, which well I don’t know just gags me, I don’t know what else to say! They also know that it is not just homosexual behavior that is not ok. There is a reason for the 6th commandment, which entails co habitating, adultery and the myriad of other “sins of the flesh”. They ultimately, unless forgiven and brought back into the good graces of the Church are no less sinful. I know I was brought up a stodgy or cradle Catholic, but those awful sisters(whom I loved) seemed to be able to instill in me these values and although I also have not been perfect in my life, I sure knew right from wrong and where to go when I strayed. The Sacraments were “liberally” available to all of us. Now not so much.

  • While I am in agreement with you, I’d like to bring up a ‘devil’s advocate’ question.

    >Even those who would point to the prospect of gay couples >adopting children (which is a terrible idea, by the way) can’t >argue with the fact that such unions cannot produce new >life. They can do absolutely nothing to restore the birth rate >to replacement levels.
    Actually, lesbian couples sometimes do add to the birthrate, albeit in small amounts. They merely need to purchase the requisite biological material – something many heterosexual couples do as well.
    Plus, technology marches on. I believe that lab mice with female fathers were produced several years ago. If this gets to people , there will be girls with two female genetic parents – and the process, unlike sperm donation, will produce only female offspring.

    I think it would be a disaster, but it is plausible.

  • What is UP with the formatting here? Admins? Anyway, replies all around.

    Laura,

    “Our arguments, quite frankly, make no sense to them.”

    Precisely. That’s why we have to better make the connection between God’s law and the social good. Too often they are seen as something completely different. God’s law is seen as arbitrary, while pursuit of the social good is rational. But we must endeavor to show how God’s law is what is best for society, that Christian morality is not arbitrary.

    WK,

    “Would there be laws prohibiting civil or religious (if you could find one) ceremonies?”

    No. People can have whatever funny little ceremonies they like and call themselves whatever they like. But that’s not what they want. They can already do that. They want to force all levels of government, and eventually all social institutions and all individuals, to recognize their unions as legitimate and EQUAL to heterosexual marriages. A big part of this equality is in the name. They know the power of language, and so ought we to know, that by refusing to call their unions “marriages” we maintain an important psychological and social advantage.

    So I’m really not so concerned with fighting for a Constitutional amendment as much as I am fighting for our 1st and 10th amendment rights to call a spade a spade and act accordingly, respectively.

    Jeanne,

    If they’re college-age, I wouldn’t worry too much. It could be a trendy phase. Yes I know the typical gay activist will be shocked and offended by such a suggestion, but I’ve read enough stories of people who “discover” that they’re gay in college only to have it turn out to be a phase or a fad. Its another attempt to forge a unique identity for some people, just like others will become radical communists, feminists, or whatever.

    Donna,

    Hence my last paragraph. They have to have faith that technology will overrule nature before nature overrules their egalitarian vision of society. It is a race I don’t think they are going to win, for several reasons.

    In the meantime, though, yes, they can live out this abominable science-horror fantasy of a world in which there is reproduction without males and females mating.

  • I also have to add, for Mr. Green and Mr. Shaw:

    Maybe you live in a different world than I do. Or maybe your brains operate differently than mine does.

    I live in a world in which radical gay activists have successfully influenced the media, the schools, the courts, and even some of the major religious institutions of this country that their political agenda is good, wise, and fair. This influence has had major repercussions, including the legalization of “gay marriage” in some U.S. states and many Western nations, the classification of traditional religious views on homosexuality as “hate speech” (this in Canada), and the indoctrination of children as young as 5 into acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle with books such as “Heather Has Two Mommies.”

    You two are bent over with your posteriors in the air and your heads in the sand. Contemplate the implications of that image before you respond.

  • Argh! Narrow page!

  • Actually, lesbian couples sometimes do add to the birthrate, albeit in small amounts.

    But that’s the point – it is such a small amount as to be insignificant, and therefore does not warrant state recognition vis-a-vis marriage. Same goes for reproductive technologies – at this point, it is prohibitively expensive to rely on it to support continuation of the populace. True, this opens up the “perhaps one day” argument, but today is not that day. And it does not address the issue of the ideal – study after study shows the best form of family for raising children is one mom, one dad for life families. Statistical outliers (which exist, of course) are not a rational basis for setting general public policy – that would be as insane as designing seating on public transportation to accomodate only those in the smallest one percentile of stature.

  • Laura-
    no idea why it was so stubborn; you did put in the italics thing, you just transposed the / and the ‘i’; just fixed that.

  • C Matt-
    the example that pops to my mind is quibbling about the birth rate from women cheating on their husbands with someone that’s more fertile. Or maybe the birthrate of military wives with deployed husbands.

    That said, lesbian couples don’t add to the birth rate– a lesbian might, and two lesbians that are in a pairing might, but it’s not a function of the two being one.

  • (“equality” has no foundation in nature) That phrase jumped out at me and made me think!
    Yes–I wonder if we were able to go back to live in some very primitive first-generation-of-society type community– seeing the world and each other for the first time collectively– in that first original city individual individuals, forming families and learning about life, I guess homosexuals would be ignored; not necessarily protected, or elevated…..because that is not what most people are drawn to. Homosexuals would be outside the mainstream- and being not contagious, not procreative– would remain a small sidebar of society– not a problem for these original libertarians! 🙂 You do your thing and I will do mine.
    But bring Christianity into the picture and people start caring about what is going on in another person’s life because they love that person!.. and want the best for them. Even if they are in a brothel on the other side of town.
    People, developing a social awareness, begin to understand that they are in fact their brother’s keeper; that society does in fact mean -and depend upon- a kind of linkage between individuals. As Christians now our little society is brought, by a sense of, Love and Responsibility, to care about the souls of other people– not just their temporal welfare– in fact, to love those sinners… in this life for the next!
    But it is not all altruism….this community of folks now also understand now that sin is not good for the individual, and thus not good for society… not good for all of us…and cannot be shrugged off or ignored.
    Now this proto society develops a “State”– and the new State takes the office of protecting these loving individual individuals from harm and promoting their general welfare.. the State is generally reflective of society and all is Good.
    Change goes on– somehow the libertines are not safely in the brothel across town, but are in the school system and the governing boards of various institutions, stopping Christians from teaching Christianity…even from having Christian hospitals. The libertines begin to have a negative influence on this little society… tolerating sin to a certain extent seems to have gotten out of hand! Being libertarians, the people of the community are busy protecting their privacy, their personal rights; perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, thank you.
    …and all the others, over there in the brothel, sick with the result of their sin.. well, it was their own fault.. The children and families are wandering unkempt– because who is going to kempt them? The society has sunk back– to pre-Christian, like the original society…. before they knew about Love.

  • Bonchamps: “Precisely. That’s why we have to better make the connection between God’s law and the social good. Too often they are seen as something completely different. God’s law is seen as arbitrary, while pursuit of the social good is rational. But we must endeavor to show how God’s law is what is best for society, that Christian morality is not arbitrary.” God has given you a well trained tongue. God speed.

  • I see what a lot of flaws I have in my little parable.
    I was trying to say I don’t think we can go back to a time when homosexuals are marginalized and ignored; we can’t ignore them now but must reach out actually evangelizing in words and deeds. We must keep trying to become more Christian, not less, both as individuals and as a society.
    We must protect the Christian society that has developed in the 2000 years and realize that we are a Body, a Communion… above and beyond a political community.

  • Under pressure from militant homosexuals and adult/child (without informed sexual consent to give) activists, The North American Man Boy Love Association, the American Psychiatric Association removed the diagnosis of “arrested development” from homosexuality and classified homosexuality as “normal”. All people go through a same sex attraction at puberty and some get hung up in arrested development. Marriage is a covenant between two souls, a male soul and a female soul, as God created them in Genesis, body and soul, when God breathed life into Adam’s nostrils and brought Eve to Adam, the first marriage covenant. The equality homosexual activists are seeking is our very souls.

  • “”gay marriage” is not so much a cause of social decay as it is a symptom.” Our Creator endows man’s unalienable rights. Man has an unalienable right to Truth. For atheists and gay rights activists to try to overturn our Creator endowed unalienable right to TRUTH is contempt of court. Redefining our founding principles without two thirds of the states ratifying the change is treason. The “symptom” is caused by the despair planted when Paul Erlick’s Population Bomb and Thomas Malthus declared the populaton would all come to an end and it will unless people begin to trust in the Divine Providence of God inscribed in our Declaration of Independence.

  • I have not been placed on “moderation” for too long.

    You cannot reason with a rat that thinks 2 + 2 = 5.

    We outnumber the scum about 27 to one.

    Whenever you need to keep your head down, you maintain your arse in a similarly low profile.

    I did my part.

    I raised three real men. One is an captain airborne ranger on active service. One shortly will become a proud father. The third’s long-term girl friend is a blond beauty. She could be in the movies.

    You know what is teen code for lame-ass? Try “gay.”

    As in gay marriage is so gay!

    No, I am not equipped to deal with stupid.

  • While I agree with Bonchamps that many of the arguments put forth by Catholics based on the “theology of the body” can be a very tough sell. One of the reasons is, I have say, is that many of those who talk about the theology of the body don’t understand it much better than those whom they are trying to inform. And their interlocutors sense it, despite their own ignorance of the subject.

    However, I find the arguments put forth by Bonchamps, as valid and correct as they are, will have an equally tough road to hoe with the secularist crowd. These people like their porn. They like their sex without consequences (although they find out the hard way that that’s a cruel illusion.). So, I think exposing the falsity of same sex marriage cuts a little too close to home in that it sheds an unwanted light on the futility of their own lifestyle .

    Foxfier touches upon an important point about getting these people to argue in good faith. The most cleverly crafted arguments are not gonna get anywhere with someone who is not willing to argue in good faith. How do we help that process along? Of course, I cannot come up with anything like a complete answer. After all, if the Almighty Himself chooses to render himself powerless against man’s free will, we aren’t gonna fare any better in that realm either.

    But I think there a few things that are helpful. First thing is that if we are able, to try and strike up a natural friendship with some of these people. We can often fall into the trap of treating people more like potential converts than human beings, thus objectifying them in a sense. Friendship can help facilitate that. Another thing is to understand evangelization (which is what we doing here in a sense) has as much to do with listening as it does with speaking. Getting a sense of what makes people think a certain way is indispensable in getting them to take your position seriously.

    As far as the whole self-fulfillment and purpose of marriage thing goes, it is important to point out that while self-fulfillment is not the primary purpose of marriage, it is the primary MOTIVATION for marriage, even amongst seriously religious people. And everyone understands at some level that giving oneself to something or someone bigger than themselves is the key to real self-fulfillment.

    I have more to say but I am pressed for time.

  • ‘My first is a disarming tactic: we must acknowledge that “gay marriage” is not so much a cause of social decay as it is a symptom.’

    Well, it is both. I often use an analogy from the financial world — they have this great phrase, “throwing good money after bad money.” That’s precisely what it is.

  • I also think it is important to point out that the homosexual ( I refuse to use the word gay because the original meaning of the word really has nothing to do with sexual orientation) agenda is not controlled primarily by the homosexuals themselves. It is actually controlled by the heterosexual left. This is particularly the case in the political arena. Sure, there are militiant homosexuals in this movement that exert a great deal of intimidation, but they are puppets more than they are puppetiers.

    The basic driving force in almost all left wing ideology, be it in the political or social arena, is the acquisition of power for its own sake. And to acquire power as a thing in and of itself they create and/or prey upon as many victims as possible. And the victim mentality shapes the homosexual mindset in a very powerful way. Just ask any psychotherapist who works in the field of treating the disorder of same sex attraction(aka reparative therapy).

    And yes, I do believe that those who suffer from same sex attraction, whether they act on it or not, are indeed victims, but not in the sense many of them or those who defend that lifestyle believe and want you to believe. When one studies the psychologiocal causes that give rise to same sex attraction, one sees that these people have been victimized in several different and complex ways. Same sex attraction is a sexual and gender identity disorder. There are few forms of victimization more devastating than this. And the power drivers of the left seize upon this. They do so under the guise of compassion. Of course, it is not compassionate to leave victim in victim state or allow them to create other victims. But this is an important dynamic to understand.

  • This was brilliant! Enjoyed your writing VERY much Bonchamps…will frequent here.

  • It is interesting to note that the argument that led France’s highest courts to reject the equality argument for same-sex marriage.

    The Code Civil [the Code Napoléon of 1804] contains no definition of marriage, but Article 312 « L’enfant conçu ou né pendant le mariage a pour père le mari.» [The child conceived or born in marriage has the husband for father] has been treated as a functional definition by jurists, including the three most authoritative commentators on the Code Civil, Demolombe (1804–1887), Guillouard (1845-1925) and Gaudemet (1908-2001), long before the question of same-sex marriage was agitated. In 1998, a colloquium of 154 Professors of Civil Law, including Philippe Malaurie, Alain Sériaux, and Catherine Labrusse-Riou unanimously endorsed this interpretation of the Code Civil; this led to the introduction of PACS [civil unions] for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

    One of the greatest modern commentators on the Code Civil (Jean Carbonnier (1908-2003)) famously remarked, “The heart of marriage is not the couple, but the presumption of paternity.”

    In 2006, this interpretation received a ringing endorsement from the French Senate, who declared “The presumption of paternity of the husband rests on the obligation of fidelity between spouses and reflects the commitment made by the husband during the celebration of marriage, to raise the couple’s children. The report presenting the order to the President of the Republic rightly points out that ” it is, in the words of Dean Carbonnier, the ‘heart of marriage,’ and cannot be questioned without losing for this institution its meaning and value.””

    Not surprisingly, given that background, the courts held that “Clearly, same-sex couples whom nature had not made potentially fertile were consequently not concerned by the institution of marriage. This was differential legal treatment because their situation was not analogous” For them, the purpose of mandatory civil marriage is the determination of the civil status of children.

    It is significant that, in a country so committed to the principle of laïcité as France, no one has suggested that these views are the result of religious convictions or an attempt to import them into the interpretation of the Code.

  • You might well wish to consider the following argument of the eminent French Jurist, A. Mirkovic. Himself a supporter of SSM, he puts his opponents’ case very fairly and succinctly and his own arguments in defence of the opposing position are astonishingly weak. As a citizen, Prof. Merkovic is free to advance his own views; as one of the greatest living French jurists, he would never stoop to misrepresenting his opponents’ arguments.

    “Even today, in 2011, in commenting on the decision 2010-92 QPC, [the decision of the highest French courts rejecting SSM] some authors consider that the marriage is based on human reproduction. “In regard to marriage, persons of different sex, and persons of the same sex are not in the same situation because marriage includes the perspective of procreation. With regard to procreation, either natural or imitated in the case of adoption, the first may indeed procreate (or make as if they had procreated), while the latter cannot. If some male-female couples do not breed, it is for reasons peculiar to them, subjective (advanced age, pathological infertility, choice not to have children); same-sex couples cannot procreate together due to objective incapacity. The difference in situation justifies the difference in treatment, namely access to marriage. (…). The legislature must therefore reaffirm the specificity of the marriage, not only among other life-styles for couples, but as the foundational institution of the family.” This is only the confirmation of the doctrine of the 1990s. But we are now in 2011. This should not in any case prejudice the options open and the legitimization of same-sex marriage.”

  • Your article was great except for the line where you say that you aren’t concerned about what someone does in the bedroom or the brothel at the edge of town. ALL SIN affects each and everyone of us and as we know from Holy Scripture, ALL OF OUR SINS will be broad-casted to the whole world. My marriage was a truly GAY and joyful one, as my wife (born a woman, will die as a woman and myself, born as a man and will shortly die as a man), did not shack up before our marriage (we were what this world foolishly looks down upon us: VIRGINS), without any regrets whatsoever. Those that are against God and His Nature, are not, nor will they ever be truly gay, until they repent. I have seen some pictures lately of their ‘parades’ with signs calling themselves what they truly are: queers/fags; not my words, but, there own. +JMJ+

  • My concern is for a number of gay Christian friends who are incredibly angry at the conservative church. They argue that marriage is a civil service, and therefore is a civil right. And they don’t buy my view that marriage is not a civil service, but a sacrament instituted by Christ, and calling it anything else redefines and cheapens the relationship Christ has with his Church – the Bride of Christ – for which he died. So much anger out there.

  • Jim Cosgrove

    That is why I favour the European system of mandatory civil marriage, under which people have to go through a civil marriage, before any religious ceremony they may choose to have.

    This has not favoured the campaign for SSM in France, where the courts have held (1) Mandatory civil marriage, makes the institution a pillar of the secular Republic, standing clear of the religious sacrament (2) The institution of republican marriage is inconceivable, absent the idea of filiation, enshrined, not in Church dogma, but in the Civil Code (3) The sex difference is central to filiation.

  • I had the distinct unpleasant experience of tuning in to a two-hour presentation by filmmaker Michael Moore, who was introduced by Marxist economist UMass professor Stephen Wolff in glowing terms, in which two minutes into the program Moore said that “54 percent of the American people in a poll think that gay marriage ought to be the law of the land.” If true, then I am happy to be in the minority. Although Moore’s topic was supposed to be about the Occupy movement, I turned off the TV right after his reported the poll result. He did not cite a source, by the way. I’m thinking the poll might have been taken on the streets of San Francisco. Can anybody verify the 54% figure?

  • Joe, the poll may have been an online five-college campus opus from the area in which the professor earns his income. Verification? Source? Wording? Leaves in the wind.
    The thing to worry about, in my estimation, is how occupy is morphing into flash robs … then, what next during this grassroots campaign of change by the campaigner par excellence.

    Last week, I sketched two cases known from personal experience in which ‘talking’ about boiled down to availing the other of legal benefits and material concerns. Also, much misery, little love and so on. The comment deleted due to some touch on the keypad – maybe because I mentioned that my mother and one’s elderly aunt at a yankee restaurant on a mother’s day were treated to witnessing their hand holding before dinner without any knowledge of the situation. Averting eyes was the main dish and no such events since that year. The other case was about two little girls from IVF who, gone now in a ragged split, cried more than any children I have encountered. Unholy alliances and trails of sadness. I agree that ‘behind closed doors’ outweighs ‘legislating for material reasons’ which kills the essence of innocence. Talking? Nah.

Profile in Courage

Friday, March 23, AD 2012

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.

 

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9 Responses to Profile in Courage

  • Obama is the man who sold his soul to the devil. We got Obama because the devil did not want him. Does anyone think that the devil engages in homosexual behavior? No way, the devil has some self-respect, but the devil encourages all men to lie, to fraud, to cheat and to homosexual misbehavior. That empty shirt in the WH ought to put gay-so called marriage on the ballot if he really wants to know the will of the people. In this strategy, Obama is gauging how much swill the people will eat.

  • When censor with consul’s combined
    The results are but rarely aligned.
    “So let the tribes vote
    on the issues they note,
    ‘Cause their choices I’ve pared and refined!”

  • It is called peaceable assembly to petition the government for redress, that that government of the people, for the people, and by the people shall not perish from the face of the earth. When Obama and his henchmen “gather to pare and refine” our freedom and civil rights it cannot be called peaceable assembly. Justice is predicated on intent and Obama’s intent is to avoid serving Justice.

  • President Obama, when he was a Senator (state and federal), always voted as far left as he could without incurring political cost.

    Should he win the election the political cost of supporting gay marriage will drop tremendously. That will be the least of his initiatives.

    If he loses, or when he decides he can’t win, the political cost will be zero, He will try to implement as much of his personal program as possible and tie the hands of his successor.

    Hank’s Eclectic Meanderings

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  • Obama can support or denounce “Gay Marriage” or “Dehydrated Water”. Not much of what he says will really matter in the end. Meanwhile, those who are faithful to Jesus Christ, to the Gospel and to the Church will continue, in love, to oppose his draconian measures.

  • I don’t like Obama at all, but I do think it’s wrong to say he sold his soul to the devil as Mary de Voe says.

  • Agreed. I actually doubt if he thinks he has a soul to sell, as I’ve always suspected he is a stone cold atheist like his mother. That suspicion was reinforced when Obama claimed, with a straight face, that the Reverend Wright led him to Christ.

  • Yes, the way Mary put it isn’t quite right, but our “nice words” are at odds with the previous 19 centuries of the Church. Think of Sts. Peter and Jude writing of “waterless clouds whose destruction is assured”, of St. John and then Polycarp denouncing those who are “anti-Christ”, and Trent and other Church declarations of ‘anathema’. We are actually the outliers. Obviously Obama and Pelosi (to name just two) are little anti-Christs. The question then is whether this language is prudent at a particular time and place. That is a prudential call and not a moral one.

Chris Christie Appoints Gay Marriage Supporter to the Bench

Monday, January 30, AD 2012

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.

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9 Responses to Chris Christie Appoints Gay Marriage Supporter to the Bench

The Left’s (Self) Duplicity on Gay “Marriage”

Thursday, December 8, AD 2011

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.

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7 Responses to The Left’s (Self) Duplicity on Gay “Marriage”

  • This sister from the netherworld has been feeding off her brother’s notoriety for years in columns bashing him:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/candace-gingrich

    Without her connection to her brother of course, no one would give half a hoot what her opinions were about anything.

  • For the left truth is that which serves the left.

    I didn’t know Newt has a sister.

    Is she as handsome as he?

    If you were to write a book of Obama lies, it would be longer than War and Peace.

    Obama never open his mouth without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.

    Investors Business Daily, “One thing is certainly true about President Obama — no matter how many times people point out the falsehoods in his speeches, he just keeps making them. Case in point: his latest ‘economic fairness’ address. In that speech Tuesday, Obama once again tried to build a case for his liberal, big-spending, tax-hiking, regulatory agenda. But as with so many of his past appeals, Obama’s argument rests on a pile of untruths.”

    “• Tax cuts and deregulation have “never worked” to grow the economy. There’s so much evidence to disprove this claim, it’s hard to know where to start. . . .

    “ Bush’s tax cuts on the rich only managed to produced “massive deficits” and the “slowest job growth in half a century.” Budget data make clear that Obama’s spending hikes, not Bush’s tax cuts, produced today’s massive deficits.

    “• During the Bush years, “we had weak regulation, we had little oversight.” This is patently false. Regulatory staffing climbed 42% under Bush, and regulatory spending shot up 50%, according to a Washington University in St. Louis

    “The “wealthiest Americans are paying the lowest taxes in over half a century.” Fact: the federal income tax code is now more progressive than it was in 1979, according to the Congressional Budget Office. IRS data show the richest 1% paid almost 40% of federal income taxes in 2009, up from 18% back in 1980.

    “• We can keep tax breaks for the rich in place, or make needed investments, “but we can’t do both.” Not true. Repealing the Bush tax cuts on the “rich” would raise only about $70 billion a year, a tiny fraction of projected deficits. With or without the Bush tax cuts, the country can’t afford Obama’s agenda.”
    The foregoing was in Re: The Lying Sac of Excrement #Occupying the White House.

  • Doesn’t anyone really believe that Obama opposes gay marriage? I’ve never heard the pro camp argue that he opposes gay marriage to prove that he’s not radical. I have heard the anti camp trot it out when they want to accuse the pro camp of hypocrisy. All other times, Obama loves gay marriage. Now that’s hypocrisy.

  • Why, it’s different because Obama opposes same-sex marriage out of cynical calculation, and Newt opposes it out of moral reasoning. That’s why Obama is genuine and moral while Newt is a big, cynical phony who shoots unicorns….

  • Foxfier,

    Stop being so logical and reasonable.

    You need to be more loud and YELL your point with a bunch of hand-waving.

    And throw in a couple of insults and profanity, that way you seem so “cool” and witty with your point of view.

  • K…

    *cough*
    U r al horrible bad nasty poeple who hate teh gayz and are realie gayz yourself and watch thz video of a guy givin speech about hiz mothers, and ths little girl asking h8erz if her mommas are evil, and you’d be pro-abort if the fetus was GAYZOR!!!!

    *re-reads* Dang it, forgot profanity.

    (All above examples are mangled to differentiate from the originals I’ve seen in the last month.)

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Perry Vs. Santorum on Gay Marriage

Monday, July 25, AD 2011

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.

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22 Responses to Perry Vs. Santorum on Gay Marriage

  • “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.

    That’s exactly the idea that I thought when I first read Perry’s remarks. He had an opportunity to display some moral leadership on this issue, and he backed down.

    I know that right now he’s a governor, and he’d like for his state to enjoy the states’ rights that the Constitution calls for. But, for a man flirting with running for POTUS, he needs to show he’s capable of leading a nation.

    As for Santorum’s tweet: I think his response was fine. The institution of marriage is under attack on several related fronts. They need to be linked together in the public’s mind. His tweet might just be the motivation for someone to look more deeply into the matter. I don’t think that it will be a cause for someone to disregard the matter. It was (IMHO) a winning tweet.

  • Sorry about the bold in the above paragraph. 😳

    I wish there was a way to preview the post.

  • Frankly, I think the responses offered by both men don’t fully encapsulate their positions on the matter. Then again, this is a sound-bite culture, and they will be judged accordingly. They need to do better.

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  • The key problem is that it is not a “slippery slope”, it’s a fundamental shift. If marriage is just a legal arrangement, then of course, anything can be legislated and it’s just a matter of jurisdiction. If it of divine origin, then no law can declare that something is a marriage when it is not. There is no slope, it’s one or the other. There is no half way point, only a series of inconsistencies between one end an another. And it’s not the last refuge of the desperate, it’s the key defending wall on the citadel of marriage.

    It’s the very same situation with contraception. Either sex is fundamentally tied to the creation of children within a family, or it is not. If it is not, then anything is permissible. It’s one or the other.The logic is spelled out in Humanae Vitae and all the consequences spelled out in the encyclical have come to pass.

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  • What Anil said. Double.

  • I find Perry’s stance wanting and cavalier at best. ‘That’s fine with me.’ If I were running for the GOP nomination, I’d cut and paste that in every ad to point out Perry’s lack of moral leadership. Santorum’s argument is valid and not slippery slope, it’s more reductio ad absurdum. If so-called ‘gay marriage’ is allowed, then why not marry 3 people, marry your mother or marry your dog?

    And what of the Defense of Marriage Act which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996 whereby the federal government defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. Even though repeal attempts are under way and court challenges are pending, it’s still the law of the land as far as I know even though the Obama regime is no longer defending it. Perry, who I thought might have been a good POTUS candidate, blew it as far as I’m concerned.

    BTW, governors make much better presidents than Senators. Governors run governments; senators just legislate.

  • Several New York town clerks, all of them Republicans AFAIK, have resigned or have said they will probably resign because of the institution of SSM.

    I understand some Republicans have other priorities. But their fellow partisans are being purged from government in SSM states, thereby shrinking the party’s talent pool for future action. Perry can’t just stand on federalist principles and let his allies hang in the wind.

  • Perry killed any support he might have had from me in the primary. A concern for Federalism I think has nothing to do with whether what a state is doing is good or bad. It is too clever by half and it is dumb politics to boot in a Republican primary election cycle.

  • Imagine a governor — or anyone — admitting that while he wouldn’t marry a bicycle himself, he has no objection if someone else does. Yet ten years ago the concept of matrimony between two persons of the same sex would have rightly been dismissed as a joke, but time and quiet, subtle, incessant propaganda make even the absurd seem, well, surd. Mr. Jagneaux is exactly right, and Governor Perry, whatever his many qualifications, has displayed a remarkable lack of moral core, and thus should not be in a position of authority.

  • When two become one in covenant, marriage becomes a family. Same sex marriage is not possible in covenant or in physical reality. It is not same sex. Homosexual behavior is assault and battery. Persons cannot consent to a crime of assault and battery.

  • Thanks for the comments. I think what bugged me about Santorum’s comments was less the substance and more what I perceived to be a regular pattern of how we discuss this issue. What he said was fine, but I don’t want us to to become over-reliant on that way of formulating the issue. Granted I might be nitpicking there.

    We seem pretty agreed on Perry. I’m not sure it’s a disqualifier in my books. It is apparent that “federalism uber alles” is his big theme. Normally I’m okay with that, but the concept of federalism doesn’t mean you abandon your moral compass.

  • Assorted and unrefined thoughts:

    1) I think Christians started losing the battle to defend the sacred institution of marriage as soon as they entrusted to government for licensing and regulation.
    2) A lot of ground was lost due to 1930 Anglican Lambeth Conference (which permitted Anglicans to use artificial birth control), the legal acceptance of no-fault divorces, and the acceptance of divorce and remarriage in general by Christians.
    3) With traditional marriage so poorly defended already, we look hypocritical when opposing gay “marriage”.
    4) From a legal standpoint, state recognition of gay unions is a matter of equal protection under the law. Thus, Santorum’s tweet is partially a non sequitur. Polygamy is indeed an obvious logical extension of equal protection arguments, but such equal protection makes denying heterosexual the right to marry completely nonsensical.
    5) The Church, and Christians in general, should never accept homosexual behavior as anything but gravely sinful, but defining and regulating is not a proper function of the State.

  • The State has been regulating marriage from the days of Sumer. Until today mankind was never absurd enough to dream of homosexual marriage. The one constant of marriage was that it was between men and women. Now that is all being done away with so that a small group of people ensnared by a serious sin can receive validation from society at large. Perhaps historians will call our age The Silly Season.

  • You can’t win the marriage argument by playing defense only. That’s the problem with the whole “debate” over so-called gay marriage. It’s been given cachet by the media, putting it on a plane of being just another lifestyle.

    Traditional marriage needs no defense. It has stood for milennia as the norm of human behavior. Instead, the so-called gay agenda and all its insidious and evil impacts should be assailed by all who value what is right. Moral arguments may not succeed where legal arguments hold more sway in a secular society but they are stronger and more persuasive to those willing to examine their consciences.

  • “Moral arguments may not succeed where legal arguments hold more sway in a secular society but they are stronger and more persuasive to those willing to examine their consciences.”

    Moral arguments are always the strongest arguments long term Joe. You are absolutely correct on that.

  • If a candidate says something questionable early in the race, isn’t that the perfect time to write him letters asking him to correct his stand? Simply not voting for him won’t send the message, and won’t change the debate in helpful ways.

    The media and other actors obviously have an interest in making GOP opposition to SSM look as weak as possible, so that it will become as weak as possible.

  • but defining and regulating is not a proper function of the State

    Eric, defining and regulating is the most salient thing the state does. Always and everywhere.

  • “Eric, defining and regulating is the most salient thing the state does. Always and everywhere.”

    1) I accidentally left out the word “marriage” after “defining and regulating”. Oops. 😉
    2) The State should define nothing. Rights are natural and inalienable; they do not flow from the State. All the state ought to be allowed to do is acknowledge and defend them.
    3) Regulation is only justifiable when life, liberty, or property of one person is threatened by the actions of another.

  • So, now Perry has said that deciding abortion on a state-by-state basis is okay.

    I understand that Perry supports and defends traditional marriage and the right to life in the State of Texas, and that he’s personally committed to both of the causes, not just out of political expediency.

    I also understand that he sincerely believes that – as it stands today – the Constitution requires that states get to decide these issues for themselves.

    However, he really needs to follow up these statements of his with something like, “This such an important issue that I will actively pursue constitutional amendments to defend traditional marriage and the right to life.”

    Without saying *something* like that, it sounds to me as though he’s happy to have states do whatever they want on these issues. That’s not acceptable to me.

    Kevin J Jones, you are probably right. If I am interested in having him move in the direction I’d like to see him go, I probably should let him know. (As great as TAC is) I doubt that Rick Perry spends much time browsing the articles and comments here. — But maybe I’ll include a link here in my letter to him 😀

  • Okay, I’ll take the credit: One week after I call the Rick Perry for President hotline, he goes public on CBN, saying that he supports a Constitutional amendment for traditional marriage and against abortion. For what it’s worth.

    Now, I guess I need to call Pizza Hut about that “Free Pizza on Saturdays” idea I like to see happen. 🙂

Rudy Giuliani Should Stay Out Of Public Affairs (Updated)

Wednesday, July 20, AD 2011

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.

Until now.

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?

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5 Responses to Rudy Giuliani Should Stay Out Of Public Affairs (Updated)

  • I agree with this: Rudy should stay out of politics. He started a compnay that (among other things) is consulting the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant on its Emergency Plan. He should focus on helping Entergy out and stop with the politics for which he is currently ill-suited.

    PS, His “personally opposed but” stance on homosexual marriage is no different than former Governor Mario Cuomo’s “personally opposed but” stance on abortion. What a surprise – both are Catholic politicians!

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  • I agree. Giuliani has been wrong on most conservative issues. LAte he learned his terror expertise: 10AM on 9/11.

    Before that, he employed islamistic terror as a gun control lever issue. Refer to his wrong-headed, liberal-biased rants on the muslim maniac Empire State Building Observation Deck massacre.

    However, Giuliani did get himself elected mayor of NYC defeating David Dinkins, the first African mayor of Moscow on the Hudson.

    Dinkins had NYC in not nearly as horrid condition as Obama, the first African president, has wrecked the USA.

  • Giuliani will get nowhere quickly this time around, just as he did in 2008. His idea that conservatives can simply ignore the gay marriage movement is preposterous. This movement is merely part and parcel of an attempt by the gay rights movement to enforce through government edict approval of homosexuality as normal. The suit against the innkeepers is only one of many examples, California approving the indoctrination of kids in gay history is another, that this is a very authoritarian movement that has little use for the freedom of opponents.

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WEDNESDAY EXTRA EDITION

Wednesday, May 18, AD 2011

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

Syria Christians Fear for Religious Freedom – Reuters

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

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Another Dissident “Faithful” Catholic Attacks the Church

Wednesday, March 2, AD 2011

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:

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4 Responses to Another Dissident “Faithful” Catholic Attacks the Church

  • And until Wuerl, et al., confront FU Catholics with actual ecclesial discipline, we can expect to see legions of DeBernardos happily providing cover for the secular assault on both society and the Church.

    There are no consequences for telling the Church to blow it out her ass and–shocker!–people act accordingly.

  • It is far too late in these “social justice” debates of outright disobedience or political correctness approaches to today’s perversions of human behavior and betrayal of biblical truth for our hierarchy to simply “Urge the Laity” into action. Our actions are of little consequence within the media and for the most part futile if we do not have the weight of “Authoritive Discipline” behind our voices.
    Unless we witness prominent church officials and bishops condemning, defrocking and excommunicating these self styled ruling class individuals who present themselves as equally prominent laymen and/or politicians who openly challenge church law while imposing pain and suffering on the people with ill fated self endowed elitist rhetoric and socially lethal legislation the laity will continue to be recognized and labeled as just our president assumes us to be, uneducated uninformed homophobes clinging to our guns and bibles.
    Is there not one or two among the American Bishops willing to accept intellectual martyrdom in the name of the people of God for the sake of our country???
    Come forth Lazarus!

  • This issue can also be viewed as pastoral. When a Catholic expresses, supports and even agitates for positions contradictory to the Church, to Jesus, to God, then they may have excommunicated themselves and may be in jeopardy of eternal perdition. The pastor of this flock is required to correct his children so they may not lose their souls. It is incumbent on the bishops to make these statements; however, is it incumbent on them to punish? I am not sure. Is it incumbent upon us? Where does fraternal correction end and stern whooping begin? Spare the rod, spoil the child. Are Catholics in America just Protestants or practical atheists in disguise? Political correctness has cowed us into submission, and we are not permitted to do that. We are to be martyrs, witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and persecution is our promise.

    I am not suggesting we act like those poor morons from the Westwhatever ‘baptist’ church, yelling that God hates fags. We need to be stern and true. God, and therefore we, love people afflicted with homosexualist tendencies and out of that love we want them to stop engaging, codifying and celebrating a disordered behavior. It is not only disordered on theological grounds. Rationally it is a very dangerous practice. It is harmful to physical, emotional and mental health.

    That being said, do most Catholics listen to, care, obey or respect their bishop? Do they even know who their bishop is?

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Orwell Warned Us Of This

Sunday, February 6, AD 2011

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.

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9 Responses to Orwell Warned Us Of This

Well Now I'm Convinced

Monday, October 18, AD 2010

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.

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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.

Not So Fast…

Monday, August 16, AD 2010

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.

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12 Responses to Not So Fast…

  • Judge Walker’s performance in this case would warrant impeachment if we were living in a just world. His bias in this case has been clear from the beginning and totally shameless.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/243693/most-egregious-performance-ever-federal-district-judge-ed-whelan

  • Was this actually surprising? Wasn’t everyone expecting a stay? I was half expecting Judge Walker to stay his own decision.

  • I was half expecting Judge Walker to stay his own decision.

    Sucka.

  • I was, but I was hoping Walker would be impartial enough to grant the stay himself. I hadn’t been paying attention to the trial, but I think Don is right: this is a really poor performance by a judge, and I sincerely hope Christians who handle abortion trials learn from Walker’s example of how not to behave.

  • Isn’t it awesome how the people of the state can decide the matter, but its really up to a judge or a panel of judges to decide what’s good for them.

  • I’m really curious about how the law schools will spin this. There was so much effort spent “debunking the myth” that Left-leaning judges are “activist.” Some decisions though have got to be hard to re-cast. This is probably one of them.

  • I’m really curious about how the law schools will spin this. There was so much effort spent “debunking the myth” that Left-leaning judges are “activist.”

    Actually, that’s not been my experience. The current spin (and I got it today in the opening class for Con Law II, which is about the Bill of Rights) is that all judges today are activist, not just liberals. Basically, when Scalia (their favorite target) or any conservative attacks activism, they’re being hypocrites and point to the gun rights decisions, among others.

  • when Scalia (their favorite target) or any conservative attacks activism, they’re being hypocrites and point to the gun rights decisions, among others.

    Judge A thinks the phrase “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”, in a brief article which concerns that subject and the utility of the militia, refers to a personal right. Judge B fancies the phrase, “deny any person the equal protection of the laws” in an omnibus amendment granting freed slaves citizenship and cleaning up some other business from the civil war, requires county clerks to issue marriage licenses to pairs of dudes no matter what the various elected officials and general referenda say. Both are equally ‘activist’ to your classmates in Con Law II. Emphasis on ‘con’.

  • Good Morning Mr. Denton,

    1st – I hope your law school years are good and fruitful. Good luck and God bless.

    2nd – The narratives keep ranging back to what the Constitution IS – the whole Originalist vs. Living Constitutionalist debate. Since you are in law school, I’ll remind you that the Constitution is whatever your prof says it is. Work with their narrative and your grades will reflect your wisdom. (That is something I often found hard to do and my grades reflected that pig-headedness.)

  • In my experience, liberals embrace judicial activism. I think that’s a much more intellectually honest position than claiming that originalists are equally activist.

  • In my experience, liberals embrace judicial activism. I think that’s a much more intellectually honest position

    The notion that the phrases “The Judicial power shall extend to all cases under this Constitution” and “deny any person the equal protection of the laws” give you a roving mandate to arbitrarily annul any social policy you care to can be called many things. “Intellectually honest” is not one of them.

  • RR,

    How about a gravatar pic for your handle?

Culture War

Thursday, August 5, AD 2010

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.

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19 Responses to Culture War

  • To your point about it being impossible to make the traditionalist case: I thought Frank Beckwith’s following comment over at What’s Wrong With the World was spot on:

    Political liberalism was invented in the mid-1980s in order to provide a theoretical foundation that can exclude religiously-informed policy proposals while seeming to defend religious liberty and citizen participation. There had, of course, always been many liberalisms, including the Lockean, Kantian, Millean, Hobbsean, and Roussean varieties. But each suffered from the same problem: each presupposed a particular philosophical anthropology as the correct account of humanity. This was a problem because popular liberalism suggested neutrality on matters of worldview. So, you could not very well say that the state should be neutral on such matters while requiring it to embrace a particular one. Social conservatives understood this since the mid-1950s, as seen in what Bill Buckley called “the great liberal dilemma.” But with the ascendancy of the religious right and its insistence that “liberalism” is not as neutral as its proponents claim–that it too tries to answer the same questions that traditional religions answer–folks like Rawls needed a new way to defend liberalism in a pluralistic society that was both morally required but did not depend on a particular metaphysics. Presto, we get “political liberalism,” and with its numerous defenders including Rawls, Gaus (who is more of a libertarian), Nagel, and to a certain extent Dworkin.

    So, instead of explicitly defending metaphysical liberalism, we get political liberalism with allegedly none of the metaphysical commitments. But, strangely, on every issue about which metaphysical liberalism would take a stand–e.g., abortion, affirmative action, same-sex marriage, etc.–political liberalism gets the exact same results. Wow, what a coincidence! But the benefit of political liberalism is you can rule your opponents’ views as a priori violations of political liberalism while saying that their views are still “rational.” This means you get to sound like you respect pluralism, diversity, and the rationality of your opponents’ point of view while shutting them out of the debate on “principled grounds.”

    This is why on the issue of homosexual conduct, those that are critical of it for moral reasons cannot be considered reasonable actors who simply disagree with others on the issue. They must be irrational. For if they are rational–that is, if there views are not unreasonable to hold–then the state cannot, according to the canons of liberalism, force these citizens to acquiesce in their public and private lives. But this means that same-sex unions would not be treated equally, since political liberalism would grant the legitimacy of those who think homosexual acts are immoral. Consequently, the bigot charge is so fierce and not well-argued. It is meant to intimidate and silence, not persuade or convince. For, again, to suggest the position is arguable is to grant it legitimacy, and that simply cannot be allowed.

    So, despite Rawls’ wonderful intention to provide a theoretical grounding on which people with differing points of view on worldview matters can dialogue in a climate of mutual respect and understanding, he failed miserably. For what he in fact did was give to either side in the culture war, the ultimate weapon: declare the other side “unreasonable,” for once that sticks the game is over and there is no need to treat the other with respect or equal regard.

  • Well, apparently the history standards used in CA are even worse than I thought if Judge Walker can say with a straight face that historically there were no restrictions on marriage based on gender and that marriage was traditionally a matter of mutual consent. Heck in many parts of the world today, mutual consent STILL has nothing to do with marriage. I bet he would die before giving the Catholic Church credit with introducing consent as a feature of marriage.

    And since when does marriage have nothing to do with procreation? Many states require blood tests for Ruebella, which has everything to do with preventing birth defects in the future children of the marriage. (They don’t excuse you from the blood test just because you say you don’t plan on having children.)

    Also, inheritance law is very much intertwined with marriage both now and historically. But hey, with after death conceptions now due to IVF technology, maybe our culture should just declare children chattel and stop trying to pretend everything that the adults want magically is good for the children. We can just declare it so and move on with clear consciences!

  • Why should they (gays) be happy? They may as well be miserable like the rest fo us. Farce/OFF

    Did the judge rule YOU cannot have religious morailty in LAW? I like that part. Get the welfare (Catholic Social Justice) state off our backs.

    To your point: J. M. Barrie, “God gave us memory so that we could have roses in December.”

  • The following comment of mine was censored by the Huffington Post and taken off the site. It stated, “This comment was removed in accordance with HuffPost’s moderation guidelines.” I was totally taken aback. My words were neither offensive or in bad taste in anyway. Here is what I wrote:

    When anyone is vocal against gay marriage and homosexuality, supporters of gay rights like to label them as intolerant, prejudice and ignorant. I don’t consider myself any of the three. I was taught that we are all part of the human race and, therefore, no one is better than anyone else, regardless of race, class or religion. I feel I have always been on the right side, fighting for the poor, the minority, etc. But being gay is a desire and not a right.
    Whatever people do in the privacy of their homes is their business. It is not anyone’s place on this earth to judge others’ actions and desires. I know people who are gay, and I treat them no differently, than I do anybody else. Everyone should be free from ridicule and attack, but to go so far as to give rights to an abnormal desire that contradicts nature since the beginning of time is wrong and can only lead to an untested and precarious road. You don’t have to be religious or a moralist to know that what isn’t natural shouldn’t be. Gay people should neither be attacked nor encouraged, but helped and prayed for. This ruling is misguided because the law has no place in sanctioning unnatural and defective desires and acts.

  • Well now you’ve said several offensive things. Calling homosexuality a “desire” and not a “right”. Calling it an “abnormal desire that contradicts nature” and labelling it “wrong.” Finally you call for us to “pray” for them. You are engaging in hate speech you know.

  • 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

    well, obviously that was the goal all along. But they would not have gone the federal route if they could have won state by state. when the people are asked, they emphatically say no.

    Today, gender is not
    relevant to the state in determining spouses’ obligations to each other and to their dependents. Relative gender composition aside, same-sex couples are situated identically to opposite-sex couples in terms of their ability to perform the rights and obligations of marriage under California law.

    where the hell does he come up with this?

    It is not anyone’s place on this earth to judge others’ actions and desires.

    I would have to quibble with this. It is precisely our place to judge actions and desires. We do that all the time – it’s called enforcing the law. The judge himself did it in this case by judging that those whose actions/desires are that same sex couples should not be recognized as married are wrong.

    It is not our place to judge the eternal destination of someone’s soul because of those actions and desires.

  • The right to marry has been historically and remains the right to choose a spouse and, with mutual consent, join together and form a household

    Great. So when does polygamy kick in? I chose a spouse in 2010, then I chose another spouse in 2011, then I chose another in 2012….

    Someone owes the Mormons a BIG time apology!

  • If those words were offensive, then most comments would be pulled, since I have seen a lot worse on the web. We have something in this country called freedom of speech. You may not agree with me, but I kept it clean. I guess they just thought my simple words would sway others.

  • I was being sarcastic. I actually agree with you.

  • But I suspect others would not be sarcastic if they said such to you. That’s why your post was pulled. Soon you may not be able to say it publicly.

  • Ruth,

    It’s pure and simple censorship.

    You are evil if you disagree with them. At least they are not planning to destroy you, yet.

  • Jess,

    …maybe our culture should just declare children chattel…

    Welcome to the Roman Republic circa 150 BC.

    Where children were actually described as property of the father (they were a strictly paternally driven society back then).

    So with that, progressives are advocating for a regression towards olde tyme Roman Law.

  • Dear Judge: repeat after me: The state did not create marriage. The state does not own marriage. The state receives marriage as a cultural institution. The state is not the culture, it serves the culture. The state is a servant obligated to respect and foster the culture’s pre-existing and more fundamental institutions. Marriage is a cultural institution constituting relations between a man and a woman, period.

  • Tony-
    Judge Walker would take your framework of thinking about marriage and say that homosexual unions are apart of the contemporary culture and that Prop 8 was the state trying to own marriage.

    But of course, I get what you are saying and you are correct: marriage is a pre-political, natural institution; the state has no competency to alter it.

    There is no chance for common ground on this issue: as Elizabeth Anscombe noted decades ago, this battle was lost when artificial contraception became normal.

    Time to get out your MacIntyre, reread it and weep.

  • Also, Frank Beckwith noted a key logical flaw in Walker’s opinion:

    “Oddly, the judge claims that the belief that heterosexual monogamy is better than homosexual unions cannot be one of the reasons. But in that case, the judge begs the question, since that is precisely why we should privilege male-female marriage. So, it turns out male-female marriage is unconstitutional become it is male-female marriage. That’s called begging the question.”

  • For the sake of a view from the other side, here’s a post by a Christian who voted against Prop 8 & now regrets it…good illustration of how constant media exposure can muddle thinking:

    http://www.elizabethesther.com/threes_a_crowd/2010/08/why-i-regret-voting-yes-on-prop-8.html#comment-6a00d83451d95b69e2013486109b9c970c

  • Fellow Catholics, we must beat on our own chests. Judge Walker’s reasoning is largely unassailable and may well be upheld by the Supreme Court, perhaps even with the votes of some Catholic justices. The case in favor of Prop 8 was prepared weakly, and the defendant (Gov. Schwarzenegger) didn’t really want to fight it. Both Schwarzenegger and the Attorney General of CA have since come out in support of same-sex marriage. Nobody saw that the issue shouldn’t be presented as about the nature of marriage but as about the nature of sex. It should have been built on “Male and female He created them” (Gen 1:26), by arguing that individuals (or, for Catholics, persons) by nature belong to one of two sexes and that there is no artificially chosen “gender”. Catholics appear to be about the only ones left who have an interest in pursuing the case. Will we even be strong enough to grasp the last and minute chance before the Supreme Court? Now or never. Unified and strong leadership by our bishops is necessary, as is support by our universities, media, and best legal minds.

  • Do any of you know anyone who is gay? Do any of you know any gay couples? There are many, many, gay couples in committed relationships who simply want the same benefits under the law. Spousal inheritance, survivor benefits, next of kin rights at the hospital, visitation rights. Have any of you read the science on homosexuality? It is not a choice, and it is natural. Homosexuality is present in nature in many different animal species. Homosexual people are physiologically different than straight people. 10% of all populations are historically gay, and not something people can control and not something you should discriminate against in civil law. It is the American Law we are talking about here. Now you can decide.. do you want to live in a Free country, where we are all able to pursue life, liberty and happiness, or would you rather your homosexual brothers and sisters just continue to commit suicide for fear of rejection by their families, be forced from their homes when their partners of sixty years pass away and their relatives come and take everything, or lose rights to children they raised in a break-up? Jesus Christ never spoke of homosexuality, and by the majority of theologians he was the radical liberal of his day. Learn to live and let live. The agreement two people have to each other under the law affects none but those two people. In a pluralistic, free society we have to learn that the law applies to EVERYONE, not just the majority. A man and a woman can still get married as they always could have so tell me how does this impact them? This is about equal protection under U.S. law for all families in this country. If you want the rule of religion to to be the basis of civil law in the country you live in, please go look at Muslim countries that run on Sharia law as an example of how backwards it could become. Separation of Church and state, as well as Freedom of Religion are a beautiful thing. Now, if you want to really focus on ridding the world of sexual deviance, take a look at your own “celibate”, child molesting priests and the Popes who shelter them.

  • David,

    There is an unselfconscious irony in someone showing up to demand tolerance, while loudly displaying his own intolerance of anyone with a view different from his own. A great deal of what you say is ignorant, or untrue, but what comes through very clearly is that you absolutely and unconditionally despise anyone who thinks different from you. How you expect this to be persuasive from those who differ from you because they have thought long and deeply about their beliefs is beyond me.

WJBA? In 2010 Would Jesus (Along With His Apostles & Saints) Be Arrested For Hate Speech?

Wednesday, August 4, AD 2010

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.

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4 Responses to WJBA? In 2010 Would Jesus (Along With His Apostles & Saints) Be Arrested For Hate Speech?

  • Great column as usual, Dave. It just blows my mind that our nation is no longer a republic of, for and by the people but an elite and arrogant oligarchy that is unleashing one perverted social experiment after another on us.

    The far left have the nerve to needle the conservatives for wanting to have less government yet have government restrict marriage. Quite the contrary, we want to be able to decide how our society should function, not have the government do so.

    It’s a shame that the voters in my state of California were robbed once again, but we can still hope for the Supreme Court to save the day. In the meantime, this should serve as a wakeup call for the voters, especially those in the 45 states who have kept marriage to one man and one woman, to vote the radicals out in the fall and make sure the Democrats never control government again as long as the militant secularists who are ruining this nation continue to call the shots for the party.

  • This is almost a grand slam!

    This is government hate speech against, and injurious to, Christians, Jews and Muslims.

    Oh, that’s okay!?

    Never mind.

    Thanks for voting for them dems.

  • Prepare for the worst. There is little doubt that in the near future Christians will be arrested and imprisoned by the American Socialist State if they continue to preach the gospel and traditional morality. The American politicians have created their long desired Atheistic State which will have no tolerance for believers. Prepare for the dark days of persecution but the good news is that it will separate the wheat from the shaff and the sheep from the goats.

  • But Jesus and the Apostles were arrested and even put to death for their speech.

    When DeGaulle was reproached for not taking more care against assassination, he replied: “It comes with the job”.

It's About the Children. Seriously.

Wednesday, August 4, AD 2010

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.

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29 Responses to It's About the Children. Seriously.

  • Well said.

  • Exactly. Americans, even conservative Protestants, have removed children from marriage. Without a procreative intent, admittedly, there is little reason to ban gay marriage. Or incest for that matter.

  • Americans?

    Westerners. America still has the highest birth rate in the Western world, and Utah has the highest birth rate out of all the states.

    Supposedly “family friendly” Europe cut children out of the picture a long time ago. All of the welfare provisions, reduced work weeks, paid maternity/paternity leave didn’t do a damned thing to reinforce families or birth rates.

    This is because Europe not only removed children from the marriage, but God from their lives and culture. Mormon Utah thrives for exactly the opposite reason. When will Catholics get it?

  • Actually, welfare did help increase the birth rate in Europe. The Scandinavian countries have the highest birth rates in Western Europe.

  • How would things look if marriage were dead? Out-of-wedlock births, acceptance of any cohabitation arrangement, the presumption that any relationship in non-binding…exactly what we have today. Marriage is dead as a norm in the West. There are only pockets and subcultures that preserve it.

    We talk about the “war on Christmas”. Christmas has been stripped of its old meaning and given a new purpose; a few of its traditions are unthinkingly continued. By the time the courts started enforcing “holiday pageants” in public schools, the war was long lost. That’s exactly what’s happened to marriage.

    Maybe my blood sugar is low or something, because even I am not usually this pessimistic. I’m just not seeing any reason to be encouraged.

  • Marriage is dead as a norm in the West.

    Yes, this is what I’ve been saying about the SSM debate all along. To those who ask, “How is SSM going to harm your (traditional) marriage?” I say, “It’s not — the damage has already been done. I just don’t see the reason to codify the death of marriage in law.”

  • Marriage is certainly in disrepair in the west. Many forces contributed to that, but the disentanglement of sex, children and marriage via modern birth control options is certainly a key part of it, resulting in the normalization of premarital sex, cohabitation, divorce, serial monogamy, etc. That said infidelity (i.e., extramarital sex) is still largely unaccepted in the US. Marriage may be in the ICU, but it is not dead yet.

  • Pingback: Supporting Gay Marriage: It’s Not About the Children. Seriously. « Agree to Disagree
  • The trolls are out.

  • restrainedradical wrote Thursday, August 5, 2010 A.D. at 8:29 am
    “Actually, welfare did help increase the birth rate in Europe. The Scandinavian countries have the highest birth rates in Western Europe”.

    The birth rate in Sweden is 1.67 children born/woman (2010 est.), i.e., less than replacement. Much of this is probably due to immigrant populations.

  • It seems to me that there is an assumption that the U.S. is a fine moral country.
    The opposite seems to be true. The number of child murders continues to increase.
    Poverty is widespread despite “Wars on Poverty” [because of?].
    The immigration question continues to fester. {On what moral basis can immigrants be denied entry?].
    The continued base treatment of Indians reeks to heaven.
    Justice Ginsberg speaks of “undesirable populations”.
    Multi-skillionaires give much money to killing babies in this country and abroad.
    Pornography becomes more and more widespread like a plague.
    Actors are treated as moral gurus, because their faces are familiar, not because they know how to behave.
    To put it succinctly: what is it in the U.S. which gives it any claim to be a light unto the nations?

  • I’m not sure I understand the argument. People who don’t procreate shouldn’t get married? Then where are the rallies against childless marriages? Why aren’t we banning people whose disabilities prevent them from having children from marrying? Or the elderly? Why aren’t we protecting the procreative institution of marriage from these barren impostors? And what about adoption? Since adoption by same-sex couples would challenge your argument, you must be against that, too. In which case, shouldn’t we stop straight couples from adopting, too? Those children may be in need of care, but of course the bigger need is for people to have their own babies. Please help me understand how we can include the disabled, the elderly, adoptive parents and those who are childless by choice into the Prop 8 campaign, because clearly we’re leaving a lot of people out.

  • Thanks for the comment, Maisha. You raise a common but good question with regard to our position, and it’s one that certainly seems to follow from my post. I somewhat oversimplified the argument last night, but in so doing left the door open for your objection. Let me see if I can offer at least a beginning of a response.

    Our position is that marriage is an institution in which a man and a woman come together with a desire to grow more deeply in love and with an openness to children, *even if children are for some reason impossible for them*. For us, the act of marital love — sexual union — is itself ordered towards procreation, even if in at any particular time procreation is impossible (perhaps due to infertility, because the woman is not in the fertile stage of her cycle, or whatever). So in the case of an elderly couple beyond childbearing years, the sexual union remains structurally oriented towards procreation.

    Such is obviously not the case for the same sex couple, however: same sexual acts of their nature cannot be procreative, while — all things being equal — heterosexual acts are always structurally procreative.

    That’s the beginning of a response… let me know where I’m unclear, and I’ll try to clarify.

  • When I comment on subjects like this my post is in danger of being deleted, which is ok, I have to answer to God for me, not whomever does the deleting.

    That being said:

    With the Catholic Church, the children are really just pawns. The real battle is keeping the pews full, I think for the power that gives the Church. I would like to think otherwise but I really do not, based upon personal experience.

    When divorce happens, the Church does and says nothing, to heal a marriage, when it is clear to the Church, as they have all the evidence they need in nullity cases, that a marriage has simply been abandoned and the abandoner has taken the spoils, including the children.

    Rather, should not individual priests and bishops in authority, address the situations, especially when these are presented to the Church for nullity investigations and work, tirelessly, pastorally and with canonical strictures, to restore marital union? Especially so when nullity is shown NOT to exist?

    No such thing happens, at all!

    No, Chris. I do not agree it is about the children. It is about power and control, although it should not be that way.

    If you must delete this, go ahead. I did not mean any disrespect by it. I just commented on my personal experience and from what I have heard from others, who have been through it.

    Regarding marriage, I believe, the chemical inability to make the sperm/egg do not invalidate, the inability to “perform the act” necessary for procreation, either physiologically or psychologically, is what validity and hence, real marriage, hinges on, provided the people are free of all other impediments.

  • If I’m following you correctly, Karl, two comments come to mind.

    First, there are programs present in the Church which try to heal broken/dying/weak marriages… Retrouvaille comes to mind.

    Second, I’m not sure what you think clerics can do to get two people back together who refuse to do so.

    Can you elaborate or clarify?

  • Going there would hijack the topic. I simply wanted to infuse my personal experience into my comment.

    I have never, once, seen the slightest concern for the scandal and abuse our five children have experienced by any of the priests or bishops who were supposed to pastor them. To this day the scandal is encouraged.

    Our acceptance of divorce has prepared the groundwork for this “dumbingdown” of marriage.

    It is about the children and their souls, that is clear, but I do not see the Catholic Church as having the moral high ground. Not over divorce, Chris.

    God is teaching his Church, if it will listen to spouses like myself and others who have seen its evil deeds, to repent and to LISTEN. Bur for twenty years, the ears of the Church have been sealed, in my personal experience.

    I hope, whatever it takes to break the back of the dead consciences of the Catholic intelligencia, lay and clerical, is done. They do not listen. They listen to “experts” they DONOT

  • LISTEN to their victims.

  • The Church must defend marriage, period, not selectively in the face of a homosexual challenge.

    It must cease allowing its teachers to stress the “benign” nature of divorce. It must do so with strong canonical sanctions. It must hold to account, with formal canonical sanctions those who abandon marriages, particularly when they do not seek counsel from the bishop or when they abuse those few specified canonically allowed circumstances when separation is allowed.
    Wrongful divorce must not be unaddressed, in public and those who refuse, without substantive, serious reasons, to work, endlessly if necessary, at reconciliation, especially if there are children involved, should be formally and very much in public, be admonished and in short order, formally excommunicated, if the refusal to work toward healing the marriage continues. All those who cooperate, formally, with the support of the unrepentant, should similarly be held to account, with more vigor if they are a religious or in any position of authority/importance in the Church.

    The Church has lost all credibiliy due to its generations of laxity regarding marriage. This is constantly used against the Church and justifiably so.

    Unless this is addressed and addressed, last year, the Church is the hypocrite it is so often accused of being.

    May God have mercy on His, very unfaithful Bride. It is those of us who are struggling to be faithful to both our spouses and our faith, who God requires
    His Bride to listen to. The Pope and the rest of the Catholic clergy need to understand how much harm they do each day our cries are left unanswered with almost anything but disdain, from those who should know better.

  • Karl,
    When you write that “the Church” has been moving in the direction of accepting divorce, I believe you should modify that by saying many [most?] priests and bishops have been moving in this direction. And it is, as you rightly note, part and parcel of the sexual scandals. Once start hedging – even in the smallest manner – on matters of Church teaching, the hedging simply grows.
    The hierarchy is mealy mouthed when it comes to the use of the pill. Most of the pills are abortifacient. All of them sterilize. How often do priests and bishops note this? How often do they remind the faithful that they are committing a mortal sin by the use of the pill?
    But I believe there is a mistaken notion that our bishops, as such, are a saintly lot. They are not. You have but to read a bit of the history of the episcopacy to realize that bishops do not contribute much to the list of saints, to those we are enjoined to emulate. They are for some reason a timid lot.

  • Unfortunately too true. We must remember that the priesthood and episcopacy are charisms, gifts for the good of the Church, and not holiness. A mother at home raising her children may have a far greater place in heaven than many a bishop.

  • How is SSM going to harm your (traditional) marriage?

    That is really the incorrect question – it should be “How is SSM going to strengthen marriage as an institution?”

    And the answer is, it is not. It will only further hide the now barely recognized fact that the proper end of intercourse is procreation.

  • I think there’s a real serious question whether ANY church in the USA takes marriage seriously–with (ironically) the possible exception of the Mormons. Among Catholics, even those who cannot remember the number of the commandments, let alone the content of the list, can tell you that when we want to divorce and remarry in church, we just get an annulment on some (frequently bogus) “psychological” ground. This happens no matter how long the supposedly invalid marriage has lasted or how many children it produced. This last point is especially important; the annulment regime now in force is saying that it is NOT important to stay married “for the children’s sake.”

  • ron chandonia, I agree that there have been serious abuses in Catholic Church annulments. But the idea of an annulment does not hinge on whether the apparent marriage lasted many years, nor on how many kids there are, nor on whether it is better for the kids’ sake to stay together. If a couple never did get married to begin with, despite appearances, then it means that they have been living an error for however long the apparent marriage has been going on, whether short or long. I accept that a long-lasting arrangement suggests that there must have been a real commitment to permanence, but there are other commitments needed for the marriage to have taken place to begin with.

    I know a couple who got married 20 years ago, and got an annulment 2 years ago: the guy had been a pornography addict and sexual deviant the entire period. He was incapable of a real commitment to marital fidelity at the time of the wedding, because he was addicted to porn.

    The Church usually states that if a couple has kids, they both have a deep, serious obligation to see to their welfare even if a divorce or annulment occurs. How can it be better for the kids for the Church and society to pretend that a marriage took place when it didn’t. I should think, generally, that a couple with young kids, who discover that they never did truly marry, ought to ask themselves whether they might have a moral obligation to actually make real the apparent marriage that they had been living in action, for the sake of the kids. But of course, nobody discovers this without a marital breakdown, and at that point it is often difficult to establish that it really would be better for the kids if their mom and dad got married even when they hate each other.

    Given that at least 30% of heterosexuals don’t seem to have a grave problem with the very idea of homosexual marriage, it is probable that many, many people don’t understand marriage enough to actually form a marriage bond with another person. Given that, it should not be surprising that many annulments are granted correctly.

  • May one not also ask what is the difference between gay “marriages” [sodomy] and marriages in which the female uses the pill to sterilize herself? Marriage is not even chiefly for procreation. Procreation is an added blessing. To reject that blessing is to reject the Almighty.

    Consider also the vow “until death”. As Harry Truman remarked “if a man will not keep his word to his wife, to whom will he keep it”? The Church does not prohibit divorce when it is but separation. It prohibits divorce – it points out the breaking of the vow – for “remarriage”.

  • Gabriel,
    It is my understanding that the Church does not so much prohibit divorce as simply not recognize it. Indeed, while legal separations may be favored over divorce as such, I believe that the Church understands that divorce under civil law is often necessary in order to ensure protection of the weak — usually but not always the wife or children. Consequently, what is not permitted is remarriage (absent an annulment of course), since the first (without an annulment) the marital sacrament remains in place and remarriage constitutes adultary.

    Thanks for the Truman quote. I was unaware of it.

  • How mislead and scandalous these comments are.

    How easily you have swallowed the Kool Aid of divorce to think that it is anything but condemned.

    Do you reacall it says…..God Hates Divorce. How easily man has rejected the expressed Will of God and searches for rationalizations for his sins.

    Watch and learn as society and the Catholic Church decay for their self-serving attitudes, especially towards marriage. The reconing will come.

  • Karl,
    Emoting about Kool Aid is not productive. While I’m hardly an advocate of divorce, and it is certainly true that the rate of broken marriages is scandalous, the fact is that obtaining a divorce in and of itself is not understood by the Church to be a sin. Indeed, the Church views a civil separation and a civil divorce indentically. Neither has any effect whatsoever on the marital Sacrament. The Church recognizes that the parties are not morally enjoined from selecting whichever legal route leads to greater justice under our civil law system. This is especially important in the case of serious abuse. Neither legal approach, however, permits “re-marriage” in the Christian sense, even if civil divorce does so under civil law. The sin occurs if a person bound by the marital sacrament to his spouse remarries or otherwise has relations with another regardless whether the married couple are separated, divorced, or neither. Note the important fact that the Church does not view civil divorce as disturbing the status of a Christian marriage.
    Of course, as I noted the rate of divorce is evidence of deep and disturbing problems within our society. The wounds, especially to children, are incalculable. But divorce is a symptom of sin, not the sin itself. This is pretty straightforward Church teaching.

  • Karl,
    Catechism 2383:
    “The Church teaches that the separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases. The Catechism states: “If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.”

    Which is to say “divorce” is a civil separation, not a breaking of the marriage vow.

Proposition 8 Struck Down, For The Time Being

Wednesday, August 4, AD 2010

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.

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6 Responses to Proposition 8 Struck Down, For The Time Being

  • I heard several commentators on the radio using this language today. We need to put a stop to this “inferior” vs. “superior” language altogether. It is irrelevant to the question at hand and just pulls on the emotional strings of those on the fence who are concerned about “equality.”

    Gay marriages are not some form of marriage which we think is an “inferior form” to the “superior form” between heterosexuals. Gay marriage quite simply isn’t a “form” of marriage at all. It doesn’t exist. To let the pro-gay-marriage crowd frame it in these emotional, egalatarian-based terms is to get off track and play into their hands.

  • From the ruling:

    “Race and gender restrictions shaped marriage during eras of race and gender inequality, but such restrictions were never part of the historical core of the institution of marriage….. Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage…”

    This passage from the ruling is the real core of this debate. Gender historically had and currently has nothing to do with the core of marriage? What an astonishingly bold and bald lie. That’s the level of unreality we are up against.

  • This is stupidity on afterburner. I’m actually ashamed of our judicial system; these judges are a joke. Between this and the “sweet mystery of life” passage, the rule of law is effectively dead. Pack up and go home.

    I suggest as a form of mass civil disobedience that all Christians commit a petty crime and use this decision and Casey as a defense. “The heart of liberty is to define one’s own concept of existence, and morality is no basis for legislation.” Our robed masters said so.

    There is no such thing as law free from morality; there is no metaphysically neutral politics. I have no sense for what greater good this progressive-liberal culture is aiming; what is its summum bonum? At least with Christianity, one knows where one stands. But where will this nonsense end? What moral outrage will we be forced to accept next year and the year after that?

    Not that I would do it, but I’m sort of starting to see why people burn American flags. I’m disgusted by this.

  • Really good article and pertinent to the points made here. I met the author, Thomas Messner, in my travels a few weeks ago, really smart with a law degree. Forgive me if it has already been discussed/posted here.

  • Given that the Dems control the Senate, is there any point to pushing for a removal from office of this judge? At this time the push would lose. Would that losing effort help or hurt the larger cultural war?

  • Depends on how strong a push you could mount. If anything, it should make those Senators up for re-election nervous to see the natives restless.

    The best push would be to push some of those Senators out (although I heard this guy was a Republican appointee).

All That Is Necessary For The Triumph Of The Same Sex Agenda Is That Good Men Do Nothing

Friday, July 23, AD 2010

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.

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12 Responses to All That Is Necessary For The Triumph Of The Same Sex Agenda Is That Good Men Do Nothing

  • I fully agree that prayer is the answer. I believe that both action and informing the public about the purpose of traditional marriage, how it relates to Christianity, and explaining the reasons why same-sex “marriage” goes against the purpose of marriage- procreation- is very important for traditional marriage defenders to be able to win this debate or culture war. It is impossible for same-sex couples to have an openness to procreate. Traditional marriage couples have that openness (to procreate) regardless of whether the couple is having infertility issues or not. But, it is an impossibility for two males or two females to procreate naturally.

  • Seems extreme/fanatical narcissists believe in free speech for themselves but not for us. That they can silence those who may believe differently than they. The Age of Enlightenment is past.

    When we find ourselves alone and the government is derelict in its duties to protect liberties and persons. There are instances wherein physical force is justified.

  • I just can’t take this debate seriously any more.

  • Anthony,

    Should I laugh at your comment?

  • Do what you like, Tito.

    I just think that its near impossible to discuss the matter in a rational way.

  • I think I agree with Anthony.

    As Orwell (or was it Gibbon?) said (I think, I don’t have it here.) “I never make the mistake of arguing with irrational people over beliefs/issues to which they they cling that have no moral or rational basis.”

  • I’m just a little blogger, myself, and yet I’ve had a radio host suggest that people beat me up, while a kind person over at Daily Kos once opined that I should be strung up from a street lamp with a meat hook. Meanwhile, my partner in blogging was once upon a time roughed up by union goons who didn’t like his opinion being expressed in the public square.

    Some years back I managed to catch some flak for calling our progressive friends “junior-league Leninists” – it was a “how dare I?” moment. But that is what they are: narrow minded, bitter, hate-filled fanatics. They don’t want debate – to debate implies that the other side might have a valid point, and they’ll never accept that.

    And so, this is what we see – and I really doubt its a new phenomena; its likely that we’re just seeing more of it due to the advent of the New Media. In the end, this is a good thing – the more these kooks are exposed, the more outrage builds among average Americans and thus comes the greater chance of securing the power necessary to make real changes.

    Mark Noonan

  • Anthony,

    I understand now.

    n4nadmin, Teresa, T. Shaw,

    Yeah, at times (maybe most) it is impossible to engage in any dialogue with people that are this intolerant and bigoted against us.

  • “the more these kooks are exposed, the more outrage builds among average Americans and thus comes the greater chance of securing the power necessary to make real changes.”

    Just to ruffle feathers, I will say that I have little confidence that once power is obtained it is utilized properly. Power is predictably used to (1) bring reprisal on political enemies and/or (2) make it difficult to dislodge who’s in power.

    Supporters of “traditional marriage” are just as susceptible to that kind of corruption as the pro-gay marriage side.

    To this day I still believe the only peaceful way out of the argument is to walk away from state-sanctioned marriage. Both sides of this debate concede a crucial (and I think, fatal) point: that governments, even secular ones, have authority to tinker with the personal relationships between consenting adults.

    There are moral hazards on both sides of that coin. On the pro-gay marriage side there is a real risk that the next logical step is a breach into theological issues by governments, forcing religions to accept same-sex marriage or finding ways to punish them for not. On the traditional side, there is a real risk of some individuals hiding behind the issue in order to enact homophobic policies (the genuine kind, not the trumped-up kind).

    The only role I could possibly see for governments is in their authority to enforce contracts and mediate contractual disputes between individuals. There’s nothing about that power which requires the word “marriage” attached to it.

  • I tend to lean to Anthony’s side–the State didn’t create marriage, and if it were to get out of the marriage business entirely there wouldn’t be much to yell about, would there?

    Realistically, I don’t see that happening. It may be useful to remind folks who think their “tolerance” badge will be tarnished if they don’t give in to this exercise in social engineering that the State really shouldn’t be meddling if it can’t demonstrate a compelling interest. The State’s interest in traditional marriage is that it provides the best environment for raising children who do not subsequently become problems for the State. I believe that compelling interest is largely absent (or at least, highly optional) in same-sex relationships.

  • My qualm with “the State’s interest” is that it shifts with the political winds.

    Under certain circumstances it could be in the state’s “interest” that abortion become illegal. The need for cheap labor, future soldiers, taxpayers and population collapse could all be reasons for the state to do away with abortion. On the other hand, reducing costs, freeing the supply of goods, eliminating undesirable traits and population control could (and are) used to justify abortion.

    Take marriage. I could just as easily justify allowing gay marriage by saying the practice would (or could) stabilize promiscuous behavior, “normalize” certain consensual sexual acts, reduce instances of violence against gays while providing the state with fiscally stable homes in which to place unwanted children. All are reasons to be a-okay with letting gay marriage move forward. And, selfishly, the State will undermine the Church, thus increasing government’s sway with people over that of religion.

    Where do we really go to worship? The Church, or the State? It’s an important question to answer because it seems that both sides wish to see their values either codified or validated through the coercive powers held by government. If “my values” receive the government’s stamp of approval then “the Truth” be damned.

    These are questions Christians of all stripes should think long and hard on before rushing to pass laws or fire shots in the culture wars.

  • The State isn’t going to get out of the marriage business. Marriage between a man and a woman is the bedrock foundation of our society. Homosexual “marriage” is a travesty being foisted upon society by those who wish the State to give its stamp of approval to homosexuality and use the coercive power of the State against those who dissent. This is an important battle and should be fought against by all those who realize that this is part of a struggle waged by those who wish to turn the concept of family on its head.

American Bar Association Considering to Support Same Sex Marriage

Wednesday, July 14, AD 2010

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?

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17 Responses to American Bar Association Considering to Support Same Sex Marriage

  • There are a lot of pro-life doctors, too, yet the AMA and the ACOG are officially pro-abortion. There are pro-life teachers, but nobody would ever know that if the NEA were the only voice of that profession.

    It’s not about what the average professional wants. It’s about who is in power.

  • There may well be formal opposition to this within the legal profession, but it may not be widely known.

  • You’d be surprised by how many pro-lifers are for gay marriage, especially among the young. I think polls bear that out. I’d suspect that there are more among lawyers. Today, even pro-choice lawyers will concede that Roe v. Wade was a weak decision. The legal case for gay marriage may be stronger. The government interest in preventing abortion is stronger than in banning gay marriage. If you separate procreation from marriage as we have done in the US, there’s little reason to ban gay marriage.

  • Lawyers aren’t required to be members of the ABA to practice. So I oppose this kind of stuff the ABA does by simply not joining it.

  • I’m a member of the ABA but haven’t a clue how to express “organized opposition.”

    The ABA isn’t like the K of C. There aren’t any local monthly meetings in which policy is discussed. Instead, you are regularly invited to events like meet-and-greats or seminars – all useful to an aspiring lawyer but not a venue for expressing discontent with ABA support of particular political or social issues.

    In other words, her statement seems to me to be a misrepresentation since it presumes that there is a venue for such discussion – that ABA members are asked whether they support same sex marriage policies or not. This simply isn’t so.

  • The ABA is a completely voluntary association. About 29% of all American attorneys are members. I have never belonged simply because the ABA, like most professional associations in this country, has long been dominated by leftist activist members.

    http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2009/03/obama-brings-aba-back-inside-judicial-nominations-process.html

    http://volokh.com/posts/1237317675.shtml

    A good alternative for conservative attorneys is the Federalist Society.

    http://www.fed-soc.org/aboutus/

  • I agree with Don. The sort of lawyers who are strongly pro-life and opposed to same-sex marriage aren’t the sort of lawyers who would involve themselves in the ABA.

  • I quit the ABA years ago. It has a terrific Tax Section that is very valuable to tax lawyers, but I could not stomach the lefty politics. Most tax attorneys lean conservative and ignore the liberal politics of the ABA. I just couldn’t take it. Unfortunately I do not believe that the Federalist Society has a tax section.

  • Many of us left when it adopted a pro-abortion position in the early 90s. I had the privilege of resigning twice. My firm inadvertently re-enrolled us the year after I first resigned. I got the chance to write a second letter of protest and resignation.

  • A very similar thing happened to me, ctd.

  • I don’t disagree with the analysis of the ABA’s policy stances. Indeed, there are few law schools that are not as far Left. However, there is a caveat that need be stated: new lawyers cannot afford to paint targets on themselves by publicly stating their politics.

    The Bush Administration was not the first to use the internet to vet CVs and resumes and will not be the last. The present administration – in all of its departments down to the lowest level that hires attorneys – looks for the writings and affiliations of applicants to determine whether the prospective attorney has the right “temperment” to be hired. This is true for non-profit and for-profit corporations as well. Certainly the law firms are doing the same.

    Unless new attorneys wish to go right into their own practice – a choice that few can afford to make – newly minted lawyers should, in general, not donate money to campaigns, join organizations that betray their political leanings (e.g. like the Federalist Society or the St. Thomas Moore Law Society), or become active in local politics. They SHOULD join their local bar association, if nothing else than for the contact opportunities and in order to get notification of Continuing Legal Education opportunities. The ABA also provides these opportunities and the new lawyer ignores it at their own peril.

    Some would say that this position suggests a lack of conviction. Such a view is short-sighted.

    In order to have conservative judges, justices, prosecutors, and the like, there must first be lawyers that can find a job after passing the bar. Rashly putting one’s politics out there is foolish. I would even go so far as to say that first year law students should be advised by thier administrations to take down their social networking sites and adopt a pseudonym when commenting anywhere on the net.

    Such is the world we live in.

  • Well since i am only a pre-baby lawyer i can’t say too much about the ABA. I haven’t joined the organization and my only dealings are with Model Rules. I agree with G-Veg. I am weary of the internet and posting my views until i figure out the job plan. I don’t want to burn bridges before I get into the practice.

  • I don’t know how to respond to B-Veg’s rather sober assesment as a general matter, but I will say that at my law firm (which has decidely more Dems than Repubs), we hire plenty of lawyers with STM Federalist Soc memberships on their resumes. Thankfully, very few of my lib partners are intolerant of conservatives and vice versa. We disagree plenty, but are seldom disagreeable about our differences. I have a hunch that this is true at many other large law firms, but can’t really for sure.

  • Very sorry for my clumsy typo, G-Veg.

  • I think G-Veg outlines one of several possible approaches new lawyers can take. It really depends on the individual. As far as I know, my friends in both the Federalist Society and the American Constitution Society listed those affiliations on their resumes. I listed STM, but not FedSoc or (for obvious reasons) ACS. None of my classmates relayed any horror stories or uncomfortable conversations in the interview process as a result of listing those affiliations; although a fellow summer clerk said he had once been treated to a lengthy lecture by a left-leaning partner who saw FedSoc on his resume (and a swiftly sent rejection letter).

    With regard to blogging and social networking, I think prospective new lawyers would be well-advised to make sure they monitor their Facebook pages, and comment under a pseudonym or handle of some type while blogging(although that may just be because I occasionally wish I could take back something I wrote, and wouldn’t want a prospective employer evaluating me based on that). Blogging and social networking are somewhat informal, and carry greater risks than a simple listing of membership on a resume.

  • I wish that “liberals” would actually be liberals and live up to the standards of their “coexist” bumper stickers. Aren’t they opposed to marginalization? Here we have the ABA marginalizing some lawyers; there we have the University of Illinois outright dismissing a professor. I just read a story in the local rag about eHarmony moving its corporate HQ out of Pasadena; the local hopenchangers are absoulutely giddy to be rid of that “homophobic” company.

    Where’s the tolerance? Where’s the love, man??

  • I never have joined the ABA although they keep calling me every couple years to sign up. Why would I pay $$ to a group that supports abortion and now, apparently, gay marriage?

    I just politely tell them I cannot join because of their pro-abort position. I guess I will now be able to add anti-marriage as well the next time they call.

    Not being a member of the ABA hasn’t hurt my career at all. You are better off (at least as a litigator) joining groups like your local bar associations.