"I have a public obligation to try to change that injustice"

That is how Maryland’s Catholic Governor Martin O’Malley  responded to a letter from Baltimore’s archbishop, asking that he withdraw his support for a bill that would legalize gay marriage.

The remarkable  correspondence was reported in the Catholic Review:

Two days before Gov. Martin J. O’Malley announced his July 22 decision to sponsor legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland, Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien sent him a private letter urging O’Malley – a Catholic – to “refrain” from promoting the redefinition of marriage.

“I am well aware that the recent events in New York have intensified pressure on you to lend your active support to legislation to redefine marriage,” Archbishop O’Brien wrote, referring to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signing of gay marriage legislation in the Empire State.

“As advocates for the truths we are compelled to uphold,” Archbishop O’Brien said, “we speak with equal intensity and urgency in opposition to your promoting a goal that so deeply conflicts with your faith, not to mention the best interests of our society.”

Archbishop O’Brien said it was “especially hard to fathom your taking such a step, given the fact that our requests last year for you to sponsor legislation to repeal the death penalty and support students in Catholic and other nonpublic schools went unheeded.”

The archbishop was referring to a long-sought business tax credit that would benefit students and teachers in Catholic and nonpublic schools. O’Malley supports the credit, but did not take a leadership role in trying to pass it. The measure failed.

In an Aug. 4 response to Archbishop O’Brien, the governor cited a long list of items on which the two agree – including repealing the death penalty, reducing the incidence of infant mortality, “promoting the dignity of work and the justice of fair wages,” protecting the environment, feeding the hungry and healing the sick.

“I do not presume, nor would I ever presume as governor, to question or infringe upon your freedom to define, to preach about, and to administer the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church,” O’Malley said. “But on the public issue of granting equal civil marital rights to same sex couples, you and I disagree.”

O’Malley said he was “sworn to uphold the law without partiality or prejudice.”

“When shortcomings in our laws bring about a result that is unjust,” he asserted, “I have a public obligation to try to change that injustice.”

O’Malley said it was unjust to “discriminate” in marital laws and he added that it is also “unjust” to treat the children of families headed by same-sex couples with “lesser protections” under the law than the children of families headed by heterosexual couples.”

Read the rest.

Comments

  1. pagansister says:

    Hats off to Gov. O’Malley! The last paragraph above (not in the “read the rest”) says it all.

  2. deaconjohnmbresnahan says:

    George weigel has an excellent column on the use of totalitarian government to create and enforce unreality and fantasy on the marriage issue (much like in past times in Communist countries). His excellent column is on many religious and Catholic sites like Catholic Exchange.
    Although the media may eventually brainwash American thinking on the issue, so far every single state that has been allowed to vote on the issue has voted against Gay “marriage” (about 31 or so states, I believe). It is now only legal in states where raw judicial power (like Ma.) or sleazy, well-financed (NY) political log-rolling put it into effect.
    As Weigel correctly observed: “modern totalitarian systems were, at bottom, attempts to remake reality by redefining reality.”
    In short, no action by any government, no matter how powerful, can make fantasy into reality. And, sadly, right now many Americans are being bamboozled by a corruption of “rights talk” to buy into the bizarre fantasy known as Gay “marriage.”

  3. naturgesetz says:

    As long as people refuse to recognize that the absolute physical impossibility of two males or two females producing a child makes their relationship different from that of male-female couples, people like the governor of Maryland will continue to misrepresent the issue as one of equal rights. Equality is not at stake when different things are involved.

  4. 1354925284 says:

    “O’Malley said it was unjust to “discriminate” in marital laws and he added that it is also “unjust” to treat the children of families headed by same-sex couples with “lesser protections” under the law than the children of families headed by heterosexual couples.””

    Well worth restating. As Pagansister said, this is perhaps the best paragraph of the entire article.

  5. josephw says:

    Where does the cowardice end? Does anyone have any morality left? Does he really think he is helping these folks?

  6. manny says:

    Will the Church ever start excommunicating any of these politicians? Starting with Cuomo. Why does anyone expect these politicians to heed the Church if there are no ramifications? I’m beginning to believe the Church has given up on the issue. Shame. Double shame.

  7. @JosephW – I suspect that, as governor, he feels he is honoring his oath of office and representing all people in his state, not just those who share his faith. If we demand that a Catholic governor honor the teachings of the Church above the will of the people or the law of the state/land, will we also expect a Muslim or Wiccan governor to likewise honor the teachings of their religions over the same people or laws?

    @Manny – The social justice teachings of the Catholic Church cover many, many areas. If we are to expect the Church to sanction members for violating these teachings in the area of same-sex marriage, should we not also expect them to sanction members for violating teachings regarding the poor, war, and other areas? For example, do you believe we will ever hear a Bishop or Cardinal call for the sanctioning of Catholic politicians who vote to cut Medicare or Social Security while supporting ever increasing tax breaks for the wealthy? I’m not certain we will, but I would love to be wrong on this issue.

  8. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Richard wrote:

    If we are to expect the Church to sanction members for violating these teachings in the area of same-sex marriage, should we not also expect them to sanction members for violating teachings regarding the poor, war, and other areas? For example, do you believe we will ever hear a Bishop or Cardinal call for the sanctioning of Catholic politicians who vote to cut Medicare or Social Security while supporting ever increasing tax breaks for the wealthy?

    Not all social teachings carry the same weight, and not all sins are considered equally grave. In the Church’s teaching, to support same-sex marriage is to support behavior which is considered not only intrinsically evil, but mortally sinful. (The same principle applies to abortion.)

    Supporting unfair taxation is not a mortal sin.

    So, no: you won’t hear a bishop threaten to sanction a politician for that.

    Dcn. G.

  9. greta says:

    Well said Deacon Greg. For too long, Catholic political hacks have been using the out of being personally opposed to abortion, but somehow seeing it OK to pass laws making the killing of babies legal and even supporting using tax money to pay for them. Now they also have jumped on the band wagon for “special rights” for those who have same sex attraction weakness without the basic understanding that they are giving preferences to one behavior choice. The reason the Church and society have given us levels of sin or different levels of crime is that some are intrinsically a greater evil. The argument that one sex attraction should not be given equal status to marriage between one man and one woman in marriage by the same argument of fairness demands that society now give the same status to every other perversion. No more laws against incest or poligamy. The pro gay crowd scoff at the use of this argument, but legally and within government rights issues, it is hard for anyone to give a solid legal argument for discrimination against them when you have started down the road of special rights for one sexual attraction evil. I think in a short time in states that go down this road like NY, you will see lawsuits for all perversion rights.

  10. rudy says:

    A time or reckoning is coming. While so called Catholic governors and officials enforce their radical social agenda, the country is moving towards an economic disaster that will make the Great Depression as a minor blip in the charts. Once that comes and money runs out for any programs regardless of their worthiness or not, that great reckoning will come. Look at the riots in England, Greece and those of France a few years ago. They will pale in comparison top what an armed mob in the U.S. will look like.

    Of course all of this could be averted by responsible politicians, but we are, in my opinion, to far down the road and the system is too vested in its economic and social agendas to change. Sooner or later the reckoning will come. God help us all when it does.

  11. The problem with supporting same-sex marriage is not only that homosexual behavior is intrinsically wrong and seriously sinful. The same could be said of masturbation, and we do not seek to ban that. The main problem is that redefining marriage undermines the natual family, the very basis for a just society, a key point in Catholic social teaching.

    That’s why it’s so important to respond thoughtfully to O’Malley’s contention that denying same-sex couples the opportunity to marry is inherently unjust–an argument very like the one Mario Cuomo made for public funding of abortion. Social justice is not simply a matter of giving parity to various individuals or interest groups. It requires conforming our social mores to God’s plan for our welfare.

    Until very recently, it seemed obvious to most people that human sexuality should be directed toward the formation of stable two-parent families in which children could be properly reared. The negative social consequences of our choosing alternate arrangements ought by now to be painfully obvious. It does great harm to society–and is therefore not a movement toward justice but a gross injustice–to codify one of those alternative arrangements into law.

    (I hope O’Malley does not have a painting of Thomas More is his office too . . . )

  12. Fair enough, Deacon Greg, and thanks for the clarification regarding Canon Law. Would the sexual abuse of minors result in a call for sanction by bishops, both for the abuser and those leaders who protected him/her?

    I’m trying to get a grasp of what motivates a call for sanction against a politician who upholds his oath of office. Is it a desire for true teaching to be upheld? If so, are there other actions (protecting abusive priests, stealing funds, advocating for the death penalty) that would result in similar calls? And if so, are such calls being made?

  13. diakonos09 says:

    I am not so sure supporting unfair taxation is NOT a grave sin, but this would depend upon particular details of a particular taxation. I think it dances around with various aspects of socio-economic greed such as defrauding workers, unjust loan interest rates, inflated retail prices, and similar abuses.

    As far as the children of same-sex parents: are these innocent ones to be treated any differently than other kids from heterosexual families? This is a delicate siutation with deeply significant ramifications and the children’s welfare should be an overriding factor on both sides as to how to handle the same sex marriage issue.

  14. 722405400 says:

    I give up on politicians; Jesus summed it up:

    No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

  15. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Richard …

    There’s no uniformity of opinion about sanctioning politicians. Some bishops do it. Most don’t. It boils down to how they choose to interpret Canon 915, which states: “Those who have been … obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

    Dcn. G.

  16. naturgesetz says:

    The reason the “discrimination” argument of Governor O’Malley is false and invalid is that discrimination is unjust only if it is applied to equals. And the issue has never been equal treatment of individuals. Nobody has ever forbidden homosexuals to marry, as marriage has been defined. It is a question of redefining marriage so that a relationship which is different from marriage — because of the absolute impossibility, based only on the sex, not the orientation, of the parties, to procreate — as it has always been now gets given the same name and legal status. If same-sex “marriages” had the same ability to procreate as real marriages, then, and only then, would it be unjust discrimination to deny them legal equality.

    @ ron chandonia — “It requires conforming our social mores to God’s plan for our welfare.” The problem is that a secular democracy cannot be required to make laws based explicitly on God’s plan. While such arguments can and should persuade individual believers of the validity of our position, in the “public square,” unless we can make an argument based on nature and reason — as you did with respect to the natural family as the basis of society — our position will appear to be an attempt to impose our faith on people who do not share it.

  17. pagansister says:

    josephw: He is helping the children of same gender marriages—they are the ones who would be treated differently. There was a time when children who were born out of wedlock were treated differently by some. That was wrong and to deny the children of same gender couples the same things that those of different gender couples would be just plain wrong, IMO.

    manny: You asked if the church would start excumminicating those politicians that uphold/make laws that aren’t within Catholic teaching? IMO, a politician represents everyone,(or should) not just those that follow his faith. President Kennedy made a point of telling the people of the USA that he would not have (as an example) the Pope directing his decisions. Some folks were afraid of his being in the highest office in the land, because he was Catholic. This may or may not be simular, but it speaks to the fact that a politician’s faith cannot always be the final say on certain decisions that goven everyone.

  18. The poster “naturgesetz” makes the point that a secular democracy cannot be expected to respond favorably to appeals to conform its standards to the will of God. But it can and should respond to appeals to live in ways that are in accord with natural law evident to reasonable minds. Catholic social teaching claims to articulate (and clarify) that same natural law in the light of faith. The argument that the natural family is the basis of a just society is an argument not only from Catholic teaching but from natural law.

    Clearly, however, such an argument is not convincing to those who imagine that it is even possible for there to be “children of same gender marriages.” That very phrase is not simply unreasonable; it is preposterous. The children in question have in fact been denied one or both of their natural parents in order to be made guinea pigs in a social experiment that too many people have already deemed successful no matter how it may actually turn out. It is an experiment that violates nature’s rules, one rather like the one we have been doing with single parenting, and the results will hardly be just to those innocent children who are its victims.

  19. josephw says:

    PS: Wrong? Everything is wrong in the world today. Right and wrong have been thrown out the window. In your world you get to decide what is right and wrong.

    What is right? Is it something that depends on your mood or the time of the day? Right and wrong cannot be changed nor altered to your liking.

    Redefining marriage is opening pandoras box to everything and anything. Why can’t I marry as many “people” as I want? Why can’t I marry a kid, an animal? Would all of those be right or wrong?

    There has to be clear cut right and wrong not what you and I fancy our minds into believing.

    The kids in these situations are not being helped, only more confused and pushed further from knowing right from wrong.

  20. @jospehw, what are your thoughts on the polygamy practiced by King David?

  21. josephw says:

    It ultimately lead him into sin and then repentance.

  22. deaconnorb says:

    Wait a minute. This discussion has wandered all over the terrain. What is the main issue here?

    –Is it, as some of the commentators insist, an issue of whether an elected official must follow the judgement of his own electoral base or does he have to follow his own conscience? My observation is that they ALWAYS follow their electoral base but I may be wrong here.

    –Better yet, if he is a professed Roman Catholic, does he have to respond to the judgement of a strongly opinionated laity versus that of his bishop? IF I were a Roman Catholic layperson and wanted to run for any electoral office where moral controversy would be a part of my new position, I would ABSOLUTELY sit down with my local Roman Catholic Bishop and make sure where both of us were on “the same page” considering important topics.

    From a religious and moral perspective, as Deacon Greg has noted, Governor O’Malley only has to pay attention to what Archbishop O’Brien has to say on this topic. He can ignore all other commentators — including any other Bishop who is not his own.

    Let’s see where this takes all of us.

  23. Me: @jospehw, what are your thoughts on the polygamy practiced by King David?

    Josephw: It ultimately lead him into sin and then repentance.

    Do I take it then that you do not believe that his polygamy was, in and of itself, sinful prior to his encounter with Bathsheba and his eventual murder of her husband, Uriah?

  24. @deaconnorb, would you likewise expect laypersons from other faiths to have similar meetings with their religious leaders prior to standing for elected office? For example, would you expect a Muslim layperson to have a similar conversation with their Imam to make sure they were on the same page regarding moral issues? Would such a conversation in a non-Christian context give you any concern?

  25. josephw says:

    I see what you are asking, because how could something that was right back then be wrong today. Is that where you are going? I don’t pretend to know all the mysteries of God and why polygamy was allowed (be fruitful and multiply), but all that transpired back then was passed down to us for a reason. No matter what or how much we have we will never be satisfied without God. Moses allowed divorce because of the hardness of their hearts, the same can be said about polygamy and Jesus corrected them.

    Let me ask you this, has God ever changed a moral wrong to it being okay? How is an abomination changed to an injustice?

  26. deaconnorb says:

    Re: Richard …. #24

    To answer your question, presidential historians know that this experience has already happened. For instance, Rev. Billy Graham was a frequent White House visitor during the terms of office of a number of presidents. I am positive that the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale visited both the Truman and Eisenhower White House. I know, and so mentioned in a different track on this blog, that Rev. Jerry Falwell visited Candidate Ronald Reagan. AND I know President Jimmy Carter was a participating member of a Baptist congregation which was located near the White House — in fact , he taught Sunday School there whenever he was actually in Washington during his term.

  27. deaconnorb says:

    RE: a number of respondents.

    “joephw” #25 make a fascinating point. Aristotle/Aquinas’ Natural Law theory on moral right-and-wrong PRESUMES that what is wrong/evil/bad/immoral retains that quality for all of eternity and applies to all cultures at all points in human history.

    Now, some follow-up questions.

    –Do we as human beings tend to believe that the “evils” we identify in our own culture and time are “universal” ? Sure do! Are they really ? Maybe not!

    –What happens if something an earlier generation saw as “evil” is not at all regarded as evil in future generations? Does that automatically mean that the older value is correct and that all modern interpretations are universally immoral? Nope! Not at all!

    –Do we, in twenty-first-century America, identify something as universally evil that no previous generation has ever so recognized? Yup ! Happens all the time. Does that mean we have the right answer and all previous generations of humanity were wrong? Not necessarily!

    One side note: A lot of grumping on the web cites all kinds of twenty-first century events as “Mortal Sins.” There are three conditions for a “Mortal Sin.” (if you do not believe me, check you copy of the Baltimore Catechism). In civil legal terms: it means “Wilfull and Wanton Misconduct.”

    –Misconduct: The action done must be serious evil — not just for our time and place but for all times and places. If Hell is an eternal punishment, then the evil one may have done to deserve Hell must be an “eternal” one.

    –Wanton: The person who does the evil must know it is one and must know the seriousness of it. One will not be condemned to Hell by ignorance.

    – Wilfull: Finally, it takes a deliberate act of that person’s will to commit that event. One will not be condemned to Hell by mistake.

  28. pagansister says:

    #19 josephw: ” Everything is wrong in the world today.” Fortunately I’m not as pessimestic as you seem to be, but yes, I agree things financially and in other ways, are not looking good and many counries have lots of problems. And as much as I disagree with a lot of men/women in congress (the U.S one) right now, I would rather have a man like O’Malley doing what is right for children, no matter if they are from a single parent, mom/dad family or from a family of same gender parents. The kids can’t vote—-they are the innocents in all this. As I asked above—why punish them?

  29. @josephw, let’s go back to your post #19 in which you said: “Redefining marriage is opening pandoras box to everything and anything. Why can’t I marry as many “people” as I want? Why can’t I marry a kid, an animal? Would all of those be right or wrong?”

    Your post cast this as a right vs wrong issue, a morality issue. As @deaconnorb points out, if we accept the Natural Law theory that right/wrong is transcendent across time and culture, then David taking more than one wife would be considered wrong even before he committed murder to obtain Bathsheba. Yet nowhere in Scripture do we find a condemnation of David for taking multiple wives. In fact, we find a tacit endorsement of it when, in 2 Samuel 12, Nathan states the following:

    vv. 7-8 “Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.”

    God gave Saul’s wives to David (we assume in addition to those he married prior to or separate from those of Saul), and it seems clear from the “into your arms” wording that this was not a Platonic situation.

    If we accept the Natural Law theory that what is right and wrong are right and wrong throughout time and culture, and that what God does is always right, then how can we not escape the notion that polygamy, having been sanctioned by God, is the wrong that you seem to cast it into?

    @deaconnorb continues with some good questions that get to the core of this issue. It is clear from the text of the Bible (both in this instance and in several others in both OT and NT) that polygamy was not only accommodated in both periods but also was sanctioned.

    Which goes back to your original statement in #19, where you continue: “There has to be clear cut right and wrong not what you and I fancy our minds into believing.” Based on what I’ve cited above, can you still point to polygamy as a clear cut wrong, or a wrong that has been declared such by society/culture/time period?

  30. @pagansister: “The kids can’t vote—-they are the innocents in all this. As I asked above—why punish them?”

    This seems to be a theme in many arguments offered by conservatives. For example, with regards to “welfare queens” who have kids to gain more in welfare payments, many conservatives push for cuts in welfare payments, which end up punishing the children more than the adults. After all, we have to assume that a woman who would have a child simply to increase her welfare payment would also abandon/deprive that child if her funding were cut. Thus the cut in funding inconveniences the woman, but harms the child.

    We see a similar situation with the cases of children of illegal immigrants who were brought here as infants and, having grown up here and known only the US as their home, are now facing deportation back to a country that, in some cases, speaks a language that the child does not understand. The child, being an infant at the time their parents brought them here, is being punished for something they did not do of their own volition.

    In this instance the governor is thinking of the children, which in spite of protestations to the contrary have been shown to do just fine in homes with parents of the same gender.

    http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20051012/study-same-sex-parents-raise-well-adjusted-kids

    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1994480,00.html

  31. naturgesetz says:

    When it comes to the question of same-sex marriage, “the children” are a phony issue. If “the children” needed to have married parents, O’Malley and his ilk would be trying to make it a lot harder to obtain a divorce, and to require single parents to marry anybody who wanted to live with them. But who says parents must be married outside of this discussion?

    Beyond that, the argument about “the children” — who generally don’t even exist when the couple come together — puts the cart before the horse, and cannot determine whether the definition of marriage should be changed or not. If it should be changed, then the children are not an issue. If it should not be changed, and that means that living with the couple somehow “punishes” children, the solution is clear: no adoption, artificial insemination, or surrogacy for the couple. That way, they don’t “punish” potential children. But to change the definition of marriage for the sake of children who aren’t even there is absurd.

    Furthermore, if living with an unmarried same-sex couple “punishes” children, why did the couple bring them to live with them to begin with?

    Finally, the children who live with such couples are not treated as if they were illegitimate.

  32. naturgesetz says:

    With respect to Old Testament polygamy, things can be more or less contrary to nature. Polygamy and divorce, while not consistent with the divine plan that the two become one flesh and form an image of God and his people, are not absolutely unnatural in the way that same-sex “marriage” is. Sound public policy would not allow divorce or polygamy, but either is more tolerable than same-sex “marriage.”

  33. deaconnorb says:

    Richard

    I’m not that sure your argument that since polygamy was practiced by Old Testament heroes it must be acceptable.to all times and cultures holds up under the test of Natural Law.

    There is at least one blogger who regularly comments here who is degreed in such stuff but it is my understanding that the raw universal balance between the sexes is statistically even. Now there may be isolated anomalies caused by direct human/political intervention (in some cultures female embryos are aborted far more than males ones are; in France immediately after World War I, the slaughter of the male population of marriage-able age was so great that many women of that age group remained single for the rest of their lives) and women generally outlive men so there are more women than men who are alive after 75 or so. But then, I think there are more boy-babies born (55/45). Bottom line — “it is a wash.”

    Now, if the balance is statistically even, that says a great deal about monogamous marriage being Natural Law.

    The more important question is why do/why have certain cultures tolerated/accepted polygamy? Are those cultures all patriarchal in governance ? Do they even allow or tolerate adult women being independent ? Are these not the very cultures who insist that a woman’s role is strictly child-bearing ? Is not a woman’s personal identity in those cultures wrapped around her children ?

    It is also my understanding that in those cultures which do accept polygamy, the husband must be sufficiently prosperous to be able to economically support multiple wives.

    Using the Jewish Scriptures as a justification for polygamy is like using the Jewish Scriptures as a justification for slavery — something widely understood in the early-mid 1800′s here in certain sections of our country.

    You might even want to ask yourself: “What happens when the “Divine Command” theory of right-and-wrong directly conflicts with the “Natural Law” theory ?” The answer is that Natural Law always wins !

  34. @naturgesetz: “If “the children” needed to have married parents, O’Malley and his ilk would be trying to make it a lot harder to obtain a divorce, and to require single parents to marry anybody who wanted to live with them.”

    One could make the argument, naturgesetz, that if Christians took marriage more seriously they wouldn’t need man’s laws to keep them from divorcing. Yet divorce rates among Christians runs as high as among the general public. Why don’t Christians take their oaths, made in the presence of God, more seriously?

  35. @deaconnorb, my point about polygamy was offered in response to @josephw in #19, who offered polygamy as a negative consequence of permitting same-sex marriage. This is a common argument offered in opposition to same-sex marriage, one that implicitly views polygamy as a sinful behavior.

    Your argument regarding the use of the Jewish Scriptures to support polygamy highlights the point that views on polygamy have changed over time based on the views of culture and society. Thus, appealing to polygamy as part of the slippery slope given to us with same-sex marriage (an argument also made against the Loving decision in some quarters) is an appeal to societal-driven social mores rather than Scriptural or doctrinal absolutes.

    Yes, societies change over time. In the OT polygamy was accepted, tolerated, and even in the early Church accommodation was made for it. It was not condemned nor viewed as sinful. Through intervening generations polygamy has been viewed as a bad for society and a social wrong, at least in western cultures.

    If supporters of “traditional marriage” choose to make the claim that adopting same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy they are opening the door to the argument of relative morality, a morality that is decided by societal norms and popular viewpoints, not Scriptural absolutes.

  36. josephw says:

    Richard, you say sanctioned, I don’t see it like that. It has been declared from the beginning and repeated (see below). I again go back to why divorce was allowed by Moses.

    Gen 2
    24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.

    Mark 10
    6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.
    7 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother [and be joined to his wife],
    8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.

    Now back to the subject. I would like you and Deaconnorb to clearly explain your definition of marriage and if same sex couples should marry.

  37. @josephw, how else are we to interpret 2 Samuel 12:7-8, where the prophet Nathan says to David that God gave all of Saul’s wives “into your arms”? Are you suggesting that God led David into the sin of polygamy by giving him Saul’s wives?

    Now, to your question. I have absolutely no problem with same-sex couples marrying, and have performed several same-sex weddings myself. I am fortunate to live in Iowa, a state where same-sex couples may marry and enjoy the same legal status as heterosexual married couples.

  38. pagansister says:

    Richard Johnson: #30. I too have read the articles etc. that say children of same gender couples do just fine. There was a poster on another site, and he and his partner had adopted 2 or 3 (I don’t remember exactly) boys that no one wanted—siblings I believe. I also think he lived in a state that allowed him to be married to his partner. Those little boys were in a loving home—not in the “system”, being bounced around from one foster home to another —and they were not separated from their siblings. I really don’t understand the problem with same gender homes for children. O’Malley is, I agree, is doing the best for the children.

  39. josephw says:

    I know it’s hard with a worldly static view of things such as these, but you can understand scripture by opening up your mind and heart with prayer, and being honest with yourself.

    The standard was set in Genesis as I have already posted. We deviated from the standard because of original sin and we continued with our wicked ways. God worked with us with many trials and tribulations for thousands of years and permitted not sanctioned or endorsed as you stated. This is where you get hung up and a lot of people do. But the story does not end there does it? God works in mysterious ways and continued working with our hearts and minds eventually sending His son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. Jesus reiterates the teaching on marriage just like it’s stated in the book of Genesis. Now he continues to teach us with His Church, yes the Catholic Church and by the way is the only one that teaches it correctly. All others have deviated from the truth.

  40. pagansister says:

    Somehow, josephw, I think that those folks who faithfully follow other religions feel that their church is the one that teaches the truth correctly too.

  41. @josephw, I understand why you hold to your position, and I guess we simply have to agree to disagree. As I see it if God is giving us something it comes with the implied sanction to receive and enjoy it. Thus, as in Acts, when Peter resists after shown in a vision many things that are unclean and is told by God to take and eat, God chastises him by reminding Peter not to call unclean that which God has called clean.

    As I see it, when God (speaking through Nathan) tells David that he has given him all of Saul’s wives, and would gladly have given him more if David had asked, I see it as a sanctioning of David accepting and considering those women to be his wives.

    Otherwise I am left with the difficult notion that God gave David something that He never intended David to use, and then lied to David when He told David that he would gladly have given him more.

    If I accept your reasoning I am left with the notion that God tempted David and then lied to him. Such notions undermine the entire validity of the Gospels, which are based on the promise of God, through the person of Jesus, of a future home with Him.

  42. @josephw: “… yes the Catholic Church and by the way is the only one that teaches it correctly. All others have deviated from the truth.”

    I understand that this is the teaching of the Catholic Church. Other churches teach that the Catholic Church is the “whore of Babylon” mentioned in Revelations. And then you have the Islamic teaching regarding its exclusive nature.

  43. Lyou says:

    God is imaginary. The bible is a collection of books written by various people over hundreds of years. You’re welcome.

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