According to Catholic Chastity Site, If You Are Impotent, Your Marriage Doesn’t Count

The folks over at the Catholic-based Chastity Project (unofficial slogan: Sex can wait! Masturbate!… But don’t do that either!) are just trying to get our young folks to stop banging long enough to go to Church. It’s a hard job (*hehe*) but apparently someone has to do it.

If you feel particularly masochistic, you may want to take a few minutes to peruse their website. And if you’re suuuuper self-loathing, you may want to click on the “Homosexuality” tab. (It’s right between the “Pornography, Etc.” and “Birth Control” tabs. Can’t miss it.)

Under the Q&A section, the website gives a lengthy (OhMyGodIt’sSoFreakingLong) explanation about why two people of the same sex can’t really get married.

Since you probably don’t have all day to read their long, long, long diatribe (Seriously. It’s 2,800 words long. No joke), I’ll bring you some of the more bonkers highlights.

They kick off by basically saying the same thing I would when waiting tables:

“I know, ma’am. If it were up to me, I would totally allow you to substitute your side of fries for an additional steak, but my d-bag manager says I can’t!” Except in this scenario, the steak is letting two consenting adults get married and my d-bag manager is the Bible.

If you’re like me and you have friends who experience same-sex attractions, you know that this is a deeply personal and sensitive issue. Although some people who experience these attractions are opposed to re-defining marriage, others who wish to marry often feel that the Church is discriminating against them and is unfairly opposed to their desire to simply love one another. However, the issue of same-sex marriage isn’t ultimately about equal rights, bigotry, hatred, or even about homosexuality.

The issue is about the definition of marriage and who has the authority to define it. For example, if a woman wanted to marry two men, the Church does not believe it has the authority to redefine marriage in order to accommodate her wish. Similarly, if a husband decided he no longer wished to be married to his wife, but instead wanted to marry another woman, the Church does not have the authority to pretend he could be validly married to anyone other than his wife. As Jesus said, “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery” (Luke 16:18).

For those of you keeping score at home, because a roughly-2,000-year-old book says so, gay people can’t get married and divorced people can’t get remarried in the eyes of the Church. Even though divorced people totally can get remarried in the eyes of the Church. (I guess the precedence for the Bible dictating law is way broken… but what do I know? I’m just a crazy person rambling on the Internet.)

But those aren’t the only examples of non-valid marriages:

For a valid marriage to take place, the union must be free, total, faithful, and ordered toward procreation. All these characteristics are necessary. For example, who would consider a marriage to be valid if the husband forced the woman to marry him?

Right. We can’t find any examples in the Bible of women being forced into marriage.

What about a couple who agreed to marry and have children, but refused to be faithful? According to the Church, these would not be real marriages, even if the couples had legal marriage certificates. Similarly, if two people cannot have the kind of sexual relations that are designed to give life, they are incapable of marriage.

This really isn’t a new thought — there are a lot of anti-gay marriage advocates who root their arguments in the fact that a homosexual couple can’t reproduce. But then the fine, fine folks over at Chastity Project just took the argument to its logical conclusion:

Because of this, some argue that the Church is “discriminating against gays.” This is an understandable reaction, but realize that the Church is not singling out same-sex couples. In fact, the Church also believes that heterosexual couples are incapable of marriage if they are impotent. Not to be confused with sterility (a condition in which a couple is able to have intercourse but unable to have children), impotency means that a person is incapable of having intercourse.

This couple’s marriage is clearly a sham because… well… you know

This is quite a leap to say the least. So, before anyone gets married, they have to double-check that all of their sex parts are working properly? Hands up for anyone who wants that gig!

The reason why only male and female bodies are capable of becoming one is because they are made for each other. Of all the biological systems in a person’s body (circulatory, nervous, digestive, and so on), only the reproductive system cannot fulfill its purpose without uniting to a member of the opposite sex. Consider what happens when the cord of a lamp is united to a power outlet. Because the two were made for each other, light is created. The same is true with sexual complementary and the creation of human life.

First of all, stop using science in stupid ways to justify your absurd points of view. Second of all, that lamp metaphor is super creepy. “United to a power outlet”? *shudder* (I guess the Chastity group bans power strips at their headquarters because… polygamy?)

So, they continue talking about how marriage wasn’t invented by the government or the Church, that it was originally designed to bind a father to his family. But wait, there’s more!

Let us assume, though, that marriage doesn’t need to be ordered toward bodily union and family life. If marriage were redefined to be about emotional union and cohabitation, why would it need to be permanent? Why would it need to be sexually exclusive or restricted to two people? Many same-sex couples agree that faithfulness and permanence are essential to marriage. But the fact remains: If the traditional view of marriage discriminates against same-sex couples, then won’t the mere recognition of same-sex marriage discriminate against others who wish to have “marriages” that aren’t monogamous or permanent? How could those who favor same-sex marriage legally refuse marriage to them?

As it stands, people in open marriages (including Christians) or short-term marriages (on purpose or not) are already allowed to get married without a problem. As for the “more than two people” argument, if it ever became something we seriously needed to consider in our society, it’d be a separate conversation not tied to legalizing same-sex marriage. They’re slippery sloping their way through bad arguments… and I’m pretty sure the “Pornography, Etc.” section of their site forbids anything slippery.

The whole thing rambles on for quite some time after that. A lot of the same old stuff about how a kid needs two opposite-sex parents, and so forth. I’m sure I’m missing some good stuff, but I’m just going to quote one more awesome part before I relieve myself of the misery of re-reading their whole thing:

All the issues mentioned above are emotionally volatile and often ignite heated debates. Those who argue in favor of same-sex marriage claim that others need to learn to celebrate diversity and become more tolerant. But at the same time, such advocates will not tolerate those who believe in traditional marriage. Laws are enforced against those who do not agree with the alternative lifestyle, and same-sex marriage is portrayed in the media as a human-rights issue, equivalent to interracial marriage. But if belief in traditional marriage is on par with racism, then those who support it will be viewed like racists. They will be scorned and looked down upon as close-minded, hateful bigots.

It’s only fair that an anti-pornography group would have no problem with martyrbation: We’re being bullied by the media for not letting other people do what they want! We’re the real victims here!

The whole piece wraps up with this rather odd rant about how gay people should encourage their partners to be chaste because, after all, that’s what this is all about, right guys?

So, a few take-away points:

  • Only the Church can define marriage. So I hope none of you guys married, say, under a gazebo or something, because that wedding totally did not count. [Hemant's note: DAMMIT!]
  • If you’re sterile, you can get married. If you’re impotent, get outta here. Jesus doesn’t want to be a part of your threesome.
  • If you are pro-gay marriage, you are intolerant against intolerant people.
  • It’s all about love. And to love someone properly, you need to stop having sex with them. Unless you’re married. Which a bunch of you should not be allowed to do.

There you have it. Words of advice from Team Chastity. I’m sure they’ve convinced all of you to stay away from unmarried sex! Right?!

(Thanks to Kathleen for the link! Image via Shutterstock.)

About Jessica Bluemke

Jessica Bluemke grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Ball State University in 2008 with a BA in Literature. She currently works as a writer and resides on the North side of Chicago.

  • Oranje

    Awesome to know that there is something “etc.” about pornography. Iconography? Photography? Geography?

    And I appreciate their giving ammo to the eventual societal debate about poly relationships. I’ll just keep collecting their anecdotes for when that day comes…

    (I also write for a living; 2800 words is kind of ridiculous for many a magazine article, let alone a word salad/rant.)

  • KMR

    Ugh.
    The whole intolerance towards the intolerant really gets me. Everybody is entitled to an opinion. If those who believed in “traditional” marriage would simply hold that opinion instead of actively trying to pass laws to make sure that only straight people can get married, a right they have no matter what, a right that in no way is affected by a gay person marrying, then they would have a point. But attempting to pass laws is where their opinion crosses the line to bigotry and bigotry can never be condoned. Why don’t they get that?

    • Carla

      Because Jesus. Duh.

      • KMR

        Why does Jesus make some people stupid? So many questions, so many questions….. ;) Seriously though I have such a hard time with folks who don’t recognize the obvious problems with their arguments, even after you nicely point it out to them. What the fuck is wrong with their brain? Of course they would say what the fuck is wrong with mine (minus the “fuck” for most of those folks probably).

        • Carla

          Why do people refuse to eat healthy food when they know their cheeseburger habit is killing them? Why do people drive at 80 mph when a quick risk check says that’s a poor choice? Why, why why? If we were always rational creatures, blogs like this could go extinct. Try to take away our gods and our burgers, and reason will pretty quickly take a back seat to comfort. Kind of like trying to get up early on a Saturday for that dentist appointment you really didn’t feel like making anyways…. Because pillow. End of argument :)

          • 3lemenope

            If one is aware they only have a finite time to exist (and thus experience the world), it can be perfectly reasonable to have a preference for increasing the quality of the pleasure derived per unit of time spent having experiences over courses of action that might extend the total quantity of time available to have those experiences.

            • baal

              “increasing the quality of the pleasure derived per unit of time”
              Yes, like having 2 spouses.

              • 3lemenope

                The ethical question there is whether it increases the quality of the pleasure derived for every spouse.
                —————————–

                I personally do not oppose poly-marriages as a class, but I do think that they are rather more of a significant departure (in a structural sense) from dyad-marriages than any other significant change over the past hundred years or so, and present complications in law and social policy that are not analogous with any problems with which we are familiar when dealing with the disposition of dyad-marriages.

                I also think that the particular groups pushing hardest for the inclusion of poly-marriage into the legal marriage structure are precisely the groups I trust the least to have any of these concerns in mind (or really even think of them as concerns at all). When the FLDS wants to establish poly-marriage, it ain’t aiming for an egalitarian Heinlein-style arrangement.

                • baal

                  I agree with you here. My experience is that I have a wife and a girl friend and while I don’t want a ‘married’ relationship with the later at the moment, I may want one down the road. I also know a number of folks with stable long term relationships between 3-4 (not necessarily round robin) people that are marriage like with shared finance and all that.

                • ZeldasCrown

                  That’s my thinking too. That the two (gay marriage vs expanding to allow more than two parties) are two separate issues, Right now, the discussion of gay marriage is focused mostly on the fact that there exists a legal contract that a man can enter into that a woman cannot (and vice versa)-other legal contracts aren’t predicated on gender. Nobody currently can legally marry more than one other person. So the distinction is more between making sure everyone has equal access to an already existing institution vs consideration of an entirely new right that currently exists for nobody (which doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be considered, but I think there’s probably a lot more ground work to be done, since I’m sure different groups want totally different regulations and rights-for example, is everyone married to all other parties, or is it all on an individual basis? Do all parties have to agree on the addition of a new person, even if it’s all done on an individual level and only one person in the current marriage would be married to the new person?-I think there’s a lot to work out legally first).

                • baal

                  “vs consideration of an entirely new right”
                  Again, I disagree with this framing that Poly marriage would be a ‘new’ right. Folks have had relationships with multiple partner configurations for as long as we have been people. I agree it’s less common than 2 person pairs but it’s decidedly not something that just came up in the last year.

                • ZeldasCrown

                  I meant more in the legal representation/benefits sense, because I agree that people have been involved in relationships between multiple parties for a long time. And there are different challenges with implementing multiple legally-recognized partners that don’t exist with only 2 people (again, I want to mention that I don’t necessarily think that means this isn’t worth discussing or trying to figure out ways to make it work).

              • Pofarmer

                I dunno, the way one spouse is, I’m not sure having two would qualify as increasing pleasure.

                • baal

                  You get to play them off each other, it’s win-win!
                  I’m kidding, just like not more than a few percent of the population will want to be gay married I doubt there is more than a few percent who would want poly marriage.

                  Transparency, listening, compassion and working toward solutions instead of rehashing grievances makes the spouse thing a lot more tolerable (and even pleasurable).

                • Pofarmer

                  Transparency is hard, and it’s hard to work toward solutions when you can’t be transparent.

            • Carla

              Rather than get into philosophical reductions and ridiculousness about pleasure and harm, etc, I’m going with my initial response: Lol. Touche.

          • Lando

            I spent 8 hours driving 80 mph yesterday, and had at least 2 cheeseburgers. But yes, the internet would be a boring place without people acting irrationally.

          • KMR

            My whole family is made up of nothing but fundamentals so figuring out what makes them tick so I can maintain some form of sanity is a pastime of mine. Thus far it’s a fruitless pastime but the hope of a discovery drives me on ;)

            • Pofarmer

              Good luck.

        • Rain

          Yeah… well don’t miss the “donate” button. The sole reason for the existence of their snazzy web page and their long-winded nonsense arguments.

    • James Stevenson

      I don’t really get how they can be intolerant to my intolerance of the insanity of religious beliefs imposed on the rest of us. Don’t they respect my right to be intolerant of those I find intolerable?… Seriously I need to ask them that sometime. How is my distaste of their bullshit any different from their distaste of their pet peeves? Oh right… because its ‘religiously’ grounded and worshipping power, ie the thing that decides if you live in eternal agony or not, is more important than living morally.

    • ZeldasCrown

      It just seems so simple to me. If you’re (generic here, not just KMR) not gay, or you think being gay is wrong, then don’t date/marry/etc other people of the same gender. They’re acting as though the push is to make same-sex marriage the only legally available type of marriage (and consequently all their marriages would be annulled or something), and that’s just not the case (and if it were, I’d take the same position that I do now and argue that both are ok). Maybe it’s because that’s what they’re thinking (that only their point of view should be legalized) and are projecting that onto the other side.

    • Anna

      “But the children!” This is when they usually start screaming about children. Of course, it’s a complete red herring. Outlawing marriage doesn’t stop gay and lesbian people from having children. I haven’t been able to get one of them to explain how banning same-sex marriage will either prevent those couples from becoming parents or have a positive effect on their already-existing children.

      • KMR

        Nor can they give any kind of legitimate historical or statistical data that would show the practice would be detrimental to society as a whole. Despite my sympathies to the LGBT community I would be more than willing to consider factually based arguments against recognizing gay marriage. I just haven’t come across any and my guess is that’s because none exist.

      • Caddy Compson

        It’ll make it so they can’t adopt. Apparently. That’s what I’m told. *shrugs*

        • Anna

          But it doesn’t. Gay and lesbian couples have been adopting children openly since the early 90s in many states (farther back in some others), which is long before same-sex marriage was recognized anywhere. So their rhetoric makes absolutely no sense. If banning marriage changed adoption laws, their argument might be relevant. But that’s not the case.

  • KMR

    Does anyone know what the Catholic church’s stance would be if an accident caused your spouse’s impotence? Since you no longer have a real marriage in the eyes of God could you divorce your spouse?

    • James Stevenson

      If you had kids I’d imagine definitely not. If you didn’t have kids… I’d also imagine not. Arguably the entire marriage arrangement according to the Catholic church is nominally about family arrangements and raising children. But considering that, to my knowledge, they don’t mandate constant spawning of children and don’t take into consideration fertility it’s just one of the many many many things the church is ‘clear and constant’ about but also annoyingly hand wavey.

      • Allan Orr

        In the past marriage could be annulled for reason of non-issue, Henry VIII tried that one but he had had a kid, but a daughter (later to be known as bloody Mary) not a son (who was later born to the same wife, and was Edward who sadly was rather sickly).

        Still the church did allow the divorce of a childless couples, at least in the case of nobility, not sure they extended the courtesy to the peasantry.

        In the end it’s all a load of manure, religion has nothing to do with marriage, and they need to keep their hypocritical noses out of our business.

        • James Stevenson

          This is true. The Catholic Church in particular makes a big deal about community and the community of the Church in particular. It just has a nice double standard where it treats its own community standards as sacrosanct and attempts to overrule the rules of communities outside the church while defending its own privileged position.

          The worst thing to do when engaging in argument with the Catholic Church is to imply that their standards are somehow equivalent, or possessing some authority, over the standards of those who perform their own contracts outside the bounds of the church.

        • Erp

          Not correct. Henry VIII wanted the marriage annulled because of no son; however, he claimed that the sonlessness was the result of having an invalid marriage (the church forbade marrying your dead brother’s widow though Henry had gotten an exemption to do so from the Pope). His only legitimate son was born to his third wife who he married after the deaths of his first two wives. Nobles sought annulments because they lacked sons but the official reasons was that the marriage never valid (marrying someone too closely akin [at one time the church defined that as anyone closer than fifth cousins as well as relations by marriage or baptism [you couldn't marry your godparent's children or your dead brother's widow or your dead wife's sister]). A good search of the family tree in royalty would usually turn up evidence that you and your wife were too closely related.

          • Allan Orr

            Fair enough, I stand corrected. My Tudor history isn’t exactly my strong point.

            And yes I’m well aware of how closely nobility tend to be related. Especially post Victoria thanks to her political marriages for her children, which made the ties very close.

          • Gelliebean

            “The church forbade marrying your dead brother’s widow” – especially interesting since the Old Testament required it, huh.

    • wlad

      “For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.”

      • Pattrsn

        Got a cheat for everything

      • Buckley

        Too bad my Ex didn’t remember the “sickness and health” vow…on the other hand…

      • smrnda

        W.H.Y? Why commit to anything? Why not dissolve ties that are no longer benefiting either party? Commitment only works for people who value it for its own sake, it has no real utility.

        • Baby_Raptor

          This. “Forever” is a concept that works for some people, and if X couple decides they want to chase it then good for them.

          But pushing it as the norm is bad. It’s unrealistic for a lot of couples, and it puts pressure on people that shouldn’t be there.

    • 3lemenope
    • Baby_Raptor

      Wouldn’t they just say “If god wants you to have kids, you’ll have kids anyway” and leave it at that?

  • The Captain

    Well that was a load of stupid. But the key point that always seems to be missed by the gay rights movement is this one “The issue is about the definition of marriage and who has the authority to define it” They’re right, it is. And you know “who” is the only one that has the right to define marriage… THE STATE! NOT these peoples imaginary friend. Marriage is a civil arrangement these douche bags can make all the laughably shitty biblical arguments all they want to why gays can’t get married but the only one that matters is they must explain why they can use the rule of law to force another person into practicing their form of religion? That’s it. That’s all that needs to be said to them.

    • AFabulousAtlantanAtheist

      I don’t think it is missed by the gay rights movement. Even when you address a point by an Xtian they just continually move the goal posts all over the place. And if that fails they retort with ‘something something moral fabric, something something disgusting, something something but what about the children’ ad nauseum

      • 3lemenope

        Just from a philosophical point of view, the Christian over-reliance on arguments from disgust and arguments from incredulity is flat-out disturbing.

      • tracy two crows

        Their endless ability to move Goalposts is the only reason Tebow has a football career…;)

        • 3lemenope

          LOL!

    • JET

      This. Fortunately it makes no difference how Catholics or any other religion define “marriage” in a secular country. Marriage is simply a contract in which two consenting adults agree to be considered as one entity in the eyes of the law. My husband and I were in a self-defined relationship long before we signed a license before witnesses (a JP) to register our partnership with the state. It was simply a financially advantageous business transaction having absolutely no impact on how we felt about each other. On the other hand, if you are “married” in the church but don’t register a license with the state, you’re not legally married no matter what this or any other religious jerk says.

    • smrnda

      As I tell everyone, right now, the STATE OWNS MARRIAGE!

  • James Stevenson

    I kind of like it when they take their actual beliefs to their logical conclusion rather than handwaving the ‘iffy’ parts. People have half a chance to recognise the whackoness rather than be willing to let it slide because they slip in some PC things.

    Though none of that is really a defence for why gay people cant be married outside the church. If the church was as consistent as it claimed on marriage it would be actively lobbying to invalidate marriages outside of the church by other denominations or by the government because it would be an ‘insult to the word’. For the most part as I see it no ones really lobbying to force an unwilling church to marry them. Who would really want an unwilling priest to oversee their wedding?

    During the gay marriage debate here in the UK a case emerged where two elderly gay men said they would sue after the law came into effect to get married in the church because it was important to them as they were regular church goers. I sympathise with their predicament, and don’t know if they actually went through with it, but unless the priest wanted to but was tied by church policy I can’t see it as the right course personally. It can lead to heartache for people tied to their church communities but that’s the churches responsibility through and through. its just sad that these instances aren’t recognised as tragic circumstances but manipulated to lobby against gay marriage performed anywhere by anyone. Even religious denominations that have no religious objection to it.

    • Erp

      In the UK case (a) a fair number of priest do want to marry same sex couples within the CoE (some of them want to marry their partner of the same sex themselves) and (b) the Church of England is the established church which means CoE canon law is part of the law of the land. The CoE is also required to legally marry almost all other couples who are eligible (e.g., if two single non-Christians of the opposite sex and who are of age want to get married in their parish church they can [however the ceremony is legally defined and will be Christian]). It is a strange situation that could only happen in England/Wales.

      • James Stevenson

        Indeed. I forgot that CoE is required to marry any man and women that wants to. I seem to recall them threatening to ditch that requirement if gay marriage went through. Surprised it took this long for it to go tits up tbh.

  • Sheila Wood

    “The orange and green colors of the Chastity Project logo are from the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe, to whom the ministry is consecrated.” um, i thought that they were only allowed to pray and worship god? isnt that what the bible says?? flippin morons.

    • Allan Orr

      “You shall worship no other god but me for I am a jealous god.”

      It also bans idolatry which means you’re doubly screwed going to church and praying towards Jesus on the cross.

  • http://www.asmashingblog.blogspot.com/ D.L F

    I don’t have a moral problem with polygamy. If three or more people want to enter into a legal relationship, I have no issue with that. However, I think that it would make divorce and splitting the property or child custody laws a little too onerous for us to allow polygamy.

    It seems as if very religious people have to be reminded again and again that they will not be forced into gay unions if same sex marriage becomes legal. No one is taking away someone’s right to be offended or be strongly against same sex marriage. However, religion should not be used to dictate marriage laws.

    I also believe that some people don’t understand how free speech works. Individuals are allowed to express their disapproval of same sex marriage and other individuals can tell them that they are wrong. That is not persecution, that is the price of living in a society that honors freedom of expression. If only religious people had the right to express certain preapproved views and the rest of us had to respectfully remain silent, that wouldn’t be freedom of speech.

    • James Stevenson

      My main objection to polygamy is more that, in my opinion, it has a powerful tendency to upset power relationships leading to a dominant figurehead that basically just wants a personal harem. I had a debate with a catholic friend about this a while back and it made me stop a bit. Because when I thought about the arguments that are typically leveraged against gay people (their unhealthy lifestyle, sexual passion not live, aggressiveness etc) was very similar to my distaste of polygamy.

      I would argue that 90% of issues, if not more, of anything ‘unhealthy’ about gay people is formed by discrimination. If you had a community that literally bullied and discriminated against its Christian minority, occasionally to the point of physical violence, and that Christian minority had a lower life expectancy and higher suicide rate. I highly doubt people would excuse arguments about Christians leading ‘a dangerous lifestyle’. They’d take the wider community to task for their bullshit actions.

      Makes me wonder if Christians honestly believe that gay people are inherently unstable in the same sense that I fear polgymous relationships are. While I still consider myself more ‘right’ if you will… most examples of polygamy I come across are the really weird cultish Mormon kinds or fringe communities in other countries. I’ve never been confronted with a healthy polygamous relationship.

      • James Stevenson

        In addition… you could make an argument that polygamy is different from gay marriage. Laws against gay marriage literally prevent you from marrying the person of the orientation you actually love. Polygamy just lets you marry more of that gender. So this just raises the question, is marriage about forming a relationship with your gender, or about being with the people you love (not matter how many?). Most people including myself would probably say both but when we assume monogamy we’re really talking about the former and taking the latter as given.

        In that sense laws against polygamy in my view don’t discriminate anywhere near to the same degree as laws against gay marriage. Hell even with laws against polygamy, you can still marry one partner and be with the other. Some benefits still. The only rights argument then is is there a bisexual argument for polygamy?

        • baal

          “In that sense laws against polygamy in my view don’t discriminate anywhere near to the same degree as laws against gay marriage.”

          Other than you don’t get to marry someone who you and they want to marry….

          In my limited but non-zero experience, you’re just a likely to have a woman with two males (and het sex only) as any other combination.

        • Allan Orr

          Not really polygamy was more normal at one point than now. Indeed if you look at their book of laws you’ll see a man marrying multiple women was acceptable provided you didn’t break certain guidelines, the church riling against bigamy and polygamy is just another example of their hypocrisy.

          There’s some Mormons who still practice polygamy in fact though not in name since it is a part of their interpretation of the scriptures and adherence to their founder/prophet…

          • James Stevenson

            Indeed. I guess when I tend to imagine polygamy I think of a revival of patriarchal arrangements that are demeaning to women. You see these in cases all over the world.

            But I suppose I must take into consideration that where there is this extreme patriarchal polygamy, there is a general patriarchal culture in place anyway so it hardly matters whether your marriage is monogamous or polygamous in the end. Since it depends on how the people in the relationship treat each other, which is no different in principle to how we approach all human relationships.

            • Allan Orr

              Well as someone who has been a part of a polyamorous relationship I can say with a little experience that while you get those who are exactly what you don’t like in poly relationships (and women can be as possessive as men can be), there’s a lot of people who the relationship is born from needs that go beyond sex with regards to the relationship, and marriage if it occurs is usually to their primary other gender partner for reasons including access to healthcare. Legalizing polygamy these days would cause a whole heap of headaches for everyone involved if some poly relationships got into it, the biggest stable relationship I’m aware of is ~40 people with about a 60% male membership. Try programming the database for that.

        • Baby_Raptor

          Hi. My name is Candi. I’m polygamous by nature.

          Congratulations. You have now met someone in a healthy polygamous relationship.

          Please refrain from speaking about things of which you have no personal experience. There is nothing “unstable” about my relationship. I don’t have a power trip, and I don’t want a personal harem. Never have, and I’ve been dating 12 years.

          You’re doing the exact same thing to me and people like me that you condemn anti-gay bigots for doing to LGBTs. Check yourself.

      • 3lemenope

        I would argue that 90% of issues, if not more, of anything ‘unhealthy’ about gay people is formed by discrimination. If you had a community that literally bullied and discriminated against its Christian minority, occasionally to the point of physical violence, and that Christian minority had a lower life expectancy and higher suicide rate. I highly doubt people would excuse arguments about Christians leading ‘a dangerous lifestyle’. They’d take the wider community to task for their bullshit actions.

        Yep. I liken it to the GOP stance that government is bad, a drain, doesn’t work, etc., and so they set out to make their “observation” a reality by breaking and de-funding government programs and departments, and then they turn around and (have the pure gumpton to) say, “See? I done told you that government is bad and doesn’t work.”

        Or the pithier Nietzsche:

        The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad.

      • baal

        Why should I give a shit about your fear that polygamy is unstable? What if I don’t share your fears?

        Historically, there were groups of folks in the British islands who were organized with poly marriage and the church wiped them out so that more estates would remain easily transferable – especially to the church. The RCC had (and has) land holdings that directly result from this policy.

        • 3lemenope

          Well, you certainly don’t have to give a shit, but it’s generally a good policy to take seriously any objection that has a rational grounding and/or historical/empirical support. It may turn out to be incorrect, or a surmountable problem, but it’s still an objection that demands a response.

          Unlike, say, objections that are fueled purely by animus.

          • baal

            Ok, I look across various marriage structures historically and see a huge range of variation that has worked in different societies. As such, I don’t see the instability argument as having support.

            What I’m seeing is non-poly folks telling poly folks what they (the poly) can and cannot have based on the fears and vague harms as the *mono* see them.

            • James Stevenson

              As I said my viewpoint is based in a worldview on polygamy is based on the reality that I have never myself been confronted with a healthy polygamous relationship. Well… theres a couple of Mormon reality shows but I view them with suspicion mainly because I fear they’re arguments for increasing special religious exemptions for certain practices. Which I don’t agree with, if its legal make it a legal standing suitable for all.

              Why should you care that my general inclination is to fear that polygamous relationships are inherently unstable? You shouldn’t. I don’t expect that kind of consideration the same way I wouldn’t take it from a Christian who believed that gay relationships are harmful for someone whose never seen a healthy one.

              Though I stand by my argument that the denial of gay marriage is a greater injustice. You can make a good (and true) argument that polygamous relationships are denied respect by their outlawing. But if the law crashed down on you that if you were found to be sympathetic to polygamy you were barred from any marriage contract or relationship to the fullest extent the law (and society) maybe it would be equivalent.

              We are heading towards an interesting impasse in the marriage fight. There are some polygamy groups coming out of the closet now with gay marriage being passed. Ironically they are using the very arguments that gay marriage opponents use only in reverse (ie you can ‘redefine marriage’) so the anti-gay movement has actually given them the argument there. Be interesting to see how things play out if the movement picks up speed in the future.

              • baal

                I find the whole mormon angle on poly-marriage to be a big problem. The history there has clear problems including lack of consent from some of the sister-wives and the ages of them.

                • James Stevenson

                  I guess the Mormon example is generally the most common ‘nightmare’-scenario in the west. But as I said in another post… somewhere. Maybe the problem is less with polygamy itself than with patriarchy. Ie places which have these more harmful examples of polygamy aren’t exactly likely to have shining examples of monogamous relationships either.

                  Separating marriage from community expectation is really the best thing that happened to it, and maybe the same holds true for polygamous relationships. Like in rabid ‘purity’ culture of hardcore Christian homeschoolers where women are groomed to be housewives subservient to their husbands. This doesn’t exactly tend to lead to what most of us would consider happy marriages.

                  So yea, as long as the polygamous relationship is based on the independent egalitarian standard for personal choice we try and hold up for people entering into mongomous relationships that’s fine. I guess at the core when I think about it I do tend to think of polygamy-as-imposed without recognising the reality that these harmful relationships tend to be organised by wider communities than by entrusting it to the individuals who want to organise their lives as they see fit. Community imposed relationships after all are implicitely designed to trap people for the benefit of the wider whole.

          • James Stevenson

            Pretty much. My main point in the end was me wondering whether my reaction against polygamy is any better than Christian rejection of gay marriage. Realistically the reality may just be that we should make polygamous relationships legal… but as with divorce proceedings and abusive marriages we just have the legal mechanisms in place to deal with them. The real danger is to make polygamy a religious preserve and deserving of special protections in cases when it actually is harmful.

            • Oranje

              Your last sentence really nails it. Polygamy has that patriarchal connotation to it, and that’s unfortunate for the reality of many of us. Honestly, I don’t expect to be given respect for my relationship model in my lifetime. I would certainly be unelectable, at least.

      • Artor

        “(Polygamy) has a powerful tendency to upset power relationships leading to a dominant figurehead that basically just wants a personal harem.”
        So? Many marriages of only two people end up with that same power dynamic. Is that an argument against “traditional” marriage too then? Interpersonal relationships are complex, and will often lead to difficulties. The smart thing is to solve those problems, not ban the interactions that lead to them.

        • James Stevenson

          I suppose. When I consider arguments against same sex marriage/for traditional marriage something occurred to me. A typical argument is marriage as nurturing children, but there’s hardly the restrictions about banning divorce or mandating X number of children to legitimise the marriage that would make this argument hold water.

          I did wonder whether there’s an argument to be made about laws having a theoretical purpose to them even if wider society doesn’t necessarily follow that purpose to the letter. Even if you consider lack of children acceptable for a marriage, typically gay marriage is framed as monogamous. In that case, is monogamy the ‘style’ the law should follow as structuring society assuming monogamy is slightly better at encouraging fidelity.

          Then again, for all our talk of being plural societies her in the west, maybe this ‘breakdown’ is just our plurality of views finally being represented. Depending on your level of conservatism, while I nominally can agree with thinking through new laws even on the rights of individuals because of the difficulties of repealing such laws… its hard to be sympathetic when the other side can be extremely petulant about it (ie gay marriage leads to beastiality!).

          • baal

            Polyfidelity happens…it’s actually more or less the norm. Swinging is it’s own subset and they aren’t looking for marriage.

    • Carla

      I see polygamy as a natural extension of polyamory, and think we should have a distinct legal structure to allow it. Require a will, custody agreements among the adults, etc. I’ll leave it to people with more legal smarts than me to debate the specifics, but there is, as far as I can see, no reason other than religious objections (and maybe fear of tax evasion?) that we prevent those who choose to marry multiple partners from doing so.

    • baal

      “I think that it would make divorce and splitting the property or child
      custody laws a little too onerous for us to allow polygamy.”
      bullshit.
      also, how generous of you to make that decision for the various polygamists.
      And, it’s not that hard. The legal system has to deal with similar situations already

      Let’s say granny dies and has 5 heirs. 1) The 5 heirs can split the assets privately and peacefully if they are all decent adults. 2) The 5 heirs can live with what an executor tells them or 3) they can go to probate court. The court will then weigh their arguments and claims and divvy up the loot for them.

      • http://www.asmashingblog.blogspot.com/ D.L F

        You make an interesting point baal. I don’t see anything wrong with consenting adults entering into any type of union that they want. Admittedly, I hadn’t thought about the fact that we solve similar issues when there are more than one heir to property.That was actually a good analogy.

        • David Kopp

          Children aren’t property, though. And you get into end of life and medical decisions, etc.

          If we allow polygamy, I think we’d have to have power of attorney, and all the other rights conferred to married couples by default, explicitly defined. And redefined for each additional marriage/spouse. In front of a judge making sure everything is equitable and not unconscionable.

          • baal

            I agree there are a host of issues to sort out. My use of the probate example was highly intentional guardianships are often handled via the probate courts. That’s changing some with specialized courts for family matters.

      • James Stevenson

        ‘The legal system has to deal with similar situations already’

        This is true. We must never fall into the trap that ‘traditional marriage’ advocates make. That of everything being simple and every time a law case comes out on divorce its an indication of a failing society. We’ve had arguments going back centuries over the indiscretions of youngsters and rebellious teens yet this stuff is treated as new.

        Let us never forget that our lives are formed by complicated human relationships that are always tested and tried. The moment we start to think in simplistic terms and treat this as fact by superimposing our own experiences on other peoples is when we can lose sight of all objectivity. Society has always been, and always will be about, mitigating conflict.

    • The Captain

      My problems with polygamy have nothing to do with any sort or moral “that’s wrong” bullshit. But there are two things that I think need to be addressed before we can seriously consider it.

      The first is that polygamy as practiced now and in most cases throughout history has been male dominated. No that’s not to say there have not been (or are) cases of female lead polygamous marriages, but it has been mostly males taking several female wives. The problem is that outside of regional differences, as a species we are roughly 50/50 (or close) in male to female ratio. Now in the past this could be fine since males where much much more likely to be slaughtered in wars (Rome once lost 70-80 thousand males in 8 hours). So polygamy makes sense when you have huge male to female ratio differences. But today that’s not so much the case. Unless polygamy is practiced in a way that the numbers equal out, what you end up with is some people who loose out in the numbers game then have no one to partner with, or must be cast out. The “lost boys” phenomenon of certain Mormon sects are an example of this.

      The second problem is simpler to fix and is specific to the US. but until we have a single payer health care system polygamy would almost utterly destroy our health care system. Right now health benefits are given to the spouses of an employe. You can’t then double or triple the amount of people a health insure has to cover with the same amount of workers paying in. True the spouses will probably have jobs too (not guaranteed) but with “family coverage” most couples now just both use the best plan either one has.

      • Randall

        Unless polygamy is practiced in a way that the numbers equal out, what
        you end up with is some people who loose out in the numbers game then
        have no one to partner with, or must be cast out.

        And yet, even under monogamy, there are people who don’t have anyone to partner with, for whatever reason.

      • baal

        Three points and I don’t have good evidence.
        1. I’m pro-poly but not the mormon model. The folks I’m familiar with aren’t mormons and don’t create harems (well some do but it’s not been a huge drain on others finding folks)

        2. Folks are already organizing their private lives with multiple partners. That means the lost boys issue is already happening (if at all).
        3. I don’t think ‘legalization’ will lead to a huge rush of guys setting up harems.
        4. The health care issue strikes me as real but tiny. I don’t see huge segments of society all getting super poly in a big huff. Even if they did, a single payer plan would be neutral to the problem. So it’s only an issue under the current scheme.

        (4 = 3 for certain values of 4).

  • Carla

    I think they made a thoroughly convincing argument… for why we should skip religious weddings and just sign up for the tax breaks and life-long commitment part in a ceremony (or not) of our choosing. It’s a little bit sad when you start to realize that they’re so far gone that it hasn’t even occurred to them that people disagree with them not because we’re arguing with their Biblical logic, but because we think the Bible is bullshit.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Drop the “life-long commitment” part and I’m with you. Not everyone marries for “forever,” and pushing people to do so is part of why so many marriages fail.

      • Carla

        I agree. We really need to stop pushing the idea of marriage all together. If people are going to spend forever together, they’re going to do it with or without the title. Given that marriage is really a religious construct in the first place, and one meant to assert ownership of the female, the only reason to bother is the tax and legal advantages.

        • baal

          Secular civil marriage has been around forever. That the christians do something isn’t enough reason for others to not do that thing. It’s rational for a secular State to recognize LTRs and grant certain default rights (like medical care decisions, assignment of property and children at death) to your long term partner instead of forcing them to the State.

          • Carla

            hm…. I was unclear. I meant, “We really need to stop pushing the idea of a ‘holy’ union that requires a certain set of behaviors for life, because it’s just what we’re supposed to do, summed up in my use of the word ‘marriage’.” As I said, I’m all for the secular tax and legal shmutz that goes along with a legally recognized, committed partnership. I just wish we, as a society, could take the stress off “marriage” (defined above) and put in on being good partners to each other, and by the way, you get some nice legal benefits besides. Also, $20,000 weddings make my brain hurt, and I’d love to not feel pressured to have on.

            • baal

              My favorite weddings were done for 2-3K outside and were entirely secular including my brother-in-law (an atheist) as the ‘pastor’ for the ceremony :).

              • Oranje

                Are you sure you aren’t me? This is sounding amazingly familiar.

                • baal

                  :)

                  I sometimes wonder if the blog isn’t just read by 3 people* who are locked into the same hotel room for eternity and we’re passing the time by pretending to be the commentariat here.

                  *I’m not counting the troll under the bed as a person.

                • Oranje

                  Like a never-ending version of Lost in Translation, then.

                • 3lemenope

                  No Exit!

                • Buckley

                  Except I’m the guy listening in on the other side of the door

  • Baby_Raptor

    Remind me again why I should submit to what their holy book says about who I want to marry?

    And while you’re at it, remind me why they feel it’s completely okay for them to ignore laws? I mean, the bible says several times that doing so is against god’s wishes…

    • C Peterson

      Well, presumably, if you choose to be Catholic you choose to follow the Catholic rules, no matter how stupid they are. As long as we continue to have proper, state-sanctioned marriages with rational rules, I don’t care.

      Catholics can either wise up and leave their medieval institution, or they can stick with it and accept the crap. Or, they can try to change it from within, but that’s a slow, frustrating task, which may ultimately be futile (at least, as long as the church keeps picking conservative ideologues for its leadership).

      The good news for sane people: the more the Church tries to define obviously silly rules, the more people will leave it.

      • Baby_Raptor

        That would be a fine response if this crap only applied to Catholics, but a lot of the powers that be in the Church don’t see it that way. They’re perfectly fine with forcing their rules on everyone else.

        • C Peterson

          Yup. But that’s a problem not limited to Catholicism, it applies to many Christian sects. In the U.S. I’d say that fundie evangelical sects are a bigger threat to secularism than the papists.

          • Pofarmer

            This new batch of “Evangelical” Catholics as they are calling themselves, need to be watched. The new priests have no compunction about shamelessly lying to keep the sheep in check.

            • C Peterson

              Sorry, I don’t understand. In what way are the “new” priests distinguished from the “old” ones?

              • Pofarmer

                The younger generation of priests coming on line now are much more conservative Catholic than the older priests that were graduated up to the late 80′s.

  • Rationalist1

    The Catholic Church has painted itself into a theological corner by maintaining no sex without the possibility of procreation. At one level it rules out gay marriage as no procreation is possible. On the other hand the Catholic Church will marry a hetereosexual couple even if the woman has undergone a total hysterectomy. There is equal likelihood of producing a child in both cases.

    People, especially the young, can see the hypocrisy of this double standard. The Catholic Church is desperately seeking to justify it’s continuing discrimination against homosexuals.

    This policy is driving people from the Church and I’d be all for its continuation if it wasn’t hurting many homosexual Catholics and non Catholics.

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    They got me there. I AM intolerant of intolerant people. Shoot me.

  • wlad

    Hemant,

    I used the address mpromptu@gmail.com from your “contact” to email you, and was told it was the wrong address. Please let me know what is the correct address (and correct your “contact” email address, if needed. Thanks.

  • C Peterson

    As far as I’m concerned, if you got married “in the eyes of God”, your marriage doesn’t count.

    • 3lemenope

      I’m immensely relieved to hear that the things we don’t like don’t count.

      • C Peterson

        I think you might be taking my words a little seriously. I’m just turning the same bullshit logic around to see where it leads us.

        • 3lemenope

          Fair enough. It wasn’t clear whether you were seriously endorsing the logic or doing a reducto by counterexample.

      • Glasofruix

        In civilised countries, religious marriages don’t count, pastors don’t have the autority to legally marry people, only mayors (or their substitutes) do.

    • islandbrewer

      If God sees everything … then all marriages are in the “eyes of God” … so none of them count.

      Bastards!

  • Rain

    Since they went to all the trouble of restating, at great and painfully long lengths, the malarkey that is already stated in a million other malarkey places out there, I don’t think I need to ask if there is a “donate” button.

  • kaboobie

    Uh oh…I had one of those gazebo marriages too!

  • Emsubo

    Dear Chastity Website,
    My husband and I got married. We had a baby. Then he had a vasectomy. Are we still married? And are you guys okay with that?
    Signed,
    Wondering if My Marriage is Valid, So I’m Asking a Stranger, Because That Makes Sense
    (ETA) P.S. We got married in a church (it was awhile ago). Do we get bonus validity points for that?

  • islandbrewer

    [Emmet:] It’s cute that you internet atheists think you know what blessed catholics believe. Why don’t you argue against what we really believe, stupid internet atheists! (And I’m not going to tell you and give you a chance to rebut anything I say.)

    Also, I didn’t use any profanity, so I’m more civil than all of you, morons![/Emmet]

    • Bdole

      Hahaha. Wait wait, let me do one:
      “Who says the pope is catholic? Where is THAT written anywhere. I’d like to see some sources.”
      (It’s true, it’s not written anywhere.)

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Is he Catholic? Does a bear shit in the woods?

        • David Kopp

          Does a bear wear a funny hat? Does the Pope shit in the woods?

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      *clutches at his 3-D glasses* Holy shit, it’s like he’s REALLY THERE!

    • allein

      I was actually pleasantly surprised at the lack of Catholic trolls in this thread.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Where do they keep coming from? I’ve asked a few of them if there’s a Catholic site or two that like to link to this one, and they’re all like, “I dunno, I just came here.” Then they go back to yammering about Jesus’s obsession with and ignorance of modern gynecology.

        • baal

          I think they are semi-paid trolls like the oil industry uses for climate change threads or the NRA does for gun control threads or the ones FAUX news does anytime they are laughed at (hehe, that must be a big budget).

        • allein

          I know a bunch usually come from Bad Catholic whenever something is posted from there, but in general, I don’t know. I do recall “Comment Maker” saying (in I think the second thread I saw him in) that he doesn’t “think about atheism,” so of course I asked him how he ended up here, and his response was that he was googling for atheist blogs. Odd thing to do for someone who doesn’t think about the subject….

          • smrnda

            That may just be a non very self-aware confession that he pretend to read and then makes comments without a bit of thought going on.

  • islandbrewer

    So, if I married in a State Park, maintained by taxpayers, under a bunch of Sequoia sempervirens, officiated by an atheist with a mail-order certificate from the Universal Life Church … I’m guessing that really really doesn’t count.

    • allein

      No, but it sounds lovely. :)

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        A sham so much lovelier than the “real thing”. Could we be verging into Matrix territory here?

  • Jim Smith

    The power cord being united to the socket, then the power strip thrown in on top just blew my fuse in a fun manner!

  • bananafaced

    Marriage started out as a social contract between families mainly to forge an alliance between them and their estates and for a continuity of inheritance of those estates. It appears to have devolved into a religiously sanctioned sacrament while still requiring a license from government that allows for certain monetary exemptions or tax breaks and continuity of inheritance. “From the early Christian
    era (30 to 325 CE), marriage was thought of as primarily a private
    matter, with no uniform religious or other ceremony being required.” (McSheffrey, Shannon (2006). Marriage, sex, and civic culture in late medieval London. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 21.) Looks like the churches wanted a piece of the pie and prohibited divorce in order to keep the monies coming in from these estates.

  • busterggi

    But as believers they count themselves, male or female, as ‘brides of Christ’ so does this rule apply that ‘marriage’ as well?

    • invivoMark

      As long as you don’t divorce your wife, you’re cool. The Bible is totally pro-polygamy.

      • TheBlackCat13

        But they can’t “do the deed”, so it isn’t a real marriage. It is also inherently non-procreative.

  • invivoMark

    “Consider what happens when the cord of a lamp is united to a power
    outlet. Because the two were made for each other, light is created.”

    Ohhh yeah. So hot.

    • katiehippie

      Unless it is compact fluorescent, then, not so hot.

      • Mario Strada

        Still a bit warm though.

        • TheBlackCat13

          LEDs aren’t even warm.

    • allein

      I thought they were against pornography (or is hot cord-on-outlet action the “etc.” part?).

  • L.Long

    I agree completely with the religious nutball!!!!
    The government should get out of the marriage business and have it revert back to the middle ages when the church was in charge. Women where treated like schite–sorry schite is useful- they where treated LOWER then schite!! And kids and wives where also treated badly by fathers and by inheritance rules.
    Anyone who wants fair treatment under law can get a civil contract of binding. And any one who wants to TRUST the gawd or religious authorities can just do it their way and –good luck to you!

  • GeekyMonkey

    Yea, if you don’t do the deed, then the marriage doesn’t count. This happened to my mother in law when she remarried an old man after her first husband died. The dude couldn’t make it happen, so according to their church (Jehovah’s Witnesses), they were not married in god’s eyes. Here’s the next logical step though – if they’re not “married” and they’re sleeping in the same room, then they must be “living in sin”, right?

    In the Jehovah’s Witnesses divorce is not allowed. I heard of a couple that got married, but turned out the guy was gay and had no interest in hetero-sex. His wife was allowed to divorce him without punishment since they were never “really” married.

    • Stev84

      Before no-fault divorce, non-consummation was a standard reason for a divorce. Even in secular law.

    • islandbrewer

      Oddly enough, despite being “not allowed,” divorce rates for JWs are about the same as for the general population:

      http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/divorce.php

  • tracy two crows

    ” I guess the Chastity Project bans powerstrips at their Headquarters because..Polygamy? THIS..I will spare you good folks the visuals I got from said passage,but ,this made me laugh OH so very much..ROTFLMAO!

  • Bdole

    I don’t recognize marriages where one partner is much too hot for the other. I also don’t recognize marriages between celebrities or where the age differential is only surpassed by the wealth differential going the opposite direction. Heck, there are PLENTY of marriages that I, personally, find questionable.
    Good thing my opinion doesn’t mean shit beyond my personal affairs.

  • Chrissy

    I just want to express my appreciation for the term “martyrbation”. What a beautiful use of the English language.

  • Guest

    If you’re sterile, you can get married. If you’re impotent, get outta here. Jesus doesn’t want to be a part of your threesome.

    I think you meant to use “fertile” instead of “sterile” here? Otherwise that line is kinda self-contradictory.

    • David Kopp

      Welcome to the Catholic Church. Sterile != impotent. Impotent means you can’t do the deed, sterile just means nothing comes of it.

      To put a distinctly male twist on it, it’s fine if you’re shooting blanks, but if you can’t shoot at all, Catholics contend that marriage ain’t for you.

  • Cybershaman

    My wife and I married after we both determined, and probably because of, the fact that we didn’t want children. This fact would piss off my anti-gay friends. In my view, children or not, marriage represents an inherently strong social unit. Mammals are (usually) pair bonding creatures. I can’t see why a government wouldn’t want to recognize and encourage pair bonds, of either sex. Sure, children could be involved, naturally or by adoption. But even a childless couple is a benefit to society in that they are mutually supporting. The “home unit”, if you will, that they create becomes a pocket of societal stability. If one loses a job, for example, the other is there to help; the whole “house of cards” doesn’t come down. It doesn’t matter how anti-gay marriage people try to “scientifically” “prove” that gay marriage isn’t right. When it comes right down to it, they’re just saying it because 1) the Bible tells them to and 2) they don’t like the thought of the “ookie” things people do with their genitalia. ;)

    • Buckley

      See this is where the religious nut-jobs really are messed up in their justifications. So I’m divorced and 40-something. I’m with a fantastic, loving woman – my “girlfriend” (haven’t found a better descriptor) and I are too old to have any kids (never mind the fact that we don’t want any) and if we ever decided to marry then it would be “not real”. Well I suppose to the Catholic Church it wouldn’t be, but to us it would be as real as the law allowed. Their arguments are exhibit #1 why we have to fight to keep church and state separate.

    • TheBlackCat13

      To be pedantic most mammals are NOT pair-bonding creatures. It is much, much more common in birds than mammals, in fact, and even then it isn’t all that common.

      • Cybershaman

        I stand corrected! :)

  • JT Rager

    I always like the power outlet analogy, because I like connecting multiple extension cords and power strips together end on end, and they work perfectly!

    • David Kopp

      Just be careful doing that, because connections like that can overload the cords and cause fires ;)

      /literal pedant engineer

  • Fentwin

    “Consider what happens when the cord of a lamp is united to a power outlet. Because the two were made for each other, light is created.”

    But what if its a two pronged cord and a three pronged outlet, or even worse, a three pronged cord and a two pronged outlet!? Or, what if its an outlet for different sized prongs and your lamp has same sized prongs? Are adaptors considered sinful?
    And what of the bulbs? Won’t somebody think of the bulbs!? What if one prefers three way bulbs as opposed to the more traditional one wattage bulb?

    • baal

      Or what if they have weird voltages and round connectors like they do in Europe?

      • Fentwin

        Heatherns! Every last one of ‘em!

      • TheBlackCat13

        But 6 is the devil’s number, so it is actually America that has the unholy frequency.

    • Mario Strada

      Big fan of 3 way bulbs here.

    • Buckley

      What if the 3 pronged cord place a sheath over its prongs and became a 2 prong cord?!?!?! The Horror

      • Stev84

        That’s like contraception and the Catholic Church hates that too.

        • Ron

          Every prong is sacred.
          Every prong is great.
          If a prong is wasted,
          God gets quite irate.

  • MNb

    If some backward church refuses to give gays and/or lesbo’s a religious marriage it’s totally OK with me. That’s not my problem and indeed the state should stay out of it. Secular marriage likeways is not the church or any theologian’s business.

  • Anna

    Well, it’s not exactly shocking to anyone who has bothered to read up on Catholic doctrine, but I’m sure the vast majority of Catholics have no idea that their church refuses to recognize the marriages of impotent men and women who are incapable of vaginal intercourse. Hard as it may be to believe, this is progress. Until 1917, the church refused to marry all infertile people and also demanded that married couples who were post-menopausal or discovered to be infertile not have sex, either.

    Similarly, if a husband decided he no longer wished to be married to his wife, but instead wanted to marry another woman, the Church does not have the authority to pretend he could be validly married to anyone other than his wife.

    Ah, but of course, not even the most fervent Catholic pretends that divorce is not actually real. Divorce is legal. Couples get divorced and remarried all the time. The double standard is particularly annoying here. The Catholic church doesn’t refuse to allow divorced and remarried couples to participate in parish life. I know numerous divorced and remarried couples who have enrolled their children in Catholic schools, yet these schools often refuse to admit or expel children from same-sex families, on the grounds that it would be confusing and a bad example for the children.

    Of all the biological systems in a person’s body (circulatory, nervous, digestive, and so on), only the reproductive system cannot fulfill its purpose without uniting to a member of the opposite sex.

    Actually, the reproductive system can “fulfill its purpose” just fine without “uniting” to a member of the opposite sex. I assume they mean vaginal intercourse here, because that’s how they usually use the word. You don’t need to have intercourse to conceive. I don’t know why they can’t seem to understand that. All you need is for the sperm and the egg to meet, and you don’t have to put a penis in a vagina to make that happen. It’s not like this is a new thing, either! The first successful artificial insemination was recorded in the late 1700s.

    • Mario Strada

      Indeed, the Catholic Church has an office called the “Sacra Rota” that “annuls” (not divorces) marriages. My FIL too advantage of it because after his first marriage went to hell his wife got excommunicated, he wasn’t and when he wanted to remarry he had his previous catholic wedding annulled by the Church. All it took, apparently was a few Ave Maria” and a lot of money.

      As far as non vaginal impregnation, I was recently reading about a woman without a vagina that was impregnated when, right after intercourse, she was stabbed by he ex boyfriend whom happened on the deed.

      Without making a diagram, the lack of a vagina prevented her from having traditional sex, so she apparently was well versed in oral sex. The knife stab allowed some of the sperm to reach the eggs and she became pregnant.

      You can imagine how the doctors and everyone else was a bit perplexed at first, but were able to reconstruct how it happened.

      WWJD?

      http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/teen-girl-vagina-pregnant-sperm-survival-oral-sex/story?id=9732562

      • The Other Weirdo

        So, the moral of the story is, O/S saves?

    • Stev84

      They know that. The Catholic Church also fires people who use IVF or artificial insemination, being the sex-obsessed freaks that they are.

      At least with IVF there is the whole “destruction of embryos” thing that potentially happens. But it’s really just about PIV sex for them.

      • Anna

        But it’s weird how they’re only concerned about it when they’re protesting same-sex marriage. And even then, they won’t go after donor insemination or IVF legally. It’s not like they’re picketing fertility clinics or sperm banks (I pass one every day on my way to work, and I’ve never seen any protestors). Heck, I bet plenty of donor-conceived and IVF children attend Catholic schools. They officially disagree with both practices, and they might fire an employee who makes it known she has undergone one of those procedures, but there isn’t this relentless focus on it. Perhaps even the Catholic church realizes how incredibly bad the PR would be if they were to start aggressively targeting all the straight married couples who make up the vast majority of the fertility industry’s clientele.

        • Allan Orr

          Wanna bet? Thanks to their loud voices the Australian surrogacy program was demolished. The only way I got a sibling was through that program (mother had cancer in the 90s), and it got removed as an option, and I believe strides have been made to make it illegal to go overseas to get it done. Note this black cat is not happy.

          • Anna

            Really, in Australia? I wouldn’t have imagined the Catholic church had that kind of power there. It’s odd that they haven’t attempted anything like that in the United States, but that should be a lesson for everyone. When they think they can get away with it, they try to legislate their views. It’s why countries like Ireland and the Philippines still have issues with birth control.

            • Allan Orr

              At least in my own state, but then the conservative party is in power here and has been for a while so I’m really unsurprised though it pisses me off immensely because adoption is really not as available as it should be given the number of kids in foster care.

  • Mario Strada

    Tru story. I visited the site and perused it a bit. I found a couple of articles about gay choosing chastity and clicked on them. The first article, I swear that while it was loading my Chrome tab at the very top said “Loathing”.

    Only upon a second look it said “Loading”. I am sure it said Loathing and maybe the “self” part was hidden by the browser.

  • Anna

    You know, what really annoys me is how inconsistent the Catholic church is. The only thing they’re interested in outlawing is same-sex marriage. You don’t see them mounting massive political campaigns to make divorce and remarriage illegal. You don’t see them trying to make it illegal for impotent men, non-monogamous couples, or asexuals to marry. They also know that (aside from abortion), they’ve lost the war on reproductive rights. This is why you don’t see American Catholics trying to ban condoms, IUDs, vasectomies, tubal ligations, donor sperm, in-vitro fertilization, etc. Did all of those things magically become less wrong? I have to think that the only reason they campaign against same-sex marriage is because the LGBT community is simply the most convenient target.

    • CamasBlues

      Exactly! I also don’t see the RCC trying to prevent divorcees getting remarried. Sure, unless they can an annullment they can’t get married in an RCC church, but they still can get married at city hall, Las Vegas wedding chapels and the like. C’mon RCC, where is your consistency?

  • eric

    According to the Church, these would not be real marriages, even if the couples had legal marriage certificates.

    So why not just treat gay marriage the same way you treat other marriages the church considers sham? I don’t see the RCC campaiging to make impotent marriages illegal or open marriages illegal.
    Their reasoning is nasty and bigoted, but somehow they manage to apply their nasty and bigoted reasoning in an inconsistent manner, to boot. Evidently there are unchristian marriages which the RCC will complain about but not resist civilly, and then there are the super bonus unchristian marriages which the RCC will complain about and resist civilly.

  • Ron

    Dear Chastity Project,

    It’s not you, it’s me. kthnxbai

  • Leo Buzalsky

    “If you’re sterile, you can get married.”
    That one surprised me a bit. I’ve seen other Christian groups that would likely disagree with that (probably even some other Catholic groups).

  • smrnda

    I think that marriage is a social convention and totally open to redefinition all the time. I don’t think open marriages are necessarily bad if both parties agree, and i don’t think sexless marriages are invalid. If the issue is that a love and attachment based marriage might honor temporary unions that aren’t sexually exclusive, I don’t see the problem since I see no inherent value in permanent marriage or sexual exclusivity.

    The only issue with marriage is whether or not the parties involved truly agree to the conditions they marry under.

  • Andi GreyScale

    Don’t you just love it when Christians get to decide what the definition of Marriage is for everyone else?
    /sarcasm

    • Gehennah

      Well Christians are the only ones that can get married. I mean why would an Atheist, Hindu, Muslim, or anyone else ever get married? I mean that’s just absurd and never happens.

  • Gehennah

    So what of marriages like mine where we are both fertile (or presumably so) but have absolutely no interest in having children at all since neither of us can stand children.

  • Kathleen

    One of the discussions that even my very devout Catholic friends (who were also somewhat surprised by this) got into and was concerned about was marriages between elderly people as well as younger people who might have to live with impotency because of a medical condition like prostate cancer. We all agreed that it’s far more common for a man who falls in love and decides to marry at say 70, to be impotent. Nothing ELSE is stopping him from being married in the Catholic church (ie. lifelong, faithful parish member, never married before, etc.) he just never found the right person. Then he does, but because he is impotent their marriage isn’t valid in the eyes of the church. My Catholic friends were very concerned about that – why? Because to them, even being devoutly Catholic and completely buying into everything they say about marriage, contraception, NFP, etc. – marriage is at its base two committed adults who love each other and want to stay faithful to each other in a lifelong bond. Nothing to do whatsoever with all the OTHER reasons for marriage – it’s all based on love and commitment. Those other reasons were secondary to that. But it STILL didn’t matter, because the Church doesn’t want gays to marry and therefore they can’t. Mind boggling.

  • Derrik Pates

    Apparently whoever wrote the article on their site hasn’t read the Bible, because polygamy (specifically polygyny) was all over in the Bible, and Yahweh seemed to be totally okay with it. Kind of like how it was also okay with concubines. But *now* both of those things are… not okay. I thought they were all concerned about what the Bible allows?

    Dear Christians, you might want to figure out what your Bible actually says before talking about biblical laws…

    Edit: Also, they should probably at least *attempt* to come up with a narrative for why the Catholic Church couldn’t be bothered to make marriage a sacrament until the 12th century, instead leaving it to *GASP* civil authorities…

  • APJH

    Plenty of married couples, both gay and straight, are completely non-sexual. They marry for other reasons–companionship, family, business arrangements, friendship. I’m a straight married woman, but if I were to be widowed, I could see myself sharing my life with a female partner, even though I’m not sexually attracted to women. It’d be about companionship. I’m sure there are other people who feel like me, in that regard.

    That said, I am perfectly capable of procreating, yet neither my husband nor I have any desire to have children. I fucking hate that religious imbeciles consider our marriage less valid than that of a couple who have kids. Fuck them.


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