To Absolutely Nobody’s Surprise

Obama comes out for gay “marriage”.

And to absolutely nobody’s surprise, the leading exponent of the Thing that Used to Be Conservatism demonstrates that no fault divorce was the bullet to the brain of marriage and gay “marriage” is simply kicking the corpse:

Catholics will have to take the long view. Once secular culture is done utterly debasing marriage and defining it to mean anything and everything, we will still be there, defining it as the union between one man and one woman, till death do them part.

  • Caine

    If they let you.

  • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

    An interesting emphasis.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      I think I can see where this is going…

      • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

        Where the post is going?

    • Mark Shea

      If, by “emphasis” you mean that I emphasize Catholics getting their instruction about marrage from Holy Church and not from Obama or quadrupally divorced Talk Radio hosts, I’m not sure what is so puzzling. I have the notion that Catholics should get their instruction about sacraments from the Catholic tradition, pillar and ground of the truth, and not from the winds of doctrine that blow in our culture. I think it dangerous that so many Catholics put their faith in the service of whichever cultural poobah they happen to like, be it Obama or Rush.

      • David K. Monroe

        See, I don’t understand this. Do you think that no conservatives had any idea what “traditional marriage” means before Rush Limbaugh gave them a definition? How is anybody getting their “instruction” about marriage from Rush Limbaugh? Simply because he voices an opinion on the subject? An opinion which I believe you share? (Marriage being between one man and one woman)
        Homosexual marriage is either OK or it isn’t, and you and Rush happen to be on the same page on that, if I understand you correctly.

        • B.E. Ward

          But Rush is what we would call in the olden days a ‘hypocrite’.

          • David K. Monroe

            Rush is in a gay marriage? Since when?

            Let me remind you what a “hypocrite” is – a “hypocrite” is a person that feels free to do what he condemns others for doing. If Rush was on a campaign against no-fault divorce, he would be a hypocrite. If he were married to another man and taking the public position he does on gay marriage, he would be a hypocrite. The fact that he has had four divorces is virtually irrelevant to his stance on gay marriage. It speaks to his personal character but does not make him a hypocrite on the issue, unless you believe that only those perfect in practice may have and express opinions.

            I agree with Mark that Rush isn’t the best messenger for marriage issues, but this is really a political conclusion and not really one proceeding naturally from Rush’s marital history. One may support no-fault divorce without believing that marriage ought to become an institution without definition.

            • B.E. Ward

              The issue of marriage isn’t a negative one.. meaning it’s not contra-gay-marriage. It’s pro-one-man-and-one-woman. It’s about staying together through thick and thin, absent of abuse or adultery. Taking that view, Rush has failed miserably and is a hypocrite when he spouts off about ‘traditional marriage’ (his words). Traditional marriage isn’t four of them.

              • David K. Monroe

                If the concept of one man, one woman marriage is correct and beneficial for society, then it’s correct no matter the failings of anyone who voices support.

                I imagine that you don’t hear Rush talk about his divorces because the experiences were probably painful and humiliating. I bet he could tell you more about the agony of divorce than you currently understand.

                • B.E. Ward

                  So agonizing that he was willing to do it 3 times.

                  • David K. Monroe

                    You assume that he instigated each and every one.

                    But go ahead, withhold the benefit of the doubt.

                  • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

                    Perhaps. You never know. Who’s to say? That’s the problem with the swipe against Limbaugh. It feeds into this notion that a hypocrite is someone who may try but fails to live up to a moral standard, rather than one who gleefully ignores the same standard he hoists on everyone else. Maybe Limbaugh loves divorce and advocates for it daily. I don’t know. I don’t listen to him that often. And if he did, then there would be something to be said. Otherwise, it fits nicely into that modern narrative that it’s far better to have no morals or moral stances than it is to have them and fail to live up to them. And I’ve always gotten the impression that is not what was traditionally meant by hypocrite.

                    • David K. Monroe

                      My point exactly. I’m not a big Ann Coulter fan but I agree with her that people on the left attack people on the right as “hypocrites” for failing to uphold standards that they themselves dismiss out of hand.

                • Mark Shea

                  No doubt he could. And I’m not judging him. I’m just suggesting that with a track record like that, one has to be circumspect before lighting into That Guy Over There for destroying marriage. It just hand That Guy Over There ammo, if you attack without prefacing it with “I have sinned through my fault, through my fault, through my own most grievous fault”.

                  • David K. Monroe

                    I think it’d be better if people would just try to understand the distinctions between things. No-fault divorce and homosexual marriage are not equivalent concepts. Rush’s divorces are his own personal failings, and he does not use them to argue for sweeping legal and societal changes.

                    • B.E. Ward

                      And when you’ve racked up a long list of personal failings, you probably ought not go out and point out the specks in others eyes. We all mess up on that point, but we all don’t have a massive talk radio program.

                    • David K. Monroe

                      But the issue of homosexual marriage is not “a speck in another’s eye.” It’s a very important and pivotal issue for society. Rush’s criticism is not a personal, ad hominem criticism. Your criticism of Rush seems to tend more in that direction.

                    • Ted Seeber

                      What catechism have you been reading? No fault divorce, promiscuity, gay marriage, and homosexual sex are *all* “Sins against Chastity” in my copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

                    • David K. Monroe

                      Well, neither Rush nor I are Catholic, so you’ll have to forgive us for not making that association. Nevertheless, my point is that Rush is criticizing the President for aiding the mainstreaming of a sin against chastity, while the criticism of Rush seems to tend to the ad hominem attack (“He can’t talk about that issue because he has had marriage failures”, etc.). Nobody’s arguing that divorce is a good thing. It just seems to me that Rush Limbaugh is not the enemy here, but apparently others disagree. It’s remarkable how easily this President can deflect criticism, he doesn’t have to lift a finger, there’s multitudes ready to do it for him, unbidden.

                    • Mark Shea

                      He’s welcome to talk about it. It’s just that proponents of gay “marriage” are most certainly going to laugh at him when he does, unless he begins, not with pointing fingers, but with beating his breast.

                    • David K. Monroe

                      As opposed to the complete and utter respect they afford Mitt Romney on the topic?

                      Your concern with Rush Limbaugh’s reputation is commendable, but I think you’ll find that gay “marriage” advocates regard any resistance to their agenda to be manifest moral failure. The fact that they can hold his divorces over his head is just icing on the cake. The fact that some traditional marriage advocates will join in the chorus of disdain for Limbaugh is the cherry on top.

                      Anyway, I think it’s quite bizarre that to commemorate the first American President to advocate homosexual “marriage”, you post a graphic trashing Rush Limbaugh. I’m not at all confused about where you stand on the issues, but I think on an emotional level you seem to have more of a problem with Republicans than anyone else.

                      And ya gotta love that picture – probably ten years old and definitely Rush at his fattest. It has to be that way, because fat people are bad, doncha know. Propaganda in its purest form.

                    • Peter H

                      Rush’s divorces are his own personal failings, and he does not use them to argue for sweeping legal and societal changes.

                      That’s because Rush’s alternative lifestyle is made possible by sweeping legal and societal changes that have already taken place. And it is precisely these legal and societal changes that have prepared the way for same-sex marriage.

                    • David K. Monroe

                      OK, so the message here is, “The war is lost and it’s Rush Limbaugh’s fault.”

                      Thanks for the clarification. Fight the real enemy.

              • str

                I am with David on this.
                Limbaugh’s position might not be perfect or even good but to act as if there’s no essential difference between him and SSM proponents is akin to the carricature sometimes painted of us Catholics, that we would equate contraception and murder!

                And, actually, traditional marriage does include the legal possibility of divorce, just look at what Christ said about it and what he referred to. We, as Christians, however are called to live up to a higher calling, to be better than what the law requires.

      • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

        I guess if there is reason to think that Catholics and others who oppose gay marriage came to that conclusion after listening to Limbaugh, and Limbaugh does, in fact openly advocate no fault divorce, then it might be worth mentioning. After all gay marriage advocates often point to the divorce rate as proof that gay couples couldn’t do any worse. So it’s worth pointing out that, by and large, those who oppose gay marriage typically don’t support no fault divorce. Still, with all the different angles to come at this with, I was surprised to see a big picture of Limbaugh staring at me, more or less becoming the focus of the story. FWIW, I’m not arguing that the divorce culture hasn’t been an issue. But I have a feeling it, too, is based on other things that are equally behind the rise of the gay rights movement, rather than divorce being a cause in itself.

        • Mark Shea

          And if Limbaugh were trying to persuade people who support traditional marriage to support traditional marriage, that would be a salient point.

          • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

            I’m not sure I follow you.

  • http://confederatepapist.blogspot.com/ Confederate Papist

    Next up: “Man Marries Former Kentucky Derby Winner”

  • TheRealAaron

    This doesn’t concern me much. Gay marriage is to Democrats as pro-life issues are to Republicans. Politicians feel obligated to say vaguely positive things during election cycles, but don’t bother to do much about it in between.

    • http://www.likelierthings.com Jon W

      So where did all the gay marriage laws come from?

      • Ted Seeber

        Most of them from the courts. A *few* from legislatures. ONE from the people.

  • Stephen J.

    I’ve always thought it was telling that the LGBT community only decided it was interested in marriage (after twenty years of deriding it as precisely the kind of bourgeois sexual straitjacketing they prided themselves on not having to endure) after straight people reduced it to something they could live with.

    That said, bear in mind we do live in a culture of no-fault divorce, laws which Limbaugh himself did not put in place and which I have no idea if he supports or not; and those laws are designed to make it a lot easier for women to leave men while getting money than vice versa. It would not surprise me if most or even all of Limbaugh’s wives initiated those divorces. That the man’s failed at practicing what he preaches doesn’t make what he’s preaching untrue.

  • Michaelus

    All these laws actually do is force normal people to pretend that a man can marry a man. They have nothing to do with love, affection, divorce, sodomy etc. They are purely a way to force us to go along with homosexual make-believe.

    Nothing prevents a man from calling another man his husband. Gay marriage laws just make it illegal for me to disagree.

    • kenneth

      Illegal? Really? Have you been arrested or threatened with criminal prosecution by any of the states where gay marriage is legal?

      • Andy, Bad Person

        Prosecution? No. Loss of public funding, public ridicule, general exile from the community? Take a trip to Massachusetts.

      • Ted Seeber

        It’s only a matter of time. Fines and arrests have now happened in British Columbia, Canada and Kansas, the United States, over this issue.

        • Peter H

          Got a link to back up that Kansas claim?

  • BenM.

    Why should the government even approve or endorse *straight* marriage?
    Seriously, marriage is strictly a religious matter. The state has no business deciding what a marriage should consist of. Since marriage is a sacrament, it would be akin to the government deciding on matters of baptism, confirmation, holy orders, etc.
    I say there should be a movement to not only get rid of gay marriage, but straight marriage as well. Leave the state out of it and just leave it to religions to decide on these matters. If the government stopped recognizing my marriage to my wife tomorrow, big whoop! I know I am married in the eyes of God and the Church. I could care less what the state thinks. The state currently does not recognize my Baptism, my Confessions, my confirmation. So why should it be any different with my marriage?

    Forget no-fault divorce. Because we have let the government recognize marriage *to begin with* is the cause of the slippery slope that we are on. Trust me, when gay marriage becomes legal in all 50 states (and it will), we will see the government trying to dictate who the churches can and can’t marry. The Catholic Church will NOT budge, and this will be the seed that gets planted to eventually make being Catholic illegal.

    • Sadie

      “Why should the government even approve or endorse *straight* marriage?”
      Um, because children exist?

      • BenM.

        You don’t need the state to recognize marriage just because children exist.
        There are plenty of people who are raising children who are not married. Gay couples included.
        The only thing that matters is that The Church recognizes my marriage.

        • Mark Shea

          Unless, of course, the state begins to punish you for living marriage according to Catholic teaching. In which case, the state’s understanding of marriage matters rather a lot–as the Chinese one child policy demonstrates.

          • BenM.

            True that, Mark.
            Remember that marriage has nothing to do with the one-child policy in china. That law applies to non-married couples as well.

        • Sadie

          And whose children are more well adjusted- the children of the married or the children of the unmarried?

        • Sadie

          And why, if children are irrelevant to marriage, has every known society in human history interested itself in the sexual relations of men and women? After all, what interest could society *possibly* have in whether a man and woman have sex? Just for fun, governments wanted to keep a list of people who hang out and have sex? Governments are just romantic saps and like to celebrate a good love story? Hmmm…it is just so tricky. If people spewed this nonsense at any point in history more than a few decades ago, they would have been laughed at.

        • ChrisB

          “You don’t need the state to recognize marriage just because children exist. There are plenty of people who are raising children who are not married. Gay couples included. The only thing that matters is that The Church recognizes my marriage.”

          Lots of people aren’t Christian, or religious at all, but they, and particularly their kids, benefit from marriage. For people who aren’t particularly religious, the state is key agent that legitimizes marriage. Getting the state out of the marriage business would make marriage unavailable to them.

          • Mark Shea

            The state does not legitimize marriage. The state depends on marriage and the family. It’s job is to protect it. When the state develops civilizational autoimmune disease and makes war on the family it is the state that is doomed.

            • ChrisB

              In one sense I agree: marriage is a pre-political institution that the state has a duty to protect. In that sense, the state doesn’t and can’t legitimize it. Marriage and family is more legitimate than the state!

              In some other senses, though, the government *does* legitimize marriage. First, as far as the government itself is concerned, the government’s stamp of approval is what matters. That’s not unimportant. Second, many people actually see it that way. We live in a culture where the state is very strong and other cultural actors are weak. (Certain people hate the Catholic Church, because it’s strong remaining social force committed to traditional morality. Even so, it’s not all that strong in practical terms.) So, contrary to libertarian assumptions, many people take moral cues from the state. I think that without state-sanctioned marriage, most of the unchurched or weakly churched would eventually fall out of the marriage culture.

              • str

                Well, “the state” (which in Catholic eyes is not evil) or rather the law recognises the institution of marriage just as it recognises human rights – both ontologically preceding the state. It is strange fallacy that things would be better if the state/law did not. Better in a Catholic sense, not in a libertarian sense!

    • arrogant b*trad

      Nope. Marriage is not a purely religious matter. Sacramental marriage is, but marriage itself is a natural institution that the state should be interested in recognizing and supporting. The Church recognizes that marriage is a natural institution, and so has every catholic theologian who ever lived and wrote on the topic. Never forget that grace builds on and perfects nature, and that both the Church and the State are perfect societies each in its own order, and so each have legitimate authority to enact and enforce law.

      • BenM.

        I have to respectfully disagree with that statement. From a secular standpoint, marriage really makes no sense. It’s basically a “contract” which can be broken at any time, for any reason. Why even get “married” at all? If your’e not religious (which an increasingly number of Americans are becoming), what sense does marriage make? There are plenty of couple out there who have never married and have raised families. Only when you bring religion into the mix is when it starts to make sense. Marriage is not a natural institution, it is a SUPERnatural institution.

        If one insists that marriage is a natural institution, I’d have to ask “says who”?

        • arrogant b*trad

          You can start by reading an encyclical or two on marriage, followed by the writings of Chysostom, Augusting and Aquinas on marriage (See especially contra gentiles book III, ch. 121ff). Book I of Aristotle’s Politics may be of some use, as well as Diotima’s speech in Plato’s Symposium. The constant and clear teaching of the Catholic Church is that marriage is a natural institution that has been raised to the level of sacrament by Christ. Thus non-sacramental marriages are considered intrinsically indissoluble and valid.

          • BenM.

            That just proves my point. RELIGION/GOD says that marriage is a natural institution.

        • http://disputations.blogspot.com Tom K.

          Make a list of known human societies that had or have some form of marriage. Make a list of known human societies that did or do not have some form of marriage. Compare the lists.

          • BenM.

            Rather, let’s make lists of human societies that have allowed gay marriage and compare the lists.
            My point with all of this is that if you’re not religious, what advantage is it to get married?
            It is possible to raise well adjusted kids and not be married. It’s possible to raise well adjusted kids while being in a gay relationship. What real advantage, other that psychological, do you get when you receive a piece of paper saying that you’re “married”? And why should the government care again?
            I still stand by my stance that marriage is not a natural institution, but a supernatural institution. I have not yet heard a convincing argument (other than a religious one) proving that marriage is a natural institution. If someone can give a good argument on this, then we can gain some traction on the whole gay marriage debate. So far, all of the arguments have been theology-based, which modern society and governments do not have ears for.

            • ChrisB

              “It is possible to raise well adjusted kids and not be married. It’s possible to raise well adjusted kids while being in a gay relationship. What real advantage, other that psychological, do you get when you receive a piece of paper saying that you’re “married”? And why should the government care again?”

              Even if it’s only a psychological difference, psychology determines how we behave. There’s lots of evidence that married couples behave differently from unmarried, cohabitating couples. For example, they are much less likely to split up, even if they have kids. Even in Scandinavia, which outwardly seems like model of stable cohabitation replacing marriage, those stable partnerships are significantly shorter-lived than marriages. That difference alone has an significant impact on well being.

              So, yeah, even a militantly atheist state would have good reason to preserve marriage.

              Would a humane but atheistic state want to permit gay marriage? The argument against, I think, is basically cultural. Marriage “works” because it bundles together -psychologically, if you like – norms, traditions, and values that intertwine with all the important areas of life. For example: couples should have children; children should be cared for by their mother and father. Not every person receives the full package, and there have always been makeshifts (like adoption substituting for biological parenthood), but there’s a sense that the package exists. This is an ordering factor within the culture. It tells people how to live and raise families. There are other ways of raising families (single momhood, for example), but this is, on average, the best, so the government should support it.

              The mandarins of this enlightened atheistic state might argue that redefining marriage to cover gay relationship involves stripping away so many of these characteristics, that this it would no longer perform its cultural role.

              • BenM.

                You raise some good points, ChrisB.
                What about married *gay* couples? Does the same psychology, if you will, apply to them as well? i.e. Do gay married couples stay together longer?
                Gay couples have raised children before, and still do. To say that marriage is about raising children is weak argument. Many gay couple find ways to have children if they really want them. It is being proved time and time again, in this country and abroad, that children can be reared in non-traditional family units. Whether they are being raised in an ideal environment is subjective as you can see many non-ideal environments in normal marriages.
                In a real round-a-bout way, this is my way of saying the state should butt out of what it it defines marriage to be and just leave it to religions. This point is actually the Achilles heel of the Gay marriage movement. When it comes down to it, no one (not even supporters of gay marriage) can give a convincing argument on why “marriage” is even necessary. If you love someone and want to be committed to them, who is stopping you? Go ahead and stay together! What is the piece of paper, the marriage certificate, going to do to prolong your relationship? Want to raise kids? Go ahead! Why do you need a piece of paper to do that? Add to all of this the 50% divorce rate and “Marriage” is a joke! This is all from a secular viewpoint.
                Now if you mix religion into it, marriage becomes something supernatural!

                The state should not, in my opinion, dictate what a marriage should be. Anymore than they should dictate what a baptism should be.

        • str

          You are confusing the natural and secular institution of marriage with the currently reigning corrupted form which can be broken for any reason. But “no fault divorce” is a rather recent development!

  • John

    Mark, this is beneath you. Didn’t we just get through a week of nuanced and lovely writing about how “we shall not judge anothers’ state of soul” because “not.by.business.”?

    So why is it not a problem for you or I or anyone to assume that Rush’s “marriages” were ever valid? As in, sacramental and hence he’s a serial adulterer? I suppose we assume it because the sad situation of annulments is a rare thing and so none of us know of anyone who had a wedding but in retrospect never really got married? Or is it different because he’s a “conservative” so doesn’t get the credit of the doubt?

    Or is it that “since he doesn’t walk the walk, what he says can’t possibly be true”? Didn’t Our Lord comment that the hypocrites, the Pharisees ought not be emmulated but their words nevertheless were right about some things?

    What is a cheap shot is to say “since Rush is an adulterer, he’s not capable of saying something true about marriage”. Which is sort of like making the case that a smoker can’t possibly warn others from smoking. Or a sinner can’t possibly preach to others on the need to avoid sin and do good, because, see, hypocrisy!

    • Mark Shea

      Where did I say Rush is a serial adulterer? Come on. Get real. Right message. Wrong messenger. One doesn’t have to render a verdict on the man’s soul to say that a little circumspection before delivering himself of the public verdict that That Guy Over There is Giving Marriage a Bad Name would be good. Attacking Obama’s attack on marriage without a full Confiteor about his own culpability in destroying the institution just comes off as political hackery.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      So why is it not a problem for you or I or anyone to assume that Rush’s “marriages” were ever valid?

      The Church always assumes marriages are valid unless proven otherwise. That’s what an annulment is. If Rush was married and not annulled, yet remarried, then yes, he is committing adultery. Publicly.

  • dancingcrane

    Mark, I was going to say this in private, but this bears a public response. If I didnt know you, I would swear you were for gay marriage because you are using the same weapons they are, against the same people. My husband and I don’t take our knowledge or orders from anyone but Scripture/ Magisterium/ Tradition, and we rarely listen to Rush. But Mark, by all that’s holy, please stop fragging any ally who isn’t perfect, and handing ammo out free to the opposition. Thanks for the second bullet in traditional marriage’s brain, you just proved the gays’ point.

    • Mark Shea

      Saying we should listen to the Church and live out her teaching with integrity is making the gay’s point? That’s like saying that when Paul writes to his fellow Jews, “you then who teach others, will you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?”… he is making the pagan’s point. No, he’s not. He’s pointing to the need of everybody for the gospel. I’m happy to take Rush as an ally. But he does not do the Faith any favors by approaching this matter without any humility about his own failings while heaping all the blame on That Guy Over There. He just makes his case more incredible to people who can only think of marriage as being whatever two or more consenting organisms with or without a pulse feel like doing.

    • kenneth

      You’re a full week late on the “Mark is secretly gay” slander campaign. It started as kind of a funny head scratcher and now it’s just kinda sad and in the same category as the political hackery of Rush himself on the issue. At any rate, I checked with my contacts in the Gay Mossad, and they swear Mark isn’t one of theirs. The agency director, Sir Elton John, is said to have had one of the best belly laughs he’s enjoyed in years upon hearing of this however! Mark isn’t handing any free ammo to anyone. He’s pointing out what we have all seen for a long time: The Emperor, in the guise of the Culture War neoconservatives, has no clothes and no credibility in advancing this one arguement against gay marriage. His majesty demands praise for his new outfit, but all of us can see him flapping in the breeze, and Mark simply refuses to play the sycophant’s game on this point.

  • Ben the Atheist

    All we’re wanting is equalityand justice for all.

    Gay marriage is overwhelming popular among the youth, btw. By the next generation, Mark, you will be treated the same way as a segregationist is now. It’s only a matter of time.

    • kenneth

      That’s why I rarely get upset over the issue anymore. It’s a matter of pure mathematics. Support is close to 50/50 nationwide right now. Essentially all of the hard opposition comes from folks at or over the cusp of AARP membership. Essentially all of those under 30 support gay marriage, to the point where it’s a non-issue for them.

      • Dan C

        And the majority of gay men will caucus with Republicans in 2020 when it is no longer an issue for Republicans, because of the military and economic policies the Republicans support.

    • Pat D.

      I agree – and I’m against gay marriage. In 20 to 30 years voicing any disapproval will be only slightly more acceptable than donning a white hood. The Catholic Church (and any others that don’t change their teachings) will be viewed as hate groups.

      We are going to lose decisively on this issue. It really is only a matter of time.

      • Ben the Atheist

        No, probably the Roman Catholic Church will just stop talking about it, or gradually let the teaching fall into the background. For example you don’t hear the Pope talk about how its a sin to take loans at interest much anymore, do you?

        • Pat D.

          Not likely, considering that the Church is a worldwide institution and SSM is mostly a Western thing. But I won’t be surprised if the American clergy goes largely silent on the issue.

      • Mark Shea

        Unless we don’t. Gay marriage loses every time it’s put on the ballot.

        • Ben the Atheist

          For now. Look at polls of people under 30.

          BTW, interracial marriage would have lost on the ballot in 1960s Mississippi. But now it’s unthinkable to make it illegal. Your Bishop’s views are going to join the views of the segregationists in the dustbin of history.

          • Mark Shea

            “We will bury you” has been said before. In fact, the highly eccentric views of a decadent elite in a fading post-Christian empire will be consigned to the dustbin of history. The Church will be here forever. America’s (and the West’s) days are numbered. The real action is in Asia and the global south.

            • Ben the Atheist

              Global South? Gay marriage is increasingly accepted in Latin America.

              The places where homosexuality is illegal (and sometimes under pain of death) happens to be in such lovely places as Saudi Arabia and Iran. How do you like that company? Do you think this country would be better off if we followed the Saudi model?

              And before you protest that those are Muslims so that’s different, Christian Uganda wants to put LGBT people to death if they’re practicing. How do you feel about that?

              • Mark Shea

                I oppose it of course. Really. Familiarize yourself with my views before you play the culture war game. Also, familiarize yourself with more than a couple of selected Latin American countries. It’s not a slam dunk that gay “marriage” has a long term future.

                • An Atheist

                  Where is the Catholic Church? Why aren’t they lobbying for the repeal of penalties such as death and life in prison in Africa?

                • Ed

                  Exactly. I don’t know how long gay ‘marriage’ will be around for, it’s really a western thing, and the west is waning and has been for sometime. Regardless of how long it lasts and in whatever form it lasts as, to think we have reached the ‘end of history’ as Ben the Smug guy seems to think, is just stupid. Our democratic age will not last forever, nor will America, gay “marriage” will itself be confined to the dustbin of history someday. The only reason the guy comments here is to show his smug superiority and to rub our faces in it.

    • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

      That does appear to be the direction in which things are heading. Things can change, of course. No one can predict the future with certainty. But it’s more likely that we’ll be discussing legalizing polygamous and polyamorous marriages 25 years from now than that the tide will have turned on gay marriage. Then again, I’m not sure I’d place a bet on the USA even existing 25 years from now at its current rate of decline.

      • Ben the Atheist

        Get a grip. Plenty of countries, including the one just north of us, have legalized gay marriage. Even Catholic countries like Spain and Argentina and they’re still there. It’s not a big deal.

        • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

          Get a grip on what, exactly? I wasn’t saying that the USA will disappear simply because of gay marriage. I was actually speaking more of financial issues, though moral issues certainly factor in.

        • B.E. Ward

          What’s the birth rate in Canada, Spain, and Argentina?

        • B.E. Ward

          Oh, wait wait.. I found them myself:

          Canada 1.67
          Spain 1.47
          Argentina 2.33 (for now)

          • Ben the Atheist

            If we didn’t have such a big influx of Latin American immigrants the birth rate here wouldn’t be any different from western Europe, gay marriage or not.

            • B.E. Ward

              True ’nuff. So shouldn’t the government be making laws to encourage a higher birth rate?

          • Peter H

            What’s the birth rate in Canada, Spain, and Argentina?

            Higher than Italy @ 1.4

        • Ted Seeber

          It’s been a pretty big deal to the Knights of Columbus in Canada.

    • Mark Shea

      And in 1967 God was dead. 1791 too. Also 1917. Beware of extrapolating current trends into the distant future. In 2003, the Democrats were dead and never going to rise again. Public opinion is mercurial.

      • Ben the Atheist

        I didn’t say anything about God. I’m sure religion will still be there. I’m talking about LGBT equality.

        The Catholic Church will either find some rube-goldberg method of changing its teaching on this issue while saying it never really did, or homosexuality is going to join prohibitions on loans at interest as something that’s just not talked about or enforced.

        • Mark Shea

          Those capable of grasping analogy will understand that I’m not saying you were saying religion will go away. I’m saying that you are over-confident about the claim that homosexual “marriage” will permanently conquer the world. We’ll see.

        • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

          The teaching on usury hasn’t changed. Lending money at excessive interest is still considered immoral. The only thing that changed is the greater incorporation of the concept of opportunity cost, which is essentially similar to the concept of “lucrum cessans” which theologians discussed as a legitimate reason to charge some interest almost 1000 years ago.

          • Ben the Atheist

            And I’m sure there will be some convenient reason to justify homosexuality as compatible with Catholic teaching someday once being a homophobe is morally equivalent to being a racist.

            • Mark Shea

              What do you mean “someday”? Apologist already made this tendentious claim that opposition to homosex is the same as racism. It will still be tendentious a generation from now, even if a majority of people believe it. You’re simply being a bully who appeals to mob rule, not arguing.

            • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

              Nope. Won’t happen. There is really no comparison between the two issues. The teaching on usury apparently changed when the nature of money changed. It is difficult to imagine how the nature of man and woman could change.

              • Mark Shea

                Not to mention that we are now a generation into the abortion and contraception regime and there seems to be no hint that the Church is backing down on that, anymore than it has backed down and capitulated to Arianism, or Donatism, or sola scriptura.

            • Ed

              “once being a homophobe is morally equivalent to being a racist.”
              Right there. The the essence of the gay movement. Dissent from homosex cannot and will not be tolerated. What’s so funny about the homophobe is really racist thing is that it is a very bigoted and ignoratn opinion. There is and always has been a moral opposition to homosexuality (it’s not limited to the Christian faith, or even to Abrahamic faiths). Animus/bigotry etc has nothing to do with it. Morality does. Natural law does. Animus does not.

              Regarding the Church, it won’t change anything. It seems you hold on to more than one fallacy at a time, the whole “the Church changes it’s arguments and dogmas to fit whatever time it exists in” is provably false. The Church’s position will remain the same.

    • Chris M

      “All we’re wanting is equalityand justice for all. ”

      No. You already have that. What you want is to redefine a word to mean something it does not and never has.

    • Peggy R

      The youth inevitably grow up. Regardless of the polls, when put to the people, the people ALWAYS say that only 1 man and 1 woman unions may be recognized as marriages. ONly judges and legislatures have snuck homosexual “marriage” by the people.

      Rush–Not a great messenger for marriage. Newt is a horrible messenger. They are allies, however.

      We need states to recognize marriages for the protection and wellbeing of any children that may issue from the marriage. Geraldo R recently said on TV that ALL birth certificates should have the father named. It is in the public interest for social stability that children be raised by the mother and father who created them (in the best case; adoption by husbands and wives of course mimics that natural relationship and has always been the practice to care for orphans). It is additionally in the public interest these days that men and women marry before they have children so that the children and their mothers are not funded by taxpayers. I recently saw that 40% of IL babies were born out of wedlock. Now, maybe a few are with middle income single moms or shack-ups, but likely most are poor unwed mothers. That eats up quite a bit of state resources. Men who create babies are getting off the hook. We are gearing our government resources to fund the single mother life instead of hauling those men back to take responsibility for the children they create. See how much easier it would be to provide for those children if mom and dad were married and the law could dad and mom responsible for their children? Rant over…

  • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

    Rush Limbaugh isn’t really the messenger against gay marriage. He’s the person against gay marriage that those FOR gay marriage try to put up as the spokesperson against gay marriage. Straw-man argument, basically, since within any movement of millions of people, you can find some hypocrites.

    • kenneth

      Actually, with the divorce and unmarried cohabitation and adultery rates in this country, you can find many tens of millions of hypocrites.

  • John

    “Gay marriage” is the decision by a minority to not just re-define a word for themselves, but to use the power of the federal courts and government to enforce this new definition on everyone else.

    Now, in our country, if you want a change in the law you can either pass legislation, win a court case establishing precedent, or pass a Constitutional Amendment. If it is established by court that any minority can re-define a public word and enforce their sui-generis definition via the power of government without a super-majority of citizens of like mind…. there is no end to the mischief this new principle will provoke.

    As for Mark…. he does not disagree with Rush’s statement, just with RUSH making the statement. But so what? Does this mean “thou shall not comment on a subject of moral concern if Ye shall have at any time formerly sinned in that arena of life”? No. Otherwise none of us would opine about quite a lot of things and if we did, we’d all fall under Mark’s rightful (and brilliant satirical) take down of the combox Inquisitors.

    Rush has opined in the past that his marriages failed for a number of reasons – his own immaturity as well as general statements about feminism. He’s never brought his ex-wives into the commentary by name or alluding to specifics about them. But reading between the lines plenty of people have noticed that he’s expressed shame for his own failures. Dumping on him as “an unworthy spokesman about the importance of marriage” is like saying those who have had lung cancer because they smoked too much as kids have no moral standing to warn others of the dangers of smoking.

    If a person makes a good argument about some topic, then I’m going to focus on the argument and not look for ad hominem reasons to discount their bona fides. Especially in areas that, to quote Mark are “not my business”.

  • John

    Furthermore, Rush’s comment about Obama is part of the bigger picture, with respect to the meme of a supposed “war on women” waged by the GOP as claimed by the Obama admin re-election squad.

    Pointing to an Obama ‘war on marriage’ and using the gay marriage dust-up as evidence is the counter-battery fire in the culture war. If side A claims side B is doing some dastardly deed against group C…. side B can do a number of defensive plays: prove au contraire that they’re not only not harming group C but are great allies on a number of issues…and point out that side A is harming group C in ways that up till now have been ignored… and then raise “another issue” or front by a claim that side A is assauting innocent group D too….

    Yes, it can be petty, but this is war and politics. Rush’s case is that for all this talk about ‘wars’ supposedly being fought by the GOP, it’s the Obama and company side that seems to be doing alot of hostile actions against lots of innocent by standers who weren’t spoiling for any fights with anyone.

  • dancingcrane

    Your ad hominems make you look bad, Mark, and make ppl who agree with you 100% turn away from you. If I went into battle with you at my side, I’d be as scared of your bullets in my back as I would be of the enemy’s. That’s a sad place for me to be. To Pat and Kenneth, I can only say that the truth is the truth even if no one believes it. The Church went almost completely Arian, once, and I’m sure there were those who thought it was ‘only a matter of time’ before the Church admitted that Christ was only human. That it didn’t happen is God’s lesson to us, right now.

    • Mark Shea

      Sorry you feel that way but the reality is that no fault divorce and the atrocious treatment of marriage by heterosexuals has completely set the stage for the opportunistic infection called gay “marriage”. Heterosexual abuse of marriage killed it. Gay “marriage” is just desecration of the corpse.

      • http://agapas.me Bob LeBlanc

        No fault divorce attacked the idea of marriage as lifelong.

        Contraception and abortion attacked the idea that the marital act had a procreative meaning.

        Same-sex “marriage” attacks at a higher level in saying that marriage has nothing to do with procreation (indeed, if traditional marriage gets struck down by the Supreme Court, the decision will say that marriage has nothing to do with procreation, and then move to equal protection under the 14th).

        Fornication, adultery, homosexual acts, and eventually incest and bestiality are all extensions of the idea that the marital act has no procreative meaning (i.e. contraception). As G.E.M. Anscombe pointed out, once contraception is permitted, anything goes.

        • http://agapas.me Bob LeBlanc

          I think I should clarify on the last paragraph:
          Acceptance of fornication, adultery, homosexual acts, and eventually incest and bestiality is an extension of the idea that the marital act has no procreative meaning (i.e. contraception). As G.E.M. Anscombe pointed out, once contraception is permitted, anything goes.

          • http://thrownback.blogspot.com Fr. Rob Johansen

            Could you provide a link or resource for Anscombe’s argument? Is there an article or book where I can find this?

            Thanks!

            • http://agapas.me Bob LeBlanc

              Fr. Rob Johansen,

              Sure thing! The essay is found in Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader edited by Janet Smith. Fortunately, Anscombe’s essay “Contraception and Chasity” is also available online.

              http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles/AnscombeChastity.php

              The actual quote is “if contraceptive intercourse is all right then so are all forms of sexual activity.”

              Peace,
              Bob

  • Andy, Bad Person

    Obama’s message, however, is meaningless, and his supporters shouldn’t get overexcited about it. He’s not going to do anything to promote gay marriage, even if re-elected (he even specifically said he “thinks they should be able to get married.” He also punted to the individual states on the law.

    Heck, it’s not even about votes. The pro-homosexual lobby wasn’t going to vote for Romney anyway.

    It’s about one thing: fundraising.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/zekejmiller/gay-marriage-reversal-means-cash-for-obama

  • Steve

    Same Sex marriage is just another effort by liberal elites to make out culture more androgynous, i.e unrelated to procreation.

  • Jack

    If gay marriages are the same as most straight secular marriages, then it’s one of the best ways to stop them from having sex.

  • victor

    Seriously, though: is there a position of Dick Cheney’s that Obama has NOT coopted recently?

  • dpt

    “Catholics will have to take the long view. Once secular culture is done utterly debasing marriage and defining it to mean anything and everything, we will still be there, defining it as the union between one man and one woman, till death do them part.”

    Amen Brother Mark.
    Be not afraid!

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    Marriage, historically, involved the union of two extended families, together with some or all of their land and property, if any. Often fathers and uncles arranged the meeting of the young pair to be wed. Or, among laboring folk, the young swain courted his intended at her family home, under the watchful eye of her Mama and Papa.

    The individualism that characterizes our modern-day Western understanding of courtship and marriage would have been unthinkable to Western society even two hundred years ago, and still would be unthinkable to folk living in indigenous and tribal cultures, not yet fully modernized. The idea that “it’s my life, my happiness, my marriage,” would be alien, incomprehensible throughout most of human history. The young married where it was expedient for them to marry – expedient for their families, that is. Certainly, among more doting and tender-hearted papas, if a daughter begged to be excused from the attentions of a particularly objectionable suitor, or if the girl had set her heart on a young man, then Papa might be persuaded to see matters her way. But ultimately, the decision was the parents’ as much as the childrens’. And marriage was for life – not for “as long as we love each other,” or “until someone hotter comes along.”

    Not only that, but the children born to the marriage belonged very much to the grandparents as much as to the parents. The modern-day gambit or rewarding and punishing Gramps and Granny with access or denial of access to the children by their Mama (often) and Daddy is an entirely new phenomenon. “They’re my children! I will decide whom they see or don’t see!” is not something that one said to one’s own mother or to one’s husband’s or wife’s mother. Wasn’t done. Older generations were revered; it was to tempt the gods to be disrespectful toward them or to criticize their child-rearing approaches.

    It is the radical individualism which demands to marry for love, without any consideration of suitability, similarity of background and upbringing, the approval of the respective families – let them all go eat cake! And when babies are born, let Gran and Gramps tread lightly and limit themselves to the roles of Santa and Mrs. Claus and babysitter when Jr. and Mrs. Jr. wish it; other than that, Jr. and Mrs. Jr. are to be the sole sun and moon around which their infants, lives revolve. And if either Jr. or Mrs. Jr. wishes to split up, attach themselves to another love, and take the babies with them, then let Gran, Gramps, aunts, uncles, and cousins obligingly fade into the sunset of the babies’ lives – the extended family that these tots have known and bonded with all their lives are to become nothing, for behold! new Step-Mom’s or new Step-Dad’s beach house or mountaintop retreat on the opposite side of the country is much cooler!

    We did that. We straight Christians did all of that. We punched those holes into marriage. We so turned natural marriage into Swiss cheese that now radical deconstructionists well may ask: “what is the point of legal marriage anyway?” and we don’t have an answer them. A person living in a tribe in Papua New Guinea would have an answer – a good answer. So would an Inuit person. Or a tribe member in the Amazon. As well as our own ancestors three hundred or five hundred years ago. All of these would be more or less on the same page about what marriage was and what it offered to society, to families, to children. But our radical individualism has swept all of that away. And we no longer know.

    • BenM.

      THIS!
      Right on!

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    P.S. Before the Radical Self came to reign supreme, men and women thought of themselves as members of their families, their guilds, their churches, their villages; they identified with Jesus, with their liege lord, with their professional master or their university.

    Now Western man identifies himself with one thing and one thing only: The Self. And often the most salient part of the Self has to do with the Self’s biological functions, since engagement with family, neighborhood, church, school, professional life are found to be so ephemeral, so superficial (after all, it is for the constituent members’ of those things, in the final analyis, only about each of Them – so how can these constructs be anything but superficial and ephemeral?) So what is left by which the Self may identify itSelf? The mode by which the Self in question most habitually derives sexual pleasure, of course. That’s what’s left.

    And that’s what Radical Individualism has done, as well. Created the identification of self with sexual habits. This was bound to lead to trouble.

    • Ed

      Thanks for both those posts Marion! Worth contemplating

    • http://www.SwanseaAcupuncture.net Dr. Eric

      Great posts, Marion! You remind me that I need to spend more time with my parents even though I have my own family of 7.

  • Robert

    Don’t forget contraception. Both it and no fault divorce went miles in redefining marriage.

  • Ted Seeber

    In fact, I’ve been known to suggest that the solution is the rush to the bottom of this particular slippery slope. Redefine what the government does as Civil Unions, and grant them no only to homosexuals, but also heterosexuals living without benefit of clergy, polygamists, Humong Camboidians, brothers and sisters, sisters and sisters, anybody else who doesn’t fit the traditional view.

    Get your government out of my Church would be the rallying cry for the campaign, and I think, after all of this, it would likely win with at least 80% of any American voting public.

    • kenneth

      That’s an eminently sensible solution, and one I’ve been advocating for years. The marriage license granted by the state has never, ever been anything more than a civil union. It never will be anything else in a secular republic as ours. Let the churches do as they will according to their various theologies regarding marriage as a sacrament.

  • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

    FWIW, for those who cheer this as a bright step to the future, and point to the wisdom of our youth as evidence that all will be better in the future, here is my favorite response on an atheist post where the dreaded ‘slippery slope to incest’ was mentioned. Several jumped in and accused the charge of paranoia and ignorance. But shockingly, a thread emerged where some actually argued why not. My favorite comment:

    “And if science is able to provide a solution to the sort of genetic risks currently posed by incest, why shouldn’t society evolve to support and allow incest? Again, what rational reason is there to oppose incest if there are no material consequences?”

    It’s worth noting that other commenters were somewhat bothered, and while several argued there was no rational reason to oppose incest, that nobody should be seriously arguing for it. Just saying. Just because society is moving forward doesn’t mean that forward ends in anything other than a cliff.

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    Society is indeed progressing and has progressed. . . . if the mileage logged while barrelling along the lip of a precipice may be spoken of as “progress.” But for several centuries now different folks have been clambering in and out of the driver’s seat; and there have been times during that period when somebody said, “the hell with it,” yanked the current driver out, and slammed a cinderblock on the gas pedal.

    I find none of this particularly . . . confidence-inspiring. When I hear anyone speak of “progress” and “progressive”, I with Dave G. ask, “ah, but ‘progress’ toward what? And whose definition of ‘progressive’?”

  • Observer

    I’m going to quote Chesterton (What’s Wrong with the World – Authority the Unavoidable) with regard to marriage,
    “But the important point here is only that you cannot anyhow get rid of authority in education; it is not so much (as poor Conservatives say) that parental authority ought to be preserved, as that it cannot be destroyed.”

    Whatever the definition is given for law and reasons of the state, the form of conjugal relationship between one particular man and woman cannot be repeated (only in this particular relations is a family born.) The very act and principle where children are brought into the wrold is unchangeable as the very laws of physics (i.e. as the law of gravity, for instance.) Thereby being the case the obvious reasons of the state, what is important is how moral standards and measures will be held in the view of the law. That is, legal poligomy and other unfaithful relations through circumvention of law – as divorce has been abused- especially where in particular the family is in danger, must also be judged under the law.

    Therefore, the courts must oversee where abuse of law is being done for legal circumvention of relationships (and undermining the safeguard and stability of the household .) If anything should be observed in particular, the idea to redefine marriage has been continued and done in particular since the King Henry VIII.

  • Dan C

    I confess that the gay marriage bit is NO threat to my marriage. Truly, divorce is the greatest threat to my marriage. There are clearly times that seeing those individuals who have managed divorce and remarriage (and annullment) create difficulties for a marriage. They are bad bad examples. The ease of acquisition of divorce (and annullment) is an enormous threat to my marriage. The bad examples of prominent individuals and personal friends both create difficulties for the couple having trouble or the individual facing temptation. (And things have been pretty good for us and this is still an issue.)

    Gay marriage for me is only a distraction. The real threat is divorce, manifest through the presence of the divorced person and his or her example and by the ease by which divorce is available.

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    the gay marriage bit is NO threat to my marriage

    Reminds me of the homeowner, who when warned of the expected inundation of his flood plain community by the mighty Missisippi, replied, “the river rise is NO threat to my home! I have installed vapor barrier insulation throughout my home’s basement.”

    Friend, when you see the river water rise to 16 feet high in your yard, and your neighbor’s homes floated up off their foundations and being carried swiftly along toward the river valley, then you will see that what we mean by a “threat to your home” is very different from what you seem to have thought it meant.