Jody Bottum: God’s Good Servant, but the King’s First

He takes a massively huge amount of words to work up to saying he never really gave much of shit about the gay marriage stuff that the Church is on about and he would now like the Church to just surrender on that point, pretend there is such a thing, and get behind the Rockefeller Republican agenda of pretending to give a shit about prolifers while supporting crony capitalism, double malt scotch, and war for hedonistic democratic capitalism around the world.

First Things does the autopsy.

Look. If he wants to say, “Most Americans oppose the Church on this and realism dictates facing that fact” he gets no argument from me. But he’s saying, “The Church needs to get with the program and pretend gay ‘marriage’ is something other than a fantasy agreed upon by a culture that is radically out of touch with reality.” His core message is “Surrender”, not “Maintain the Tradition in a hostile culture.”

Meanwhile the most significant word in the piece are not in the piece:

Funding for this essay has been provided by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

30 pieces of silver? The Red Dragon insignia for the Attorney General’s office of Wales?

  • Guest

    What’s wrong with Double Malt Scotch, anyhow? (Okay, you had me at Scotch, I admit it)

    • capaxdei

      Ask the Scotch Whisky Association, which put the kibosh on such things a few years ago. As Jack possibly indicates, if it’s labeled in Scotland it would be called “blended malt whisky.” “Double malt” never had currency, but the devotees do miss “vatted malt whisky.”

      America being the land of the free-ish, we can buy Eades Double Malt, which is decent stuff, though I suspect Rockefeller Republicans are underrepresented among its consumers.

      • Martial_Artist

        Vatted malt is actually a clearer description, specifically because the term “blended” has always previously been restricted (by law) to Scotch whiskies that consisted of, usually at least two single malts PLUS some proportion of grain whisky. Vatted malt was a descriptor which was only used on mixtures of single malts that contained only single malts and the amount of water needed to reduce the proof to what was considered market level.
        Keith Töpfer

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          The things one learns by reading Catholic blogs!

  • Jack

    What’s wrong with a blended Scotch, anyhow?

    • capaxdei

      That very much depends on which blended Scotch it is. Much of the cheap stuff is most definitely “for mixing,” meaning it’s pretty vile out of the bottle. But for a relatively modest step up in price, you can get decent blend you don’t need to cut 3-to-1 with mixers to get down, and by the time you get to things like the Compass Box line you’re into whiskey that out-complexes a lot of entry level single malts. (Though I do think it’s funny that, whenever I see the claim that some of the best Scotch is blended Scotch, they’re always talking about things like Ballantine’s 21 yo that runs for about $150. And yeah, for $150 you can get good Scotch.)

      • Martial_Artist

        There is a very decent blended Scotch recently introduced into the U.S. market which is sold in Navy Exchanges for under $17/bottle (750ml), under the brand name Royal Thistle. It is one of several of which I am aware that is neither noticeably peated, nor heavily sherried.

    • bear

      Nothing, if you have a fondness for peat flavoured listerine.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    Mr.Bottum seems to have made a very selective reading of the Gospel in his youth, and not to have renewed it since. “What good does it do a man to conquer the world, and lose his soul?” “In all these things we are MORE than conquerors” (in other words, the issue of worldly success and “conquest” is nowhere to the Christian when compared to loyalty to God). “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” “Do not be afraid: I have conquered the world.”

  • capaxdei

    I haven’t (and probably won’t) read that Bottumless essay (the Henry Luce Foundation pays by the word?), but I’ll just point out tangentially that “If we give them everything they want, they’ll love us” rarely turns out well.

  • GREG SMITH

    Mark ~ Did you go to Catholic school? When I went in the ’50s the vulgarism found in you first sentence would have gotten me kneeling in a corner of the convent parlor saying the Rosary for an hour. Really, it has no place in Catholic (or even polite) discourse.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      How sad that the Rosary was used as a punishment.

      • Oswald Carnes

        They also make great sex toys!

    • Jason

      It belongs in adult discourse. Invective to make a point is useful and not offensive to grown-ups. If chastising Mark for his use of profanity is all you can contribute to this discussion, go back to your corner.

      • GREG SMITH

        Prayer as penance is part of our tradition. It’s SOP as part of confession.

        • Matthew

          Sorry, Greg, penance implies sorrow for sin. If the kid is not sorry making him say the rosary is simply punishment which is in fact sad.

    • Procopius

      IF that is the case, then I highly recommend you never read any of the phillipics contra Luther written by St. Thomas More

    • CrustyNatsFan

      I love me some Mark Shea. But I have to agree. Few are able to paint effectively with profanity. So if it is not a medium you dabble in frequently it is best left to the masters. Keep up the blogging, Mark, but please clean up the language. I by no means find it offensive. It just think it can undermine and distract from the point you were trying to make. It like wearing jorts.

      • Merkn

        “Profanity was his true medium. He worked in it as other men worked with clay or oils”

    • Heartlander

      Greg, I agree with you that it’s a vulgarism. But it’s straining at gnats and swallowing camels, in my opinion, to get more worked up about a bad word than about a subject that is so important, so dangerous, so evil, so destructive, that “bad words” cannot even capture it. It puts me to mind of those snooty New Yorkers who obsess on secondhand tobacco smoke — but insist on their “right” to kill their own babies before birth.

      PRIORITIES!

  • Richard Aleman

    “I believe, American Catholics should accept state recognition of same-sex marriage simply because they are Americans” is the most laughable piece of fiction I’ve ever read and is empirical evidence that Mark’s title is apropos.

  • Harry

    Sorry, couldn’t get through the article. It was too early in the morning, the article is too bloody meandering and even though it’s now the afternoon I don’t want to go back. Is he saying –
    “Let’s allow gay marriage to exist as a legal reality and accept the fact we’ve lost”
    or
    “I now support gay marriage as something morally neutral or beneficent”?

  • Harry

    BTW Mark, Bottum has complained on his twitter feed that you’ve unfairly accused him of not being a real pro-lifer. I think that’s a fair complaint, actually – a man can be right on one issue even if he’s disastrously wrong on another.

  • Robert Sirico

    Best summary of the argument I have seen. Bravo Mark! Fr. Fulton is smiling.
    Fr. Robert Sirico

  • Elaine S.

    Some of the commenters at First Things raise a point I’ve wondered about myself: if marriage has a precise, divinely revealed definition that is binding on everyone, Catholic or not, and which Catholics are duty bound to try to enshrine in civil law to the best of their ability, why didn’t we raise as much of a stink about divorce as we are now about same-sex “marriage”?

    As far as I can recall, when no-fault divorce and laws banning discrimination on the basis of marital status came into effect in the 70s and 80s, it was not treated as a dire, existential threat to Catholic religious freedom; Catholic officials who voted to allow no-fault divorce were not threatened with excommunication, nor were Catholic attorneys told that handling civil divorce cases was incompatible with their faith.
    It seems to me that the Church has, by and large, managed to live with state-sanctioned divorce while still upholding the indissolubility of marriage (let’s leave annulments out of this discussion for now, though). I know there have been cases of Catholic schools being sued for terminating teachers that have remarried after divorce or cohabited outside of marriage, but as far as I know, the Church has won many or most of them, even in the presence of civil laws forbidding discrimination based on marital status.

    The Church permits Catholics to obtain civil divorces as a way of protecting their legal rights when a couple has serious reasons to separate (e.g., domestic violence, alcohol/drug addiction, unrepentant adultery). Living apart from your spouse and being civilly divorced is not a sin, provided you live chastely and do not attempt to marry someone else. Could there, perhaps, be situations in which two people of the same sex who were NOT homosexuals, or who were same-sex attracted but resolved to live chastely, entered a civil union in order to protect certain legal rights, and it would not be sinful (in itself, apart from the issue of whether scandal would be caused)?

    The only thing different with regard to gay marriage, that I can see, is that gay marriage activists are more aggressive and more insistent that “tolerance is not enough — You. Must. Approve.” That’s an important difference, don’t get me wrong; but if it were not for that, why would the Church not be able to “live with” civil same-sex unions as it has “lived with” civil divorce?
    I’m NOT saying that the Church should change any of its teachings on marriage, nor am I arguing that divorce is a good thing or that divorce culture hasn’t had grave effects on the well-being of society. (Maybe if we all had time machines and knew what we know now, we could all go back to the 1960s and fight harder against things like no-fault divorce laws.) Nor am I in any way saying I think wholesale redefinition of marriage to include same-sex unions is a good thing. I’m just wondering why Catholics are obligated to fight tooth and nail against civil gay marriage when they were not obliged to do the same WRT civil divorce.

    • Sus_1

      “if marriage has a precise, divinely revealed definition that is binding on everyone, Catholic or not, and which Catholics are duty bound to try to enshrine in civil law to the best of their ability, why didn’t we raise as much of a stink about divorce as we are now about same-sex “marriage”? – snip – I’m just wondering why Catholics are obligated to fight tooth and nail against civil gay marriage when they were not obliged to do the same WRT civil divorce.”

      As I struggle to accept and agree with the Church teachings on same sex marriage, I go back to this. In my parish and others that I have visited, divorce and remarriage is accepted without issue. No one talks about it including the Church leaders.

      It seems very inconsistent. If divorce and remarriage is accepted in other parishes the way it is here, it’s no wonder people are confused and think Catholics are picking on gay people.

      Please don’t jump on me and say I’m trying to say that the Church should accept same sex marriage. That isn’t what I’m saying. I’m saying it’s confusing.

      • contrarian

        Sus_1,
        I think you’re exactly right. Bottum is wrong for saying, ‘the hell with it,’ but he’s right to point out that we can only make a rational case for the impossibility of gay marriage by tying it to an argument for natural marriage–a marriage that is antithetical to fornication, cohabitation, contraception, and divorce (well, Bottum doesn’t put it quite like that, lest he offend his reader-base at Commonweal, but…). And neo-conservative Catholic leaders and clerics, in the main, refuse to make these arguments and connect these dots for their parishioners, either because of their own disbelief or lassitude.

        The recent HHS mandate is a great case in point. Rather than give sustained arguments against the evils of contraception based on natural philosophy–an argument that would in turn start to get people to realize why gay marriage was impossible–Catholic leaders instead harp on some sort of constitutionally granted ‘religious freedom’. Secularists (perhaps justifiably) interpret the incessant cries of ‘Religious Freedom’ as: ‘Look, people. Let us Catholics do this quirky thing we do. The Constitution says we can hold to our quirky beliefs!’

        Catholic leaders have acquiesced to the god of liberty, instead of arguing through natural philosophy. In other words, most neo-conservative Catholic leaders agree with Bottum, even if they don’t say so, or even realize that they do.

        First Things, and the whole ‘Evangelics and Catholics Together’ thing, along with the Manhattan Declaration (which Bottum talks about) are, to my mind, real problems in this regard. There is no ‘battle in the ecumenical trenches’ to be had in the fight against gay marriage and the HHS mandate. Protestants and Jews as a whole don’t give two rips about contraception, care rather little about divorce, and only a few of the more ‘conservative’ ones in their midst will poo-poo about fornication or cohabitation. To buddy up with protestants is to guarantee that we won’t be able to make our arguments on the grounds that matter, lest we alienate them. We will instead have to resort to voluntarism, or use completely irrelevant arguments from our majorly flawed constitution, because we refuse to stand alone on this issue, perhaps because of our own flawed notions of ‘ecumenism’. Perhaps this is where ecumenism is biting is the butt.

        It might be a lost cause, and for reasons, in part, of our doing.

        • Elaine S.

          WRT to the HHS mandate, I dunno that religious freedom and natural philosophy arguments are necessarily mutually exclusive. Trying to get Protestants (or, for that matter, most Catholics) convinced that contraception is evil would probably take years, if not decades or generations to accomplish (not saying it can’t be done, just that it’s not going to happen overnight). However, the harm being caused by the HHS mandate is immediate and requires a counter-argument that people can identify with right now. The religious freedom argument is one that people of all faiths can easily grasp. If I am trying to convince a Protestant or even a Jew why they should oppose the mandate, saying “What if the law required kosher butcher shops to sell pork?” is probably going to do the trick quicker than saying “Contraception is inherently evil and against the purposes of the marriage act.”

          • contrarian

            Hi Elaine,
            Certainly, as Catholics, we should want the laws of nation-states to not merely remain ‘neutral’ towards natural law, but actually reflect it. The constitution, however, seems to make this impossible. Too bad for the constitution.
            At any rate, I’m perfectly fine saying that we might, while all the while pointing out the inherent impossibility of gay marriage and the wrong of contraception, point out that there are screwy clauses in the constitution that allow us Catholics to remain faithful to natural law in our ‘private’ practices.
            The problem, though, is that in doing so, we aren’t really fighting fire with fire. This is because those who push for gay marriage and the funding of the pill do so not for reasons of liberty (as they might), but for reasons having to do with what they see as the *good* as such. Secularists view baby-and-family-free sex as a positive good, based on a (false) philosophy of the human person. In other words, we have an ironic situation where the secularists are cheating and making arguments for the good (and not merely on ‘liberty’), whereas us ‘religious’ folks are ‘playing by the rules of the constitution’ and arguing by way of the false god of liberty.
            That is, if we were *really* fighting fire with fire, we’d stay true to our philosophical arguments. :) If we end up having to say that the constitution is fundamentally flawed, well, then too bad for the constitution.
            As to the problem of the protestants and the Jews, well…perhaps this shows the folly of ecumenism. Why assume they won’t be convinced by truth? We have truth on their side, and the truth is rational. :)
            But yes, I agree that it’s all very odd at the moment.

            • contrarian

              WE have truth on *our* side.
              There are typos everywhere, but that’s an important correction! :)

      • lspinelli

        I noticed, as you eloquently put here, that gays gets raked over the coals much more than straights when it comes to sexual sin. That still doesn’t mean that any of it should be accepted by Catholics. We as a society haven’t been treating marriage as the sacrament it is for 50 years. Gay marriage is the secular logical conclusion to where we were headed.

        Still, that doesn’t mean Catholics need to accept that conclusion. We need to set the example! Emphasize what sacramental marriage is all about, and evangelize, starting with your marriage.

        (What a lot of people don’t realize is “committed” gay partners tend to have open relationships. It’s rarely two people of the same sex with each other exclusively. Civil marriage doesn’t change that fact. (Which is sort of where the argument that polygamy is next in line to become legalized comes from.) It’s glossed over by gay marriage advocates, and when one tries to point this out, the argument becomes the obvious “but you straights cheat and get divorced!” Like I said, we Catholics need to raise the bar.)

      • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

        If this is true (differential adherence to Church teaching on sexuality), your parish is screwing it up. I pray that it is not true and I suspect that if you pushed the issue a bit, you might be pleasantly surprised.

        Simply ask, what can and should we do to fix the situation and how can you best support them in getting the Church’s teaching out. If you’re facing local rot, the answer will illuminate. If you’re facing an overburdened leadership team that has triaged and would dearly love not to have to, that too will quickly become clear.

      • Dave

        Possibly because divorce is not intrinsically and always evil. Possibly also because the American Church was in the midst of falling apart at that time, and was distracted with internal issues. Possibly also because the Church was too busy fighting abortion, which had just become legal in that time period. I am not sure exactly why, but there are reasons other than ‘because Catholics are picking on gay people.’

  • Neil Leslie

    @disqus_IGGfv8E4yJ:disqus : “peat-flavored listerine.” Bwahahhah! May I use that? :)

    • bear

      By all means, go ahead,

  • contrarian

    “Funding for this essay has been provided by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.”

    Isn’t this called burying the lede?

    At any rate, I seem to remember that the Manhattan declaration, an ‘ecumenical’ document that many neo-con Catholics helped create, didn’t say peep about the evils of contraception and divorce. The document was properly sanitized of all real reasons why anyone should be against gay marriage, save for (now suitably voluntarist) ‘religious’ ones.

    In other words, many folks at First Things seem to have jumped the shark a while ago. This recent statement by Bottom, therefore, might not necessarily be seen as a ‘flip-flipping’, but merely a logical development.

  • Newp Ort

    I am 12 so first of all, his name is bottom! ha ha!

    ok I’m actually 40. So… bottum’s piece is not terrible, but wow its long. but ultimately isn’t his whole point let ‘em have their civil marriage? he’s not calling for it to be sacramental, right?

    Mark you said in your 6/26/13 post supreme court decision piece let em have the civil trappings n all that you’re not interested in stopping them. BUT DARN IT IT’S NOT MARRIAGE IT’S PRETEND! IT’S NOT REALLY REAL MARRIAGE AAAARRRRGGHHHHH!!! #brownshirts #visigoths (ok I paraphrased)

    you guys are advocating the same thing.

    Somewhere between the wimpy bottum Casper milquetoast and the (pre apology toned) Mark Shea signature rancor, there is a way to inform the masses of marriage with love but also with truth.

    beats having an internet tough guy slapfight over who is actually pro-life

  • majorcalamity

    Of course you need to treat gay marriage in the same way you treat divorce. Disagree with both, fill the com boxes with why such things will lead to the eventual destruction of our civilization but out in the real world just watch everyone else getting on with it.

    Just like divorce and contraception, gay marriage will soon be just part of every day life. Just like divorce and contraception you won’t be forced to personally participate unless you wish to. I bet a few Catholics will though!

    • Merkn

      Actually you are now compelled to participate in gay marriage in New Mexico by court decree.

    • Imp the Vladaler

      Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, you’re forced to participate in contraception, too.

      • majorcalamity

        I am in the UK so that doesn’t apply but in any case we all have to pay taxes and cannot just opt out of those which go to pay for policies we don’t agree with.

        The point I was making that no-one has to be personally involved if they choose not to be.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          You are in the UK, your taxes through NHS already pay for abortions, your national church is *based* on the right to divorce, and any attempt to be Catholic is met with hatred and violence.

          You are already personally involved up to your neck, and you have no choice in the matter.

          • majorcalamity

            That is a really weird concept. We live in democracies and cannot “pick and mix” the policies that result. Your responsibility is to convince enough others to change the law, but until you do to accept that the law doesn’t meet your personal viewpoint.

            The law does not require anything from your personally other than that you pay your taxes. Membership of a Church is entirely voluntary.

            • TheodoreSeeber

              I am looking at renouncing my citizenship over these issues, as I can no longer fulfill these responsibilities. Paying my taxes is now to the point of forced material cooperation in evil that I can no longer reconcile with being Catholic. I’m seeing paying my taxes next year as damning me to hell.

              • HornOrSilk

                Forced material cooperation does not damn you to hell. Remote material cooperation with evil is venial at worst, and when forced, might not even be that.

              • chezami

                The Roman Empire crucified the Son of God and Paul did not renounce his citizenship but instead urged us to be good citizens.

                • TheodoreSeeber

                  I can no longer be a good citizen and a good Catholic, is what this essay means to me. I’d much rather be a good Catholic and a bad citizen.

                  • chezami

                    so who cares if Jody Bottum thinks you can’t be a good citizen and a good Catholic?

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      You apparently do, because even negatively, you’ve chosen to promote his garbage. If it was just Jody Bottum though, I would not be concerned- I’d write him off as yet another urban Catholic infected by Protestantism. But it isn’t. It is the attorney general of my state claiming that if you don’t agree with same sex marriage, you need to be re-educated. It is the federal government funding planned parenthood. It is contraception, no fault divorce, and Miley Cyrus. It is the anti-disabled literature being spread around Portland while the police not only do nothing, but kill the mentally ill when they become a problem.

                      I see NO compatibility left between Catholicism and this false liberty that Pope Leo XIII warned us about so long ago.

                    • chezami

                      Renouncing your citizenship is a pointless ceremonial gesture. Be a disciple and be a witness. That will do far more to undermine the dominant paradigm. This stuff is just flying the white flag of surrender.

                  • Adrian Johnson

                    Thomas Jefferson opined that you could be both a good citizen and a good Catholic: “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”
                    –Of course, like Sir Thomas More, Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, you will be fined, possibly lose your worldly goods, your family will suffer (perhaps not gladly) with you; and you will probably be imprisoned.
                    But what great company you will keep !

              • majorcalamity

                That is, of course, your decision to take but as I am sure you realise there will be consequences which you probably would find very uncomfortable.

                It strikes me that anyone who feels so out of touch with the values that a majority of their fellow citizens hold ought to consider changing where they live to somewhere more in line with their own attitudes.

                I really don’t know where that might be though. Everywhere raises taxes and no-one gets everything their own way.

                • TheodoreSeeber

                  There is no place left on Earth that has not been conquered by the servants of Hudge and Grudge.

                  • majorcalamity

                    There are probably a few primitive communities still left, which might suit you. Even a few fundamentalist Islamic ones but I suspect you would not be very happy with them either.

                    Surely your best option is to accept the situation and make your arguments for change. That is what we all have to do.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      Been looking for such a primitive community all of my life. There isn’t one. Not a single one left.

                      They’re not interested in arguments for change. They’re only interested in destruction and evil. Arguments, at best, are just words- they’ll vandalize and arrest and use everything they can to destroy the church. Our only hope is to outbreed them.

                    • majorcalamity

                      You really do have a persecution complex don’t you? No-one wishes to destroy, or even interfere with, your belief. All that is wanted is equal treatment for everyone, believers and non believers alike.

                      Trying to “outbreed” your way to dominance is irresponsible, selfish and bound to fail. How many of those that you “breed” are going to grow up believing as you do? The drop out rate is already very high and is only going to get higher.

                      The attitude you are displaying is a strong witness as to why Catholicism is in decline in the developed world.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      Catholicism isn’t on decline in the developed world, the numbers are rising as heterosexuals realize that homos and hippies have destroyed the family.

                    • majorcalamity

                      I don’t think there is any basis whatsoever for that claim and in making it you reveal at least some of your prejudices.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      There is a lot of basis for that claim- and it all started with the Lambeth Conference of 1929.

                    • majorcalamity

                      You are very out of date and very wrong. Don’t take my word for it. Read the Catholic News Service report from April this year:-

                      http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1301612.htm

                    • TheodoreSeeber
                    • majorcalamity

                      That report is just evidence of prejudice against homosexuals and not of anything else. Running a “wedding business” is not the same as a church wedding.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      Ok, I’m done with you. When you can’t recognize persecution for what it is, there’s no hope that you will ever understand how evil secularism has become.

                    • majorcalamity

                      I recognise true persecution very easily and in the example you referenced only homosexuals were subjected to it.

                      I am also very familiar with the assumed persecution felt by many Catholics but this is not real. It is the reaction to changed circumstances in which equality for previously disadvantaged groups is being established.

                      Secularism cannot be evil. It is a very simple principal which seeks only to separate the workings of the state from any organised religion. It is a much misused term by many Catholics. I believe in it, and I am far from an evil man. I bear no ill will to any believer because of their faith. I argue with some because of their attitudes, but that is very different.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      “I recognise true persecution very easily and in the example you referenced only homosexuals were subjected to it.”

                      Then you have some strange meaning of the word “persecution” when threats of violence don’t count.

                      “I am also very familiar with the assumed persecution felt by many Catholics but this is not real. It is the reaction to changed circumstances in which equality for previously disadvantaged groups is being established.”

                      Gays were never “disadvantaged”.

                      “Secularism cannot be evil.”

                      That is a lie.

                      “It is a very simple principal which seeks only to separate the workings of the state from any organised religion.”

                      Which in and of itself is evil.

                      ” I believe in it, and I am far from an evil man. ”

                      Then why are you fighting for evil?

                      “I bear no ill will to any believer because of their faith. ”

                      Except, of course, those evil Catholics who deserve to have their property vandalized and be killed for their opposition to homosexuality, right?

                      ” I argue with some because of their attitudes, but that is very different.”

                      You support death threats against old ladies who just want to live in peace. That’s not just arguing.

                    • majorcalamity

                      You are being ridiculous. There were no threats of violence. There were apparently some silly exchanges between people which were unfortunate but you really should not generalise as a conequence.

                      Refusing to serve equal members of our society does place them at a disadvantage.

                      Secularism cannot be evil. People can be evil. Those who support secularism and those who don’t can both be evil, but not a principal which only argues for the separation of the state from the influence of religion.

                      I would defend anyone being threatened by anyone else, whether they were a believer or not. That is fighting for good, and not evil.

                      I would no more support a death threat against old ladies than I would against a homosexual couple. Can you say the same?

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      “You are mean, rude, selfish, [expletive] racist sons of [expletive] from Hell,” one message stated. “[Expletive] your God. [Expletive] your religion.”

                      “Betty, you’re very old and almost dead,” another email read. “How do you both feel knowing that America and the world will be a better place without you?”

                      —–
                      And yes, I can say the same, and have, back when I opposed the Christian Coalition taking over the city of Klamath Falls, OR

                    • majorcalamity

                      These were very unpleasant and rude messages from ignorant individuals. They exist, but don’t speak for anyone but themselves. There is no general movement determined to marginalise religious belief, but some religious people seem determined to isolate themselves.

                      Nor was there actually any threat of violence in the comment.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      I’ve seen nothing other than unpleasant and rude messages from ignorant individuals, government, and activist groups on this issue for the past 10 years.

                      People just like you.

                      When are they going to *stop* marginalizing religious belief?

                    • majorcalamity

                      I am neither unpleasant or rude. I just don’t share your viewpoint, but we ought to be able to discuss this subject with due respect for both points of view.

                      I myself have seen the way some of those with a belief feel themselves to be persecuted. There is just no truth in it. What we are going through is a period of adjustment during which some groups, who have previously been subjected to discrimination, are having their rights recognised.

                      When new rights are being established there will inevitably be some who feel that their position has been altered against their wishes. It isn’t true. You might be losing some privileges but you are not being persecuted.

                      No-one seeks to marginalise religious belief but some who believe are marginalising themselves through their stubborn refusal to participate in the adjustments.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      I wish I still could, but every ounce of respect I once had for active homosexuality as an optional life style left me in March of 2004, when it ceased to be an optional life style and became a “YOU MUST AGREE WITH US” life style.

                      To you this is just a period of adjustment. To me, it’s the marching feet in the streets, and yes, I am very, very afraid of you and all that you stand for.

                      There was no need for new rights. Just Civil unions and persecution of assault and battery *as assault and battery*. No rights needed at all- and nobody was asking for rights, only wrongs.

                      But that’s all changed- there is no respect left in the debate. Respect went out the window a decade ago and will not be coming back. All that is left is the battle.

                      And by denying the battle exists, you are marginalising religious belief, on both sides of the battle. Not surprising, just sad.

                    • majorcalamity

                      I see no battle at all, because a battle suggests that both sides feel they might win. I see a tide flowing which cannot be stopped. I see we have a task to offer re-assurance and support but no need to fight, for the fight has been won already.

                      Any group which abuses it’s power needs to be controlled, and that applies to all, believers, non believers alike.

                      I am really sorry that you feel as you do and truly hope that, over time, you will begin not to feel so threatened, because you aren’t.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      Kind of like the fight for abortion has already been won, right? Ooops, it hasn’t.

                      And the attacks just keep mounting. Every year for the past 10 years I’ve seen more bullying from those pushing for gay marriage, and the whole ” the fight has been won already” is a major offensive in the battle. Convince enough of your enemies that you’ve already won is the main tactic.

                    • majorcalamity

                      I don’t think we will ever see abortion pushed into the unsafe back streets again. I hope to see the numbers greatly reduced through better education and social responsibilty.

                      You see bullying. I see determination. You want to fight. I won’t fight. I try to persuade and re-assure. I see good. You see evil. You are a Christian. I am not, but my actions are, I suggest, Christian like. I wish you no harm at all. Please reflect.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      I hope to see abortion eliminated entirely, and human life respected for the miracle that it is, rather than degraded.

                      We aren’t going to get there by accepting the baby boomer utter disrespect for all human life.

                    • majorcalamity

                      That though is the big mistake of the self proclaimed “pro-life” lobby. I spend half my life in a Catholic country, where no-one gets elected who doesn’t share your faith. Abortion is illegal there, but it is still widely available and frequently used. All in the back rooms.

                      This is because there is no sex education and artificial contraception is largely unavailable and unaffordable. As a result there are large numbers of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, often to women who already cannot feed their families.

                      The illegal abortions are dangerous and many women die.

                      Is this really showing respect for all human life?

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      What we need is chastity education, not sex education.

                      And I find it highly insulting to refer to any human being as “unplanned and unwanted”. We shouldn’t have rich people unless we are able to take care of everybody first. The right to life is paramount over the right to private property.

                    • majorcalamity

                      Trying to teach people to be chaste is fine. Not all, and I suspect not very many, are going to listen let alone accept. For them sex education is really necessary.

                      You might find it insulting to describe unplanned pregnancies that way, but that doesn’t change the facts. Of course we need to cherish every person, but that is different. Some pregnancies occur by accident, or through ignorance and the impact on poor families can be disastrous. We need to care for the already born every bit as much, or more, than the “unborn” and one of the best ways is to ensure that the situation is not made worse by people adding unplanned children to their families.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      Previous to 1929, all listened. It was contraception that created this situation.

                      NO, you don’t cherish every person. Like Scrooge in Dickens, you look for ways to reduce the excess population rather than care for the poor. The unplanned are not scapegoats to be killed so that you can reduce the costs of welfare. Increase the costs instead.

                    • majorcalamity

                      Without the use of contraception the world would probably have suffered many more famines and seen many more wars. The idea that we can just go on expanding our numbers is barmy.

                      Rather than be so patronising towards the poor I suggest that you ask them what they would like. I am confident that the vast majority won’t ask for more children. I have no wish to “kill the unplanned”. I just want to see that those who wish to plan, can.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      Famines and wars don’t bother me.

                    • majorcalamity

                      In an earlier post you condemned those you claimed show an “utter disrespect for all human life”.

                      Do you think that your latest quote shows that respect? I doubt that those who die in the famines and wars would think so. .

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      Famines and wars should be avoided if possible, but not at the cost of murder.

                    • Alex Guenser

                      People don’t have to agree, they have to let others be free. Just like you don’t have to agree with Jews, or interracial couples, but you have to afford them the same equality.

                      I don’t truly understand why you are afraid of gays who want the same things that straights have, when nobody is afraid of interracial couples who want what same race couples have, or Jews who want what Christians have. And I really am opposed that the fear that people have turns into actively becoming a worse opponent to gay people than gay people could be to straight people. While gay people aren’t trying to prevent straight marriages, straight people DO try to prevent gay marriages. They try to take away people’s safety,

                      There was no need for new rights – only existing rights, like equality. No need for new civil unions, just marriage which already exists. No need for anything new other than expanding hate crime laws which have existed since the 50s. By asking for equality and the same things that other oppressed groups have gotten for all people, there is nothing wrong in that. It’s all right.

                      There is plenty of respect left, although I see it becoming less and less, and I don’t see you striving for any of it. All I see is you fighting the battle against gays being themselves, against gays having the same freedoms that others have, all waging a larger war against gays than the ones you claim they wage against you.

                      And that’s why your side of the battle is having defections, because when you get to know these people you have painted as your enemy, you realize it’s not gay people fighting a war against straights. It’s gay people living alongside straights. It’s coexistence. It’s peace. And that peace is something that many who are homophobic or bigoted or hateful or just don’t agree with equality can’t stand.

                      And I this post speaks a lot – you just don’t respect gay people, for some reason. You probably respect straight people even when they do the same things, or you’ll ignore and focus on specific things you can say gay people do that straight people don’t, in order to justify your lack of respect. You’ll work backwards from not respecting them to making up reasons why.

                      And here you call it an optional lifestyle – rather than a result of child abuse, or rather than a contagious orientation. All things that conflict with each other, showing you’re probably still a little conflicted about what’s the truth – because what you’re saying is all over the board and doesn’t make sense together. Or maybe once you lost respect you no longer thought of it as an option, but now it’s a disease or result of abuse. It really just sounds like a jumble of all anti-gay rhetoric, rather than an honest attempt at finding truth.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      “People don’t have to agree, they have to let others be free. ”

                      I stopped buying that lie 10 years ago. NOTHING is left of any respect I once had for any homosexuals I once knew.

                      Your freedom is my slavery.

                    • Alex Guenser

                      My freedom is your slavery… so instead, you want to be free and have homosexuals be the slaves?

                      You couldn’t find a middle ground? Or you just don’t care, because we should be slaves and subservient? Now you’ve become what you despised?

                      What do you think people will see when they see your posts? Don’t you know they will see them as the lie, and you as the one who is not deserving of any respect?

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      Homosexuals are the slaves because their sexual orientation is disordered against their physical gender. I have nothing to do with their slavery other than to help them out of it if I can.

                      I was once for a middle ground. Elimination of civil marriage, civil unions for all, a complete separation of Church and State.

                      Since March 2004, it has been made abundantly clear that the middle ground is to be avoided at all costs.

                      I don’t care what other people think when they see my posts- why, do you?

                    • Alex Guenser

                      They aren’t disordered against their physical gender, as they both coexist perfectly fine. Sexual orientation is one thing, and physical gender is another. Just like intersex people are perfectly fine. Intersex people, transgender people, gay people – none deserve to be the slaves you want them to be, they all deserve freedom.

                      And no, I’m talking about the slavery you inflict on people by denying their rights – much more oppressive slavery than the ones you claim homosexuals impose on you by being free.

                      I want to be free and equal, and I don’t want you at all in any slavery or for your rights to be denied. But you want me in slavery and my rights to be denied because I am gay.

                      I care very much about the affect that anti-gay people have on others’ health and well-being, and their rights and freedoms. Yes, I care very much for others and will stand up to defend them while you. I guess you don’t care that your posts don’t make sense, and you don’t even believe you can convince anyone – but you continue with your anti-gay hate which pushes people away and towards equality.

                      I find it appalling that you think you ran to the anti-gay side to escape what gay people are doing, while ignoring that anti-gays have been doing it a lot longer.

                      And gays have been fighting their slavery and tyranny and terrorism for longer than March 2004, and will continue to. And anti-gays have oppressed them long before March 2004 and continue to, and now you’ve joined all that you claim you despise in gays. It makes no sense. I’m not even sure it makes sense to you.

                    • PattywithayKakeS
                    • Alex Guenser

                      Thanks, Patty, for sharing that letter. I wonder, what do you hope I get from that, or understand? Do you hope I now believe that my partner, step-son, future children and I should not have the same legal protections as other families? Do you hope I believe that discrimination against my son and my fiance is justified? Do you hope that I believe that it is dangerous for gay children to have the same freedoms as straight children?

                      I don’t think you want a discussion, or you would have posted your own points, so what is it you want other than to see me react to how a Bishop denigrates my family’s rights?

                    • PattywithayKakeS

                      Your arrogant and emotional posts tell me that no matter how logical a case against same sex marriage is, it won’t matter. So many folks (regardless of orientation) can’t see beyond their emotion and selfishness (we want what we want when we want it). It makes no difference what is truly best for themselves, children, our communities and the world.

                    • Alex Guenser

                      Why didn’t you answer my question, Patty? Was there actually anything you did want me to gather from that?

                      Arrogant? Emotional? Could you share what you perceive to be arrogant and emotional? Why are you making this a personal attack on me?

                      But I can assure you, logic does me well. Although you may post a logical case against same sex marriage, i could post a logical case against opposite sex marriage. The facts are, however, that the logical case for marriage, for same sex couples and opposite sex couples, is stronger.

                      Often people forego marriage, because marriage is about making a commitment and not being selfless for your partner and family. Marriage is truly what’s best for people, children, and communities and the world, which is why I think it’s great to encourage couples to seek commitment and marriage.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      Physical gender and sexual orientation both have a single purpose- the procreation of the species. Uses outside of that purpose are objectively disordered.

                      You will never be free and equal until such a time that you understand that purpose and embrace it. No law can make you free and equal, because your inequality doesn’t come from law and it doesn’t come from how other people treat you, it comes from your objectively disordered sexuality. It comes from within yourself, and has nothing to do with me.

                    • Alex Guenser

                      Not at all objective – that is your opinion. It is your opinion that being female and being male and being gay and being straight should all be reduced simply to procreation. It is your opinion that the only value to being female is to procreate, and the only value to being male is to procreate. It is your opinion that other traits of gender such as masculinity and femininity are “objectively disordered.” It is your opinion that marriage and relationships themselves are worthless, and only procreation is meaningful. It is your opinion that unitive sex, protected sex, sex while pregnant, or relationships with infertile people, or relationships past menopause, are “objectively disordered.” That’s not objective, that’s reductionist – to reduce humanity into sexual reproduction only.

                      I am free, and I am fighting for equality – and I understand that as a human being I am worth more than biological children. All people are worth more than that. Adoptive parents are worth more than that. Step-parents are worth more than that. Infertile people are worth more than that. They all have a meaningful existence on this planet, and you have no right to be calling them all insignificant or disordered or empty or inequal. How incredibly disrespectful anti-gays can be!

                      Laws can make me free and equal, just as they can for people with disabilities, people who are black, women, veterans, etc. The inequality exists in laws, and when those inequal laws go away, freedom and equality grow. Like when blacks could vote, or when same sex couples can marry. Inequality of blacks, women, disabilities, does not all come from “objectively disordered” anything.

                      And the reason that gay couples cannot marry has nothing to do with your opinion on what is objectively disordered, and has EVERYTHING to do with same sex marriage bans – which is why in several states now, when those bans are changed, same sex couples do marry. And all is well, that slavery is rejected, depsite your hatred.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      It is 100% objective that to create a human being you need a sperm and an egg. Two sperms won’t do, two eggs won’t do.

                      It is 100% objective that sex is for procreation. It’s so for every species on the planet.

                      It is 100% objective that only with procreation can a species continue, which puts it of primary importance above all else.

                      And it is 100% objective that you can’t be equal with a sexual orientation that denies procreation.

                      If you are worth more than just sex, isn’t your future child worth more than YOUR sexual orientation?

                    • Alex Guenser

                      You seem confused. It is 100% objective that you need a sperm and an egg to create a human being. It is 100% subjective that humanity’s only worth is for procreation.

                      It is 100% subjective that the only worthwhile acts of sex are those that lead to production. It is 100% subjective that condoms and birth control and infertile people having sex and sex past menopause and sex while pregnant are disordered and meaningless and counterproductive. It is 100% subjective that only the primary importance can ever be considered.

                      And it is 100% subjective that you can’t be equal with a sexual orientation that doesn’t allow for procreation. Infertile couples CAN be equal. Menopausal couples CAN be equal. Same sex couples CAN be equal. And they are.

                      And absolutely – my step-son and my future children are worth MORE than my sexual orientation, just as I am worth more than my parents sexual orientation.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      “It is 100% subjective that humanity’s only worth is for procreation.”

                      Has nothing to do with humanity at all, or even religion. The only true purpose of life is procreation.

                      That is as true for the smallest virus as it is for the largest multi square mile fugus, and everything in between.

                      Infertile couples are not equal. Neither are menopausal couples. Don’t you owe anything to the next generation?

                    • Alex Guenser

                      Thank you for being clear – you were not denying my equality under law, or infertile couples under law, or menopausal couples equality under law. You were not denying their humanity or worth or being at all. You were ONLY talking in the very limited scope of creating life.

                      You weren’t saying humanity’s only worth is procreation. You are saying that the existence of life only exists to create life.

                      Don’t worry, I plan to create life. I have a step-son, and want more children in the future. And yes, I owe to the next generation of my step-son and future children. In many things, not just in their life.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      And you’re going to need a prostitute to do so because of your sexual orientation.

                    • Alex Guenser

                      No, no need to find a prostitute. I have a few friends who will likely carry that don’t get paid for sex. And it’s not “because of my sexual orientation,” it’s because we can’t procreate. Two different things.

                      And that’s how I, along with other gay and straight couples who can’t or don’t procreate, get children. Others adopt unwanted children. All help raise the future generation.

                    • TheodoreSeeber
                    • Alex Guenser

                      Are you trying to make a point about my friends who have offered to be a surrogate?

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      That it is really dangerous to be a surrogate, yes.

                    • Alex Guenser

                      But that video is about egg donors, not surrogates. Do you know what a surrogate is?

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      A woman who rents a womb.

                    • Alex Guenser

                      Oh, she doesn’t actually need to rent it – no payment is required to be a surrogate.

                      So you know why surrogates aren’t egg donors, right?

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      So instead, you just turn her into a slave for your selfish gains.

                    • Alex Guenser

                      Slave? No, they’ve volunteered of their own free will. And procreation and raising a child isn’t for selfish gains, it’s quite selfless to give to the next generation.

                    • Sus_1

                      “Infertile couples are not equal. Neither are menopausal couples.”

                      Stop it. You can’t mean that. You are going to be a menopausal couple some day!

                      How you can think this is how Catholics are supposed to express themselves is beyond me.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      And when we are menopausal, we will no longer be fertile, and yes, we will no longer be equal to a fertile couple. I don’t understand why that should be such a big deal.

                    • Sus_1

                      I’m not going to get into it with you because people who make statements like this make me question why I have anything to do with religion. It makes me embarrassed that we are raising my children Catholic.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      I question whether you ARE raising your children Catholic.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      By these same standards, we’re already not equal- my brother has 4 children, I have only one.

  • http://brianniemeier.com/ Brian Niemeier

    While reading the essay at Commonweal, I was struck by the undercurrent of despair. Mr. Bottum’s appraisal of American Catholics’ dilemma can be likened to traveling with mutineers who’ve plied most of the crew with drink. The author would have the few sober crewmen join the mutiny out of a defeatist solidarity or else stand aside and let the debacle run its course. He forgets our solemn obligation to teach the truth and call sinners to repentance. These are acts of mercy. Mr. Bottum has fallen for the postmodern lie that correcting others isn’t charity but vice.

    His defection doesn’t bother me. It’s a story as old as the Rich Young Man who despaired of discipleship for the temporal costs involved. The bait in this case is worldly honor; not wealth, but the same principle applies. We can serve God or the world; not both.

  • Sygurd Jonfski

    On the very day the Church alters Her teaching on homosexuality I am leaving Her because there will be no more truth in Her.

    • Heartlander

      Don’t worry, Sygurd. It will not. Jody Bottum is NOT “the Church”. Not even your local pastor or bishop constitutes “the Church”. Throughout the Church’s history, there have been corrupt, mistaken, sinful people, even among the clergy. Keep your eye on the Magisterium — the official teachings of the Church that are declared to be binding. Even papal pronouncements are not always binding — some are, some aren’t. Popes and bishops can have their own opinions on political matters, tactics, etc., which we are not morally obligated to agree with. It is only the Church’s binding teachings on dogma and doctrine that we are obliged to follow.

      • Sygurd Jonfski

        Thanks, Heartlander. I meant the change in the Magisterium. Let’s hope it never happens.

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

      There is a difference between thinking something is perfectly okay and not seeking to fight it politically. You can make a practical prudential decision that a particular battle is not worth fighting without thereby endorsing it as a good thing. Both SS Thomas and Augustine thought prostitution couldn’t be outlawed.

      The church isn’t going to change her teaching homosexual behavior. Various members might come to the decision that it’s not worth fighting about X, Y, or Z position.

  • yan

    Actually, after having now more carefully read the essay, I don’t think Bottum is saying that he is personally in favor of same sex marriage. He is just saying that we should stop fighting the LEGALIZATION of same sex marriage. Just as almost all Catholics now say that we should not fight against the legalization of same sex acts [they are now constitutionally protected.] Is the Church fighting anywhere to make sodomy illegal? I don’t think it is. That doesn’t mean the Church is in favor of sodomy now. If the Church were to stop fighting against the LEGALITY of same sex marriage, that doesn’t mean the Church would be in favor of same sex marriage.

    I think that if we are against the legalization of same sex marriage, we should also be against the legalization of sodomy.

    And that is my position, because sodomy is too serious a sin for us to stop fighting against its being legal.

    • Imp the Vladaler

      The essay was tl;dr, but I think it comes down to this:

      If there’s a ballot measure in your state to allow SSM, what should a Catholic do? I believe that Bottum is saying that Catholics should vote in favor.

    • Heartlander

      The legalization of same-sex “marriage” will have such a catastrophic effect on our society and on ALL our relationships that we are obligated to fight against it — every bit as much as we have always been morally obligated to fight against legalized abortion. Yes, it’s true that people will find ways to have abortions anyway. But I remember life before Roe v. Wade, and I saw for myself how Roe itself changed the culture immediately, profoundly, extensively and catastrophically. The same will be true of same-sex “marriage.”

      • majorcalamity

        I expect that you will get used to it after a few years and then wonder what all the fuss was about. This is not really similar to the abortion issue at all. As an equality issue it is much more akin to racial, or gender discrimination. Such discrimination is now universally seen as wrong. So will objecting to same sex marriage.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          That’s what I thought- and then they started vandalizing the Churches and suing private businesses and I realized that we had already lost. They will not stop until every Catholic is arrested and forcibly re-educated.

          • majorcalamity

            Who are “they”? Do you mean everyone else? I think you are showing the persecution complex which some Catholics seem to have developed.

            Here in the UK there is no vandalisation of Churches. They are not well attended but we value them as historical buildings. We might no longer be a nation of church goers, and many, if not already most, people are sceptical about religion but we respect believers and don’t seek to do anything to interfere with their faith. We just expect them to reciprocate and respect those who don’t believe.

            • TheodoreSeeber

              The pro-gay people are just the most recent:
              http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/01/the-catholic-le.html

              In the UK, you had the government destroy every monastery- the evidence is still there today of the violence done against Catholicism. Don’t pretend that you value them as historical buildings, or else they would not still be in ruins 400 years later. There is no respect for religion at all in the UK, and now, not in America either.

              • majorcalamity

                History is full of mistakes we would not make today. The Catholic Church is far from immune from them. The dissolution of the monasteries was a wealth grab by King Henry V111 and not by an elected government. Many of those ruins are much valued as historical sites.

                Of course we respect religion in the UK. We just don’t believe in it any more as a nation. There is a big difference in those two things. Religion and religious people no longer dominate us, or our thinking. Some folk find this fact difficult to come to terms with.

                • TheodoreSeeber

                  If you truly respected religion in the UK today, wouldn’t step one be to *return the monasteries* to the orders from which they were stolen?

                  No, you don’t even respect religion in your nation, not at all.

                  • majorcalamity

                    I am not sure that they would be wanted now as the upkeep is pretty high, but have no objection at all to such a concept and nor I suspect would our government.

                    Religion is given all the respect it is due in our country, but your Church in particular is doing a great deal to reduce that with a constant stream of scandals.

                    • TheodoreSeeber

                      Your government has been keeping the orders from owning property for 500 years. They’re not about to change now.

                      The scandals are just more propaganda with very little truth behind them.

                    • majorcalamity

                      Untrue. The orders can and do own property. They just no longer own over 25% of the land, which they did before Henry V111 stepped in. They also kept themselves wealthy from the rents they collected from the poor peasant farmers. Many people benefited from the dissolution.

                      If you really think that all the scandals are merely propaganda then you are in denial. There is plenty of evidence being revealed and lots of other things suspected. The truth has to be faced.

            • faustinaagatha

              You expect them to keep their faith confined to their church walls.

              • majorcalamity

                No, I expect people of faith to be informed by their faith and live their lives accordingly. What I don’t expect is for them to allow their faith to interfere with anyone who doesn’t share it. Mutual respect is what is required.

                • faustinaagatha

                  Mutual respect requires that people are not coerced into violating their consciences. So no harrassment and lawsuits against people who think the gay lifestyle is sinful.

            • kirtking

              No, in the UK Catholics are banned from major public office and characterized as terrorists. Please do not forward this deceit that the UK is a tolerant society towards Catholics.

              • majorcalamity

                That comment has to be corrected as it simply isn’t true. Please identify which “major public office” that Catholics are banned from holding. Please justify the ridiculous idea that we regard them as “terrorists”. There are Catholic members of the Royal Family (Duchess of Kent) and a well known ex Prime Minister (Tony Blair).

                This is a persecution complex in full flood.

    • Mike M

      The issues aren’t the same at all. Same sex marriage isn’t illegal. It’s non-existent. With sodomy, the Courts ruled that the state can’t do anything to stop it. With same sex marriage, people are asking the state to actively promote same sex unions and to treat them as if they are actual marriages, which is quite the state power grab. The state didn’t, in the past, think that it controlled what marriage was. It wasn’t under the delusion that the human nature was legislated.

      • Alex Guenser

        It’s existent in some states, and in others it’s non existent, and the laws don’t allow for it’s legal existence. So Bottum is saying to stop fighting against creating the legal existence of marriage for same sex couples.

        With same sex marriage, people are asking the state to do the same thing they do with opposite sex marriage. It’s no more a power grab than already exists. The state does, right now, define state marriage – as it always has. If it didn’t, then same sex couples could apply and get married right now, and the state couldn’t say “well, you don’t meet the law’s definition of marriage.”

        Just like the interracial marriage struggle, when the states noted that the laws didn’t allow for marriages of interracial couples, and passed bans on interracial couples marrying.

  • SteveP

    Hmmm . . . I think an American, by which I think JB means a USA citizen, would counsel skepticism and restraint when someone claims an entitlement to tax revenue (Social Security Survivor Benefits, Veterans Survivor benefits, etc.) This stampede burdens the next working generation.
    .
    A Catholic would say: “Well, duh! Of course two men can love each other chaste and celibate manner!”

  • Imp the Vladaler

    (1) Double-malt Scotch? I’m sorry, what’s that code for?
    (2) Who needs funding to write an opinion essay?

  • RobW

    Amen.

  • Patrick
  • EdinburghEye

    It is going to be an ongoing problem, though, isn’t it? Like contraception. Fifty years after the pill was invented, the vast majority of devout, married Catholics use contraception. But officially, the Church still regards the use of condoms or the Pill as a mortal sin. So there’s this huge gap between the official doctrine of the Catholic Church and what Catholics actually believe.

    The vast majority of Americans under 25 – regardless of their faith – not only don’t regard same-sex marriage as a sin, they can’t see what all the fuss is about. In fifty years time, generations will have grown up and got married and have grandchildren and same-sex marriage will be as dead to any kind of outrage as a married woman being on the Pill.

    While I agree Jody Bottum’s piece is rambling (and half-hearted) he’s got hold of one valid point. The ban on same-sex marriage is lifted, and the people opposing the freedom to marry look like the bad guys. Standing up and promising to be the bad guys in perpetuity in order to vasten the gap between “What the Church teaches” and “What Catholics actually believe” does seem a tad pointless.


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