It’s a consolation, after last week…

It’s a consolation, after last week… May 10, 2012

…to find that in my comboxes I am out of my new and unaccustomed role as Horrible Apostate Defender of Homosex for the crime of admiring a chaste gay man and not feeling bound to pry into his private life (favorite combox comment so far calls for subjecting me to a “canonical trial”, declares “I am going to work to expose you as the fraudulent ‘orthodox apologist’ you are” followed by that classic of Christian passive aggression: “I’m praying for you” spoken through gritted teeth and eyes glittering with malice) and back in my normal role as Horrible Oppressor of Homosexuals because I fail to capitulate to the meme that in thirty years any Catholic who believes marriage is between one man and one woman for life will be regarded with the same contempt as a Mississippi racist and the Church will totally capitulate. You know, the way the Church has totally capitulated on abortion, contraception, Arianism, sola scriptura…


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  • Jason

    We work where God has placed us.

  • thomas tucker

    I’m not sure. Are congratulations in order?
    Of course, we do know that when you are reviled for His sake, your reward will be great in Heaven.
    So, yes, congratulations are in order.
    Congratulations, Mark!

  • ivan_the_mad


  • Chris

    I’m frankly beyond the point of dismay re: SSM. It doesn’t even seem worth trying to explain to people why there can never be any such thing as “gay” marriage – whether they call it that or not. Search “gay marriage Catholic” on the Twitterverse if you think there’s any hope of reaching these individuals. It’s truly Satanic. Meanwhile, I guess I’ll say my prayers and watch the fireworks as all of this moon-landing, “giant leap” for evil filters its way through our culture.

    Anyway, keep up the good work, Mark.

    • John C

      Agree completely. Let the heathen rage. All we have is the vote. Let’s retire Obama. It will be a step in the right direction.

  • Ben the Atheist

    Yes, full equality and justice will win out in the end, Mark, just like it did with racial integration and the abolition of slavery. Religion, being that it is often used to uphold unjust power hierarchies will of course kick and scream but LGBT equality is coming to the United States, and if you believe in freedom and equality under the law you should be glad.

    • The reason the state has “skin in the game” with regards to marriage is that stable marriages are the best environment for the next generation of citizens to grow up. The state has privileged marriage in tax laws, etc. for that reason. Now, the state has already shot itself in the foot in that regard by recognizing no fault, easy divorce. By recognizing as a marriage, a union which cannot possibly result in children, the state will shoot itself in the other foot.

      In general I recognize that the state has a vested interest in marriage, but when the state loses sight of the reasons for it, I think it would be better for now if the state got out of the marriage “business” entirely and left it to the churches.

      • Marcus

        That’s one thing I still can’t quite understand; why Caesar is in the business of officially recognizing marriage. For legal purposes, I’m all for two people entering into an agreement where, under the law, one has rights to the other’s property, access to them in the hospital, etc. It would seem that could be done for married couples, gay couples, and even two people (regardless of gender) who are not romantically involved. Why does the government insist that the only way they will recognize such an arrangement is if there’s a sexual relationship at least implied? I think I can guess at the answer. Because sex (hetero that is) leads to babies, and Caesar needs babies if he wants his state to continue to grow and prosper.

        • S. Murphy

          Caesar (Augustus) at one point provided some kind of honor and financial incentive (iirc) for mothers of at least 3.

        • Jamie R

          Two people, or more, can enter into such agreements. Nothing stops any number of people from holding their property jointly with a right of survivorship, sign leases together, giving folks power of attorney, etc. There’s no question of whether the state will recognize such a relationship. The problem is whether the state should incentivize such a relationship, as they do marriage in some respects. And yes, it is precisely because babies are essential to the continued well-being of the state. In fact, the protection of the family is the sole reason the state exists, and the government, as such, developed out of the family. Not only is marriage one of Caesar’s proper duties, it is the sine qua non of Caesar. On the other hand, Caesar has already abdicated his duty here. The horse is already out of the barn. I would happily trade gay marriage to get rid of no-fault divorce or restore the heartbalm torts.

        • Telemachus


          It took me a while to understand this also, especially since I am normally very hostile towards state involvement in just about anything in civil society. But let me try to give you a succinct explanation of why Catholics should support recognition of marriages by the state.

          To start, we have to accept that we will always live in some sort of community which is ruled by a civil power, i.e. the state. Even if we were living in an anarchist utopia, we’d still be ruled by somebody. It’s just the nature of things.

          If we accept this, it is necessary that the state not intrude upon institutions that precede it: family, marriage, the Church, private property, etc. The trouble is, it is a constant temptation for the state to interfere with these institutions. Thus, it must be forced to respect them and keep its nose out of them unless there is some need for intervention that is relevant to the common good of those who are ruled by the state.

          What I’m getting at is this: we’re only secondarily asking the state to “support” marriages for the sake of the common good; primarily, we are demanding that the state recognize marriages as something that it should keep its hands off of. For this to be achieved, some form of official recognition is necessary from the state for the sake of drawing a boundary: “This is our marriage, this is our house, these are our children, this is the manner in which we will raise them… stay out!”

          Recognition of homosexual “marriage” — and no-fault divorce, for that matter — is a threat to real marriage because it breaks down the meaning of marriage to the point where it can’t be clearly recognized by the state anymore. With this achieved, no marriage is safe, nor are the children which are the result of the marriage. (We’re already seeing efforts on many fronts to define various characteristics of adulthood down to younger and younger ages, presumably to protect the child, but which will have the effect of making almost every aspect of a child’s parenting the business of the state.)

          God bless,

          • BenM.

            I think what we are forgetting here is that you can have babies and families *without* marriage. The arguments for the state having an interest in marriage are pretty weak, since it’s been proven time and time again that families can be raised without a piece of paper validating the relationship.

      • kenneth

        The state has never been in the marriage business. It has been in the civil union business, and that’s what it should be called for hetero or gay couples. The state administers no sacrament. That’s for religious groups to do.

    • Mark H.

      Slavery and racial discrimination were clearly a violation of civil rights. A distinct group of people were denied rights that the rest of the population possessed. The same with the womens suffrage movement other instances where a distinct group was denied equal rights.
      Homosexuals in this country are not denied the right to marry. The same rights and restrictions apply to them as to any other citizen who wants marry. One of those restrictions is that the partner in marriage must be of the opposite sex. I understand that their own sexual inclinations make that unrealistic, and I’m sorry, but how many other situations could invite the same argument? Why not bigamy, or polygamy? Why not other attractions?
      This is an issue that doesn’t have any easy answers. People should have the right to make legal and financial agreements regarding property, visitation rights, end of life issues, and inheritance with whoever they want. There should be ways to do that without redefining an institution that serves a unique purpose and has been with us for thousands of years.

  • Therese Z

    And when the parentage of the children in those “marriages” gets more twisted, and more children are denied the knowledge of their actual mother and father, and start to act out all the psychological damage coming from that deberate denial of their biological parents by their two dads or moms, then you get right back to us and tell us how much better that makes society. Just think! A generation of children who are taught to think that a man is merely a sperm donor, or a mother is someone who will carry a child with as little emotion as carrying her purse.

    Don’t you understand? Marriage is about the family created from the union, not the feelings of the two adults involved.

    • Exactly, Therese…you’ve said from another perspective, what I was trying to say above.

  • Mark H.

    I believe this is why they’re called “The Culture Wars” instead of “The Culture Discussions”.
    Hang in there. If you didn’t have anyone mad at you, you probably wouldn’t be doing your job. Sometimes it’s hard to hear the truth, especially if it’s not the truth we want to believe.
    There’s a quote (I think from Chesterton, but I’m not sure), but in essence it’s this: “You haven’t really won an argument until you’ve converted your opponent to your side. ” So we should try to stay patient, and respectful, and live so that our actions speak louder than our words.
    And don’t take comboxes too seriously 😉

  • Chad Myers

    No one expects the Combox Inquisition

    • nick

      You’ve got the wrong man. I spell my name Danger!

    • Our chief weapons are fear, surprise, and a fanatical devotion to spending time online.

  • I’m confused. . .are you fer it or aginit?

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP (standing by with matches)

    • Mark Shea

      Yes. And no.

      • Alfredo Escalona

        For such an answer, rapid combustion might violate the principle of proportionality.
        Perhaps a slow oxidation…. Oh, wait! He already runs his own blog!
        The problem is self-correcting.
        Never mind. :(D

      • Better watch out, Mark, he’s a Dominican, just like Torquemada. 😉

    • If by SSM, you mean the insidious drive to undermine and disintegrate our families and make us all wards of the omnipotent state, I am against it!

      If by SSM, you mean a gesture to afford a crumb of comfort to couples whose deepest longing and affection has been denied by a society which treats them as less than human, then I am for it!

      That is my position, and I will not waver or compromise!


  • ds

    Mark, I am going to work to expose you as the genuine orthodox apologist you are.

  • CK

    “favorite combox comment so far calls for subjecting me to a “canonical trial”, declares “I am going to work to expose you as the fraudulent ‘orthodox apologist’ you are” followed by that classic of Christian passive aggression”

    Reminds me of this classic from Mel Brooks.

    “we know you’re wishing that we’d go away”

  • Rade Hagedorn

    Mr. Shea

    You might enjoy this article from an Orthodox Christian priest. He has received some f the same criticisms that you have — though fewer so perhaps he is not as widely followed.

  • Things are either black or white, Mark. You are either in favor of the entire homosexual agenda and all its manifestations and implications, or condemn every single aspect of it in its entirety.

    This is the internets. It won’t do to draw all these distinctions. I suspect a Jesuit got to you at some point in your past, for you have forgotten that true Web reasoning is more akin to, “Hulk Smash!” I mean, has anyone ever defeated the Hulk?

  • Jeff

    I’m fighting this fight currently on fb. I am just trying to get my lib friends to understand that the point of view against “gay marriage” is not about hate but religious beliefs. They seem to consider me a neanderthal about the whole thing. Fine. But they will be forced in the future to put a face to the people they demonize. Maybe it will help at some point…

    • Ben the Atheist

      No, it’s about religion (once again) supporting and entrenching hateful beliefs and unjust power hierarchies.

      • Mark Shea

        “I believe your definition of marriage is specious and an ontological impossibility” does not mean “I hate you”. It means “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

        • Ben the Atheist

          You’re just engage in discrimination and othering of people different from yourself when you do that.

          • Mark Shea

            Othering? No. I engage in defining marriage as it’s been defined. You can pretend that marriage is something else if you like, but that will not make it what you wish it were. If homosexuals wish to do whatever it is they do, I’m not stopping them. I’m simply refusing to pretend that what they are doing is a marriage.

            • Ben the Atheist

              In your opinion, it’s not a marriage, according to your faith tradition. But that’s a different matter from how the law will treat it.

              Just like the Aryan Nation can still believe that an interracial marriage is not a marriage, but their opinion means squat in the eyes of the government and the law.

              • Mark Shea

                And the Church. There is nothing essential to marriage in skin color or ethnicity and never was. There is something essential to marriage in the complementarity of the sexes and in the getting and rearinbg of children.

                • kenneth

                  Problem is, there “was” something essential to marriage in skin color and ethnicity for many hundreds of years in Western Christendom, and among a majority of religious authorities and adherents in this country. A “mixing of the races” was seen as an abomination before God and a thumb in the eye of His plan for all of us. It’s easy to just fob that off by saying “well, those people were just in error.” But you’ll appreciate why a source of authority that can get something THAT wrong for that long won’t get a presumption of credibility when they turn around and say “well, this time we know we got it right.”

                  • Mark Shea

                    In some forms of American Protestantism, not “western Christendom”. Having a Magisterium is really handy.

              • EBS

                A married man and a woman having sex will make a child.
                A “married” man and a man can’t make a child.
                A “married” woman and a woman can’t make a child.
                Sorry, there will always be that one thing homosexuals can’t do, even if they really really tried. Even if the re-organized the dictionary meaning of words, changed all the laws, engineered new life forms, got Obama to “evolve” his thinking ( that’s an oxymoron).

                So, homosexual couples I say to you…


                • kenneth

                  This argument says that the state’s citizens are its breed stock and that legal marriage is or should be conditioned upon the potential and good faith effort to procreate. I’ll buy that as an argument if and when the “save marriage” movement works to ban marriage for heterosexual couples who refuse to breed. Lots of young people undergo sterilization procedures that render them no more likely to procreate than two men, and yet no one gives them any flak about getting married.

                  • EBS

                    If you choose to be sterilized, then that’s your choice and su your marriage is fruitless. If you can’t have children, but try at least your biology is right but you can’t have children- not your fault nor is it disordered or apposed to nature- you just can’t have kids.

                    But….to say that having kids makes you a breeder for the state is both cold and vulgar- and you obviously show you are stating an opinion on something you have not experienced, and you don’t have children yourself. Children are for many reasons including keeping humankind going, but not just for that. Humankind is beautiful and ordered in nature, and if you believe in God, he created you and I in his own likeness and image. Destined to be with him when our life expires here on earth. This is something beautiful.

                    Children are not sperms and eggs in test tubes, or donor eggs to gay couples who feel a deep-seated void in their heart. Their sexual act will never produce a child- which was my initial point about natural biology and nature.

                    So go change the laws and redefine marriage. It won’t change this simple and crucial fact.

                    That’s why the homosexual community will scream as loud as it wants for as long as it wants- it will never have that equality with heterosexual unions, because it will always have missing the fact that their love cannot bear new life!!!!!

                    I’m sorry people like Mark have to cop flack for stating the facts, and generally using his commonsense. The world has gone gaagaa indeed.

          • Andy, Bad Person

            If “disagreeing with you” = “hate,” you must have a lot of enemies.

            • Mark Shea

              Patriotism is the last refuge of a right wing scoundrel. “Hate” is the first refuge of a left wing scoundrel. The Left, even more than the right, loves manichaean division of the human race into the Children of light and the children of darkness.

          • Mark Shea

            By the way, Ben, regardin the Church repudiation of its teaching on usury:

            Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:

            341. Although the quest for equitable profit is acceptable in economic and financial activity, recourse to usury is to be morally condemned: “Those whose usurious and avaricious dealings lead to the hunger and death of their brethren in the human family indirectly commit homicide, which is imputable to them”.[714] This condemnation extends also to international economic relations, especially with regard to the situation in less advanced countries, which must never be made to suffer “abusive if not usurious financial systems”.[715] More recently, the Magisterium used strong and clear words against this practice, which is still tragically widespread, describing usury as “a scourge that is also a reality in our time and that has a stranglehold on many peoples’ lives”.[716]

            • Ben the Atheist

              Boy, you better hope you don’t have a mortgage then! Or even a car loan. Or student loans.

              QED. This is one Church teaching nobody follows anymore. The same thing will happen with prohibitions on homosexuality. Whens the last time you heard a sermon against taking out a mortgage?

              • Jamie R

                Taking out a mortgage or a student loan is usury in the same way that getting shot is like committing murder. Not at all.

              • Mark Shea

                Scratch an atheist, find a fundamentalist. I also don’t believe the world was made in six days and yet do believe God is creator.

            • kenneth

              Here’s the rub: It’s all fine and well to come out against something in an encyclical or position statement. It’s quite another to do something about it. The Church and its allies have amassed staggering resources into fighting gay marriage. Hundreds of millions of dollars, ceaseless lobbying etc. It’s topic number one or two virtually anytime a bishop opens their mouth in public these days.

              How much have any of them done about usury? I’m not talking about strict interpretations of ancient law about the existence of interest. I’m talking about the enormous payday loan industry and others which aggressively strip mine the last pennies from our society’s wretched poor. If the Church is doing anything even half proportionate to it’s Gay Marriage D-Day invasion, they’re keeping it an awfully good secret. I have no doubt some priests or bishop or individual Catholic has testified or written a letter on this bill or that, but how many politicians have been threatened with excommunication for failing to fight usury? How many public uproars have their been against guest speakers or other prominent people who are profiting from this industry? It’s a very safe bet that at least some of these businessmen are practicing Catholics, and probably pretty prominent within their own Church circles.

              • Mark Shea

                Translation: The racism canard is crap, so I’m changing the subject to “I will complain because a Church with limited resources is picking its battles.”

                • kenneth

                  It’s just a matter of consistency I think. If the whole anti-gay marriage thing really is about just following the commands of one’s faith and deity, and not just gut-level homophobia, the sum of actions flowing from those beliefs ought to reflect that in some measure. At the risk of indulging in what looks like Sola Scriptura over-simplification, I think it’s safe to say that anyone reading the New Testament for the first time would conclude that 90% of Jesus’ ministry in action and word boiled down to “don’t screw the vulnerable, you have a duty to them.” The Church position on gays is considerably more speculative by comparison. There is simply no wiggle room at all on the question of whether it’s even remotely OK to take wild advantage of poverty. Accordingly, it’s reasonable to expect that the Church would focus its primary effort and urgency on the “poverty thing” and considerably less on culture war politics regarding homosexuality.

                  • Kenneth,

                    If you have a Vitamin B12 deficiency, prostate cancer, and are having a heart attack will you complain that the ER physician ONLY treated your myocardial infarction when he should have given you a B12 shot and irradiated your prostate too?

                    “Gay marriage” is the most immediate threat right now, just like the acute MI in my analogy above.

                    • kenneth

                      Jesus seemed to think the whole poverty problem and “least of these” was in fact the acute MI. If it’s not, he frittered away his short time and did a lot of suffering for naught.

                    • Rosemarie


                      The Church is still taking care of the poor, that hasn’t stopped. And no, He didn’t suffer for nothing.

          • Telemachus

            @ Ben,

            Your blanket denunciations may work for getting hoots n’ hollers out of your fellow infidels, but you do realize that you are not actually making reasoned arguments, right? That you’re just acting the demagogue?

            Let me try demagoguing for a little bit: YOU, Ben, feel justified in writing at us in this way because you’ve already de-humanized us in your mind, deciding that we are not people who can be reasoned with because “no reasonable person could believe what they believe.” All the while, you show no evidence that you even know what we believe or why we believe it… because you don’t care enough to actually inquire.

            What’s the alternative, Ben? The firing squad perhaps? Watch the person you become in the next 10 or 20 years, mister.

            God bless,

            PS: (Just for kicks, you could start by telling us why it is so important to you that homosexual relationships be recognized and encouraged by the state, Ben. What is the fundamental, absolute morality that drives you in your denunciations? Why is it better than our fundamental, absolute morality? Why should we care? Because you’re more “enlightened” than us?)

            • Ben the Atheist

              Firing squad? No, just public scorn and disgust for your view in the coming generations. Just like how the Klan is treated now. They can still have their rallies and scream and shout their racist views, but they’re a kook fringe. You’ll have the same privilege.

              • BenM.

                BenTheAtheist likes to compare the gay marriage argument to slavery and the Civil Rights movement….That’s cool. Just remember that the Catholic Church was on the right side of history in regards to those issues.

              • EBS

                Wow, lots of love from you Ben. Way to go with the civil debate.

                You’ve become one of “us”. A bigot with blinkers on. Watch out, you’ll be singing kumba ya soon, and reciting the Our Father. Wahhaaa (enter scary music).

              • Telemachus


                No, firing squad. Given the complete lack of perspective that you show in all of your comments, you are incapable of differentiating amongst peoples’ views in a rational manner, based on rational criteria.

                You seem to have two categories for people: “people whose views I like” and “people whose views I don’t like.” How you categorize people is most likely based on emotion and a handful of convenient “facts.” This is classic “Us vs. Them”-type thinking: everyone that falls into the former is lumped into a big group, everyone that falls into the latter is lumped into a big group. If you encounter a person who you’ve placed in the “Them” group, you don’t interact with him as if he were a real person. Rather, you interact with the construction in your head.

                Thus, you talk to us as if we were racists, sexists, “homophobes” (not sure what that is, actually), etc., even though there is no qualitative commonality between our views of homosexual acts and, say, a racist’s views of other races. But you have no corrective mechanism for your error in thinking, because you won’t critically analyze the real views of the people in your “Them” category.

                This is characteristic of anti-intellectualism, which was also characteristic of fascist and communist regimes the world-round. You are an ideologue. You are a passionate reactionary. Who knows what you might become in the future. Firing squads. QED.

                But even you can be converted.

                God bless,

              • How can you call the random collision of particles “bigoted”? Particles are just flying from the Big Bang billions of years ago. And we are all just random particles from the Big Bang. There is no right or wrong or tolerant or bigoted- they are all just word games. Right? You can’t get ought from is.

  • John

    Exactly Mark. It’s all about the re-definition of words; who gets to do it and how? Can any individual or minority re-define a word of public and legal importance and enforce this new definition on the rest of the citizenry via the power of the state courts (vs. persusion and legislatures) and if so, then why couldn’t another group re-define other words, like “cruel and unusual” or “reasonable” (searches and seizures) or indeed ‘torture’?

    Once the principle of re-definition of words by the absolute minority is established, there can be no limiting principle other than brute power (you and whose army).

    But on the other hand, if words are re-defined by convention, by the power of public persuasion over time and not imposed from above via courts and the police… we wouldn’t be facing the drives for constitutional amendments that we are. If those in favor of a new definition of marriage trusted in their “it’s inevitable” or “resistance is futile, we’re the wave of the future” rhetoric, they’d not be pushing the win through the courts angle like they are.

    As it is, I think eventually we’ll have 40 states with amended constitutions…. SCOTUS may spit on the issue, prompting a 2016 drive for a US Constitutional amendment…. and if that passes, either way we’ll be facing culture wars for the rest of our lives.

    • Mark Shea

      We already face culture wars for the rest of our lives.

  • Mark, if it is any comfort, I am for your position. Dante, that most Catholic of all Catholic poets, put Sodomites in purgatory, suffering the last, and perhaps least of the purification for the sin of lust: if I am any judge of character, such men will be in heaven before me, along with prostitutes and taxgatherers.
    This does not mean prostitution, or, for that matter, tax gathering, is not a sin.
    The culture war cannot end in a libertarian draw, for the simple reason that Caesar cannot, and, indeed, should not, fail to decide who gets the children after a divorce or who gets the inheritance after death. Take my word as a lawyer: it is IMPOSSIBLE to treat marriage as a private contract in a court of law for the simple reason that other contracts do not create infant children, creatures both possessed of rights and incompetent to sign contracts. When you sell a car, a baby does not pop out into the world.

    • Mark Shea

      He put penitent sodomites in purgatory. He put impenitent sodomites in hell with, interestingly, usurers. But yeah, I regard sodomy as a sin, not a crime. It’s just that I regard marriage as marriage, and not as whatever malleable thing Humpty Dumpty pretends it is. And yes, marriage is ordered toward the getting and nurturing of children, not toward the narcissistic need of gays to feel affirmed in their okayness. Homosexuality is deeply narcissistic. That’s what drives a lot of this.

      • Agreed.

        Well, anyone who is not against Usury as fiercely as he is against Sodomy cannot really call himself a good Catholic, can he?

        But, even so, it is the impenitence, not the sin, which kills the soul. I am much more disgusted with my well meaning Leftist friends who want the sexually mis-oriented folk to sin and TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT, than I am with any sinners who sins are not as black as mine.

        I suffer from pride and wrath, the crown and scepter of sin. They suffer from lust, which is love disordered, and even in a disordered state retains an echo of the holy dignity of love. So it the well meaning Leftist friends who are in the greater danger of the hellfire, if I am reading my theology aright (not to mention my poetry).


    • Telemachus

      QFE @ John. This is one of the things that started turning me away from substantial libertarianism (as opposed to mere small / minimal government conservatism).

    • Dan C

      I am awaiting the degree of animus directed against divorce as gay marriage. Considering two such issues in the same post clearly confused many faithful conservative Catholics, running to the defense of the multiply divorced Rush Limbaugh. I maintain his example is expotential orders of magnitude more threatening to mine and everyone’s marriage than gay marriage. Divorce’s threat is direct in its example and exercise both by prominent men and women and our family and friends.

      I think poverty is a far greater threat to marriage than gay marriage too. I note the statistics on marriage and divorce over the past 50 years and see that the poor have borne divorce and its consequences most harshly. The poor don’t even marry anymore. Having a certain “means” and income level correlates with likelihood of maintaining a marriage.

      Considering these two monstrously large threats to marriage, gay marriage is but a minor distraction.

      • “I am awaiting the degree of animus directed against divorce as gay marriage. ”
        Wait no longer. I cannot speak for others, but MY animus is entirely against no fault divorce, so much so that I have none to spare against gay so-called marriage. The society would not even be discussing the issue, would hardly be able to imagine the issue, of h0mosexual mating sacraments if the Christians had not enthusiastically desecrated the sacrament, reduced sex to the level of a mere sporting event or past time. If it merely a sport, and not a sacrament, the homosexuals have a perfect right to ask to be included, and the divorce cult has no argument to utter to deny them.

      • My animus is against contraception. It feeds both abortion and sexual license. It arguably creates poverty (rather than prevent it). It is at the heart of the current beast we face.

        Humanae Vitae was right. Humanae Vitae is right. Humanae Vitae will still be right.

        Teaching people to love correctly is a kindness.

        • Can I have an animus against contraception, no fault divorce, AND gay marriage? I hope so, because I do. I agree with Bob about the roots of it all, though. Contraception came first.

          • Sure, I can have an animus against all them, but I’m not going to pretend that the Rubicon crossing is the issue of gay marriage. If anything could be analogous to Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon, it was the issue of contraception. When Christendom finally realizes the magnitude of that defeat, we might actually begin to have some successes in the culture wars. There is no other defensible position except one that clearly announces that contraception is immortal and opposed to Natural Law.

      • Read my comment above about the E.R.

  • Fawning media

    Obama says its good. So let it be written – so let it be done. Also, TIME scribes that it is a gay right – so right it must be. All hail the new truth.

  • Ben the Atheist

    The Catholic Church did say something against slavery–in the 1880s, I believe. When all civilized people had already turned against it. Not exactly a profile in courage. And its record before then isn’t very good–remember it was Catholic Portugal and Spain that introduced African slavery to the West.

    • Mark Shea

      For the non-cartoon version of history, go here: Note that slavery dies out in the high Middle Ages and returns with the rise of the nation-state.

      • kenneth

        The Church openly and repeatedly sanctioned slavery in several circumstances and time periods. It was part of the Doctrine of Discovery in the Americas, and it was sanctioned within Rome itself in one or two papal bulls. The link you provided shows the African slave trade/Church connection had its complexities, but the apologetics response to it basically says the popes endorsed an evil, but only because, you know, it was for a really good reason at the time. If that isn’t raging moral relativism, I don’t know what is. Yet we’re then told that racial civil rights and gay civil rights are nothing alike and that we should accept without question the Church’s verdict on what “real” natural rights are all about, because they’re without error in these matters.

    • BenM.

      Ya might want to do a bit more research there, buddy.
      in *1431* Pope Eugene spoke against slavery:

      This was hardly during a time “when all civilized people had already turned against it.”

      • Mark Shea

        Also Bartolme de las Casas is a huge figure in the development of the concept of rights. But that doesn’t fit the cartoon.

    • BenM.

      Spain and Portugal != The Catholic Church.

    • EBS

      If that is true, and I doubt it is, but for arguments sake say it is- if there is no demand then there will be no supply! So, was it Catholics who were buying them in the West too Ben the Athiest oh scholar of history!?

      By the way, it is a great insult to the Civil Rights Movement and the struggle that they bore for many years, to compare their struggle with a section of society that are fighting for the right to sodomize and be accepted and even raised for it. It’s disgusts me to see Obama, a black man, compare or even liken the two. A narcissistic President standing for a narcissistic generation. Disordered thinking breeds a disordered society.

  • Wow, after reading a growing number of comments, I never realized that gay marriage was no big deal after all. Funny how things can change. I used to point out that gay marriage was not the biggest problem in the world. But I still thought it was a problem. Shows what I know. Guess it’s time to move on. I’ll let my boys know.

  • Telemachus

    To all here assembled,

    I think Ben the Atheist… might be a web-bot. That is why he doesn’t actually engage arguments, but simply spews vitriolic one-liners. I think how it works is like this:

    – when you write a response, it is parsed by the BtA web-bot for keywords
    – the keywords are sorted based on a grading-scale which is periodically updated by the programmer of the web-bot, who is most likely at this moment watching Agora and eating Cheetos
    – the top-most keyword is used to look up sentences in a database of possible responses
    – from the list of responses, one is chosen through the use of a random number generator
    – the chosen response is then posted.

    I know, I know, I was fooled too.

    God bless,

  • Matt Bowman

    I am late to this discussion, but I think the discomfort that people had about Mark’s comments regarding Perry Lorenzo (I’m not talking about the people who attacked Mark, just the reasonable questioning people) was that typically the public affirmation of “g*y” [having problems with spam filter] status includes an affirmation that the same-sex attraction itself is an orderly, not a disorderly, thing. Take for example a Catholic high school that lets g*y students bring g*y dates to prom and praises the students publicly to the rest of the school for the tolerance and diversity of welcoming the student as one who is openly g*y, and for welcoming other students who are openly lesb**n, g*y, bis***l or tr**sg**der.
    Well, there’s nothing inherently wrong in being open about one’s attractions. But there is something wrong in suggesting that the attraction is part of the legitimate, needs-to-be-tolerated diversity of human inclinations. Would such a high school be suggesting it explicitly? Not necessarily. But is it reasonable for a Catholic to be uncomfortable with the implications of that statement? I think so. We don’t celebrate being openly avaricious, even if it the person does not take unjust gain from others. Would we want our children to go to a high school that fits this description? Maybe the prom dates and “open” others are not having impure contact, and it’s none of our business to find out for sure if they are. I don’t think that takes away the concern from a Catholic’s perspective about the message being sent. I am not saying these facts all adhered to the Perry Lorenzo situation, but there are common themes.