Occupy the Family

Occupy the Family May 14, 2012

Kevin O’Brien make a very sound point:

Occupy Wall Street and related groups were indignant, and rightly so, that the wealthiest one percent of the population seems to control the government.

We would all agree that in a democratic republic, policy that affects every American should not be set by an elite, particularly if that elite is only one percent of the people.

But what if that elite is only half that size?

The (un-“occupied”) Wall Street Journal reports that, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, about five of every one thousand households is a “same sex couple” household – which, apprently means not just “room mates” but sodomites and Lesbians living together as a kind of “family”.

And so, even with “gay marriage” legal in many states, and with homosexual cohabitation legal in all states, only about point-five percent of households in this country are “same sex couples”. Whence, then, comes this tremendous political push to cater to the whims of one half of one percent of the U.S. population?

The only conclusion that we can draw from this is that “gay marriage” is a contrived issue, politically speaking. It is the “One half of one percent” trying to bully the rest of us.

There is something fevered and deranged about the strange push of our elite to radically redefine something as utterly foundational as the family because of a stampede on behalf of one half of one percent of the population. There is also something crazy about the fact that it is consistently achieved entirely through the machinations of elites, either in courts or among our ruling class, while the 31 times it has been put to an actual democratic vote it has been defeated every time.

It is not just atheistic communism that is the mortal enemy of the family. Our post-Christian culture, dominated by a slightly different form of materialist atheism is likewise a powerful corrosive to family bonds and as contemptuous of democratic rule and destructive of ordinary human culture as the revolutionary elitists of the Soviets. It’s just a different elite.

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  • rd

    rod dreher recently wrote for the bbc that he believes the fight against ‘same-sex marriage’ is a lost cause, since the minds of younger people have been so shaped by the elite-controlled mainstream media that soon the majority opinion will inevitably sway in support of ‘same-sex marriage.’

    rod dreher’s piece: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18015135

    • Amy P.

      Which makes no sense, as gay marriage initiatives on state ballots have now gone 0-32 with North Carolina’s recent vote.

      As much as people say the “only ones” voting for this initiative are little old blue-haired bigoted grannies, the reality is that can’t be mathemantically possible.

      Gay marriage initiatives lost even in deeply blue states like Wisconsin and California. There is a far more diverse demographic voting for traditional marriage than the critics will ever acknowledge.

      • kenneth

        Of course it’s mathematically possible. The national polls show that a slight majority of people favor same sex marriage. It’s a narrow majority, and it’s not equally distributed. Bible Belt areas like NC will of course be expected to have disproportionate numbers of those against SSM. Much of it also has to do with organization and motivation. Social conservatives, to their credit and everyone else’s consternation, are highly motivated and politically savvy. They vote, and they know how to rally their folks. In elections that get maybe 20% general turnout, they’ll bring out 90% or more of their foot soldiers, the voters. None of this is surprising at all. The forces are right now roughly evenly matched, and those who feel they have the most to loose are fighting their best. Longer term though, the writing is on the wall. Most of those people vehemently opposed to SSM are in the AARP age bracket or rapidly running up on it. The overwhelming majority of those 30 or 35 and younger are for SSM. It’s just simply a non-issue for them. Those fighting SSM now are not getting younger, and they’re not going to be replaced by any significant number of younger people who will be the engaged voters and politicians of the coming decades.

        • Kenneth, your numbers are imaginary.

          The American reports regarding the recent North Carolina referendum, “In fact, even if nobody over age 45 had voted Tuesday, the amendment still would have passed by around 8 percentage points, according to the adjusted data above.” The data shows that young voters are only about 13% more likely to support “gay marriage” than older voters, that young voters become more conservative as they age, and that African Americans are much more opposed to “gay marriage” than white voters. With minorities such as Latinos (who tend to be Catholic) and Muslims becoming a larger share of the U.S. population in the future, “gay marriage” shows no chance of becoming the law of the land – if the voters continue to have a say.

          The article I refer to, which looks at the numbers closely, is something you should read, Kenneth (see the link below). I know your main argument is that “gay marriage” is a civil rights issue that should not be decided by vote, but when you refer to popular support of it, you are entirely wrong.


          • kenneth

            I’ll be the first to admit that all of these projections, including mine, are speculation,and will be speculation until events actually unfold. I happen to believe my own projections are reasonably sound, though based on assumptions of future behaviors which could change. My view is also shared by a significant number of those opposed to SSM. Only time will tell. At the end of any experiment, data talks and everything else walks. One of the things that keeps me intellectually stimulated and motivated to keep living is just the curiosity to see what’s really around the next bend in the road. Whether I’m right or wrong, I’m guaranteed to see some interesting times.

    • ivan_the_mad

      rd is recommending a piece by Rod Dreher? … rd? Rod Dreher? IT’S A CONSPIRACY!

    • kenneth

      The fight against SSM is a lost cause not because of some grand elite media conspiracy but because ordinary gay people were smart enough to confront the rest of us with their ordinary humanity. For centuries, people believed what they were told, that gays were monsters. Seedy, deranged predators who lurked in park bushes and public restrooms and rough bars. Finally the gays got up the courage to stand in the light and ordinary folk had the courage to look for themselves and judge for themselves. They saw that the “monster” was not so different from themselves. The “monster” was in fact their best friend, or work mate, or nephew or daughter, and they weren’t such bad people, at least no more so than the hetero folk they knew. SSM is prevailing for the simple reason that people had the courage to think and see for themselves. That habit and action of thinking for oneself terrifies religious authority and the forces of bigotry to no end because it utterly neutralizes their power to control their followers through fear and unquestioned obedience.

      • Good grief. If we’ve learned anything from the scandals is that pedophiles is that pedophiles are really nice people and not at all the seedy degenerate. Lots of well meaning parents allowed them to look after their children, because they trusted them.

        The point is not evil monsters do evil things. Such is not the core of Christianity. It’s rather that fallen human beings do evil things. For the Jews in the first century A.D., tax collectors and harlots were the evil monsters, and Christ said that tax collectors and harlots who turned to him would make it to heaven. Translating it for our times (assuming your thesis of homosexual equals monster), then pedophiles and homosexuals who turn to Christ will make it to heaven.

        Salvation is the process where the human being called a sinner (which includes all of us) is separated (liberated) from his sin and united to God. We’re called to love all our neighbors including the ones that the culture portrays as monsters. Love the sinner, hate the sin.

        In the end, it’s not because we hate the sinner (whether pedophile or homosexual) that we oppose the immoral acts. That is not the basis of opposition. Rather, the basis of opposition is that the acts are wrong.

        • kenneth

          You’re free to oppose the acts on whatever basis you like, hating the sin or the sinner, or both. The question in play with SSM is not anyone’s approval of anything. It is whether or not the coercive powers of the state can be brought about to enforce policy on the basis of private sectarian religious belief.

          The Supreme Court has already decided that same sex relations, while they may be contrary to certain religious beliefs, are not proper matters for state intervention or law enforcement. However equally loathsome religious folks may hold homosexuality and pedophilia, the law draws a fundamental distinction between them based on the ability of the parties involved to give proper and full consent to the behaviors. Since the state has already recognized the right of individuals to carry out even those aspects of a relationship that are most objectionable to religious authorities, there is no proper secular legal basis to deny them the protections and benefits of marriage/civil union contracts afforded to any other couples.

          Competent authorities have found that the state has no legitimate business dictating the terms of adult relationships. Our state is designed to intervene to the least degree possible and only for compelling reasons of public safety and order. It is not there to lead us toward anyone’s concept of salvation with a nudge or with a cattle prod.

          • “However equally loathsome religious folks may hold homosexuality and pedophilia, the law draws a fundamental distinction between them based on the ability of the parties involved to give proper and full consent to the behaviors.”

            Supposing that we throw incest into the mix, Kenneth? Forget about adult-child pairings, but rather adult brother and sister who wish to marry. It seem that this barrier of adult relationships hasn’t been torn down yet. Would you be opposed to incestuous marriage?

            • kenneth

              The “slippery slope” argument is the sign that a movement is out of real arrows and resorting to throwing change and old popcorn under the couch cushions. There are distinctions to be made with incest, distinctions which have not been properly sorted through to see how they should translate to public policy. For one thing, it’s rare. The social conditioning in family environments simply turns off those sorts of attractions for most people. Second, virtually all incest is the product of child abuse. So far as I know, these “relationships” are always initiated by an adult parent preying upon a minor child, or an older sibling upon a younger one. It’s largely a matter of felony law. The psychological community would know better than I, but I just don’t think there are many, if any cases where two siblings or a parent and child decide to pair up on equal consensual terms after having grown up in a family situation with healthy dynamics and appropriate boundaries. Perhaps a few cases of siblings raised apart who then become attracted? I don’t know.

              In any case, it’s rare that such couples would want legal recognition or even public visibility. I suppose there’s always the test case somewhere. At that point, we have to weigh the legitimate secular societal implications. Public health becomes one consideration, with the enhanced risk of genetic diseases from inbreeding. On the other hand, we don’t prevent people with Huntington’s or hemophilia from marrying and reproducing. We haven’t had that policy discussion as a society, and I very much doubt we will have to, at any substantial level. If we do, it should be weighed out fairly so as to balance individual rights with legitimate secular collective interests, not sectarian religious beliefs.

              The invariable followup questions will no doubt descend into further absurdities, such as men wanting to marry their horse, little kids, Roswell Aliens and all other sorts of horrors….

              • Alma Peregrina

                The slippery slope argument is perfectly reasonable when the logic can be equally applied to both situations. The sign that a movement is out of real arrows happens when it confronts reality and denies it:




              • I wasn’t offering a slippery slope argument, although, I have witnessed the slippery slope within my lifetime.

                I was testing your commitment to the principle of consenting adults. You offered objections to an incestuous coupling. Not that it’s any of your business, but they may want to marry for reasons other than sexual intercourse. But so what if they did, but planned to have no children, by using contraceptives or abortion. It’s still none of your business according to your morality.

                But if you can break your principle of consenting adults, then so can I. You say the demand for incestuous marriage is trivial, and I say the demand for same-sex marriage is trivial (and I don’t have to accept your subjective judgment on what is trivial). You object to incestuous marriage on the basis that they might procreate, and I object to same sex marriage because they can’t possibly procreate. I, at least, claim that marriage is linked to procreation. What’s your excuse?

                • kenneth

                  I never said I categorically object to incestuous marriage. I’m saying it’s virtually a non-issue and appears to have a number of legitimate secular considerations weighing against it. You’re basically asking me to issue a ruling on a hypothetical, how to regulate the supply of something for which there is virtually no demand and unlikely to be any in the foreseeable future. To the extent most incestuous relationships are criminal child abuse, I just don’t see where marriage even comes onto the radar screen. I will, however, take the bait and give you the answer you seem to be fishing for. IF there were truly instances of adult siblings who came into a romantic relationship of truly consensual accord and IF their coupling would not pose a greater public health risk (genetic or psychological health risk to offspring), than we can tolerate as a society, then no, I would not see any legitimate basis upon which to deny them the protections of civil union/marriage.

                  • No, incestuous marriage is not a hypothetical (it’s easy enough to use google — check it out), and it’s happened enough to be prohibited by law.

                    And no, it doesn’t matter to me if you didn’t actually state you were opposed to incestuous marriage. Again, I was testing your commitment to the principle of consenting adults. You’ve provided enough evidence on the matter, you need not supply any more.

                    P.S. A topic shift: Why do you think marriage should be based on a romantic relationship?

                    • kenneth

                      I think I’ve shown a near-absolute support of personal autonomy and the supremacy of adult consent as a basis for non-interference by the state unless there are very pressing reasons to do so. That, and not the instinct of theocratic religious police, represents the most true and worthwhile founding values of our republic, I would argue.

              • Hezekiah Garrett

                So now you’d limit marriage to those who’ve “grown up in a family situation with healthy dynamics and appropriate boundaries?”

                Listen to yourself, man. You’re as small-mindedly sectarian as any of us, as though you, or your white-robed priests, have any basis for telling me what a family situation with healthy dynamics and appropriate boundaries is? Based on what?

                (And one need only breed pigs or dogs a little while to know that the occasional inbreeding is very good for stock. It is an over-reliance on in-breeding that leads to those defects to which you allude. You yourself classify such occurences as so rare as to be insignificant. So we can strike your ‘secular health’ argument right now. I’ll give you credit you did the heavy lifting on that already with your Huntington’s/Hemophilia examples.)

                So we’re left with you don’t think those people should be extended the rights of others, unless your white-robed priests have declared their upbringings suitable, suitable according to your shared belief system.

                Tell me, who is the bigot here?

                • kenneth

                  I’m a bigot because I’m advocating a limitation on marriage to couples paired out of true adult consent versus a situation born out of criminal sexual abuse? If that makes me narrow minded and a bigot, I’ll wear that jacket, gladly. I’m being asked to play a game of absurd hypotheticals in an obvious attempt to paint me into some sort of unattractive “gotcha” moment. I’ve played along and I’ve offered some pretty consistent reasoning for why I arrive at various conclusions. I’m drawing a pretty straight and bright line. If the proposed marriage is the fruit of a criminal predatory act, I’m against it. If it poses undue public health risks as defined by mainstream science, I’m against it. If the coupling passes muster on both of those counts, I simply see no basis for outlawing it, even if it offends my personal beliefs or those of others. That’s as simple and straightforward an opinion as I can offer on a phenomenon that has essentially no real world examples or data behind it. That’s where I draw my lines on this issue and why I draw them and I take ownership of it.

                  I also see through the cheesy “gotcha” game being played. If I offer any possible objection to incest, or anything, I’m a hypocrite. If I don’t, I’m a libertine or “pro-incest.” It’s a mildly clever stratagem for distraction when you have no merit left to the main argument, but adds nothing to the debate. The bottom line in all of this is that I believe these sorts of public policy issues ought to be decided upon secular standards and not sectarian religious beliefs. No one has articulated, let along proven, any reasonable non-religious argument against gay marriage. That is the reason for the headlong rush into wild hypotheticals and “what ifs” to avoid directly engaging the issue.

                  • Hezekiah Garrett

                    Oh, no, you aren’t. You may have meant to, but you did not. I personally don’t care if you are a hypocrite or a libertine, its your life to live.

                    But yeah, you’re a hypocrite, not because you oppose incest (glad to see you’ve got some sense, actually) but because you claim our worldview is illegitimate and yours is legitimate, simply because you pretend not to worship psychologists.

                    White robed priests didn’t refer to Druids. I mean, the last one died how long ago? That’s why the ‘religion’ you formally claim is nothing more than another modern consumer product.

                    • kenneth

                      I don’t think your worldview is “illegitimate” at all. I simply argue the reasons why I don’t think it’s a sound basis upon which to outlaw same sex marriage in light of the legal traditions of our country and the best thinking science has so far offered on the subject.

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      Vote how you want, we’ll do likewise. I personally don’t care what names some dipsqueeze playing with magic has to say about me.

                      But if you weren’t a liar on this particular topic, we wouldn’t really be hearing much from you.

                  • Alma Peregrina

                    Yeah, keep ignoring the links I provided you. Keep calling them “hypothetical”.

                    This isn’t a “gotcha” game… it is a “see what that reasoning will do to us” game. Glad to see that you don’t want to play it… it means that you see something wrong. But you will have to play it someday.

                  • Alma Peregrina

                    One secular argument against homossexual “marriage” (but not the only one) is the “hypotheticals” you mentioned… that are utterly real.

              • Ted Seeber

                “In any case, it’s rare that such couples would want legal recognition or even public visibility.”

                Did you read the parent article? There are far more autistics out there than there are homosexuals wanting to marry, and we can’t get recognition for neurodiversity rights. What makes you think SSM rights are possible?

                • Hezekiah Garrett

                  Do you think that difficulty has anything to do with the needs of corporations? Neurotypicals are more efficient cogs. There is no place for people like you in the society we’ve built, sadly.

                  I think its one reason we’re failing, and failing more as time gets on and we tighten up the regimentation of our culture.

                • kenneth

                  Autistics are not barred from marriage on account of their condition, and they have substantial rights articulated and protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

                  • Hezekiah Garrett

                    So you reduce them to their disorder, and then claim its alright because they can do everything you can, if they were only capable?

                    And we refuse to reduce those suffering from SSA to just their disorder, and claim still that they can do anything we can, if only they were capable?

                    And we’re the bad guys?

                    Really, have you ever considered you might just be arrogant and stupid, rather than broad-minded and enlightened? Ever even entratained the thought?

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      Entertained! Ugh!

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      Sorry about calling it disordered, Ted. I didn’t mean it precisely, it was a rhetorical flourish to drive a point home to Kenneth, nothing more.

          • Ted Seeber

            ” It is whether or not the coercive powers of the state can be brought about to enforce policy on the basis of private sectarian religious belief.”

            Well, isn’t that ironic then- given what “Human Rights Tribunals” in New Hampshire, Kansas, and British Columbia have already done to punish Catholics based on THEIR private sectarian religious belief that gay marriage is hunky dory.

            • kenneth

              I don’t know the particulars of the incidents you reference. However, in looking at past instances of people being allegedly “punished” for Christian belief, the facts revealed that they were not punished at all for belief but for discriminatory action in transactions that had to do with public accommodations and business, not belief or worship. The right to hold and express a belief does not grant one a blanket exemption to laws regulating actions. A man can hold virulently racist beliefs in this country, hold rallies and publish to that effect, but he may not refuse black people service at his dinner or other place of business in accordance with those beliefs.

              • Hezekiah Garrett

                Shorter version, a racist may not engage in business in accord with his conscience, but we’ll pretend he is FREE!!!

                • kenneth

                  The nature of any civilized society means that nobody’s freedom is absolute because all freedoms would negate each other under those circumstances. I mean, I’m a Second Amendment fan as much as the next guy, but that right gets reigned in sooner or later by other considerations. If it were an absolute right, I’d be able to tote a full auto Tec-9 or whatever the hell I wanted loaded in a gym bag on the plane. Of course, that ain’t gonna fly, in any sense of the word, and I understand why not. Civil rights laws ironically do have the effect of limiting the freedoms of some to exercise their beliefs. Our courts and lawmakers decided, wisely I think, that such loss was more than justified by the rights of all of us to enjoy public accomodations without the humiliation of signs that say “No (fill in the blank) served here.”

                  • Hezekiah Garrett

                    Are you one of those groups, Kenneth, who’d have found themselves identified by such signs? Keep in mind current historians have amply demonstrated “No Irish Allowed” was mostly a giant hoax.

                    Of course not. Your patronising patrimony, while OH SO AMERICAN, isn’t welcome, by me at the very least. I do not need to be protected from heartbreak by your government.

  • bill bannon

    Our democratic, no head marriage though resembles gay union. The New Testament and Casti Connubii by Pius XI (sect.74) both believed in marriage but also in husband headship…wives obeying a religious husband who in turn was seeking God’s will in their lives…rather than seeking the Miami Heat schedule while wearing a Lebron James shirt all weekend. The Church itself has effectively abandoned the latter hierarchical marriage by silence in Vat.II and the present catechism on husband headship. The apposite epistle readings at Mass sporadically remind us of the concept we are ignoring in most cases though different ethnic groups preserve aspects of it on their own. In short we ourselves have not preserved the NT marriage paradigm to
    society and our “both spouses are equal” paradigm resembles gay unions. The young then are not only taught by MTV but by us men in our sports gear.

    • Mark Shea

      Rubbish. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” is perfectly biblical. That John Paul failed to underwrite your control and domination issues does not mean the Church’s teaching is somehow no longer biblical.

      • I’m not sure of bill’s intentions but the headship of the husband is not contradicted by including that verse in with the rest of the Ephesian’s passage that is usually the ‘proof-text’ for this argument.

        My wife and I had that passage read at our wedding (starting with ‘submit yourselves one to another’) because we wanted to affirm at the beginning of our marriage that our roles, designed by God, were complimentary and that my role as head of my household was to be Christ to my family. Really be Christ – which means accepting whatever suffering I must so that my bride and my children might grow in their knowledge and relationship with our Father and in the end receive their salvation. I hardly think that that view of ‘headship’ is focused on control and domination.

        I am too young a Catholic to have much skin in the game with regards to the pre/post Vatican II fights except to say that the ‘spirit’ of pre-Vatican II rad/trad types seems to be Pharisaical in their ‘tying up heavy burdens for other people but not lifting finger to help move them’. Whereas the ‘spirit’ of Vatican II types seem to be focused primarily on affirming everyone in their okayness (to borrow one of your locutions). It seems to me that both are wrong on the teaching and direction of the Church so I try to steer clear of either extreme as I grow in my knowledge and faith.

      • Spastic Hedgehog

        If this turns to Pantsgate 2013 I’m going to get a beer and some popcorn.

        • Spastic Hedgehog

          2012. Maybe I should get an espresso instead.

      • Spastic Hedgehog

        If this turns to Pantsgate 2013 I’m going to get a beer and some popcorn.

        • Andy, Bad Person

          Oh please oh please oh please. I haven’t needed entertainment like this for some time. Somebody get Simcha on the phone.

    • Jim in Ohio

      Good points Bill and I agree with you. Husband headship of the family has been neutered in the US and probably most of the west. In my opinion, it was done to conform to modern and worldly sensibilities.

  • bill bannon

    Actually Ephesians ” submit to one another..” does not make the pastorals vanish. But it is the ordinary modality in light matters. The other epistles deal with what happens in serious matters when two wills diverge….Titus 2:5 …which can’t be cancelled by Ephesians. I Peter 3:1 is inspired and papal…”you married women must obey your husbands”. Jerome notes that if you cancel one scripture with its seeming opposite, you have not understood scripture’s antilogy.

    • Mark Shea

      Good of you to correct the Church on that.

      • Is it true that equality of the spouses and headship are incompatible? This is not a both/and issue, but either/or?

        Is it true that headship means domination?

        Does Vatican II represent a break over a previous model of headship to a new model of equality of the spouses?

        • ivan_the_mad

          Regarding Vatican II, no. There are no breaks, cf. the hermeneutic of continuity.

          • Hezekiah Garrett

            But Mark does seem to be implying the opposite here, which surprises me.

            This is a both/and issue.

  • They aren’t for gay marriage; they’re against families; and they are so because a family is something outside the state, potentially something against the state.

    • Correct. Good observation. The “gay community” isn’t powerful enough to do what they are doing right now. They are enabled by other forces targeting American families. They are a terrific wedge group. The real answer to this problem is to stop responnding with religious arguments. Quoting the Bible to people who don’t believe the Bible is true is a waste of time. There are excellent secular arguments against gay marriage.

      • kenneth

        There are zero secular arguments against gay marriage. The anti SSM movement has not been able to advance a single credible argument or piece of evidence that does not derive from sectarian religious belief. They do not have a shred of support from mainstream scientific communities in medicine or psychology. The leading light of the “scientific” argument against gays was a man named George Alan Rekers, a psychologist who used to make his bones providing expert testimony for hire for the anti-gay movement. His arguments were roundly discredited as sectarian and un-scientific even by courts in conservative states. Of course, his street cred as a voice for healthy hetero role modeling also took a hit when he was caught in the company of a supple young lad hired from an outfit called “rentboy.”

        • Marriage is a celebration by society of a promise that is likely to result in children – and thus its future. It’s simply a predisposition (a fertility rite in pre-Christian days) rooted in our will to survive. I don’t care about your sex life. I do care what kind of society my children will love in. And when healthy, educated, village-raised men decide to spend their lives jacking each other off instead of having children I have no reason to celebrate. I am saddened – because it means the society my children will live in will be less like the society I grew up in. So go have your fun – but I will not be forced to celebrate.

          • kenneth

            Nobody is forced to celebrate anything. I’ve known of a number of straight marriages that I didn’t approve of, but I didn’t think to try to force my views upon them by the coercive power of the state.

            • Tim

              Doesn’t the priest, or whoever presides over the wedding, ask if anyone objects to the union? You missed your chance.

              • NO! I don’t object to the marriage. The desire to not to have children is a cultural death-wish, a dysgenic soul-sickness. I wouldn’t want you people to reproduce that. It’s good that you don’t have children. It just makes me sad to see such atrophy of a natural Darwinian desire. But it is a natural part of the life-cycle of civilizations. They do all die. You should do what you desire. I speak only for myself.

                • kenneth

                  I could respect this position, to a degree, IF the anti SSM crowd also pushed for laws banning marriage to hetero couples who decide against reproduction. Plenty do, even so far as permanent sterilization. But it’s not about that. It’s a rant against gays. For the record, I’m not gay. Married to a woman, in fact. We have no children and may not for a variety of reasons, and that’s the supreme absurdity of the anti-SSM position. We were given a marriage license, no questions asked. Yet any gay couple who has brought new children into the world via IVF or adopted some which might otherwise have been aborted cannot marry. So much for the “marriage is all about children” theory.

                  To your other point, I think you would be very hard pressed to come up with an example of a civilization that passed due to prevalence of same sex attraction or failure to reproduce. In most cases, the collapse came when political and economic infrastructures and climate were no longer able to support high population densities and the institutions of city and state that held them together in common identity. We live in a world which is at constant war over strained water, food and energy resources. I don’t think the human race is at any deficit of people these days.

                  • You are totally missing the point. The problem we are having here is that you think marriage is a celebration by those getting married and I think it is a celebration by the community. You will have fun but leave nothing behind. A man and woman are likely to have somewhat less fun but leave behing something infintely precious to the community – a future.
                    When a man and woman marry there is no guarantee of children. When 2 men marry is IS a guarantee of no children.

                    Please believe me – I really don’t care what you do. But I have children. I care about the world they will live in. I don’t celebrate you relationship.

                    • kenneth

                      And that is the absolute platinum plated genius of plural democracy. Nobody has to celebrate or approve of anyone else or their beliefs or the ways in which they choose to exercise their own rights. They just have to not interfere. Bully for you, that you have kids. I don’t mean that in a snide way at all. It’s a noble calling, but one for which I may not be well equipped to take on, for a variety of reasons. I just don’t think it’s your right or anyone else’s to legislate the marital options of other people based on your perceived superiority of your model of marriage.

                      While it’s also your right to believe as such, I think it’s truly unfortunate that you seem to so devalue people who don’t bear children. You seem to be saying their lives are meaningless and that they make no worthwhile contribution for their time on Earth. That’s a hell of an indictment, given that the Church recognizes singlehood as a legitimate vocation, not to mention the clergy and other celibates who will leave no progeny of their own behind. I like to think our influence in our nieces’ lives and my wife’s lifelong dedication to teaching will leave something worth celebrating for the future generations. Perhaps not. The only ones fit to judge on that count, I believe, are those younger people we have imparted something upon.

                      Conservatives are full of contradictions on this issue. If you’re unsuited to have kids and have them anyway, you’re selfish. If, on the other hand, you have the self-insight and honesty to admit you shouldn’t have kids, well, then you’re still selfish. If you’re gay and have kids, even if you adopt the most difficult special needs kids, even if you lift some kids out of poverty and give them the finest educations and character development the human race can produce, you’re still selfish, because, after all, it’s not a “real” family.

                  • I do believe that SSM will open the door to other types of marriages and will break down the foundational one man/one woman style of marriage. If SSM is brought into law, then polygamy, polyamory, all types of others will have significant precedent of law for their own civil rights. Chaos will ensue, as if it isn’t chaos now.

                    • kenneth

                      The same argument was employed against black emancipation and sufferage. Ever seen “Birth of a Nation.”? The same argument was used against the American Revolution. “Who knows what horrors will follow once you start messing with the natural order of things.” Well, the world survived and the sun still came up in the East and for all the “chaos” we’re better off for both radical risk-taking, I would argue. Polygamy and polyamory already exists, in significant numbers, and should also be addressed equitably in law with the goal of finding a good balance between personal autonomy and societal considerations, children’s welfare etc. This thing you call “chaos” is simply life, and we deal with it as best we can.

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      I can tell you of the horrors of your revolution, if only you would listen.

                      When you were English colonists, your King and our Great Father, required that you stay near the water which brought you to us, and not stray into our mountains. Your revolution changed all that.

                      I admit I have never had the animosity for Brits and Frogs that I have for Americans (Maybe the SPanish, but that is a digression in North American history). Britain and France tried to exploit us in limited ways against one another and to increase their wealth by trade with us, but they both acknowledged our claim to this continent, and made every effort to respect it as much as their weakness and greed would allow.

                      But Americans? No, you claimed God gave you the right to take every bit of this land and to reduce the REAL PEOPLE to which God gave this land to a, what was your term?, oh yes, a ‘demographic minority’.

                      Yeah, you’re on the wrong side if you wish to defend your revolution.

                    • kenneth

                      To Hezekiah’s point: If you’re truly convinced America was founded and run by a gang of morally bankrupt barbarians and sociopaths (you have a case), why is it then that you seem to trust our government with the power to regulate people’s most intimate relationships and act as Christianity’s armed enforcement wing? You seem to place a great deal of faith in the wisdom and moral compass of a nation that damn near drove your ancestors to extinction. One would think the Chickamauga would be an epicenter of small government advocacy after all that.

                    • Hezekiah Garrett


                      You assume ALL of that. I’d see your government reduced to embers if I could. Until the Church restrained my voting habits, I was a regular voter. I voted for whoever I thought would do the most damage possible to American government.

                      The Church says I may no longer do that, I obey. Do not mistake my faith in the universal Church for anything remotely akin to support for your government.

                      Frankly, posts such as your last just make me suspect you really can’t even think properly. Obviously, if I think you are wrong, I am some sort of ra=ra republican or something.

                      How stupid can a human being possibly be? I fear I shall have my answer.

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          You’ve NEVER read Aristotle? You should, and with an open mind.

          I mean, Aristotle, having rejected his people’s gods outright, certainly couldn’t be called sectarian/religious, right? He makes a pretty good argument. I would take the time to provide it here, but frankly, I’m not wasting my time with dishonest interlocutors, so I will only say you should go find Aristotle’s argument on your own, if you are actually seeking an example of that which you claim is nonexistent.

          • kenneth

            Aristotle doesn’t have a dog in this race, nor is he a legal resident or voter of the United States. He also was contemptuous of democratic rule, so I’m not sure we want to take our marching orders from him.

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              In other words, since you were dead wrong in your assertion, you will now move the goal post. I’m not chasing. Go eat some tree bark, or whatever Crowley’s acolytes do these days…

  • The stampede is likely less than even .005. It makes one wonder about the expense of money and effort, especially given that the <.005 aren't even forcing heterosexuals to marry people of their own sex. Apparently, this is all about eminently moral legal protections: visiting people in hospitals, inheriting shared property, the sort of legal stuff that happens even between people who aren't having sex.

    As for all the votes against it, it's rather easy to muster a majority when it's the minority, a rather small one at that, who bears the brunt of the result. Hey, instead of increasing taxes on the rich, let's just tax everybody whose last name starts with an "S," and let everybody else off. I bet that would win a majority vote every day. Too bad about the S's, though.

    Seriously, I think it's time to jettison this whole approach, and not just because the GOP is thinking about cutting its losses, like they did with the decriminalization of abortion in the 60's. What about the Church promoting marriage in positive ways: ME and EE and retreats and child care for couples' nights at the parish. Let's occupy ourselves with the sacramental life and move on from pouring cash and rhetoric into the anti-gay movement.

  • Ash

    Gallup and other polls have shown majority national support for gay marriage for about a year now. Are all those people elites? Are there any elites opposed to gay marriage? And does it actually seem crazy to you that courts and legislatures are ahead of the obvious trend on this issue? How often are civil rights granted through direct vote when the instruments of government are opposed to granting them? Was Brown v. Board of Education a “machination of elites”? (If you’re tempted to respond to this last by claiming that gay marriage and civil rights for racial minorities are not comparable, please understand that’s not the point of the question).

    I’m very curious at how you arrive at the idea that “Our post-Christian culture, dominated by a slightly different form of materialist atheism is likewise a powerful corrosive to family bonds and as contemptuous of democratic rule”. Atheists, depending on how you define them, are probably between 3 and 10 percent of the population, yet they “dominate” our culture? What evidence do you have that they are contemptuous of democratic rule? Is anyone who brings a constitutional case to court or lobbies their legislator anti-democractic?

    Gay marriage will be on the ballot in three more states this fall. If supporters win in any of those states, will it change your opinion on the matter at all? If not, I would suggest that you don’t really care how legal recognition of gay marriages is blocked, only that it is blocked.

    • ivan_the_mad

      “Gay marriage will be on the ballot in three more states this fall. If supporters win in any of those states, will it change your opinion on the matter at all? If not, I would suggest that you don’t really care how legal recognition of gay marriages is blocked, only that it is blocked.”

      Three more? Oh my. Twenty-eight states have held referendums to codify that marriage is between one man and one woman, and it has passed in all twenty-eight states. If that doesn’t change your opinion on the matter at all, I would suggest that _you_ really don’t care how legal recognition of gay marriage is gained, only that it is gained.

      • kenneth

        Civil rights are not legitimately subject to vote. The fact that an injustice is popular does not legitimize it. Slavery won huge margins of votes at one time, as did Jim Crow segregation, and Native American genocide. I have no doubt whatsoever that racial housing restrictions would win in a vote in many areas of the country even today if it were allowed to go on a ballot.

        • ivan_the_mad

          “Civil rights are not legitimately subject to vote.”

          quod gratias asseritur, quod negatur. You should perhaps better acquaint yourself with the meaning of civil rights. Having done so, you will perhaps be able to differentiate between what is a civil right, and what you want to be a civil right. The SSM debate is not about guaranteeing a civil right denied to people; it is about establishing a civil right to SSM.

          “The fact that an injustice is popular does not legitimize it.”

          Duh? Assuming that there is, in fact, an injustice. That’s what most of the debate on SSM is about; whether it is a civil right, whether lack of SSM is an injustice. Calling SSM a civil right and claiming lack thereof is an injustice does not make it so.

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          Civil rights, as opposed to human rights, are granted by governments, rather than existing in nature, prior to government. In a representative democracy, civil rights can and should indeed be put to a vote.

          If you are so ignorant of the world outside you, I guess it is foolish of me to have hoped that you would at least be familiar with your own constructs.

          I don’t subscribe to your social constructs, but I understand them far better than you have demonstrated. In a healthy human being, this would lead to some sort of self-doubt and reconsideration.

          Feel any of that?

          • kenneth

            Man, for a guy who supposedly puts himself in Christ, you got a mean streak that makes the Romans at Calvary and the Sanhedrin look like teddy bears! If that’s the fruit born by Christianity’s message of charity and hope, I’m glad I put the apple back! Dont’ get me wrong, paganism has its share of character flaws, an I’m probably over my quota myself, but you got more anger and darkness in you than most of the avowed Satanists and white power Odinists I’ve come across.

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              Really? Because when you’d use ‘rights talk’ to defend depravity without even understanding what they are, how they are categorized, where YOUR tradition draws these things forth, I called you out on it?

              I’ve had whites get pissed at having their English corrected by the likes of me, but never their Civics.

              But for the record, I do describe myself as not only a bad catholic, but the worst catholic. You’d definitely be foolish to draw conclusions about Christ based on me. I’m especially broken.

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              And, I’ll take that as a no, as well. Good luck!

  • Kristen inDallas

    I wonder what percentage of adults choose to forgo work (or looking for work) in order to go bang a drum in the street all day. It’s certainly not 99%. We suffer from an epidemic of false math in this country — mostly along the lines of “1% of people are fundamentally different for me in one isolated way, therefore I represent the 99% majority in every facet of my thinking.” It doesn’t work on wall street and it doesn’t work regarding marriage. It doesn’t really matter, we don’t have “majority rules” in this country anyway. We tend to favor and protect minority viewpoints on the grounds of individuality, so long as those viewwpoints aren’t so powerful as to make the other 99% “feel bad”, by achieving more financial success, more familial success, or consecrating a life to God. Just imagine the societal reaction if advocates started generalizing the SSA community the same way some have been generalizing our priests. They’re both minority groups, it’s got nothing to do with that… It’s about which groups make people (the 70-80% in the middle) uncomfortable with their own sins, and which groups give them a free pass.

  • Chris M

    That argument wouldn’t be persuasive for someone sympathetic to gay unions for the simple fact that they see it as a “rights” issue. The rights of 0.5% of the population is no less important than the other 99.5%. We lost this fight when we allowed it to be framed as a civil rights issue, even though it truly isn’t.

  • kenneth

    For all the supposed anti-family machinations of the elite, my family is still around……

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      Well, boy, aren’t you lucky? The rest of us probably should just keep our mouths shut, since you’ve been so fortunate.

      Since the State arrived on our shores, I have seen my family dwindle from roughly 1/7 of an entire nation, down to 3 or 4 nominally related people spread across the continent. And in our case, it most certainly was the machinations of your State which brought this about.

      • kenneth

        Native American?

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          I much prefer Indian, thank you. Chickamauga, precisely.

          • kenneth

            You of all people here ought to appreciate the danger of granting a demographic majority the power to strip minorities of legal standing based upon public sentiment or whim.

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              There you go with your biases again.

              I am not a demographic minority being stripped of anything by a demographic majority.

              I am an Indian, the rightful inheritor of this place, being brutalised and displaced by a foriegn despotism that had no business ever stepping foot upon this land.

              Frankly, when you begin to speak of rights, I begin to count my chickens, to make sure you didn’t steal one while you were distracting me. “Rights’, like ‘homosexual person’, are mere constructs of your culture.

              Frankly, the way you just addressed me merely reinforces that you are NOTHING more than a Modern Western Supremacist.

              Usually, instead of Modern Western, I’d say white, but you’d assume some racial theory your culture also constructed.

              See, we really have nothing in common, no basis for conversation, if you can’t step beyond your constructs to the universally human.

              • Hezekiah Garrett

                I told you I was a Chickamauga Indian. You heard Indian and made assumptions. You obviously know NOTHING about my people or our history.

                And just to make you jealous I guess, I inherited thousands of years of uninterrupted knowledge about nature and her forces, from my Grandmother, a Red Paint woman. I still draw on that Pagan knowledge as a Catholic. And you rejected Catholicism for what? Some play game a few moderns decided to name after something powerfully serious, but seriously dead?

                • kenneth

                  I’ll be the first to admit I know virtually nothing about the Chickamauga. I’m shamefully ignorant of the history of the Ojibwe, from which I partially descend. Nevertheless, the broad strokes of it seem clear enough. As was the case with aboriginal peoples everywhere, sooner or later they encountered a numerically and/or technologically superior set of invaders, attempted various strategies of negotiation, acculturation, separatism and outright warfare and ultimately received the worse of the deal on all counts.

                  I’m not jealous of anyone’s legacy or knowledge, pagan or otherwise. I try to be grateful for the little I have learned and the profound experiences that have led me on the path I walk. I get this a lot, the dismissal that all we modern pagans are doing is delusional Ren-faire role playing. If that is indeed the case, then why are the people who dismiss us the loudest, including Church authorities, visibly shaken by our presence and persistence? If we’re just a bunch of hippies and fantasy-con rejects playing a game, why do so many Christians fret so and have such visceral anger about the whole deal? If paganism has truly been dead since Rome fell and the missionaries fanned out, why is it the Church has felt the need to work 24/7 for 15 centuries to keep killing it? Why is it that Renaissance art, including the Vatican’s own collection, is shot through with pagan themes, a full thousand years after the last temples were razed?

                  Why does the human heart and imagination keep connecting with these dead and/or imaginary gods? Why is it that these things keep popping back to the surface like an air-filled drum pushed under by a polar bear at the zoo? Why does Burning Man draw 50,000 people each year? Why do something like 161 million people celebrate Halloween each year? If the ancient pagan ways died out that long ago, why did Christendom itself engage in a bloody Reformation carried out in no small part to try to purge Christianity of these things?

                  If it’s all one big dress up game, you guys ought to be as relaxed and easy as the Big Lebowski, sipping his White Russian and knowing that he will Abide at the end of it all. Instead, you guys seem as jumpy as a gang of meth cooks who have been up five days straight watching COPS episodes!

                  • Hezekiah Garrett

                    You really just don’t get it, huh?

                    Good luck. I mean that.

                  • S. Murphy

                    I celebrate All Hallows’ Eve, usually by sitting on my balcony in a black gi with an epee or a boken stuck through my belt, throwing candy to the neighbors’ kids and complimenting their Jedi robes or superman capes or whatever. I don’t pretend I’m worshipping Olde Celtick Deities(TM).

                    Why are there pagan images in christian art? Why did the Church tolerate Renaissance fascination with Pagan themes? Why did the Church preserve Classical literature? Well, er, because we’ve always thought that everything good in the world comes from God. Because the Greeks had an awful lot of human psychology sorted in their myths – and probably so did other pagan traditions. Ignorance of revelation doesn’t mean ignorance of observable things. So, yes, pagan mythology offers some powerful themes and images. It’s good stuff. Especially when it’s put in the context of what and Whom it was really leading up to all along.

              • Andy, Bad Person

                Frankly, when you begin to speak of rights, I begin to count my chickens, to make sure you didn’t steal one while you were distracting me.

                Wisdom for the modern age.

  • Affirmative.

    As the com box gods are in charge, I am also compelled to add that Hez has a very interesting background.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      Did you ever own a Suzuki Savage LS650? Something about the way you write makes me think more and more you are the dude form Forest Park I used to know on the suzukisavage.com forums.

  • victor

    Heh. I am the 99.5%.

  • thomas tucker

    It is actually quite hilarious seeing kenneth using the same arguments for why incestuous marriage is a non-issue and not to be taken seriously in the same way that people used to talk about same-sex marriage.

    • kenneth

      It’s a non-issue currently because the numbers of incestuous couples seeking the right to marry verge on the non-existent, compared to many millions of gay non-related adults seeking that right. The only incestuous couple I have ever read about who is seeking public recognition is one brother and sister in Germany. In addition, such relationships are currently held to be criminal and therefore not afforded the option of legal contracts (nor even of safe passage). If and when it becomes a significant public policy issue, I’ve already outline d how I think it ought to be engaged. Gay marriage should be decided on its own merits, not flights of imagination and “what ifs.” Incestuous marriage, if it becomes an issue, ought to likewise be decided on its own merits, not wild suppositions about what could happen with “the next thing” – cyborgs, off world aliens, what have you.

  • thomas tucker

    Well, Kenneth, maybe they just haven’t come out of the closet yet. You know, due to internalized incestuphobia, societal disapproval, discriminatory laws, etc. (Sound familiar?)

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      Its unthinkable to me to lay with sisters I have never met, to whom I have practically no genetic connection. I have such sisters in NC, OK, CA, and several other places. Any Red Paint woman is either my aunt or sister. Either would be taboo.

      But I’d wager there are quite a few incestuous couples, consenting adults, today in America, who stay closeted precisely for these reasons.

      I mean, using Kenneth’s logic, 60 yrs ago, there were almost no homosexuals in America. They were statistically insignificant, but only because most of them were hidden.