Toldja So

Toldja So May 17, 2012

Rod Dreher reports about our God King’s latest move in the war on religious conscience:

If the Obama administration has its way, all US military chaplains will have to do so. Excerpt:

The Obama administration “strongly objects” to provisions in a House defense authorization bill that would prohibit the use of military property for same-sex “marriage or marriage-like” ceremonies, and protect military chaplains from negative repercussions for refusing to perform ceremonies that conflict with their beliefs, according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

If this goes through, the Catholic and the Orthodox chaplains will have to be withdrawn from the US military. Many Evangelical chaplains will choose to leave. If same-sex marriage is constitutionalized by Supreme Court ruling, then I don’t see how even a legislative exemption would be possible. This is another one of the answers to the question, “How does my gay neighbor’s marriage to his partner affect me?”

Erin Manning, who sent this link along, writes about possible implications beyond the military:

What it’s going to come down to, eventually, is this: “Oh, I’m sorry, Catholic Church/Orthodox Church/Protestant churches who agree with them re: marriage: you either perform gay “marriages,” or we take away your right to participate in civil marriage licensing.  Everyone else can get married in a church and have it “count” for the purpose of their civil marriage license, but Catholics and other “bigots” will have to “marry” in front of a judge or something and then have the church ceremony which won’t mean anything in the eyes of the state.”

It’s coming.

This is the hubristic tyrant who, just this past December, tried to decree to the Lutherans who they could and could not ordain and got smashed flat by a 9-0 decision by SCOTUS. The arrogance of this Administration is boundless. Anybody who thinks they don’t mean to punish orthodox Christians for incorrect thought simply doesn’t grasp the Left’s bottomless capacity for self-righteousness.

Any fool that votes for him is voting for this, as well as for indefinite detention and murder by a lawless tyrant.

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  • Hezekiah Garrett

    So go down to the J o P in tatters, dirty, glum. Bring necessary witnesses, and no more. Point out as you sign you’re being discriminated against, but since a civil union is useless, being unenforceable, you figure why not humour the petty bureaucrats?

  • Bill

    Chaplains have religious freedom guarantees already.
    AR 165-1, Army Chaplain Corps Activities, says,
    “Chaplains will perform their professional military religious leader ministrations in accordance with the tenets or faith requirements of the religious organization that certifies and endorses them.”
    “Chaplains will not be required to perform a religious role (such as offering a prayer, reading, dedication, or blessing) in worship services, command ceremonies, or other events, if doing so would be in variance with the tenets or practices of their faith. Chaplains will make every effort to provide for required ministrations which they cannot personally perform.”
    This is fundamental to the chaplaincy, and no one commenting on this proposed amendment (including its endorsers) ever refers to these protections.
    But notice the piece that says chaplains are expected to provide for services they can’t perform. If a Catholic or Orthodox priest cannot give communion to a Protestant, he has to bring in a Protestant chaplain, and vice versa. He has an obligation to guarantee religious access to all.
    So why should a liberal Protestant chaplain, who believes in gay marriage, be prohibited from performing one in a state that allows it? This is not a protection of religious freedom–it infringes on that chaplain’s religious freedom, and doesn’t hurt the Catholic or Orthodox or conservative Protestant chaplain at all.
    The system isn’t broke.

    • Because it is repugnant to real Christians to refer anyone to a ceremony deemed by them to be morally wrong, and in fact impossible. It’s similar to asking them to procure an abortion. In this case, an abortion of natural law.

      There is no such thing as “same-sex” marriage. Marriage can only happen when the partners are of opposite sexes.
      And yes, I wrote “real” Christians.

      • ds

        I like this free-form stuff a lot better than your rhyming poetry, Pavel.

        • Go to hell and take you opinion with you.

          • ds

            That’s the spirit, Pavel! A poet should have some fire is his belly! 🙂


          Drawn up to his full three inches
          Wren stands on a green clay pot,
          Challenges the big house finches:
          Mine is mine and yours is not

          Watch me slide inside the hole,
          No room for you or for the crow,
          I am always on patrol,
          See how big my nestlings grow

          Stretches like a little man
          Puffs his chest out, then he calls
          Like one of us in full command,
          Except that he’s three inches tall

          May 16, 2012

          • ds

            I like this one. Did you really just write that yesterday? Who is the wren, you or me? Both?

      • kenneth

        Unless a minister was ordained by your own church and subject to its governing authority, you have no business at all telling them how or if they should sanction anyone’s union. You can of course opine that they’re not “real Christians” but you have no legitimate right to employ civil law to stop them. This is not a Catholic theocracy or the modern day Papal States.

    • brian_in_brooklyn

      Thanks for the facts, Bill. Much appreciated.

      And Pavel, you remind me of what Churchill said about the pompous Stafford Cripps, “There, but for the grace of God, goes God”

      • I’ve looked into the face of Death today. You don’t impress me. When you look into that face you won’t impress yourself either.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        Sorry brian, you don’t get to just drop in on Pavel like that. ds came in and acted like a tool. Pavel responded. You can’t play the Pavel’s Bad Card now.

        • Got your back Pavel.

          I am glad you cheated Death.

          • We all cheat death every day of our lives, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

            My sister-in-law, after a long struggle with lung disease, died today. The death of a human being is a powerful and awe inspiring event. A being created by God, with the capacity to love, to experience the world, to have an inner life, to have memories and affections, a personality known to other people, to have off-spring, to have friends and loved ones, is suddenly, one thinks, not here, not of this world, perhaps annihilated, and perhaps not.

            I once asked God to explain this unsearchable mystery, and there was a vision, not a dream, or a dream state, but something seen and felt, something so immense that I could not possibly have created it out of my own mind.

            We are put in this world for one thing: To know and to praise God in His inexpressible glory and majesty, through His creatures and His creation, through His beautiful and terrible world, and for His love, immortal love, sacrificial love for us, and in our love for Him and one another. World without end. Amen.

            His love is truth, and in that truth we will meet Him at last. To be with Him forever is what we are made for, is why we were made. Amen.

            • Gary Keith Chesterton

              Right on, Pavel.

            • I’m sorry for your loss.

              I watched my mom die in a hospital bed in 2009, so I know how you feel.

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    Faithful Catholic families might ask to revive the ancient betrothal ceremony in the church, in which the couple approaches the priest at the altar and solemnly promises to marry; this is followed by a few days of family festivities at home, including perhaps the family rosary, the singing of hymns and recitation of the office, in addition to parties and celebrations. Then on the Saturday of that week the actual nuptials are celebrated at a Nuptial Mass concluding the religious festivities, and the couple departs for their honeymoon.

    Mixed in among these events would be a weekday visit by the affianced couple to the courthouse, dressed as they would to close on a house, or to a job interview at a rather staid firm. Pure business. Business attire, but particularly somber colors on the bride: dull blues, greys, browns. No frills, no veil, no flowers, no jewelry. Strictly business. No attendants; the witnesses should be his and her parents, only, if possible. Couple should be polite, respectful, but firmly businesslike. At the conclusion of the ceremony, if “you may kiss the bride” is pronounced, the groom-to-be may reply, “Congratulations, darling; we’ve gotten the legal paperwork out of the way.”

    This courthouse visit would follow shortly upon the church betrothal ceremony and a couple of days of Masses and rosaries and parties at home, and would be followed immediately by the church wedding rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner . . . the idea would be to “drown” the courthouse marriage-licence-getting ceremony in w whole week of full-on Catholic celebration glory.

    I wish I could get married again in such a way! I think it would be cool!

  • Linda C.

    Claiming that chaplains have religious guarantees already will mean nothing whatsoever, as the guarantees of this government are not worth warm spit. The “law” is whatever the C-in-C says it is. It is a very short walk from ordering chaplains to perform such “marriages” to ordering non-military clergy to do so as well.
    I’ve had “gay marriage” proponents start their argument by saying, “This is purely about civil marriage, we have no intention of interfering in how religions decide what is a valid marriage in their own denomination.” This rapidly morphed into “letting” religions continue to make that decision for themselves (see the language switch?—I always hear the unspoken “for now” when that happens). Now it is, “Religious and other groups who do not sanction ‘gay marriage’ need to be ostracised, like we do with the Klan.” Concurrent with that is the planned elimination of chaplains from the military who will not bow to Caesar on this issue.
    I suppose one useful thing to be drawn from it is that one may know the state’s true intentions by looking at the opposite of their stated promises and guarantees.

    • Marion (Mael Muire)

      “Religious and other groups who do not sanction ‘gay marriage’ need to be ostracised, like we do with the Klan.”

      To ostracize was once the extraliturgical component of excommunication: Would this mean that formerly Catholic heretics like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi would begin to “ostracize” the bishops and pastors of the Catholic Church? . . . You know, the ones who didn’t excommunicate them?

      Wow. Just wow.

  • Laura

    I’m with Marion– I think it would be best for the Church to simply acknowledge that the civil arrangements provided by the state are not the same thing as the sacrament known as marriage. I say this not because of the homosexual question, but because of the scandal and disaster of divorce. When I married, my husband and I had to go to the courthouse to get a license– I see no major issue in also taking an oath in front of a judge at that time as part of the process as well.

    As for Bill– I’m a retired Army officer, and personal experience has shown me that 1) Army Regulations change whenever the appropriate head of the department signs a new form, and 2) they are always subordinate to federal law and presidential policy. Currently, federal law states that marriage is between one man and one woman– so liberal protestant chaplains can’t perform same-sex marriages (on base or on duty), and Muslim chaplains can’t perform polygamous ones, irrespective of their personal beliefs. If/when federal law changes, so will the regulations. In terms of presidential policy, I would point out the recent attempts to prevent Army chaplains from informing their congregations about the US Bishop’s letter on the health care act recently as a harbinger of what will happen in the future. Also as you noticed, chaplains are required to facilitate access to services they can’t provide themselves– which would be a wide range of things, including couples counseling for gay relationships, “marriage” retreats, etc. Even this sort of compromise hasn’t held up in, for example, the case of Catholic Charities adoption programs (which referred gay couples to another agency if they wanted to adopt), so I have my doubts about how stable this situation would be. Politicians are VERY fond of imposing their beliefs on the military as a posturing opportunity– and that’s true of the right and the left both.

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    P.S. This one is for you, Hezekiah:

    My Catholic couple who go down to the courthouse dressed as for a business meeting will write their own vows, as couples often do. So here they are: “I, Marion Smith, hereby state my intent to enter into a marital relationship with you, William Jones, as defined by the laws and statutes of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and hereby state that I do so freely and willingly.”

    That’s it! That’s the “wedding promises” for a Catholic couple before a J of P!

    I make myself laugh pretty hard sometimes.

  • Andy

    I agree with Laura and Marion – there is the civil aspect of being married – the state sanctions that and as such it is not a religious activity. It is a contract, and in our legal system any two or more people of the age of consent can enter into a contract (yes I know there are problems with this). This civil contract can the be solemnized by the church during the sacrament of marriage. I think that is where this is all headed and maybe to prevent a great deal of wasted anger and rage accept it and move to make the sacramental nature of marriage stronger more imposing.

    • Dennis Mahon

      Every time you refer to marriage as a “contract”, you cede the point to those who would destroy it.
      Do you honestly believe that the Church would raise a business transaction to the level of a Sacrament?
      Marriage is a social institution – and like all social institutions, it exists to curb the worst of human behavior. Marriage is a social institution designed to defend the basic unit of Western Civilization – the Family – from the destructive impulses of human behavior (promiscuity, degeneracy, disease, and exploitation of the weak). You cannot leave the Family to the tender mercies of the State.

      • Agreed. What has society gotten with state controlled families? Single parenting (usually the mother), promiscuity, free condoms/birth control pills, sex ed (their version), no fault divorce; in my opinion, a complete destruction of the nuclear family unit, engineered by the wizards of smart in the federal, state and local governments. All in the name of “progress”.

      • Marriage is a sacrament ordained by God to effect a holy union between a man and a woman, as witnessed by Christ.

        Nothing else is marriage.

      • Andy

        Listen to what a priest says when he marries people – “By the power invested in me by the state of…” it is not the power of the church that makes a marriage legal, it is the state. The church solemnizes the civil contract, and makes it a covenant, a solemn agreement, through the sacrament.
        I think if you look at the history of marriage it was created in part to protect families, but also to protect land, money and other forms of matter – in other words it was economic.
        Referring to marriage as a contract does cede anything – it is a descriptor of people entering into a covenant with specific rights and roles delineated. Unfortunately due to our fallen nature we do not honor the contract. And even more unfortunately we do not honor the covenant. A marriage, by definition is joining in a legal fashion two spouses in a legal relationship.
        I would be fearful if the state said to a religious organization that it had to solemnize any contract. The church can elect to solemnize the marriage of two individuals or it cannot. If indeed that option is removed from a church then we need fear.

        • Andy, Bad Person

          Listen to what a priest says when he marries people – “By the power invested in me by the state of…” it is not the power of the church that makes a marriage legal, it is the state.

          You should try attending an actual wedding sometime and not just watching them on TV. I’m an organist at a Catholic Church and have never in my life heard a priest utter “By the power invested in me.” Try getting your liturgical catechesis outside of primetime television.

          Here’s what the actual wedding words are: “I, X, take you, X, to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”

          Note: It’s not the priest who “marries” the couple. The proper liturgical ministers of the sacrament of matrimony are the bride and groom; the priest is just the Church’s witness. Matter and form. You can’t have the Eucharist without bread and wine, and you can’t have a marriage without a man and a woman.

          P.S. Here’s what the priest actually says (unless he’s an actor playing a priest on TV):
          You have declared your consent before the Church. May the Lord in his goodness strengthen your consent and fill you both with his blessings. What God has joined, men must not divide.
          (emphasis mine)

          • Andy

            Andy – I have attended several including my own. I would also add I don’t watch TV all that much. Maybe you should stop with sarcasm and learn charity. Maybe where you live you have never heard it – where I live it is the rule of law. Where I live you cannot get married without going through the civil process of obtaining a license (interesting word). If the license is not signed by the witnesses, and the priest the state does not recognize that a marriage has occurred. So instead of sarcasm think that different places have different ways of doing things. I would suggest that what the bride and groom say are the words the priest ratifies and sanctifies with this statement.

            • Andy, Bad Person

              You’re putting the cart before the horse. I know in current practice it is traditional to sign the marriage contract before the wedding takes place, but this inverts the state’s role in marriage.

              It is not the Church that ratifies the legal aspect of marriage, but the state that recognizes the covenant that no state has the actual power to bestow or deny. The power to marry belongs to the man and woman, and it is recognized by the Church when done sacramentally, the state when done legally.

            • Marriage is sanctified by Christ.

          • Patrick

            ““By the power invested in me by the state of…” it is not the power of the church that makes a marriage legal, it is the state.”

            So if the state breaks down tomorrow, my marriage is nullified?

            Ack! Nein!

      • Ted Seeber

        “You cannot leave the Family to the tender mercies of the State.”

        I completely agree- but would also argue that we already have and that this ship sailed more than 75 years ago.

        • Dennis Mahon

          The Family ain’t dead yet.

          • Ted Seeber

            It’s coming close. Or at lest, the married family is nearly dead. That’s why most of Generation Y and the millenials are choosing to just not do the marriage thing, too big of a hassle to get divorced, so no marriage for them at all.

            • ds

              Never tell anyone outside the family what you are thinking.

    • kenneth

      It’s a brilliant and obvious and very clean solution, and one which naturally arises from our nation’s origin as a non-religious but religiously tolerant society. Civil marriage is a civil contract, not a sacrament of any kind. Religious sacramental marriage is just that, and not to be defined or interfered with in any way by the state. It’s a perfect, straight, policeable DMZ between the two sides. Even many staunch conservatives see the wisdom in it. I was greatly surprised to see even Elizabeth Scalia acknowledge the wisdom of it, though I don’t know that she’s ready to advocate for it. The problem is, much of the conservative wing isn’t ready to relinquish their defacto but illegitimate theocratic ambitions. They believe the state is or should be an extension of their religion, and that civil marriage is really still just a patented religious process that churches license out to the state as a courtesy, conditional upon the state enforcing religious doctrine.

      • Dale Price

        The problem is, much of the conservative wing isn’t ready to relinquish their defacto but illegitimate theocratic ambitions. They believe the state is or should be an extension of their religion, and that civil marriage is really still just a patented religious process that churches license out to the state as a courtesy, conditional upon the state enforcing religious doctrine.

        You were becoming interesting, then you used the thought-substitute term “theocrat.”

        If the progressives were willing to relinquish their de facto and illegitimate Soviet ambitions to to cleanse the public square of religion, conservatives would probably relax more.

        • kenneth

          There is simply no way to characterize the conservative position on gay marriage except to call it a theocratic instinct, or at least the belief in an confessional state. They have not ever come up with a credible non-religious reason to outlaw gay unions. The closest thing ever offered to a secular argument against SSM is the assertion that “those people are malicious and who knows what they’ll do to us next if they get this.” That’s not a public policy argument. It’s a justification for pogroms. They clearly believe all state institutions, including civil marriage, exist only as an extension of their religious beliefs and cannot be allowed to deviate from that in any way. That’s what theocracy is all about.

          • Dale Price

            Paranoid nonsense.

            Here’s how you sound, in terms that you would object to:
            The argument *for* gay marriage is nothing more than the latest phase in a Soviet-style utopian project, the continuing direct assault on non-governmental mediating institutions which stand in the way of a cradle-to-grave socialist state. The goal is to demonize, weaken and finally destroy competiting institutions, to create divided and dependent constituencies which look to the State as the definer and bestower of goods, and the final arbiter of meaning. The argument for equality is simply a convenient cover for the assault.

            Sounds paranoid? So do you.

            So do you.

            The secular argument against gay marriage is that you don’ t need to privilege a relationship that contributes nothing, long term, to the viability and long-term survival of civil society. There are plenty of other ways to meet the needs of homosexual partnerships, none of which require recognition as marriage.

            • Dale Price

              In retrospect, the last paragraph had a nasty edge I did not intend, especially the first sentence. A stable, *faithful* gay relationship does offer a valuable contribution to society, long term. Such relationships can be provided for through civil unions.

              But there’s nothing discriminatory about privileging the relationship which produces children.

          • But gays just want to live in peace, married or otherwise, and they never want to try to force or threaten any church, ever. Right?


            Maybe not…

            You’ll call it a “generalisation”, but you have to admit that there are more and more instances where the militant gay agenda (yes, a minority of them, but it’s growing..or getting bolder, if you will) is trying to force the hands of churches and the pastors who advocate for traditional marriage.

      • Dennis Mahon

        There is simply no way to characterize the conservative position on gay marriage except to call it a theocratic instinct, or at least the belief in an confessional state.
        The conservative position on gay marriage is that it doesn’t exist. Marriage is the social institution that protects the Family from the worst impulses of human nature, and to advance Western Civilization. “Gay marriage” does not protect the Family, and may in fact expose it to the worst impulses of human nature.
        What’s “theocratic” about that?

        • kenneth

          It’s theocratic because it resorts to assertions that are 100% religious in nature, and not any scientific fact that can be objectively tested and disproven. No one has been able to articulate any actual harms posed by gay marriage that are quantifiable or supported by data or conclusions of any mainstream scientific communities. If there was such data, the anti-SSM movement would have played that card and played it big, long long ago. It hasn’t played it because it doesn’t exist, and that’s why we see all the fancy footwork and scare tactics about incest and all the other nonsense. Dropping the term “natural law” is also not scientific, nor secular. It’s an assertion that says “my religion is really just the universal operating system of reality and everyone knows it.” That dog won’t hunt in any debate governed by rational evidence-based discourse rather than religious sentiment.

          At the end of the day, when you insist on making civil law based on no other justification than “my god says so,” that’s theocracy. There’s no way it can be construed as anything else but theocracy.

      • Ted Seeber

        And my response to you is that this is a *LEGITIMATE* theocratic ambition, given the destruction caused by leaving marriage to the State already.

      • Patrick

        “The problem is, much of the conservative wing isn’t ready to relinquish their defacto but illegitimate theocratic ambitions.”


        • kenneth

          No, Hezekiah will attest, much to his dismay, that this is the real me…

  • leahlibresco

    I agree with Bill above, the legislation under consideration limits the religious freedom of chaplains whose churches permit gay marriage.

    Currently, no Catholic chaplain is required to perform a marriage for a non-Catholic soldier or a Catholic one who has impediments to marriage (previous marriage not annulled, etc). That wouldn’t change if gay weddings were allowed on base, it would only add one thing to the list of impediments that might come up.

    The concern I’ve seen about conscience objections for chaplains over in my quite liberal circles is that a chaplain might refuse to counsel a gay soldier or would harass them in the name of religious freedom. In the military, a soldier’s counselling options are limited, so gay soldiers may want to talk to chaplains that don’t share their moral beliefs or even their underlying faith. (I don’t think there are a lot of reconstructionist Jews serving as chaplains).

    This is a delicate problem on both sides, but not a totally new one, since weird chaplaincy-soldier matchups already occur. My side just wants to make it less likely that a soldier who wants to talk to the highly conservative evangelical chaplain with their unit about expanding their prayer life isn’t going to get harangued as an abomination. (Which seems like bad tactics for the chaplain anyway). That’s the limit of my radical homosexual agenda, anyway.

    • S. Murphy

      I think, with a little good will and intelligence on both sides, we can all, I dunno, put up with each other. The thing that’s going to be a sticky wicket for Catholic chaplains isn’t going to be that some moron will attempt to order them to perform a same-sex wedding. It’s that some precious twit who was ‘raised Catholic,’ or some bitter jackass who wants to be a test case, will demand to be married to a same-sex lover in the Catholic Chapel on base (some bases have separate Catholic, Protestant, and even Orthodox chapels), which is owned and maintained by the government, etc. – albeit probably built at least partly by donations – but which houses the Blessed Sacrament, and therefore can’t be used for a ceremony that profanes the Sacrament of Matrimony, in the Lord’s house, in front of His altar and in sight of His very presence in the tabernacle.
      So, e.g., it’s just a matter of time – 2-5 years, before, for example, the Catholic chapel at Camp Lejeune is desacralized and turned non-denominational. Maybe the same thing will happen to the Orthodox chapel around the corner on Camp Johnson, too. Priests attempting to stand up to this will be the end of Catholic chaplains being welcome in the US military.
      Now, it doesn’t have to be that way. The gays and liberals could let the Catholics have their already-existing house of worship; but you know damn well they won’t. They could recognize the fact that most Catholic chaplains are actually professional enough to counsel non-Catholics on the basis of ‘human being who doesn’t share my worldview but needs a safe place to vent or think through a problem.’ Of course, there’ll be a gay Catholic who files an EO complaint after being counseled, qua counseling or in the confessional, as a Catholic, too.
      And there will be a chaplain who thinks he’s speaking truth to power and telling it like it is and so forth, who crosses the line of professionalism and gives public, Huffpo credibility to the ‘look, they’re all bigots, make them go away,’ line of argument. I actually know that guy. But I know his much more intelligent colleagues, too; and being a Catholic, and a Marine, I’d love to keep them around.

  • Marion

    Sometimes no gay-friendly chaplain will be available on or near some bases.

    Even though it’s up to the base chaplain to try to secure someone to perform the service, this could mean flying a chaplain in from 300 miles away in some cases. The military can’t be doing that. They won’t. Too expensive.

    To allow same-sex marriage where conveniently available means that same-sex couples stationed at certain bases will be able to. While other couples at other bases, won’t be able to. Ever. This means that a same-sex attracted member of the military won’t know what to expect in the way of options available to him or to her, as he is stationed from one base to the next.

    If there is one thing the military doesn’t like to do, is to have its members not know what they can expect from the service. This would make bureaucracy types’ hair stand on end. Random and unpredictable is no good. Not for the couples – the couples would probably come to terms with it. The military bureaucrats and functionaries would literally be walking around looking as if they had stuck their fingers into electrical outlets.

    To prevent this, the military makes the rule: the gay weddings on any military base, period.

    So. Liberal Protestant and Jewish chaplains hold the service at a lovely church or synagogue near the base, or in a charming park, or at a nice hotel or B&B. Maybe the military works out a deal with some of those venues for just such occasions and the cost to the couple is the same as the base chapel would have been.

    • Ted Seeber

      “Even though it’s up to the base chaplain to try to secure someone to perform the service, this could mean flying a chaplain in from 300 miles away in some cases. The military can’t be doing that. They won’t. Too expensive.”

      Too expensive in comparison to what? A billion dollar a day war against violent criminals that would be better handled by local police?

  • It’s this way: It’s like saying to an Orthodox Jew “what’s your philosophical objection to eating pork?”

    The answer is: It’s forbidden by God. Martyrs permitted themselves to be torn to pieces rather than to eat the flesh of swine.

    That’s how real Christians feel about so-called “same-sex marriage.”

    • kenneth

      But the difference is, how many Orthodox rabbis have tried to outlaw pork for everyone? And how long, in minutes, would you tolerate such a regime? According to your logic, they should seek to outlaw pork for everyone, and now, because “it’s only a matter of time” before the morally degenerate state and pork lobby forces Jews to eat pork and sanction it as kosher!

      • Dennis Mahon

        But the difference is, how many Orthodox rabbis have tried to outlaw pork for everyone?
        No – the difference is not that we are not forcing anyone to marry; we are trying to keep the State from redefining marriage. It’s not like an Orthodox rabbi forcing everyone to stop eating pork; it’s like the state forcing Orthodox Jews to call all pork “lamb”.

        • kenneth

          You’re trying to force a sectarian religious doctrine on the general public, for reasons that derive only from your own religious doctrine. There’s no way around that. That’s theocracy.

          • Dennis Mahon

            No, you are trying to force your sectarian doctrine on the general public, for reasons that derive only from your own “non-religious” doctrine. There’s no way around that. That’s tyranny.

  • bob

    There’s actually nothing new or even awful about having to go to the land office to get married. It might be new here, but over 50 years ago when my Orthodox priest was married as a layman in Germany, there were two ceremonies. One in the government office seated across from a bureaucrat and a second later in the day in church. Our slight variant on that is the signing of a marriage license that the state requires and that marriage being registered afterwards with the state with a certificate. What the church or synagogue does in between isn’t their interest. It’s a contract to the state, and for those who don’t regard marriage as a *sacrament* that may be a problem, because all they *have* is a contract. It’s when so called marriage between two of a kind tries to horn in on a sacramental thing that Catholics or Orthodox need to worry.

    • Marion

      Although persons leading profoundly disordered lives cannot disrupt the sacred character of Christian marriage, Catholics and Orthodox ought to be concerned when persons living disordered lives are permitted by the state to corrupt the venerable and praiseworthy natural state of marriage – which all married persons have hitherto shared legitmately.

      Catholics and Orthodox don’t lead lives floating 20,000 feet above the rest of the planet, you know. We are involved in the same societal conditions that the rest of humanity is in. Including marriage. Many, many Orthodox and Catholics divorce and remarry because the larger society gave its approbation to such actions. The marriages of Orthodox and Catholic families are by no means immune to what is going on in the larger society. We are not on an island or on a satellite orbiting the Earth. We and our families are very much affected by these matters.

      Natural human marriage once was a venerable institution. No-fault divorce weakened it. Same-sex unions are poisoning it. It’s all very destructive, and it affects all of us.

      • Ted Seeber

        I’d go so far as to say no-fault divorce killed it- and same-sex unions are just ripping apart the corpse.

  • I Won

    Canada used to be sane. Then the Liberals got a majority and ramrodded gay marriage through commons, senate, and royal ascent. Then…

  • ds

    Section 537 of the bill would prevent a same sex marriage from being performed on any property owned or rented by the DoD. It’s just another way conservatives are sneakily trying to stop gays from getting married even when it doesn’t involve people with religious objections or their property. So this isn’t a “toldja so” so much as “they’re [conservatives are] at it again.”

    • kenneth

      The conservatives in this case are just mimicking an ancient, and inhumane tactic of war: When you’re losing and in retreat, poison the wells, burn the fields and kill all the livestock. Deny the enemy whatever you can and if you have to go down, go down vicious.

  • I Won

    Anglicanism imploded a short while later.

  • Lisa

    I’ve thrown in the towel. Homo-marriage is inevitable and will be followed by polygamy within ten years. We’d be better off simply accepting it and moving on. To oppose it is like chasing the wind. I really doubt that the government will force its agenda on the Church. After all, it has not been able to force gender equality on the church, which has been federal law for 40 years. I doubt it will be able to force sodomy on us.

    • That’s the spirit Lisa…fold like a tent, just like they want you to.

      Gender equality in the church via federal fiat? What the heck are you talking about?

      • LUKE1732

        I think Lisa is referring to the govt not yet forcing the Church to ordain women priests.

        America never was a Catholic country. As American Protestantism becomes less Christian, so does America. There are plenty of people (and “churches”) who call them themselves Christian (many Catholics included) that are just fine with fornication, divorce, contraception, sodomy and abortion. SSM will be just one more milestone in our slide towards decadence. Combine our cultural challenges with our educational and economic crises and you can see we’re in deep doo-doo.

        The Faithful Remnant should be making plans for the New Monasticism to survive the coming Dark Age.

        • Yes…perhaps I was being too uncharitable and didn’t see through Lisa’s sarcasm, for which I apologise.

          I guess when you get beat over the head all of the time like we do, you can’t always see clearly.

          • LUKE1732

            Oh, I don’t think she was being sarcastic. I think she feels safe because the govt hasn’t yet forced the Church to accept “gender equality”. As for me, I think the key word is “yet”. Lawsuits about women priests and the seal of confession and other things I can’t even imagine are probably on their way.

            • Lisa

              I did not intend to be sarcastic, nor depressing. I honestly feel that SSM is inevitable, just as homosexuals in the military was. It’s a matter of the awful trajectory of postmodern thought.

              Fortunately for us, the RC Church cannot ever descend to this position, unlike the mainstream protestants who effectively vote on their core beliefs. The good news is that we will see more converts to our faith; the bad news is that we will be persecuted more sharply for our “hatered,” but that is nothing new.

              I think the worst consequesnces of SSM will be in the area of adoption. As an adoptive mother, I know that the decision of an unwed mother to choose adoption is more often than not a decision of 51:49% certainty, and the prospect of giving one’s baby to two men or two women will tip many young women to choose abortion or single parenting. There’s just no way the courts will ever proclaim that a man and a woman are better suited to raise a child than, say two or three women, once SSM is declared legal. This is also a topic you wont hear discussed, as it basically brands the unwed mother as a biggot.

              My advice, render unto Ceasar, but defend the Church to the bitter end. And pray for unwed mothers.

              • kenneth

                Gay couples already have adoption rights in most jurisdictions. Marriage would not change that at all one way or another. If a woman chooses to abort rather than face the possibility of gay adoption, that says a hell of a lot more about her than gays.

            • Linda C.

              Two weeks before Hosanna v. Tabor, the Justice Dept. was holding meetings discussing whether and how they could file suit against Catholic churches for refusing to ordain women. The unanimous decision regarding churches’ exclusive right to select and define ministers quashed that, but the effort was already being made.

    • Ted Seeber

      Funny, in my parish over the last 20 years, gender “equality” has been forced on the church so much that the only male parish employee left is the priest.

      • ds

        Forced by whom?

        • Ted Seeber

          To me, it seems like the same brigade who can’t say the Nicene Creed because it refers to God as Father, and that’s sexist.

      • Charlie

        Has Deacon Scott left? I’ve been gone awhile and haven’t kept up too closely.

        • Ted Seeber

          I was thinking of St. Clare’s- but Deacon Scott may soon leave St. John Fisher as well when the new priest comes in (Msgr. Murphy is leaving to take over fundraising for Central Catholic).

          John Clare Council covers both parishes- and I’m a member at St. Clare’s. My DGK though is at SJF.

  • Kirt Higdon

    I’ve said for years now that we need a clear separation between civil and Church weddings. In fact that is the practice in most of Europe and Latin America. And no reason why the Church should take any interest whatever in what the couple decides to do with respect to civil marriage. It’s not a real marriage anyway, just government paperwork which may or may not confer some kind of tax advantage or disadvantage and which may be unilaterally desolved at any time and for any reason thanks to no-fault divorce. It’s not even a real contract. Let each couple decide for themselves whether they want to do the paper work. The real marriage is what the Church recognizes.

  • kenneth

    This is just more fear-mongering and a bit of retribution for Obama’s position on the issue. There is no threat to clergy’s freedom of religion, at all. Pentagon policy already explicitly exempts clergy from having to perform gay marriage in contradiction with their church’s teaching.

    • B.E. Ward

      Because policy can *never* be changed……

      • kenneth

        Policy always changes over time, but guess what? So does the will of Congress. Unless these fools plan to to take on the ultimate Quixote charge and try to amend the Constitution, it could change (so can amendments, for that matter). Punishing someone pre-emptively based on what you fear they’ll do is the same spirit that has legitimized torture, assasinations and indefinite detention. That’s what truly blows me away in all this. Mark dedicates a lot of ink against this police state thinking because he recognizes that the apparatus of pre-emptive power WILL be used against a nation’s own citizens, sooner or later. Then, he, and others here, turn around and celebrate these same demagogues as heroes when they propose to pre-emptively take away the freedoms of a class of people as likely enemies of the state. You complain about the monster of statism, but you feed it everything it wants when you perceive it’s heeding your own commands.

        • Dennis Mahon

          Policy always changes over time, but guess what? So does the will of Congress.
          Sorry – not about to hang the fate of Western Civilization on the chance Caesar will do the right thing.

          • kenneth

            Inasmuch as we don’t have a Caesar, what you’re really saying is that you don’t trust democracy and the rule of law to produce the result you want, so you’re going to pre-empt it as best you can by using its own tools. If gays are truly this sinister force bent on “destroying Western civilization”, do you really think petty-spirited holding actions like the one proposed in this post are really going to stop them? Do you really think that the people you seek to frustrate and humiliate at every turn aren’t going to remember your insults and repay them, with interest, when the political winds change, as they always do? If gays really, truly represent an existential threat to you, you’re just relieving yourself into the wind with such measures. You only really have two options if they’re that malicious and that dangerous: 1)Political and military partition of your population from theirs or, 2)genocide. Alternatively, I suppose we could all just back off the hysteria and try to live and let live..

            • Ted Seeber

              Democracy is rule by mob, and the mob is only as smart as it’s stupidest member.

              • kenneth

                Democracy has it’s shortcomings to be sure, but the only alternatives that would seem to fit your criteria of virtuous lawmaking would be a formal theocracy administered by a council of clerics, or a religious monarchy or military dictatorship.

            • Dennis Mahon

              Inasmuch as we don’t have a Caesar, what you’re really saying is that you don’t trust democracy and the rule of law to produce the result you want, so you’re going to pre-empt it as best you can by using its own tools.

              Well, that’s a laugh, given that every time it’s been put to the public, the public has said “No”- and that the gay activists have used the power of the Courts to ram it down the public’s throat.
              Project much, tyrant?

              • kenneth

                Our government is always a “tyrant” when they do something unpopular. The complaint you just outline was, almost word for word, the same beef George Wallace had about the courts and activists “ramming” their agenda down the public’s throat.

  • Dale Price

    What it’s going to come down to, eventually, is this: “Oh, I’m sorry, Catholic Church/Orthodox Church/Protestant churches who agree with them re: marriage: you either perform gay “marriages,” or we take away your right to participate in civil marriage licensing. Everyone else can get married in a church and have it “count” for the purpose of their civil marriage license, but Catholics and other “bigots” will have to “marry” in front of a judge or something and then have the church ceremony which won’t mean anything in the eyes of the state.”
    It’s coming.

    I have been saying this for quite a while now. This scenario is entirely in keeping with the “promise” not to force churches to marry homosexuals. It’s also entirely in keeping with the success enjoyed in driving Catholics out of adoption services.

    “You backwards clingers can celebrate whatever quaint bronze-age ceremonies you like in your hate temples (as long as you comply with OSHA, EPA and other assorted regulatory schemes brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Leviathan), but they’ll be meaningless. Get yourself to the enlightened Justice of the Peace and do it correctly there. But, hey–we kept our promise: you don’t have to marry gays.”

    • kenneth

      If Catholics, and more particularly, Americans, had any cultural memory at all, you’d recognize how toxic this sort of thinking really is. For several hundred years in Ireland, and in the American Colonies (and even after Independence), lots and lots of pre-emptive laws were passed restricting the rights of Catholics. They couldn’t live at all in some colonies upon pain of death. Couldn’t run their own schools, or own land, or have legal standing in court. They were virtually non-persons before the law in their own country. Why? It had nothing to do with anything they had done. It was all based on fear of what their enemies were sure they would do. “We know how these people are” went the thinking. “If we grant them any power under the law to do their own thing, it will only be a matter of time before they will abuse that power to destroy us. Catholics aren’t people who just want to live and do their thing. They will stop at nothing to break us to their ways. We better keep them in check while we still can….”

      • Tim

        And its all happening again. The rhetoric behind the “War on Women” implies that Catholics are going to impose their beliefs on everyone, and that allowing exemptions from regulations that intrude on their religious beliefs were justified in order to prevent such a terrible outcome.

      • Tim

        And it also sounds like this comment from above:

        “They clearly believe all state institutions, including civil marriage, exist only as an extension of their religious beliefs and cannot be allowed to deviate from that in any way. That’s what theocracy is all about.”

        It’s only a matter of time before the theocracy is established!!! Truly toxic.

      • Ted Seeber

        We’re headed that way- that’s exactly what the gay agenda wants- to force Catholics back into the closet just like we were in Ireland.

        If it wasn’t so, then every single gay marriage law would *already* have conscience protections in it.

        • kenneth

          I’m a big fan of conscience protections, if they are reasonably defined. No church should have to perform or recognize a gay marriage (or any performed by the state or another religious entity). There are people who want to construe “conscience” to mean that they should not have to obey any laws regarding non-discrimination in public services, and that’s a bridge too far.

          • Ted Seeber

            Then let’s see a marriage law written truly non-discriminatorily. One that makes it truly equal, and builds a firewall between church and state.

            How about “The state shall not issue marriage licenses at all or otherwise interfere with the teachings of religion in regard to households, and nobody gets any benefits for anything”?

            • kenneth

              There is an equity in that – nobody gets any legal benefit of contractual union/marriage, but I really doubt hetero America will stand for giving up all of the legal protections and privileges that come with marriage currently. I think it would be a damn good eye-opener to give straight Americans a taste of what they’re really doing to gays. Under this regime you suggest, your wife legally speaking would just become “Some chick you’re living with” and have no survivor benefits, no way to get on your employers health insurance, and so on. We already have a good firewall between church and state in this country, but the religious right wants to ignore/tear it down. They believe Christianity should have the same role in our society as Islam does in Saudi Arabia.

              • Dale Price

                They believe Christianity should have the same role in our society as Islam does in Saudi Arabia.

                Bullshit. Really, this is so bogglingly stupid that it indicates epistemic closure. It’s like some kind of masonic oath for anti-religious leftists–you have to repeat the code words to be a true member of the club.

                Repeating bullshit doesn’t make it any truer, kenneth. Put down your tattered copy of “The Handmaid’s Tale” for a moment and get off the “The Theocrats Are Coming!” kool-aid.

                The fact is, thoughtful gay commentators acknowledge what you will not: that gay rights will inevitably clash with religious rights. Chai Feldblum admits as much, and while expressing (genuine, I believe) sympathy for religious folks, she says that their concerns will inevitably have to be trumped in order to give gay people full equality. I guess maybe she’s a theocrat, too?

      • Dale Price

        Yeah, kenneth–we just imagined Catholic Charities been driven from adoption services in California and Massachusetts. Your Chip Diller act is wearing thin.

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    Hm. I suppose in Future post-modern Secular Land, the State will have redefined lots of things in any way that is expedient: Marriage may be between one man and one woman. Or it may be between two men. Or two women. Or one man and two or more women. Or between two men and a Honda Civic.

    A state of war may be defined as someone disagreeing with someone else over a card game, and the two sniff unpleasantly at each other. That could be defined as “war” by our post-modern secular state. On the other hand, there could be a deployment of hundreds of thousands of military troops, along with billions of dollars in weapons and munitions to a locality here in the U.S., even though the U.S. military is not allowed to be deployed among the civilian population on U.S. soil, but that’s no problem for the post-modern secular state; they would define those civilians as “potential harborers of terrorists” and the U.S. soil as “temporarily expatriated territory due to a national emergency.”

    See? It’s all just words. Nothing means anything. The Constitution? Just so much fluff. The Constitution also forbids the existence of titles of nobility, too, but that can be gotten around. Just redefine “nobility”. U.S. citizens wearing crowns on their heads, placing titles in front of their names aren’t “nobility,” they are “alternatively heritaged.”

    Hell’s bells, if we can think of it, we can make it legal. It’s just a question of redefining something. War is peace. Up is down. Good is doubleplusungood. I shoot you; I sue you for getting in the way of my bullet. (How dare you? The nerve!)

    I can walk into your house, plop down on your sofa, and put my feet up on the coffee table. “This is my house!” you demand. “That’s according to your definition of ‘my'” I shrug. “I’ll take a root beer. Got any?”

    Ultimately this business of redefining and nothing meaning anything anymore will lead to anarchy, then totalitarianism. I kind of think that it already has been doing just that for some time now.

    • Good on you. Great post.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      I think you would enjoy John C. Wright’s re-posting of his “What’s Wrong with the World” over at his blog. His chapter on political correctness, and how controlling language results in the death of thought, is very similar to what you’re saying here.

  • “Past, present, and future must encounter and penetrate every human life. Our age is the first to experience that hideous narcissism that cuts itself off from both past and future and that is preoccupied exclusively with its own present.”

    Pope Benedict XVI, In the Beginning…, Eerdmans

  • This controversy, on this site, is about to get personal, so I will recuse myself. I’m beginning to have a strong feeling that we are in the sinister presence of the tempter.

    I leave with this:


    Come up here with Me on this crosspiece –
    O no my Lord, let mercy grant release,
    I have no will or courage to attend
    To that dread invitation to defend

    I have not bid you up here to let go
    The nails that keep me fastened here below,
    But to companion Me and do My work
    Alongside where I hang here, do not shirk

    My wounds admit the toxins of your sin
    Both to forgive and let the poison in,
    So you will labor here, it must be so
    If you would join the kingdom where I go

    Forgive My bitter enemies and yours
    If you would come with Me through open doors,
    See, there is the light that shines within,
    Forgive and do not let the poison in

    May 13, 2012

  • Yawn!

    What a fevered imagination,Kenny. Maybe it’s trychnossis?

  • Elaine S.

    The State doesn’t register baptisms (although baptismal certificates can, in some circumstances, be accepted as proof of age IF, and only if, a government birth certificate can’t be found), first Communions, confirmations, or ordinations. Nor does the State recognize decrees of nullity granted by Church tribunals. Why, then, is it really absolutely essential for the State to recognize the SACRAMENT of matrimony as an equivalent of civil marriage, particularly if such recognition comes at the price of denying one or more essential elements of sacramental marriage? I say go ahead and just completely separate civil marriage and religious marriage: you do one at the courthouse and the other at church, just as has been done in other countries for centuries.

  • BHO


    • kenneth

      What you’re missing, and what the original story is missing and trying to obscure, is that there has been no change to the Pentagon’s policy and no threat whatsoever to force chaplains to do anything against their conscience. This is a case of the Religious Right knocking down a straw man and proclaiming themselves dragon-slayers. The authors of this House bill are practicing “pre-emptive self defense.” There is no move afoot to force chaplains to do anything, but like we saw in the old Soviet Union, some of the higher-ups have decided that this class of people (gays), have an “anti-social and subversive agenda). To nip this “threat” in the bud, they’re getting out ahead of the issue to restrict these people’s freedoms even more, in order to prevent the depradations we just know they’re planning…..

      • Dennis Mahon

        What you’re missing, and what the original story is missing and trying to obscure, is that there has been no change to the Pentagon’s policy and no threat whatsoever to force chaplains to do anything against their conscience.

        Not yet.

  • TOM

    Secularists would love to see the removal of chaplains from the military. Andrew Sullivan advocated it a few years ago. Removing chaplains clears away any obstacles to promulgation of the greatness of gayness throughout the Armed Forces. Let’s review allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military in abut 10 years. I guarantee you that there will be negative results…

    • kenneth

      Most secularist are not atheists or areligious. We’re just people who really, really don’t appreciate government “help” in what to believe or worship, and we know the impulse to do so to be a corruption of the founding ideals of this nation. Chaplains pose no inherent problem in the military to anyone who understands professionalism, boundaries, and mutual respect. Chaplains are not there to hunt converts or to act as the uniformed lobbyist for their congregation. They’re there to serve the needs of people who are serving our country in uniquely difficult circumstances. All of them are supposed to serve the needs of all personnel, not just members of their own religion. Their value lies as much in just having a sympathetic ear outside of the chain of command as much as conducting services.

      Most chaplains get that, and know that good ministry in the broadest sense is about being present and doing more listening than talking. Nobody is asking chaplains to lie or soft-pedal their doctrine about gays or anything else. If it comes up, they’re free to speak truthfully about what their faith says and why it says that. The flip side of that is they’re not there to instigate conflict or to harangue or proselytize. The premise of ending DADT was very straightforward. The chaplains aren’t forced to violate their conscience or tradition. The soliders aren’t to be treated as criminals or second class citizens just for the fact of being gay. There is nothing in that arrangement to threaten the conscience or job of any chaplain who understands professionalism and the mission of chaplaincy. The only ones who have had a problem or would have a problem, are those very few aggressive and self-righteous jerks who thought the troops were there for their benefit, and not the other way around.

      The lawmakers in this mess are “responding” to a problem that they manufactured in their own minds as a rationale to use the military to grind a culture war axe. We can bet good money that: 1) Few, if any of these clowns has ever served and 2) They have no evidence or testimony of a serious problem from chaplains who are doing their job on the ground currently. They’re just trying to reinstate DADT by stealth, by casting chaplains as “victims” – not because they are victims or at risk of being victims, but because chaplains don’t have the written latitude to carry on like Westboro Baptist, their “religious freedom” is somehow threatened.

  • No dismay here,Ken.

    But I’ll vouch for him. He doesn’t even grasp the difference between human and civil rights, and yet he can prattle on endlessly about them.

    Maybe some of you white boys can try educating him about y’all’s common political constructs, because he’s alreadyproven incapable of receiving even mild correction from a savage like me.

    That’s hate hotter than the white surpemacists he runs with, donchaknow?

  • Hear that? When Kenny votes his conscienc, he’s civic minded.

    When I do, or you, it’s establishing a theocracy!

    What a maroon!!!

  • Now, previously you claimed our views aren’t illegitimate, now you say only views based in science are an appropriate perspective for voting.

    Which is it? Are our views legitimate?

    Are you a liar, or just confused? You’ve certainly made the latter a believable excuse.

    I’d run with that!