What Radical Gays Really Want…

What Radical Gays Really Want… May 18, 2012

…and will never, ever have. (And this is why, I might add, the demand for gay “marriage” will–apart from the action of grace–inevitably have to lead to the active persecution of Christians and other non-compliant types who refuse to approve of homosex as a positive good. The point of gay “marriage” is this: Tolerance is not enough. You. MUST. Approve!)

In the case of “gay marriage”, the big lie is that there is some desire on the part of conservatives and Christians in this country to actually deny some right, some liberty, some freedom to people who identify themselves and live as homosexuals. As abhorrent, disordered and immoral as I find the “gay lifestyle” to be, the truth is that – and here I speak for virtually every conservative Christian I know or have read – we really are not the least bit interested in micro-managing the sex-lives of our fellow citizens. We have absolutely no desire to have uniformed gendarmes kick in your bedroom doors to make sure no acts of sodomy are taking place in the middle of the night. The only thing more repugnant to me than such acts would be the prospect of becoming comfortable with the sort of routine invasions of personal privacy that would be required to ensure that no one was living out their life as a homosexual.

To be even more specific, to the gay couple we say: we do not care if you visit one another in the hospital. We do not care if you grant one another medical power of attorney. We do not care if you jointly own property. We do not care if you leave property for each other inherit when one of you dies. We do not care if you own a home together and live in it. We do not care if you get dressed up, rent a local hall, stage whatever sort of ceremony you like, and even refer to yourselves as “married.”

We may object, on different grounds, some secular, some religious, to your adopting children. After all, there are now other human beings in the equation- and there seems to be at least some kind of moral consensus across political lines that the interests of children do sometimes take precedence over the rights and privileges of adults. In any case, its something we can safely set aside for the moment.

To reiterate, this time specifically to the radical homosexual: on all the  issues that concern the consenting adults only, we don’t care. Of course we care in the abstract that you are leading lives of grave sin in open defiance of God, but then so do millions of “heterosexuals” who fornicate, commit adultery, use artificial contraception, sterilize themselves, and so on. Not every sin can or should be a matter for the state to concern itself with, and we are content to let God judge in these matters; but no sin, and this brings us closer to the main point here, can ever be called a virtue, no evil can ever be called a good, by any Christian with a conscience, or by any citizen who cares about the integrity of society.

You can live as you want, engage in whatever sort of contracts you like, conduct any sort of ceremonies you please. But there is one thing you cannot have, and it is the one thing you seek through this radical political agenda, these hysterical protests and complaints about Christians: our approval. It cannot possibly be about anything else, because it is really the only thing you are missing. You want to live in a world in which everyone regards what you do and how you live not only as normal, but as a positive good. And your attempts to legalize “gay marriage” are about this and this alone. It is not about “equal rights” that you already possess, it is not about the freedom to openly identify as gay, which you already have. It is about using the power of the state to force society to recognize your living arrangements and lifestyle choices as legitimate. It is about policing the thoughts and opinions of the American people. It is about sharing prestige with properly and truly married couples. It is about envy and resentment, and a deep, abiding hatred of religion in general and Christianity in particular.

Let me be blunt: your disordered lifestyles are not equal to the traditional marriage or the traditional family, which have served as the foundation of civilization since its very beginnings. You do not deserve equal prestige, and nor, for that matter, do “straight” couples who actively choose not to procreate. And you have no right to such things. You have no right to have the state give you extra benefits, tax breaks, or anything of the sort – you have no right to have your romantic choices ratified by society. You don’t have the right to go through life without being heckled or bullied, as you heckle and bully the Christians you hate, as you mock with the most disgusting outrages imaginable all that we hold sacred.

In the face of your tyranny, your bullying, your mockery, your boundless hate, we will continue to persevere.

“But there is one thing you cannot have, and it is the one thing you seek through this radical political agenda, these hysterical protests and complaints about Christians: our approval.”

Yep.  That’s exactly what this is about: Narcissism (and homosexuality and narcissism are like peas and carrots) rankles under the awareness of the immovable disapproval of those who know that homosex is disordered and who know what marriage actually is.  The hope of the radical homosexual is that somehow that approval can be forced.  When it becomes clear that it can’t be, and the might of the state is made available to enact vengeance on the intransigent, it will be, unless God somehow intervenes.

And even if persecution and punishment for failure to approve are meted out, the approval will not be given, because homosex is a sin and gay “marriage” is an ontological impossibility and a good number of people will never back down on those facts.

It’s ironic really.  The draconian demand for approval that cannot settle for mere tolerance shows that, at some level, that the gay “marriage” movement which holds Christians in such deep contempt hungers–with the hunger of a child eager to hear a word of praise from her Father–to hear praise from exactly the people that movement claims to despise.  And above all, it seems to me that this, in turn, demonstrates that such folk hunger to hear a word of love and welcome from God (as do we all).

We Christians, it seems to me, need to find a way to communicate that the homosexual is loved and welcomed by God–just not the sin of homosex.  But that requires that both we and they regard them as something more than their appetites and grasp that they are not identical to or co-terminous with those appetites.  It can be done, as people like Perry Lorenzo and Ron Belgau bear witness.  That’s where Joshua Gonnerman’s indictment of the failure of most of us Christians (I include myself here) to provide any living welcome to SSA people gives me pause.

So.  Homosex is a sin and gay “marriage” is an illusion.  I’m not budging on that.  Nor are a lot of other people.  That established, what *can* be done to say “There is a place in Jesus Christ for the SSA person and he is the real happiness and Yes you seek?”

Chaste SSA readers who have made their peace with God would be particularly welcome in my comboxes for this discussion.  How did you get there?

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  • John

    Great essay Mark. This about settles it. You have to take this one on the road.

    Love does not mean “total acceptance of anything”. Love for the handicapped doesn’t demand we all act as though being blind is “wonderful” or “the same as having sight”. Blindness is an impairment but the blind person has all the dignity and gifts and potential as any of us do and ought to be loved and helped. Ditto with folk with same-sex attraction.

    • Mark Shea

      I didn’t write it. That’s why it’s indented.

  • ds

    You can live as you want, engage in whatever sort of contracts you like, conduct any sort of ceremonies you please.

    The North Carolina marriage amendment bans any other type of domestic legal union besides 1-man-1-woman-marriage. So you clearly don’t speak for a lot of other conservatives on that issue, at least a whole state’s worth.

    • Ted Seeber

      It does? Have they started arresting the heterosexuals who live together without benefit of clergy yet?

    • steve

      I think he is saying that Catholics at least agree in America that people shall be able to live their life as they choose. The legislation of a state is trying to find the proper way to understand this. The only true answer this and many other social arguments is to have people come together and talk about them. I think on this abortion and many other topics we should have a great discussion between our greatest minds truly weighing the issues. Not a debate but a conference.

      • MattyD

        I’d back that 100%.

      • Ted Seeber

        On abortion- I tried that over the weekend. I’m convinced liberals simply don’t understand the message that abortion sends to those of us who, in the words of Margaret Sanger, are the Unfit.

    • Nordog

      @ds, the statement you cite and your own statement are not mutually exclusive. You appear to think that one contradicts the other. Strictly speaking that is not so.

      • MattyD

        Nordog, I hear you that “strictly speaking” the two statements are not mutually exclusive. But, come on. Let’s step back from “strictly speaking” and speak in ways that are meaningful to the real people’s lives. If conservatives say “You can live as you want, engage in whatever sort of contracts you like, conduct any sort of ceremonies you please,” but then go on to constitutionally prohibit civil unions, isn’t that contradictory?

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          How? Please demonstrate the contradiction?

          • MattyD

            Nordog, I’d be interested in your thoughts if you get a chance. I write that not to pester, just to clarify that I’m done conversing with Hez.

    • @ds,

      First, I would seriously doubt that the NC marriage amendment has any effect with respect to interfering with any two unrelated individuals’ rights to enter into binding contracts to:

      • legally hold property in joint tenancy with right of survivorship;
      • reside together in such jointly held property, or in rental property rented for the requisite number of tenants;
      • extend each to the other the right to visit them when one is in hospital and medically permitted to receive visitors;
      • each bequeath the other any or all of their property upon death; or
      • name each other the beneficiary of any life insurance policies.

      So, if I am correct, all that they would be denied would be the ability to file their income taxes jointly.

      I do suspect that they might well be permitted legally to adopt minor, or at least young, children, nor would they likely be qualified

      • Editing error. The last sentence in my comment should read “might well NOT be permitted….”

      • keddaw

        “legally hold property in joint tenancy with right of survivorship”
        Legally recognised spouses get tax breaks that wills to non-family members do not. Also, should you die intestate the property goes to kin, not your non-spouse spouse.
        “reside together in such jointly held property, or in rental property rented for the requisite number of tenants”
        Except in such places where the landlord chooses not to rent to unmarried people (although the type of people who do this likely wouldn’t rent to gay people either…). I am not au fait with US law on this matter, but I believe it is against the law for most places to deny a married couple on the grounds of race, extending marriage to gays would likely give them this protection too. I may be wrong on that.
        “extend each to the other the right to visit them when one is in hospital and medically permitted to receive visitors”
        Access has been denied in previous cases where it is only relatives that are allowed to visit, gay marriage would stop this. Also, more importantly, they most certainly cannot make medical, legal or financial decisions on their behalf should they be unable unless they’re married.
        “each bequeath the other any or all of their property upon death”
        Tax implications, family can challenge (and may win), will not written before death.
        “name each other the beneficiary of any life insurance policies”
        But not pensions, or work-related spouse cover, or many other situations where only the legal spouse can receive the benefit not any named party in a legal contract, unfortunately.

        There are other differences, especially as it relates to immigration if you get ‘married’/civil unioned abroad and/or to a non-citizen.

        Good effort though.

        • Ted Seeber

          1. Those tax breaks mean nothing to estates under $7 million.
          2. There are places where landlords can choose not to rent to unmarried people? It seems to me any place that backward isn’t likely to rent to gays just because they’re “married”.
          3. That’s mainly HIPPA, not marriage, and gay marriage will not solve this. Power of attorney WILL solve all of that and then some.
          4. Once again, taxes on estates don’t kick in until $7 million, and there are plenty of other loopholes around this for people that rich.
          5. I know of no contracts that would not require my wife to be a beneficiary to get the benefit of the contract.

      • JimBeam

        I am a North Carolina lawyer.

        Amendment One reads: “The marriage of one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that is recognized in this state.” The problem is that the phrase “domestic legal union” exists nowhere else in North Carolina law. We won’t know what “domestic legal union” means in North Carolina until the courts tell us. Amendment One might just define marriage. Or it might invalidate all sorts of legal protections for unmarried couples, including domestic violence protections. We just don’t know.

        Amendment One was created by out-of-state political action groups who don’t know anything about North Carolina law. This was a sloppy copy/paste job from another state. Furthermore N.C. Gen. Stat. 51-1 already defined marriage in NC as being between one man and one woman. GS 51-1 wasn’t going anywhere and no NC court could touch it. These are the reasons why I, as a North Carolina lawyer could not in good conscience support it.

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    Yes. Great article.

    I have one brother who has same-sex attraction, and one who has alcohol-bottle attraction. I love them both dearly. I pray for them daily. And I hope they can one day come to stay away from the same-sex business and the bottle business for the same reason – I love them, and want them to lead long, happy, healthy lives, and to enjoy life eternal.

  • “Gay Marriage” advocates, “women’s rights” advocates, “zero population growth” advocates are all advocating for the same thing- the abolition of the rights that they hold dear. Lemmie ‘splain. If the West continues this practice of not reproducing it will die off. Muslims and families of the global south are producing 2-4 times as many children as families in the West. Eventually, they will migrate over here, they will become the majority. And, if it becomes a Muslim majority, all the things that these people advocate will become capital offenses. It won’t happen in the next decade, and it won’t happen in this century, but it will happen.

    • Ted Seeber

      Given the demographics of Western Europe, Asia, and the United States, I’d say it will start happening between now and 2060- when 2/3rds of our population is scheduled to die of old age.

      So yes, within this century.

      • ds

        So what are you two saying? That even if one isn’t opposed to gay marriage and legalized abortion for religious reasons, one should at least get on your side or else the *wrong* kinds of people will outpopulate us?

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          No, I’m pretty sure they’re saying just the opposite.

          Those folks in the Global south, you know, the ones that don’t worship death and atomised individualism, will win the day.

          Ted’s predicting the wrong sort of people will pretty much die off in less than 50 yrs, specifically.

          • Actually, the birthrate in the Arab world has been declining rapidly lately and will match the west’s by 2050. Only sub-Saharan Africa is maintaining a non western birth rate and the majority of their population are now Christian. In addition, for the first time in history, there is a significant movement of Muslims to become followers of Christ – baptized or not baptized – growing tremendously over the past decade. Roughly about 1 million Muslims a year are becoming “Christ followers” in places like Iran, Bengal, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.

            So odd as it seems, between a declining birthrate in large parts of the Muslim world and the growing number of Christians by conversions, 2050 may not be as lop-sided as we thought. What is true is that traditional western European Christians will only make up 25% of the world’s Christians.

  • ds

    what *can* be done to say “There is a place in Jesus Christ for the SSA person and he is the real happiness and Yes you seek?

    Why don’t you tell me? Here’s your message to a faithfully married gay couple:

    We don’t hate you, we love you. We think your love for your spouse is intrinsically disordered and an abomination before god and should be illegal. But we only say that because we love you.

    And we think that you’re abusing the children you adopted by the fact of your raising them and you shouldn’t have been allowed to have them to begin with, but we only say that because we love you and your children. Please come to our church.

    Why shouldn’t gay people tell you to shove it, is the question you should be answering.

    • Mark Shea

      Thanks for demonstrating my point about how the refusal to offer approval for homosex will inevitably lead to persecution of Chrisians. Tolerance is not enough. Approval is demanded and failure to give it will be punished as soon as the machinery of the state becomes available to do so.

      And, no, precisely the point is that homosex and SSA should *not* be illegal. Thanks for demonstrating that lie as well.

      • ds

        I was not attempting a lie. I was trying to cite an example where the gay couple would be married. Is not the church against legalizing gay marriage? Maybe they aren’t opposed to legalizing gay adoption but they certainly are against it in general.

        So the church and gays that want a full life as I described above are at an impass, of sorts.

        What if gays could marry and adopt but no one would be forced to marry them? And no person would be required to place their biological child into a gay adoptive family? Would that be a satisfactory compromise?

        • Mark Shea

          Children have a right to a mother and a father. They do not exist to accessorize somebody’s need to be a parent. Hence, homosexuals will also not receive approval from Christians for gay adoption–and the result is that Christians will be punished for failure to approve. Similarly, the Church will not pretend that there is a such a thing as gay “marriage” though every government on earth pretend there is. And so Christians will likewise be punished for failing to approve. Still and all, there are homosexuals who find the approval they seek from God.

          It’s all about approval and mere tolerance cannot be tolerated.

          • Mark, you’re debating with a brick wall.

            • ds


              Notice how Mark conveniently danced around the majority of my comment?

              We don’t hate you, we love you. We think your love for your spouse is intrinsically disordered and an abomination before god and should be illegal. But we only say that because we love you.

              And we think that you’re abusing the children you adopted by the fact of your raising them and you shouldn’t have been allowed to have them to begin with, but we only say that because we love you and your children. Please come to our church.


              If a gay person has the guts to believe that they are not disordered, and that it is right for them to commit to the same sex person they love through marriage, and raise children, why should they come to the catholic church?

              Do you or Mark or Hezzy or Ted or any other of the faithful commenters here have an answer to the that question?

              And then if you’re gonna just have to agree to disagree with proud gay people and live in a society together, then what’s wrong with these things I outlined:

              (1)Gay or straight couples can marry. No church will be required to marry them or participate in any way with their marriage, but you can’t legally prevent it.

              (2)Gay or straight couples can adopt. No adoption agency can refuse couples on the basis of gay or straight. Most adoptions through agencies in the US are now open, where the birth parents get to choose who the child goes to. Birth parents would not be required to obey any guidelines about where the child is placed but their own conscience. But babies placed with agencies, where the birth parents are unable or refuse to choose the adoptive parents, the agencies would then have to be open to adoptive parents regardless of sexual orientation.

              • Juan

                Hi ds,

                I would argue that the reason that your couple would come to the church would be exactly the same reason every Cristian goes to church, in a word Jesus.
                The question isn’t if the church validates your lifestyle options, its if its the truth or not. The question is not your sex life its Jesus and his love and his word.
                The reason to go to church is the same and has been the same always and is still the same, that reason is the Truth.

                • ds

                  A lot of Christians go to church for Jesus, and they don’t believe what the Catholic church does. Some of them are gay.

                  And like Mark said, you will never approve of them. So maybe they go someplace else. What can you do but agree to disagree?

                  • Mark Shea

                    Mark didn’t say that. Mark *specifically* said that homosex will not be approved, nor will gay “marriage”. The person *is* approved of. Why do you insist on identifying the act with the person?

                    • ds

                      I am heteros#xual, a husband, a father. Its a package deal its all who i am. There are gay people who feel the same way about their own sxuality, spouses, and children. If someone were to tell me they didnt approve of my sexuality (actually having s#x with my spouse sxuality, not just being inclined as such), my marriage and my being a father to my child, but i was approved of, that approval would be meaningless. To gay people that want or have spouses or children you offer a hollow, meaningless approval.

                    • Glory to God in the Highest

                      @ds you speak as someone completely out of touch with his own civilisation. Jesus, St Paul, the Church and the entirety of historical Christianity, the cult from which our culture flows.

                      I’m not married, I don’t have sex, am I ‘heterosexual’? when a husband or wife gets sick or dies, or goes to war or whatever – and no longer have sex – what are they then?

                      We live in anti-culture now – a thing that has systematically searched out and vigorously undermined every single settled understanding of our civilisation. The very purpose of the existence of this anti-culture now is to do that work of undermining and destroying. Philip Reiff called it “My Life Amid the Deathworks”.

                      See secular demographer Eric Kaufmann http://www.american.com/archive/2012/may/why-the-future-will-be-more-religious-and-more-conservative-than-you-think

                      Pretty much everything you’re taught to believe by the liberal establishment is wrong http://spectator.org/archives/2010/07/16/americas-ruling-class-and-the/

                      As a chaste single man I am not trying to use the state to request the privileges and honour of marriage. Though Prof. Lawler marvellously extends the premise of SSM to its logical conclusion here http://bigthink.com/ideas/american-cartesian-and-the-emerging-right-to-same-sex-marriage?page=all

              • ds


              • Hezekiah Garrett

                Why does anyone need Christ?

                • ds

                  Crap I don’t even know anymore….

                  • Hezekiah Garrett

                    Really? I wouldn’t waste my time even thinking about gay marriage and abortion, then. I’d be trying to figure out who I am and what I need.

                    These issues are just a distraction from the work you really need to do then.

                    • ds

                      So is that serious advice or just more lacross stick beating?

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      Lacrosse hoop. Get it right.

                      That’s serious advice. I think I know why people need Him, and these discussions are still a huge distraction for me from the work I DO need to do.

              • Hi DS,
                Everyone is welcome in the Catholic Church. Indeed the invitation is open to everyone. But everyone who goes must understand we are all trying to reach the high standard set by the Church. It is a goal. The goal has a reward both today and in the future.

                No one, including me, should expect the Church to approve of any sin. Sin is sin. The Church is not a museum of siants but a hospital full of sinners.

                Once I haver removed sin from my life, I have found my life to be like breathing cleaner air, just like we are all meant to breathe. Note this is an ongoing process for me but it is an awesome journey. Any journey that is worthwhile has its struggles.

          • ds

            I am trying to posit a scenario where gay couples have the same LEGAL rights as straight couples.

            Gay or straight couples can marry. No church will be required to marry them or participate in any way with their marriage, but you can’t legally prevent it.

            Gay or straight couples can adopt. No adoption agency can refuse couples on the basis of gay or straight. Most adoptions through agencies in the US are now open, where the birth parents get to choose who the child goes to. Birth parents would not be required to obey any guidelines about where the child is placed but their own conscience. But babies placed with agencies, where the birth parents are unable or refuse to choose the adoptive parents, the agencies would then have to be open to adoptive parents regardless of sexual orientation.

            Would you object to that? Would that force your approval in some way that is not forced upon others?

          • ds

            How does the government saying to men are married require your approval?

            • Because its MY goverment who is saying that…

              See..Its a policy dispute over both what marriage is and what it should entail.

              • MattyD

                But, Fitz, if made policy, gay marriage doesn’t require your approval. Just an appropriate legal process. This is true of all policy disputes. Some folks agree, some don’t. Why would this policy require 100% approval? Society doesn’t get that on *any* issue.

                • Matt D.

                  But Mathew..this is not a simple poilicy dispute.. This is a Fundemental consitutional right. Such rights require massive public approval in order to be altered in such a dramatic fashion. (ie. a federal consitutional amendment) They are not up to “the states to decide”.

                  Instead of 2/3 of congress and 3/4 of the States – we have been subject to a carefully planned strategey of Judicial ursurpation of the Peoples fundemental rights. This is a commonly understood truth amoung those “in the know”
                  We are witnessing a culture being destroyed by dedicated sexual revolutionaries. It did not start with same-sex “marriage” and wont end with it.

                  So yes…Fundemental rights require (while not 100%) but near universal social approval and poltical support to be altered this way.
                  Clearly the opposite is the case..
                  If you dont understand any of this or believe I’m exagerating a point or two, just say so…because its all rather elementary from a govermental/ legal /consitutional understanding.

                  • MattyD

                    I hear you, Fitz, on the need for an appropriate legal process. (Which is why I said it would require an “appropriate legal process”). And I agree that legislative incrementalism is generally better than judicial fiat. But I’m not sure that gay marriage should be forced to clear the hurdle of constitutional amendment. If I understand correctly, different levels of government recognize and certify marriage in different ways. (E.g. Los Angeles recognizes civil unions for city legal matters. Is L.A. city government violating the constitution? I can’t see how). But whatever the appropriate legal process for gay marriage, no one is suggesting that you, as an individual, are expected to approve.

                    • No I dont think you do “hear me” Marriage is a fundemental civil right…you cant change its definition…its not even supposed to be on the table… this is a matter of fact…

                      We should be rebuilding the insitution…instead they are trying to lock in and reinforce the sexual revolution through changing the defintion of the only insitution that succesfully address family breakdown.

              • ds

                Right now the government says divorced people can marry. Do this require your approval? Do you think divorced people want your approval to get married? Or do they just want to get married? Do you really think gay people want your approval to get married? Or maybe they just want to freakin get married!?

                • Divorced people dont need my approaval to get married. Same-sex couples do need my approval because same-sex couples (unlike divorced opposite sex couples) dont want to get “married” they want to change the definition of marriage.

                  Since marriage as traditionally defined is a fundemental consitutional right, they cannot redifine this insitution without a federal consitutional amendment.

                  Thats what i mean when I say approval.

                  • EBS

                    Hi Fitz,

                    You are absolutely correct! “Same sex couples..don’t want to get “married” they want to change the definition of marriage”.

                    Here in Australia we currently have a minority government who has sought preference from The Greens Party. The Greens are having a BIG say, of late, in alot of policy changes and decision making in our country, because they hold the balance of power.
                    The head of The Greens Party, Bob Brown, is openly gay and has lived with his gay partner for decades. One of the Policy that The Greens are pushing is to “legalize” gay “marriage”.

                    Bob Brown has come out and publicly expressed that if gay “marriage” was legalized in Australia tomorrow, he has NO intention to marry his gay partner. No intention!

                    But, The Greens biggest policy agenda, and has been for decades, to legalize gay “marriage”. Go figure!

            • Rick

              If my government represents me, then what I think does matter. It is okay for me to take a stance and say what I think.

          • Robert

            Hey, Mark. Gay and faithful Catholic here. Love your blog for its no-nonsense, witty, and relevant commentary. I have a bone to pick with you about one thing you said, however:

            “Children have a right to a mother and a father. They do not exist to accessorize somebody’s need to be a parent.”

            I’m not sure that such a right exists, Mark. I was raised by a single parent, as were many all over the world (and it’s not as tragic as one may think). We’re not victims, we just had to go through life with a particular challenge that we couldn’t ameliorate ourselves due to either one’s lapse in responsibility or even to chance, as some were raised by one parent in the event of the other parent’s death. To call being the son or a daughter to both a mother and father is, IMHO, as silly as saying one has a right to any number of things in this world for which there simply is no guarantee due to circumstances beyond our control.

            Now, I know of some single individuals (almost exclusively women) who raise children on their own who are not their biological children. This is mainly done through an adoption. It’s one thing to say that children ought not to be confused by two people of the same sex playing roles that are naturally played by two genders. I understand that. Fine. What I’m wondering is if, as you put it, not only is it the right of a child to a mother and father, but that parenthood is itself not a right, and children do not exist for the social experiments of those who simply feel the need to be a parent, then how does one justify the taking in of a child by someone who is not married and therefore will not be able to provide a child with both a mother and a father? Why is this not contested as ardently as gay adoption, and why does it generally seem that people are willing to event grant the single who adopts the benefit of approval for having become a single parent simply because they could do so? Not that it’s anyone’s business (though she is very open about this on her show), but a relevant example of one such individual is Laura Ingraham. I generally like her show because she is seasoned in the topics she discusses and seems to know what she’s talking about, even though I may not agree with her 100% (and honestly, which two people on this Earth do?), but I find it very hypocritical that she be adamantly against gay adoption for more or less the same reason that you stated (dual sex parenting being a “right” to a child) yet has adopted multiple children from foreign countries as a woman who is not married. I don’t ask as an antagonizer. I think you’re a very intelligent and thoufhtful Catholic apologists and generally love all of your work. Is just like to get your thoughts on all of the above.

            • @Robert I can’t speak for Mark, and I haven’t read far enough below to know if he answered you. I would agree with your formulation, based on research and my personal experience. I, a male, was raised by a mother and father. I learned to model maleness and fatherhood from my father (including, to some degree his character flaws), and I formed a mental model of how a woman and a wife should conduct her life from my mother. I have great difficulty in seeing how a child in a family with two parents of the same sex can have a reasonable chance to accurately model the parents of the missing gender, whether for the child’s future behavior or for the child’s potential spouse, in such a family. And it is my understanding that this difficulty appears unambiguously in the research that has been done on the topic. I, being educated as a geologist and physicist, and an autodidact in Austrian economics, will freely acknowledge that I haven’t read it, nor am I academically equipped to evaluate its soundness.

              Pax et bonum,
              Keith Töpfer

          • @Mark Shea, et al,

            You are correct. The best summary I have seen of the general phenomenon you are describing (that is the demand for approval) was stated by the eminent Catholic canonist Edward Peters in an aritcle on his blog about the Planned Parenthood vs. Susan G. Komen dustup. He wrote:

            Wrong craves reassurance that it’s right. … it also helps them sleep at night.

            Pax et bonum,
            Keith Töpfer

          • Joe Mc. Faul

            What is the justification for Catholic priests adopting children, then?

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          What’s your married couple going to do? Beat me with a Lacrosse hoop? Burn me with water? Maybe they’ll bury me high up in the atmosphere?

          I was trying to come up with examples more nonsensical than your posited married couple.

          Detsinalahungu. (I tried, but I failed.)

        • Anya

          If gay “marriage” becomes a constitutional right then won’t it be a crime to refuse to “marry” them or allow ones biological child to be adopted by them?

          • ds

            Catholic priests are not currently required to marry divorced people, atheists, hindus. They wouldnt be required to marry gays either.

            Currently birth parents can decide who they want to place their child with for adoption based on race, religion, marital status. An Assyrian couple at my agency was chosen to adopt by assyrian birth parents just because they were assyrian. But the agency cant say”we wont work with black adoptive parents” or any other race or protected class. Do you see the difference?

            So while the catholic church refused to work with gay adoptive parents, and got out of the business rather than do so, a catholic birth mother could decide to not place her child with a same sex couple.

            • MattyD

              “Catholic priests are not currently required to marry divorced people, atheists, hindus. They wouldnt be required to marry gays either.”
              ds, you’ve made many excellent points, but are you sure about this one? I think critics of gay marriage may have a legitimate concern here. IE, if GM is enshrined as a “civil right” or “constitutional right”, then, before long, churches could be legally sanctioned when they refuse to perform them. (What you say about divorced couples, or Hindus, etc, is true. But, in those cases, no one is claiming a “civil right” or “constitutional right” to be married. Once a “right” is enshrined it law, it becomes legally binding to all, even those who don’t concede that “right”). I do think GM critics have a legitimate concern that, before long, GM “rights” could become a huge legal burden and, thus, a major infringement on religious liberty.

              • ds

                It is completely legally possible to allow gay marriage and not force anyone to marry gays who doesnt want to. I support the rights of gays to marry and i will continue to support the church’s right to not marry who they dont want to.

              • keddaw

                It would be a ‘right’ to be married by the state, not in the eyes of a religion or their god. If the church functions as a private entity then it has no requirement to marry anyone it chooses not to, as long as those people can still be married by the state. However, if it takes public funds and acts on behalf of the state (rather than duplicate resources) then it will run afoul of that right – but that’s their fault for taking public money.

                Incidentally, many gays will push to force churches to marry them, and when they do I will be by the side of the religious telling the gays and the government exactly where to go. Until then, denying gay people marriage is either grammar Nazism (not a Godwin if preceded by grammar 😛 ) or simply bigotry – when consenting adult citizens A&B can enter into a contract with legal, medical, and state and federal financial benefits but consenting adult citizens C&D cannot based purely on their gender then you have an open and shut case of bigotry.

        • Alias Clio

          The government does not have the authority to make certain forms of marriage legal or illegal. Marriage precedes and predates government. What a government can do is grant recognition to certain forms of marriage and deny it to others; it is in this respect that it makes decisions (presumably with the will of the people behind it, in a democracy) that determine the kind of society in which its citizens live. Because make no mistake about it, the *form* marriage takes does determine the kind of society in which we live: a polygamous society is very different from a monogamous one. In short, marriage is NOT a purely personal decision between two people, or even between two people and their immediate community. If it were, we wouldn’t need to have this discussion. Anyway, back to the government’s right to dictate what marriage is: it has no such right, and neither do religious institutions. The nature, rights, and obligations of marriage in any society have always been decided by what is often called “the will of the people,” or (not quite the same thing) common law. At present, no common law anywhere really recognizes gay marriage, but I suspect it is not impossible that in 30 years or so, this might happen. Meanwhile, the eagerness of gay marriage advocates to place this kind of power in the hands of any government is disturbing and ought to be challenged at every turn.

    • The only reason they shouldn’t tell Mark (or anyone else) to shove it, is if they are interested in truth rather than just self.

    • Ted Seeber

      ds- the children you’ve adopted are being deprived of a parental figure of the opposite gender. How could that NOT result in a form of child abuse?

      • CK

        “ds- the children you’ve adopted are being deprived of a parental figure of the opposite gender. How could that NOT result in a form of child abuse?”

        Tread carefully. The way you constructed these sentances could imply that a widow/widower with children who does not re-marry the opposite gender could be enganging in a form of child abuse.

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          Frankly, the dishonest will infer what they will. It implies no such thing.

        • Ted Seeber

          Yes, and for young children, it is. Same with a parent that gets divorced. The trauma such children go through is indeed well established, which is why for in the case of both the widower and the divorced parent, counseling and mental therapy for the children is usually recommended.

          Tell me, why would a gay couple’s children not go through the same grief and trauma that a child of divorce or whose parent has died go through?

          • Hezekiah Garrett

            Abuse is an action, Ted. The widower who does not remarry is not abusing his children. No matter what kind of scars I may carry as a result of his decision.

            (And in a world of no-fault divorce, my dad may as well have been a widower.)

    • Nordog

      “Here’s your message to a faithfully married gay couple:…”

      “Faithfully married gay couple” is a compound oxymoron.

      • ds

        So again, you don’t want them in your church. You’re going to have to peaceably agree to disagree.

    • ds
      My advice to that couple would be to get over yourselfs. That the reason both marriage is defined the way it is always been defined, the reason people disapporve of same-sex adoption, and the reason Christianity condemns homosexual behavior is NOT to simply confound your qyest for happiness and fullfillment.

      Your need to be re-affirmed with your partner is less important than societies need to promote marriage in general.. It is marriage in general that helps encourage men & women coming together in fidelity to begin with..
      Childrens need for a mother & father is more important than your need for the affirmation of parenthood.. And societies need for sexual standards outweight your need to be fullfilled and approved of in your particular sexual desires.

      That is to say…your not the only person in society and its not unreasonable at all to assert that changing all these laws and traditions and perspectives on life will do a great deal more damage (and has) than re-affirming a small groups almost unsaisiable need for social affirmation.

      • ds

        I dont agree with that position. I dont think its hurts society for gays to marry and have families. And i dont think heterosexuals will stop getting married and having babies just because gays can get married.

        • Well if you dont understand our arguments and dont have any real insight into the legal or social consequences of what your involved in its know wonder people describe you as a “brick wall”.

          Obviously if your coming from a perspective where you see the oppositions viewpoint as lacking any validity your going to wonder why they wont capitulate to your demands.

          All I can really do is say keep an open mind & realize that marriage as traditionally defined is a fundemental consitutional right. That your opposition has been hamstrung by an aggresive judicial tyranny since before even Roe v Wade.

          That we predicted everything from 70% illigetamacy rates to 40% illigitamacy rates due to the sexual revolution that we see as being forced upon us as a people.

        • EBS

          Hey ds,

          I think gays should not only have a right to get married BUT ALSO to create children.
          How dare nature get in the way of their right to create a new life like heterosexuals do!?!
          It’s not fair! (kicking feet and hitting fists on the floor, tantrum style)
          After Obama is done with the Christians, he should see to biology and re-write all the science books. Or else prosecute God, yep, that’s a better idea, prosecute God for not allowing gays to procreate!!!

  • A Philosopher

    Well, here’s one data point. What I, qua advocate of same-s*x marriage, want is legalization of same-s*x marriage. That’s it. I don’t really understand why that’s such a hard thing to grasp or accept, but that’s really the whole truth of it.

    Now, there are many other things that I want in life, not qua advocate of same-s*x marriage. One of the things that I’d like is that everyone approve of the general category of same-s*x marriage, in the same way that reasonable people approve of the general category of marriage. That’s because I think that same-s*x marriages, like other marriages, are prima facie good, both intrinsically and extrinsically. Another thing I’d like is that everyone have a decent understanding of Godel’s Theorem. I don’t kid myself that either of these desires is likely to be satisfied any time soon, but that doesn’t stop me from having them. And having the desires doesn’t in any way entail intending to force anyone into conformity with the desires.

    Also: look, I’m happy to acknowledge that there are rational reasons to oppose same-s*x marriage that don’t derive from viceful animus against homosexuals. I don’t think the reasons hold up to much examination, but that’s true of many reasons that people act on without vice. But, frankly, I find it hard to see how someone can (repeatedly) make outrageous claims like “homosexuality and narcissism go together like peas and carrots” without it being a manifestation of viceful animus.

    [As usual, asterisks for the nanny filter.]

    • Ted Seeber

      “Well, here’s one data point. What I, qua advocate of same-s*x marriage, want is legalization of same-s*x marriage. That’s it. I don’t really understand why that’s such a hard thing to grasp or accept, but that’s really the whole truth of it.”

      What is hard to grasp is why you want a blatant contradiction and a biological, if not sociological or ontological, impossibility.

      And I’d love to see your proof that same sex marriage is a “prima facie good”. Continuation of the species is the only reason heterosexual marriage is a “prima facie good” and homosexual marriage cannot and will never obtain that.

      • A Philosopher


        Well, of course I don’t think that same-s*x marriage is a contradiction, or a biological, sociological, or ontological impossibility. That it’s not a biological impossibility I would have thought was wholly uncontroversial — marriage doesn’t even look like a biological category, and hence couldn’t be a biological impossibility. Claims that s*xuality duality is part of the concept of, or the property of, marriage look very unconvincing to me. (For Burge-style reasons, I tend to think concepts are pretty thin anyway, but even if they weren’t, I don’t see the evidence. And it seems to me that there’s a perfectly good characterization of marriage — as the bearer of a certain role characterized intrinsically by the co-mingling of ends and virtues and extrinsically by the bearer of an important level of social stabilization — that doesn’t place any s*xual duality requirement.)

        I don’t have a “proof” that same s*x marriage is a prima facie good, any more than I have a proof that heteros*xual marriage is prima facie good. (I don’t have a “proof” of much, really. But for the familiar Aristotelian reasons, looking for proof seems like the wrong thing to do here.) But I do have the observation that pretty much all of the reasons for regarding heterosexual marriage as a good carry over to same s*x marriage. I suspect it’s important here that I’m much less reductivist about marriage than you are — I think it’s obvious that “continuation of the species” is not the only good achieved through marriage (I would have thought the Catholic view was on my side here, since it held that another good achieved through marriage was a reproduction both of the dynamic unity of God and world through the Incarnation, and of the dynamic unity of the Trinity).

    • But the practical difference made by legalizing “same-s*x marriage” is to invoke the power of the state to FORCE those who do not consider it “marriage” to CALL it marriage. Coercion is what states do.

      • A Philosopher

        No, the practical difference made by legalizing same s*x marriage is to make it legally possible for same s*x couples to marry. (Why does this need to be said?) As with Ted, I think you’re being hampered by an undue reductivism. Coercion is not what states do (that is, not exclusively, or by essence). What states often do is give expression to the collective will of the people.

        • Seriously, Philosopher, you need to talk to some people on the law faculty, if you think that the nature of government is anything other than to use force upon those who disagree or who transgress “public policy”. Or, better yet, read some of the literature on the coming conflicts with religious liberty that will come from the re-definition of marriage. A good starting point would be the symposium published as “Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty” — a number of leading legal scholars outline the way the future will play out, and it’s full of conflicts.

          • A Philosopher


            Of course there are very difficult issues about the interaction between the protection of religious liberty and state action on same sex marriage. These are exactly the issues we ought to be talking about — talking about civilly, as people who, despite our deeply held differences on core issues, are joined in a common project of building and sustaining a public sphere. It’s hard to have that discussion, though, when the rhetoric is at the level at which Mark is pitching it (and, before you ask, at which many people on the other side of the issue are also pitching it).

            But I think one thing that’s important to remember here is that the general category of tension here is not a new one. It’s always, from the very beginning, been a struggle to find the right way to fit together protection of religious liberty with the ability of the state to take action which comes in conflict with people’s religious views. We have in general worked our way toward an admittedly messy, deeply contingent, and ad hoc collection of resolutions to particular instances of that struggle. I don’t see any reason to think that there’s any better form of solution available, or that we can’t reach a similar messy, contingent, and ad hoc patchwork for the next issue down the road.

            Finally, I don’t see why acknowledging any of this requires holding that the nature of the state is simply as a wielder of force. Indeed, I think that reductivist view stands very much in the way of making progress on the hard questions.

        • Dale Price

          Of course there are very difficult issues about the interaction between the protection of religious liberty and state action on same sex marriage. These are exactly the issues we ought to be talking about — talking about civilly, as people who, despite our deeply held differences on core issues, are joined in a common project of building and sustaining a public sphere.

          That sounds very high-minded, and it is. Unfortunately, its very high-mindedness is misleading. Even the most charitable advocates of gay rights flatly admit that religious rights have to give way when confronted with gay rights. For example, Chai Feldblum, who has written and spoken extensively on this. She does sympathize (genuinely, I think) with religious people, but says in the final analysis their rights are trumped by those of gays. She’s hard-pressed to think of an example where religious folks might win out.

          It is a zero-sum game, as the adoption battles in Massachusetts and California demonstrate. The state has used force to end Catholic adoption services. Increasingly, that is what the State is–a simple wielder of force in cultural battles.

          • ds

            The state only forbade discrimination of same sex couples. The church pulled themselves out b/c the refused to work with same sex couples. A more apt analogy would be the municipalities in the south that closed the public pool faced with the state no longer allowing it to be whites only.

            • Ted Seeber

              The state, by refusing discrimination against unfit parents, is guilty of child abuse DIRECTLY.

            • Dale Price

              I refuse to speak to you.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      So you would identify yourself as a “radical gay”, right?

      Otherwise, poor reading comprehension has to be a helluva disability for a modern philosopher.

      • A Philosopher


        If it helps, think of me as responding to Mark’s claim that “The point of gay “marriage” is this: Tolerance is not enough. You. MUST. Approve!”. Note that this claim came without restrictions to a class of “radical gays”.

        I do think in general Mark tends to take rhetorical shelter by starting off directing his accusations against a “problematized” subset of a group, and then let the claims drift into the full group. A sort of inverse “No True Scotsman” move, as it were.

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          Oh ok, I’ll be sure to respond to some fragment of your writing in the future divorced from context.

          I mean, it isn’t like he titled the blogpost or anything…

          (And I am not surprised that one dedicated to sterility of mind is dedicated to sterility of body.)

        • Ted Seeber

          Only radical gays are for gay marriage. TOLERANT gays are willing to live and let live.

    • “Also: look, I’m happy to acknowledge that there are rational reasons to oppose same-s*x marriage”

      Well then Philospher- you should have that discussion with the Supreme Court of New Hamphsire, Hawaii, Conneticut, New Jersey, California, and multiple other State Supreme and lower federal & state courts… All these courts decided same-sex “marriage” on the grounds that any and all arguments in defense of traditional marriage lacked a “rational basis”.

      This is the most defferential basis test in the law and has no particular legal meaning other than the practical one…having “something to do with reason”.

      Absent this Judicial travesty we would not be having this discussion. The proper mechanism for same-sex marriage…because marriage is a well established fundemental consitutional right; is for advocates to pursue a federal consitutional amendment.

      Their statagists new the difficulty of doing this an near impossibility of it happening due to a lack of enthusiasm for the change even amoung the left.

      So they usurped their authority in a transparently results oreinted fashion and forced the camels nose under the tent in conjuction with a similiar strategy worldwide..
      Now they have become (what I call) “newly minted, earstwhile, temporary federalists..” in another transparent bid to buy time & run out the clock until they can impose the same tyranical opinion on the entire nation..

      Now thats not a interesting philisophical question – but rather the actions of (literal) totalitarian despots.

  • MattyD

    “We do not care if you visit one another in the hospital. We do not care if you grant one another medical power of attorney. We do not care if you jointly own property…”etc…
    Umm… the problem is, that’s utterly false. Mark, you’re no fool, and you know that’s a heap of nonsense. That long list of demands (shared property, visitation, etc) was opposed every step of the way by much of American Christianity. It seems to me that it’s *because* of consistent Christian opposition– even to fairly benign demands — that SSA folks would feel compelled to demand a firmer legal bullwark, ie “marriage”. This narrative of “We Christians have been oh so reasonable and accommodating” is myth of cartoonish proportions. The truth is, conservative Christians acquiesce on those lesser demands *now*. Now that SSA folks have shamed conservative Christians into — by and large– social irrelevance on this issue.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      American Christianity opposed two men purchasing property together up until very recently? Really?

      How’s it work once you’re completely full? Does it run out of your ears?

      • MattyD

        1) Yes, if by “purchasing property together”, we mean “living together”. Are you suggesting that was *not* opposed? Seriously? 2) Re: “completely full”. How’s it work once you’re ad hominem and don’t have an argument?

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          Yeah, I’m suggesting you can’t show any statistically significant portion of anyone opposing two men living under the same roof.

          Go ahead, I’ll wait while you move the goalpost.

          • Hezekiah Garrett

            Move the goal post again, I mean.

            It started shared property, then it became being roommates.

            Go ahead and tighten your specious claim down to sodomy on the front lawn and congratulate yourself on your marvelous abilities.

            • MattyD

              HG, I’ll assume that, on some level, you want to discuss this intelligently and not nitpick in a pointless way. So let me try again. The excerpt that Mark cited talked about how the writer “didn’t care” if SSA folks did a long list of things including living together, hospital visitation, etc. In other words, he — the writer of the excerpt — was framing himself and conservative Christians as reasonable accommodators on all those demands *except* on the one demand of gay marriage. It is a central plank of the excerpt. I pointed out that this narrative is nonsense because he and many other conservative Christians were not even remotely reasonable accommodators of those lesser demands, but had, in fact, passionately opposed them. They — conservative Christians — are only *now* accommodating on those lesser demands because SSAs pushed back and won public support. Setting aside ad hominem and legalistic nitpicking, can you explain your objection to my point?

              • Hezekiah Garrett

                All I asked for was evidence.

                How is that nitpicking? Show me some great movement against roommates or shut up.

                • ds

                  Come on, Hez, are you trying to say that conservative christians haven’t fought against every bit of gay rights at every step of the way?

                  • Hezekiah Garrett

                    I’m sorry, Ds. I say what I mean. I mean what I say. It may be commonplace for you to say one thing, and to mean another. MattyD has obviously become addicted to it.

                    No need to assume it of everyone.

                    • MattyD

                      Hez, may I try, yet again, to engage you in a reasonable, adult way? I hear you on your demand for statistical evidence. And I understand your expectation that most people posting in comboxes would be able to provide footnotes and statistical evidence. But, let’s say, for now, that my staff of research librarians is at lunch and we’ll have to converse with reasonable assertions and logic. If you’re willing to do that, I don’t think it’s terribly controversial for me to assert that many Christians opposed the list of gay demands in the excerpt that Mark quoted. So, asking again, can you, like a reasonable adult, explain how you object to my main argument?

                  • Ted Seeber

                    They haven’t. They’ve only fought against Gay Wrongs

          • Joe Mc. Faul

            Well here’s one example…


            One of many. Too lazy to list them all.

        • Ted Seeber

          I know a lot of single men in college who were perfectly chaste and living together.

    • Ted Seeber

      I’ve known lots of non-married people who jointly own property. Sorry, you’ve got no case at all on that one.

      • MattyD

        Fine. I’ll amend “owning property” to “living together”. My point holds either way. Conservative Christians may say “We don’t care if (SSAs) _____”. But what the writer fails to recognize is that they *did* care about those things in the past. They passionately opposed. Then SSAs pushed back. And SSAs won the argument. And now conservative Christians are trying to re-write, or ignore, the history of their past opposition.

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          The Crusade against Roommates! They must have had a field day going after the college dorms back then. Any books you can reccomend on the subject? I don’t doubt you, I just wasn’t aware there had ever been any great push to require that adults males not share living quarters.

          (Here’s a free clue: You keep using euphemisms. If you’d speak forthrightly, I wouldn’t be able to sit here and treat you like a deluded fool for my own entertainment.)

          • Hezekiah Garrett

            Deluded tool. I didn’t mean fool.

            • MattyD

              If there’s anyone here that would be interested in a substantive discussion on this point, I’d love to hear it. The argument I’m putting forward is that Mark’s central claim in this post, and the citation, is faulty. I question the claim that conservative Christians have — generally speaking — been okay with the litany of gay demands put forth in the excerpt (visitation rights, etc). I’m arguing that this is a false history. So the claim that conservative Christians are *only* objecting to the demand of gay “approval” is self-evidently false. At least, I think it would be, for those who are willing to honestly think about it for a moment.

              • Well I hope I’m being honest…but like others on this board Matty I dont really know what your talking about. Everything from joint propert ownership, to hospital visitation, to inheritance and the like are ways Mark pointed to that gay men & woman can opproximate a marriage like enviroment without any special legislation much less changing the insitution of marriage.

                I am not aware of Christians attempting to stop these arrangments in the past or present. Perhaps your point would have been stronger and more lucid if you talked about gays in the military, or sodomy laws, or even workplace and houseing protections akin with civil rights laws.

                The best argument would be are opposition to even DP/CU..except that the Left never pushed for such an accomidation to begin with and went straight for marriage. Were they did get Civil Unions it was only because they couldent get marriage. And were they did get civil unions they have simply used them to assert a “seperate but equal” strategy.

                • MattyD

                  To me, it’s an interesting contradiction that you “don’t know what I’m talking about”, and yet you can add additional examples of what I’m talking about, e.g. sodomy laws, objection to gays serving openly in the military, objection to CU. Kinda sounds like you know what I’m talking about. This backs my main point. IE, when a conservative writer says “We don’t care that gays do x, y, z,” etc, everybody knows that’s largely false. Everybody knows that conservative Christians have objected, and continue to object, to a variety of what many now consider gay rights. Which is why I don’t understand this claim that conservative Christians have a track record of benign tolerance and have only now been Pushed Too Far.

                  • If that was your point then you should have said so.. instead you attacked marks point about certian things Christians have never objected to like joint property, hospital visitations and inheritance..

                    The other discusions are out of context and have their own reasons for opposition outside Christian sexual morality.

                    You make it sound like gay men & women were ready to bargin and we kept stonewalling every little point.. Nothing could be further from the truth. The plot to redifine marriage was done without compromise or even warning and was mounted internationally precisley to subvert traditional family and sexual ethics and marginalize traditional viewpoints.

                    As stated…even Civil Unions and the like were never seriously offered as an alternative and still are not.

                  • Ted Seeber

                    None of those are bans on same sex roommates.

  • Little doubt that part of the push to make SSM the law of the land is to make sure a large and visible organization like the Catholic Church is legally forced into a category of “bigot”. You’ve heard of “the new evangelization”; how about “the new persecution”.

  • leahlibresco

    I would be delighted of the state would make it possible for me to visit a partner in hospitals, adopt jointly, etc. I’m all in favor of civil unions being what the State does and marriage being what churches and other groups do. Yoking them together creates a weird tension between State and sacred authority.

    Oh, and can I add that I’d like an expanded notion of legal relationships, while we’re all libertarian contractors. A close friend may be the most relevant person to have access during family-only visiting hours. I’m with Eve Tushnet: treating marriage as the only form of radically transformative interpersonal relationship is a bad idea.

    • Ted Seeber

      I’ll believe that the procreationally challenged actually want that the day that I see a same sex civil union bill include heterosexuals and polygamists.

      Until then, it’s just so much talk and no action.

      • ds

        Rather than what you think other believe, what do YOU think about it? Would YOU oppose any of those measures Leah outlined?

        • Ted Seeber

          I have often stated that I’m for getting the state *completely out of the marriage business*, and replace it with a domestic partnership law for everybody.

          For that I’m an evil bigot who wants to oppress homosexuals.

    • “Oh, and can I add that I’d like an expanded notion of legal relationships, while we’re all libertarian contractors. A close friend may be the most relevant person to have access during family-only visiting hours.”

      And that is one of the many kernels in the nut. Why are sexual relationships the only ones considered deserving of “recognition”? What about “adults in interdependent relationships” (which is a quote from the Archbishop of Montreal) who are NOT screwing? Is it OK to “deny” them all the “rights” we keep hearing about?

    • Ignatius

      Leah, you say: “I’m with Eve Tushnet: treating marriage as the only form of radically transformative interpersonal relationship is a bad idea”. So what do you suggest? Some sort of legislated status for friends (and I am referring here to the customary and immemorial usage of the term: “mere” friendship)? Is it really necessary? Why should the Government meddle into this?

      • Hezekiah Garrett

        Because if government doesn’t meddle in how hospitals are run, hospitals do as they please.

        I’d prefer if we could just burn down businesses within our community who do evil, but y’all have a system markedly different from one I’d design. In yours, rather than burning it down as a community, you pick people to go off and write long abstract rules to try to keep them from being evil.

      • leahlibresco

        Yeah, good question. I don’t really want the State to set up a lot of distinct structures and try to invest them all with meaning. Ideally, I think I’d like for it to be easier to bundle a few of the legal documents it would take to make someone “like family” so there’s less running around. Living wills have been streamlined and made non-lawyer friendly. I imaging the same thing could be done for some of the other contracts and documents.

        • Ignatius

          Fair enough. Thanks for answering. But your vision -which seems to be a very sensible one- is legally rather modest and would perfectly leave untouched the institution of marriage. That’s precisely what the peddlers of the redefinition of marriage seem not to want. For them it is the radical redefinition of marriage or nothing. In my country we already have a governmentally imposed “egalitarian marriage” legislation in place. And its proponents would not agree to a proposal like yours. This is why I think Mark is right on this.

    • Dale Price

      It would be better if there were civil union laws that accounted for (1) what gays have a genuine gripe about, and (2) account for the needs of the broader population for caregiving, especially in an aging society with a dwindling birthrate. Something allowing for the designation of a person as a spousal-equivalent beneficiary, decisionmaker, heir, etc.–without privileging any particular constituency. That way we don’t have to worry about affirmation-festivals, but we do address genuine needs to the benefit of the broader society.

      • kenneth

        That’s all this fight really is about for the vast, vast majority of gay rights advocates, including me. Equity in standing before the law through a civil union. Gays do not have this in most jurisdictions and Mark well knows that, or would if he looked into the matter. Yes, there are various strategies one can use to knit a patchwork of things like powers of attorney etc., but the legal protections afforded by such arrangements and even most “domestic partnership” laws are very limited at present.

        The actions of the anti-SSM movement also reveals the lie that they are only concerned about redefinition of their sacramental marriage. They are fighting these “non-marriage” civil union arrangements tooth and nail. They are doing this in order to try to make the experience of being gay as humiliating and expensive and legally difficult as possible. They admit that they are fighting even the merest protections of domestic life for gays because they fear it will become precedent for more comprehensive rights. All of their actions and rhetoric contradict the assertion that they are willing to “live and let live” up to the point of approval. Their demonstrated intent is to employ whatever (admittedly limited) legal and political options they can to force gays to live according to their doctrine, at least publicly, “or else.”

        • kenneth

          They need to recast the debate as a fight over “approval” because they have no morally or legally defensible reasons to deny gays basic legal rights. It’s also a wonderfully effective tactic for aggressors to recast themselves as beleaguered victims and to recast their own aggression as reluctant self-defense. It’s also incredibly conceited to suppose that anyone desires, or even cares about, your “approval” about anything. Nobody wants the love of strangers or their oppressors, just simple respect.

          There is one sure way to smoke out what everyone’s true intent may be. For now, it will have to remain a thought experiment. Let’s suppose that we could find one person or a council of people that each side trusted completely to speak for them on the matter. Agreements would be signed in whatever degree of binding language humanly possible, and the core of the treaty would be this: gays would get real legally equitable civil unions. In return, they would give written acknowledgement that their marriages would never be recognized or performed or approved of by the various Christian denominations across the table from them. Let’s just say that the agreements, once signed, would be honored for all time. It would be damn interesting to have such an offer put before the parties and see who, if anyone, blinks first.

          • Dale Price

            I hate to be blunt, but you have to put the cap on the Handmaid’s Tale/The Theocracy Is Coming! nonsense. The fact is, people with better legal minds than yours or mine have thought long and hard about this, and recognize it’s a zero-sum game between religious rights and gay rights. Someone is going to get trumped. Per Chai Feldblum, it’s the religious who’d better cash out of the game. And that’s how it has played out so far: it’s apparent that gay rights advocates aren’t content with the idea that a Catholic adoption agency might not let them adopt–hence the hammer of the State shutting them down. That’s kinda…aggressive, he says with English understatement, and not a sign of always sinned against, never sinning. The two gay Connecticut legislators crafting a bill which would turn the Catholic Church in CT into a congregational operation–rather aggressive, that. Ditto the Tufts University decision to bar Christian groups which do not open leadership positions to sexually-active homosexuals. The University of Illinois suspending an instructor who explained the Catholic teaching on homosexuality to students in a dry, academic manner. Sure, they reinstated him, but message sent and received. This ends…where? It’s not smelling like a lot of folks on your side are up for a non-aggression pact.

          • Dale Price

            Plus, I’ve seen gay rights advocates reject the idea of a civil union law that recognizes non-conjugal partnerships. So, I wouldn’t be so sure it’s the Christers who blink first in your scenario. Which, in any event, does not guarantee that marriages performed by objecting churches would be recognized in perpetuity. Again, gay rights advocates like Chai Feldblum have been blunt in stating that tax-exemptions for “anti-gay” [sic] institutions would be ended in an ideal, gay-equality world. It’s a lot more complicated than you have been willing to admit to date.

            • kenneth

              It’s complicated only in that we’ve allowed the extremists of both sides to own the debate and define it as a zero sum game. Examples of loony runaway political correctness in academia are not reflective of what the overwhelming majority of ordinary gay people and their supporters wants. In fact, it’s not very representative of reality at all. Conservatives have been finding causes of grievance on university campuses since the late 80s, when Dinesh D’souza became the patron saint of that movement and the both of us were young men.

              I’ve honestly never heard of this Feldblum fellow and the Conneticut thing was pure grandstanding that had zero chance of ever becoming law or of withstanding any judicial scrutiny. It was Borat-style skit by a couple of lawmakers who wanted to publicly give the bird to the bishops and to get a rise out of Catholics. Well, they had their twisted bit of fun and that’s as far as it went. As to the adoption agency issue, that’s more complicated in my view. I have a real hard time defining “religious freedom” as a right to get paid by taxpayers to break the law of the land.

              There will always be screwball fanatics who are inclined to propose some extreme thing in the near or distant future. That is not a sufficient reason to deny the legitimate demands and aspirations of an entire class of people.

              • Dale Price

                You should become familiar with her–Chai is one of the foremost legal minds in the country. You can make an argument that she is the person most responsible for the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 2008 Amendments to that Act. I admire her intellect and her work on disabilities law immensely, and will be going to hear her speak again in June. She is well, well within the mainstream of the gay legal community, and represents its thinking well.

                You can dismiss the Connecticut assault as a stunt, and perhaps it was. But that it even got as far as it did was vile, and an act of profound bad faith. I will not listen to people who support such things, even as a “goof.”

                And what happens in the academy can’t be shrugged off so easily, especially when they are state agents (public schools) or getting bloated off the taxpayer trough. What begins in the academy has a funny way of becoming mainstream rather quickly.

                I would like to see the temperature come down, but it’s not going to, thanks to the legal maneuvers already underway. The North Carolina statute is more than I would have liked, an overreach. But in light of the 9th Circuit opinion in the Prop 8 case, the framers had little choice. Judge Reinhardt used the existence of the generous civil union law in California as ammunition against Prop 8. I guess some judges really think a white hot culture war with a second Roe would be a good thing for the country.

                • JimBeam

                  North Carolina never had civil unions and Amendment One is so broad that it opens North Carolina’s marriage law up to a federal challenge.

                  North Carolina’s previous marriage law, G.S. 51-1, wasn’t broke. So, please remind me why we had to go and fix it?

          • JimBeam

            Civil unions that recognize non-conjugal unions are common sense, and the vast majority of the population wouldn’t have a problem with that.

            The problem is that a vocal minority of the population on both sides would rather fight the Culture War instead.

        • Kennith (writes)

          “They are fighting these “non-marriage” civil union arrangements tooth and nail. They are doing this in order to try to make the experience of being gay as humiliating and expensive and legally difficult as possible. ”

          Two points:
          #1. As evidenced by Social ZConservative & Christian resistance to no-fault divorce, illigetamacy, feminism, birth control, adultery and the like..it is fair to say that our side is very much FOR marriage as traditionally defined. We understand that civil unions are not neccesary and only confuse our cultures understanding about the importance of, and primacy of, true marriage. We also understand that they can be used as a stepping stone twoard full redefintion of marriage in the future (Why dont we just give them the name “marriage” – it has all the same rights as civil-unions do now, “seperate but equel” and the like 10 years hence)

          #2. Your take on your own sides reasonablness is misguided. One needs look at the prominent academic & legal rationals behind same-sex “marriage” to understand that this is part of a protracted campaign against marriage itself. The quotes I can point to are legion. So while you and your friends may think its just about you, 40 years of war on the family show resonable people it is about then norm of the male/female intact family. This is evidenced by the fact that civil unions are not accepted by the legal stratagists envolved. No one on the gay side is saying this is all they want & places were they have them (California & others) they are used as a stepping stone and indeed justification for changing the definition itself.

          Why the conncentration amoung the real activist fron for reidifining marriage. Because they want to make real marriage “discriminatory” and any one who supports it. This has been a dream of the radical left for decades and is replete in the gay/feminist literature. They know we cant defend what we cant define.

          • kenneth

            You can’t defend what you assert the right to define in part because most of you don’t even buy into your own version of “traditional marriage.” Your divorce rates are no better than anyone else’s, and a great many of your leading political and cultural luminaries have histories of multiple marriages, “starter marriages”, numerous affairs, compromising moments with escorts etc.

  • Ben the Atheist

    Too bad for you the young don’t share your views, Mark. Tick tock tick tock. Just a matter of time. Morality trumps religion yet again.

    • How do you get ought from is? Is there objective morality? Where does it come from?

    • LUKE1732

      Oh, Ben, I’m not sure where to start.

      1) Often when the young become old they change their views. It’s called wisdom. Just a matter of time…

      2) Our side is out-breeding your side. Tick tock…

      3) Where exactly do you get your “morality” that trumps religion?

    • You do realize that your comments are just good sport for folks who are engaged in thinking things through, don’t you?

    • Dale Price

      Beclowned Ben is back. He of the unshakable belief in inevitable, straight-line progressions and the metaphysical certitude that no one ever changes their minds as they age.

    • kacm

      Just how young are these young that don’t share Mark’s views? I’m 20 years old, and I agree with him…

  • Ben the Atheist

    BTW the Barna group conducted a poll recently. What’s the first word that comes to mind when Christianity is mentioned to 18 to 30 year olds? “Anti-homosexual”. The next answer is “hypocritical”. Your losing.

    • LUKE1732

      Hey, everybody! Ben’s here!

      Now I can try again.

      Ben – can 3 black men be married? If not, why not?

      • Marx the Atheist

        Christianity so sucks.

        Ben the Atheist is so cool.

        Now your head will explode.

        • Pol Pot the Atheist

          Christianity so sucks.

          Ben the Atheist and Marx the Atheis are so cool.

          Now your head will explode.

          • Murerous Mao the Atheist

            Christianity so sucks.

            Ben the Atheist and Pol Pot the Atheist and Marx the Atheist are so cool.

            Now your head will explode.

            • Mark Shea

              Clearly the future is with you. And your ability to project arrogant confidence is an excellent substitute for facts or engagement with argument. 🙂

            • LUKE1732

              Even better. Can Marx the Atheist, Pol Pot the Atheist and Murderous Mao the Atheist get married? If not, why not? Why is nothing about marriage sacred except the number “two”?

              • kenneth

                The “why not” in this instance is because the Three Atheists of Socialists Luminaries are, almost certainly web bots and so are not sentient beings with standing as persons under the law or the capacity to enter and execute contracts! 🙂

    • Mark Shea

      I don’t see that here. http://www.barna.org/teens-next-gen-articles/528-six-reasons-young-christians-leave-church Since you often tell lies with great confidence, why should I believe you, troll?

    • Dale Price

      “You’re,” not “your.”
      Come on, now–you’ve got to do a better job of holding up the side than that, Caped Anti-Crusader.

  • http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/12434

    “Why I’m Coming Out Against Gay Marriage”

  • Joannie

    There are 3 things I would like to see on this website. No vulgarity or profanity “Screwing Around” This is suppose to be a Catholic Christian Site. Secondly Please stop the name calling and insults like the word “troll” and lastly Stop talking so much about only liberal ideas and disrespecting more Traditionally Orthodox Catholics. Why not talk about the Society of St. Pius X rather than just about Homosexuality? They make up less than 5% of our populations yet that’s all we ever hear about. Also how about the newly established Anglicans in Australia. It is all starting to get very redundant!

    • ds

      There are other websites for what you are looking for.

    • ivan_the_mad

      “troll” in this instance means: “In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”


  • arrogant b*trad

    Insert expletive laced rant here:

  • The Family Life Office of the Archdiocese of New York hosted a conference this spring. A gentleman who was involved with Courage spoke about his own personal journey with SSA, including immersion in the “gay” world, and his conversion thanks to the grace of God, the Sacraments, and the love of fellow Christians. The sinners in the audience (i.e., everyone) were moved by this testimony, and gave him a standing ovation. Tears of joy were shed. God is great.
    So, what can we as a Christian community do for similar people who are experiencing SSA (which is, after all, a symptom of the same original sin that afflicts us all)? First of all, we can’t lie and accept sex outside of marriage as morally good — all we can do is clearly and charitably explain God’s plan for sexuality and love, and His love for His broken children. Second, humbly offer a good example by our own lives of how to live (imperfectly, of course) in accordance with that plan. The witness of the gentleman from Courage is a great example of this. Third, as Mark points out, never cease proclaiming to the world the answer to our brokenness is Jesus. The goal of this discussion, as with all discussions, is to lead people to Him.

  • Jay

    The abundant attacks by so called tolerant people on Christians merely insures a solid defense wall for the sanctity of marriage. One can call something marriage but it doesn’t make it so.

  • papist and proud

    Its people like DS who REALLY strain my adherance to ‘turn the other cheek’. Sometimes I figure that we Christians would do much better if we took the atittude of the Orthodox Priests in Tiblisi (Republic of Gorgeia) who recently broke up a so called ‘gay rights’ march when the civil authorities refused to act.

    I know this sounds un-american but I think we should become what the sodomite fears and seek to use the power of the state to enforce God’s laws on Earth; lets use the power of the state to shame sodomites, corall them, harrass them and make them the social lepers they undoubtedly are.

    The femminist author Margret Atwood wrote a book called the “Handmaids’ Tale” about a fundementalist Christian state and how nasty we all are, well to be honest the idea of Catholic State (perhaps a version on the Iranian regieme) sounds pretty good to me: Where Christ is Adored and not mocked, modesty and chastity is promoted, athiesm is socially unacceptable, where the Holy Priesthood is respected and accorded the honour and privelidges it should by all rights enjoy and God’s will as revealed in his decrees is respected, promoted and defended by the state.

    • Mark Shea

      Thank you for that word from Fascists for a Darker and More Hateful Church. Meanwhile, the *actual* Church teaches:

      2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

      • papist and proud

        So what would you have me do Mark?

        Sit around and wait for those who engage in the worst form of peversity to use the power of the State against us? Watch as they send faithful Christians to the gas chambers after stealing and corrupting our Children? I got a news flash for you Mark these people make the demon that was the Maquis de sade look like a child with his hand in the cookie jar, they are so mired in Sin that nothing short of a Damascus road conversion is going to stop them.

        Whilst you’re worried about facism (acutally Clerical facism isn’t a bad thing) I’m worried about society sliding into hell along with a trawler full of souls, not to mention the dishonour done to God in the process. Now it is the duty of the state to ensure the common good of the people (including their eternal good), hense when the Church declared that she could no longer grant her protection to the heretical Fr Giordano Bruno it was the State who burnt him at the stake because he threatened the eternal good of the people of Italy.

        Now I’m not advocating that we shoot every gay person in existence, only that we criminialise homosexual acts (and punish such acts severely) and criminalize the promotion of homosexuality (as they have in Russia) and conform the laws of the State to the laws of God.

        • Mark Shea

          So what would you have me do?

          “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39* But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; 40 and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; 41 and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you. 43* “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48* You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

        • A Philosopher

          “Papist and Proud”‘s parody is much more entertaining than the rather dull and repetitive “Ben the Atheist” parody.

          • Mark Shea

            The sady thing is neither are aware they are parodies.

        • Dan C

          Prominent Catholic deaths secondary to their life pursuing the mission of the Church in this hemisphere have been victims largely of capitalists or right wing oligarchies. Have you been interested in these martyrs?

          The worse forms of perversion are likely the permission of indignity, disease, and debilitation while there are chances to prevent it. The Gospel seems to suggest it is the actual failure to assist Christ Himself. The failure has big consequences according to Matthew 25. I think your perspective is skewed.

    • EBS

      @Papist and Proud, I understand your frustration but that’s extreme.
      Everyone is at different stages in their faith and to persecute others that don’t fit a standard is actually anti-Christian.
      The point of Christianity is to love thy neighbor – not revile thy neighbor. In love we mean want the good for thy neighbor and show compassion and care. Even if they fail to show it to us.
      My mum always says to me “God sees everything”.
      He does and we all will be judged at the end. Have the faith and believe it true!
      In the meantime, exercise the patience Christ taught in the many many many examples He showed to the countless of people in the bible passages right up to His death, and to the closest of His disciples (Peter denied Him 3 times and should have known better!).
      I’m sure Jesus at times felt a frustration at the message He was conveying, but always exercised His loving patience. Who are we then to act otherwise- surely not better and higher than our own Lord?!
      So, keep telling the pro- gay “marriage” advocates a consistent, very kind but very firm “NO! its not marriage- I don’t agree with this because it’s not right for you, and for those you love.”
      And teach your children the same. Mark is onto something here….

      • quick aside – Christianity isn’t only about ‘loving your neighbor’ – it’s also about defining your ‘neighbor’ to also include ‘your enemy’.

    • kmk

      The bruised reed he shall not break: and smoking flax he shall not extinguish: till he send forth judgment unto victory. Matt 12:20 (Is 42:3)

      Go then and learn what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. For I am not come to call the just, but sinners.” Matt 9:13

      “Truly CHARITY has no limit;
      for the LOVE OF GOD has been poured into our hearts
      by His Spirit dwelling in each one of us,
      calling us to a life of DEVOTION
      and inviting us to bloom in the garden
      where He has planted
      and directing us to radiate the beauty
      and spread the fragrance of His Providence.” –St Francis de Sales.

      I think I will take St Francis’ advice. I think that the saints (all of them in their own way) dealt with those who were far away from the Lord by sacrificing themselves greatly. Only when each of us (who “know better”)are on our knees before our Lord in Adoration on at least a weekly basis, availing ourselves of the Sacraments frequently, in constant prayer in some way and working on our own failings–that will be the big breakthrough. It’s the only way, of course.

  • Doug Sirman

    Dear papist and proud,
    to quote Mark Shea quoting the police: “Don’t Stand So Close to Me.”

  • Disgusted in DC

    That linked essay read as if the author wrote in full red-faced theological road rage/culture war rage, barely keeping in check his desire to strangle someone. As in perilously close to Michael Douglas in “Falling Down” rage. If he got into an angry toe-to-toe argument with a particularly obnoxious gay activists, it would not be clear who fired the first pistol shot. When I think of people like your linked author and the more truculent intolerant gay activists, the more I think I want to emigrate before the slaughter starts. Culture wars are not healthy for children and other living things.

    • Dale Price

      As unpleasant as the culture wars are, at least they are a sign that they are live issues. Anywhere else you go, you have state-enforced group-think, whether of the secular variety or the theological. Those are soul-killing.

      • Dan C

        Culture wars are killing the faith, not bulding it.

        I agree with Disgusted. The author quoted above, if he were to speak this rant, would speak it with gritted teeth, spit coming out. He creates a false history, as is often used in the culture wars. He barely represents any sense of an approach a Christian would want to represent before God, so eager is this writer interested in causing battle wounds for homosexuals. The wars only create wounds. Wars never promote love. Especially culture wars.

        In the culture wars, you-my co-religionist, are my enemy. Maybe not on this issue, but on many. My enemy. If you think that the faith is assisted by creating me as an enemy, you are deeply in error. We are antagonists on many points. But not just opponents, for in wars, one has enemies. Treat this as a war and enmity will grow deeper.

        The culture wars may be turning a generation away from the Church. I am unsure, but this may be the case with some evidence for this.

        I do know, though, you are my enemy in these wars on many many points. I am a faithful Catholic, struggling to pray and live my faith (I love the Rosary, Mass during the week, and the Liturgy of the Hours with the Office of the Readings). But the war makes us enemies.. That is a predictable consequence of war, the creation of enemies.

      • kenneth

        The culture wars have done more to turn off people to organized Christianity in one generation than all of the atheist thinkers and forces of modernism had been able to do since the French Revolution and Enlightenment. The credibility of organized religion among young people, those under 30, certainly, is in absolute freefall in the West. “None” is one of the fasted growing religious identifications. There is more than one reason behind that of course, but the culture war is among the top, if not the first reason why people want nothing to do with churches anymore. People reason that no movement that spawns such visceral anger and rhetoric has anything useful to contribute to their spiritual search.

        If guys like PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins really wanted to see religion dismantled within their lifetimes, they’d quit fooling around with books and blogs and debates and pour all of their energy into raising funds for the angriest Catholic/Evangelical political candidates and PACS and foundations. If they were smart, they wouldn’t try to shout down the most strident bishops or Pat Robertson or the “Obama is Satan” lobby or the Rick Santorums of the world. They’d give these cats Jay Leno’s slot every night and buy them Super Bowl ad time. Culture War Christians are the best missionaries that secularism/agnosticism/atheism could ever wish for.

        • No doubt that young people (when their young) dont want to have anything to do with a tough, all out intellectual brawl. But the ones that matter are the ones who get married and reproduce themselves. This group ends up voting republican and attending religious services more than any other. The demoghraphics are on our side while the poll questions are on yours. Greater fecundity & more zeal for the faith will equell = “buy their fruits you shall know them”.

          In the meantime those who actually have any experience with religion know that sex in general much less homosexuality inparticular are not part of an average religious experience.

          You shouldent mistake a general apathy amoung youg people twoard contentious social issues with a zeal for the cultural left or an indifferance twoard religion.

        • mndad

          Kenneth, so true – I very much enjoy your consistently thoughtful comments.
          It is interesting that most -including our articulate host tends to shy away from responding to your posts. Which is surprising given that you pretty much called Mark on it when your remarked:
          “It’s also a wonderfully effective tactic for aggressors to recast themselves as beleaguered victims and to recast their own aggression as reluctant self-defense.”

          • kenneth

            Well, I suspect Mark and I have gone around so much on this issue that we probably realize we’re arguing from different assumptions and have probably said and heard about all the other is likely to say on the matter. I have to give Mark props on one point before I go any further. He shows a kind of integrity in his reasoning that’s pretty rare on any side of a debate these days. In his case, he defines his understanding of Catholic doctrine as his True North on issues, and sticks by it come hell or high water and won’t hesitate to call out his “own kind” so to speak or even himself. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: That’s a rare bird who will do that, especially with the sorts of issues at play.

            That said, I think I don’t get a lot of direct engagement on some of my points because my opponents have largely painted themselves into a corner with some of their arguments. For example, we have some folks who will openly advocate for theocracy or something akin to it. In that case, they have a basis for advocating an non-negotiable ban of SSM and for even more aggressive policing of morality. I think it’s repugnant to everything our nation stands for, but they have a basis from which to press their point.

            For the majority of conservative Christians who insist they don’t want to micromanage other people’s private morality, the burden is steeper. The only really reasonable basis for enforcing religious doctrine onto the contract law of civil marriage is if it meets some other non-sectarian/religious health and welfare need. That is, does gay marriage pose some demonstrable and quantifiable problem severe enough to demand outlawing it? A problem that can be defined without resorting to religion? No one, in the dozen plus years I’ve worked with the issue, has put one forward.

            That being the case, they just don’t have many other directions to swing their argument in a way that looks even half-credible to a reasonable and perhaps undecided audience. About the only refuge they have left is this narrative which re-casts gay rights as a vast conspiracy which has no bottom line agenda except to destroy Christianity. There’s no evidence that’s true for the vast majority of gays, or any evidence that the wingnut extremists in the gay movement pose any real threat with or without gay marriage.

            • kenneth

              But the narrative sure is attractive for conservatives feeling besieged by change. Fear gets votes. Fear raises big cash. For elected officials, fear forestalls many of the inconvenient questions people might otherwise ask. Like why their retirement funds were stolen by corporate criminals with impunity, or why thousands of our young die for no reason at all abroad or why most of our country’s big ambitions are in museums, not in laboratories or places with payrolls.

              Fear is used in the gay marriage debate because it works. It allows people to stay in the card game even after they’re holding garbage and have no funds to back up the bets they keep raising. If you read this blog or any others like it that take on the gay issue frequently, you’ll notice that ALL of the anti-SSM arguments not rooted in theocratic or quasi-theocratic appeals resort to fear. You have the “gays are out to outlaw Christianity” and then the more lurid and absurd slippery slope arguments “everyone will want to marry their siblings and pet ferrets next.” Like all false economies/schemes/distractions, fear works, and it can work for a long time, but it can’t work forever. Sooner or later people see through to the crux of the matter and there’s either a convincing argument on the table, or not.

              You’d see more direct engagement of my points if they had anything substantive to offer. Instead, I get the fear game arguments and lots and lots of personal invective which labels me stupid, delusional, evil, gay, pro-incest, atheist, socialist, everything but a closet Muslim (and I’m sure that one’s only a matter of time).

              • mndad

                Thank you for these eloquent, honest, refreshing follow ups.
                You should gather your thoughts in a blog – your voice is so clear,refreshingly honest
                ,positive and forward looking – you made my morning – your post are better than most stuff I read from NYTimes commentators – Nicolas Kristoff being consistently the exception.

              • JimBeam

                Beautiful, sir, and completely correct.

  • Actually, folks should be able to go through life without being “heckled or bullied”.

    • Dan C

      Not in this life.

      As for those silly comments that would ever suggest that the predominant culture fails to support some element of “manliness”, let me assure them, the dominant culture certainly does. Not three years ago, my Kindegarten son was heckled and harassed on the school bus and labeled “gay.”. By fourth graders.

      Any comments by the right wing that suggest the culture promotes a lack of manliness or is now “gay-friendly” has imbibed too much of the propaganda.

      • Your understanding of “manliness” is not the Christian one. Indeed, as true manliness recedes it is the hypermasculinity that acts as sexual predetor twoards women and homophobic twoard gays that comes out.

        Only by marriage an having a positive embrace of a role as protector and provider is the male given a social role worthy of emulation. Watch for moves like same-sex “marriage” to allienate men from marriage, taking away a privleaged role & causing them to drop-out of lifelong work & sacrifice.

        This is already the case amoung the underclass and can happen in the middle & upper classes as well.

        • kenneth

          Yeah…heterosexual slacker males have been waiting with baited breath for the day that gay marriage finally passes, so that they’ll finally have society’s approval to not be responsible husbands and fathers! Maybe Hamas can also blame gay marriage for 80% unemployment and power outages instead of the “Zionist occupation”.

          • What an immature response. Kind of puts truth to the lie’s above that your a good faith actor or that you have enough compassion for soceity at large to be worthy of consideration much less your version of “equality”..

            It really works more like this…

            “Marriage is neither a conservative nor a liberal issue; it is a universal human institution, guaranteeing children fathers, and pointing men and women toward a special kind of socially as well as personally fruitful sexual relationship. Gay marriage is the final step down a long road America has already traveled toward deinstitutionalizing, denuding and privatizing marriage. It would set in legal stone some of the most destructive ideas of the sexual revolution: There are no differences between men and women that matter, marriage has nothing to do with procreation, children do not really need mothers and fathers, the diverse family forms adults choose are all equally good for children. What happens in my heart is that I know the difference. Don’t confuse my people, who have been the victims of deliberate family destruction, by giving them another definition of marriage.”

            Walter Fauntroy-Former DC Delegate to Congress, Founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Coordinator for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march on DC

            • kenneth

              If Mr. Fauntroy indeed said this, then he needs to consider removing the telephone pole from his own eye before going after the speck of gay marriage. He ought to devote some energy to speaking to the young men (and women) in his own community, where something like 70 percent of all children are born out of wedlock and have no meaningful father involvement in their lives whatsoever. This has nothing to do with gay people’s desire for legal protections. It has nothing to do with anyone “confusing” his people with too many definitions of marriage. Nor will his community’s problem be solved by government “holding the line” on defining marriage for people, unless perhaps he’s willing to entertain laws forcing heterosexuals to marry and bear children under penalty of prison….

              • EBS

                What then do you say to a young male who has two mothers (and no father)? “We borrowed some sperm from a catalogue and made you in a test tube?!” how is that better than the 70% of children that are born out of wedlock and have no father? HOW?
                With all due respect, your argument is pure hypocrisy. You just want to argue for the sake of arguing, hoping that someone will call you intelligent and witty. What ever happened to fighting for what’s right?

                I just watched a panel of novelists/politicians/journolists/activists on TV respond to an audience member, a gay man, questioning and mocking how marriage is antiquated and full of illusions and myths about love. Gay people don’t want “equality” in marriage, they just want to destroy and demean marriage for the rest of society. They cant biologically have children, which a man and woman can, and so they demean and ridicule marriage and want to get “married” at the same time. Go figure!
                Also please spare the sad violin scenario- no one in America or the Western World is locking up or persecuting the gay community. They have it better than those innocent children victims of war in Sudan. That’s true inequality. Go get a bee in your bonnet on policy issues that matter!

                • keddaw

                  “They cant biologically have children, which a man and woman can”

                  Yet! It’s coming (no pun intended), in a few decades gay men will be able to fuse their sperm in a donor egg and, along with a surrogate, be able to have a child that is genetically theirs. Two lesbians will not even require a surrogate (although they will only be able to have daughters).

                  Science, defeating religious arguments since the taming of fire.

                  • EBS

                    Still cant biologically have children. IVF is not naturally conceiving it’s science assisted. And surrogacy is not natural, it’s science assisted and using a third
                    party because a man doesn’t have a Uterus. Science will never defeat nature and how things are truly made to be ie. How God intended things in His genius. Science can try alllllllllll it wants, but gay couples will always need a third party to either carry the child or donate the other half of the “goods” intended to make a child. Simple math really one egg, one woman + one sperm, one man = baby! A man and a woman can do that science free any day of the week, no volunteers or white-coats need at all.

                    • keddaw

                      The argument was ‘biologically’ not ‘naturally’. It’s nice that you get to decide what’s natural, just a shame it’s not relevant to the argument you made.

                • kenneth

                  how is that better than the 70% of children that are born out of wedlock and have no father? HOW?”……
                  Well, that is a toughie…It’s better because of the mathematics they taught me in half-day kindergarten. 2>1. The kid with two moms has two people who love him and twice the parenting resources to pull off a hideously difficult job. The kid with one mom and no dad has a mom who is probably doing all she can just to keep things above water.

                  That kid, the young male in your scenario not only doesn’t have the father figure in his life. He has a father whose influence is powerful in his not being there. His buddy with two moms is a blank slate where male influences are concerned. He, on other hand, from day one carries the core message that men aren’t responsible for their kids. There’s a man in the news right now, from L.A. Young black guy, as it happens. He has 30 kids by 11 different women, on minimum wage. The “child support” they get amounts to about $1.49 a month. You think those kids are really no worse off than kids produced from a committed lesbian partnership? Do you imagine that ANY gay or lesbian folks are going to go around producing 30 kids with IVF (at perhaps 15 grand per conception), and then dumping them off with strangers and no resources? Will Mr. Fauntroy care to blame the actions of this inner-city dad of 30 on gay marriage? If he does, I’d like to see him walk a straight line after that.

                  There’s lots of data that consistently show that kids with absent fathers are at higher risks for bad things – poverty, involvement in crime, dropping out of school, you name it. There is no data which suggests that two gay parents lead to bad outcomes. If that data was around, it would have been played big by now. It’s absence is telling.

                  • kenneth

                    You make a sweeping statement about “what gay people really want” based on your summary of one unidentified exchange with one gay man on a TV show. I could just as easily find some footage of Fred Phelps and assert “that’s what Christians really want.”

                    And the truth is, yes, people had been persecuting and locking up gay people in America until quite recently. A fair number of conservative Christians still lament the Lawrence v Texas Supreme Court decision which finally ended the possibility of criminal prosecution of gays (way back in 2003)! In many parts of the country, getting killed on the street is still a distinct possibility for being gay (or even just seeming that way). It’s even more common to see young people tormented and bullied until they take their own lives to escape it. I never said they had it as bad as Sudan, but then I also assumed that our founders had some higher ambitions than “not as bad as Sudan” when they laid out their grand vision of this country.

                  • EBS

                    Wow! which kindergarten did you go to, I’ll be sure not to send my children there. I love it how you twist your argument as you please.
                    You start off by insulting single mums whose male partner is absent through no fault of their own, then you go on to say two mums and two dads are better than an absent dad….?
                    Yet, that child was made from one egg and one sperm- it’s biology tells it that it came from a man and a woman.
                    The presence of two women will never compensate for the fact that that child has no father. Not father figure- No father!! My husband had no father- it bloody hurts and scars you. The father is the day to day teacher and what a young man models his work ethic, values etc. On. Yes the mother is also his example, but I can’t give to my son, what his father can- and don’t go sprouting mucho rubbish. I’m talking about a model- young boys, especially when they hit their teens need their father (not some two mum substitute and definitely not a family friend, uncle or father “figure” to substitute). The single mum, I’m sure will prefer, and will tell you point blank, she wishes WISHES the boys father was around. It’s not her deliberate choice to have her family in this scenario.
                    But it’s the DELIBERATE choice for two women to exclude the father from their sons life. A mum can only bring so much. Yes, annual visits from the dad isn’t enough- day to day being there is what I’m talking about. Was your father absent Kenneth? If not, then how can you know what it’s like?? How can you say it’s okay for someone else? Again, hypocrisy!
                    And the argument stand for two men raising a girl. I must admit, girls are more resilient though- but it’s a tragedy when men miss their father.

                    • kenneth

                      My father was in fact absent for my late childhood/teen years. It all worked out as things do in the end, but if I had it to do over, I’d gladly take two dads or two moms who were fully present.

                    • EBS

                      You’ll take two dads or two mums over the mum that presents the half of your biology and the dad that presents the other half…? The ones that gave you life and that raised you? That must hurt your mum and dad to hear you say that.

                      Im glad things worked out for you and your father in the end, but in life not all things work out for everyone in the end- the suffering and heartache from an absent father, dying, with unresolved connections is heartbreaking and the wounds stay deep. This is why I feel strongly for this issue of a child having a good mum and dad. The world is too busy chasing an twisted alternative ideal that has no real proven outcome, rather than enriching, upholding and demanding a better standard for the true family nucleus.
                      I’m done commenting on this story, God Bless.

        • JimBeam

          “Your understanding of “manliness” is not the Christian one. Indeed, as true manliness recedes it is the hypermasculinity that acts as sexual predetor twoards women and homophobic twoard gays that comes out.”

          This explains the “macho Jesus” of Mark Driscoll and the guy in Fayetteville, NC who wants to beat the gay out of his kids.

  • Thannks, Mark, for the clarification that homosexuality and narcissism are like peas and carrots. Immensely helpful!

    • Indeed: No shame for taking a proven and workable standard or responsible procreation and replacing with a Aldus Huxley, impossibly confused standard that only help reinforce his self esteem.

  • Guest

    There is nothing wrong with encouraging the acceptance homosexuality and bisexuality in society. It certainly won’t hurt anyone. It should be seen as normal and equal to heterosexuality, because it is! A huge benefit to society is that same-sex couples can adopt babies to give them a loving home and family.