The Gay Vanguard of History Threatens to Bury Me

The Gay Vanguard of History Threatens to Bury Me October 18, 2014

When I’m not busy being a Damn Librul disguised as a Catholic and bent on destroying the Church with my Damn Librulism and sinister pro-homosexual agitprop that must be exposed, I’m working hard to be a troglodyte bigot who won’t get with the homosexual program.  Case in point, this charming exchange with the Vanguard of History:

From: Anne S.
To: Mark Shea
Subject: End Church Bigotry

Please help us to end church bigotry.  Join the Galatians 3:28 movement!

The Galatians 3:28 Movement

The Galatians 3:28 Movement is a grassroots Christian movement (of all denominations) demanding civil rights and marriage equality for all people — straight, gay, of any race, of any orientation, non-cisgendered, etc.  This movement has no leadership and is completely organic.

Galatians 3:28 states:  “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Now, many people get the first part about race not being important to Jesus (but unfortunately not everyone does as there are still tons racists around).  But most people ignore the second half where Jesus explicitly denies the importance of gender.  For Jesus, gender  and gender differences are unimportant.

Then why do we still insist that marriage be between a “man and a woman”?  This outdated, non-Christian way of thinking only highlights gender difference, the exact thing Jesus was trying to get away from.

In other words, for marriage, your gender does not matter.  Marriage can be between a man and a woman; two men; two women;  or between transgendered people.   Jesus loves everyone.  And that is what Galatians 3:28 is all about.  Marriage equality and civil rights.

Share some love.  Spread the word of Christ.  Support marriage equality and civil rights.

I replied:

Jesus answered, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?(Matthew 19:4-5)

You are massively wrong.

From: Anne S.
To: Mark Shea
Subject: Re: End Church Bigotry

Nice way to twist scripture, bigot.  You know, our side will win. In 40 years Christians will look back on you as a bigoted relic.

My reply:

Um.  All I did was quote Jesus.  Namecalling and “We will bury you” is not an argument.  It’s an appeal to might makes right.  But thanks for demonstrating the naked worship of power that characterizes the gay lobby.

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  • Jared Clark

    Considering her unfamiliarity with the Word, you have to wonder if she thought Jesus physically wrote a letter to the Galatians or if she was speaking of the divine inspiration of Scripture.

  • wlinden

    How do those bigots justify restricting marriage to any two but ONLY two individuals? My polygamous friends are being treated as SECOND CLASS CITIZENS.

    • Nathaniel

      You’re among the sort of people who don’t actually mean that, but just try to make a “devastating” jibe against people you dislike.

      But allow me to treat your position with far more charity than you have just treated your opponents. The reason polygamy is different than marriage equality for gay people is that it requires far more sweeping changes in how we deal legally with marital relationships. For gay people, accommodating them legally only requires changing the labels on a few forms. A good example on how its not so simple for polygamy is this:

      Imagine that a man is sick in a hospital bed and won’t regain consciousness for some time. In a monogamous marriage, its legally assumed that his spouse is the one who will make all the important medical decisions for him. But now imagine he has two spouses. While everything is still fine and dandy if they agree, what if they disagree about what to do next? How would that legally be dealt with? Its hard to say without further thought and study, and that’s only one such difficulty associated with bringing in multiple people into a legal contract that’s only been historically designed for two.

      • Dave G.

        Sweeping changes were needed to accommodate the acceptance of gay marriage. It’s just that those changes have now become part of our culture and have been around for a while. The changes needed for any other combination of married individuals might take awhile, but there is no reason in the universe to believe they won’t or can’t happen. Go back a hundred years and suggest that the changes needed for gay marriage would be around the corner and most people would be as skeptical as you appear to be about the few minor changes needed to broaden the idea of marriage outside the realm of monogamy.

        • Nathaniel

          Oh, there were sweeping changes needed for marriage equality. They just happened over a period of about a century, ending in the 1970s. One of the big ones was the ending of coverture, where the wife and everything that belonged to her became legal property of her husband.

          Unless I am mistaken though, those particular legal changes aren’t opposed by anyone significant, Christian or otherwise. And with those out of the way, only the aforementioned changing of terms on forms was needed.

          • Dave g.

            There have been, of course, other changes in our understanding of marriage that have been important for accepting gay marriage. And what you said is the point. You agree with a set of changes in our understanding of marriage that has made accepting gay marriage possible. Other changes you are against. That’s fine. That’s why the term ‘marriage equality’ is inaccurate. You simply think there are some people who should be able to be married, and others who shouldn’t. Nothing has changed there. It’s just who should and shouldn’t be able to married, and what changes to our understanding of marriage are or aren’t acceptable, is where the disagreement is. That’s sort of the point.

            • Nathaniel

              The point is, last I checked you supported such changes as well.

              But perhaps I am mistaken. Maybe you go against the grain and think that wives should still be the property of men, and that bank loans should only be obtainable for a wife if their husband signs for them. If so, please let me know. Because otherwise I fail to see the relevance of what you are stating. I said that marriage equality requires little change to make legal, not that it would require little change in a hypothetical society where 2nd wave feminism never happened.

              • Dave G,.

                Nice try, but no dice. I am perfectly fine saying that some people shouldn’t be able to be married under certain circumstances. So, apparently, are you. You support, to use the term, marriage inequality, and you have your reasons and your values that you believe support that stance. So do I. Which is why the term Marriage Equality is inaccurate. Unless, of course, you support anyone marrying for any reason in any combination. Then yeah, it’s accurate. But as it looks, you’re just as willing to say there are certain values that should be mandated upon all people seeking marriage, and when the individuals’ wishes don’t match those values, they shouldn’t get married. And yet I’ll be you don’t consider yourself a bigot. Which was wlinden’s point.

                • Nathaniel

                  You seem to still be operating under the mistaken impression I am against poly marriage. I’m not. Read another post of mine above before you smugly declare my hypocrisy in error again.

                  • Dave G.

                    Ah, well then you’re consistent. Everyone can be married in any combination is a marriage equality position. Hat tip for consistency.

                  • LFM

                    If you really cared about children or society or anything but people getting what they want, you would be against “poly marriage”.

                  • trellis smith

                    Enjoy all your postings Nathaniel, unlike you I do oppose poly marriages ( at least as they are presently constructed in Islam and aberrant Mormonism) but I think you would agree that this is a separate issue that your rather inept opponents love to conflate

              • LFM

                Wives were NOT their husbands’ property in European religious or common law: they had certain obligations in some jurisdictions, and at some periods, including, in some cases, obedience. The extent to which a husband could rule over his wife was also limited by religious belief, custom and public opinion.

                If you think those don’t count, consider the situation of Indian wives from poorer rural families. These are often subjected to horrific abuse and even murder if their families provide inadequate dowries to their new in-laws, although Indian law bans dowries, while custom, public opinion, and ultimately the law turn a blind eye in response to these abuses.

                To consider European marriage customs, in all their variety throughout history, as similar to the condition of slavery, in which a slave-owner might buy, sell, beat or abandon a slave at will – is one of those elisions which is death to historical understanding and clear argument. If I were forced to choose between being a wife or a slave in, say, 1750, I’d definitely prefer the former, even to a poor husband.

                p.s. Marriage equality has brought in its wake many changes and will bring many more, including legally compelling adoption and fertility agencies to open their services to gay couples. There has even been a push in some jurisdictions (in Britain in one case I know of) to deny people access to fostering and adoption if they were “conservative” or Christian.

                Changes like this cannot but have a profound effect on society at large, because they make it impossible even to *defend* children’s need for opposite-sex parents, on the grounds that this is pure “homophobia” disguised as concern for children. If that idea is indefensible, then how will it be possible even to instruct young men that they are important to the well-being of their children? This had already been made already difficult thanks to the single-motherhood-by-choice movement.

                • Nathaniel

                  I never said that marriage was equatable to slavery. But women were the property of their husbands legally. That is a fact. It is a fact that women could not independently own property in many parts of our country until recently in a historical scale. Women could not independently get loans from banks. Women as a general rule were allowed to be physically assaulted and raped by their husbands according to the law, as husbands had rights over their wives bodies.

                  As for your example about adoption agencies, I consider that as morally hazardous as mandating that agencies don’t discriminate against interracial couples or interfaith couples.

                  And if you think that single parenthood was caused by gay rights or feminism, I invite you to crack open a history book. Even many couples that were married in theory often had the mother do all the actual work of parenting while the husband got drunk. Why do you think that prohibition got such heavy support from new female voters?

                  • Dan13

                    Under the old common law, a husband and wife became one legal unit (concept of coverture) in which the husband made all of the decisions. A married women couldn’t make contracts, hold property in her own name, or even testify against her husband in court (because from the law’s point-of-view they were the same person). The wife wasn’t really considered the husband’s “property,” however (just like children aren’t considered the property of their parents).

                    You are right about rape. The original common law definition of the crime required an element that the offender not be the victim’s husband.

                  • LFM

                    Oh, come off it. To suggest that wives were husbands’ property is to suggest that they were morally equivalent to slaves. That’s what it means to regard a human being as property. There is nowhere that I know of in Christendom (i.e. Christian Europe) that wives were treated under the law as either slaves or property. Certainly they had fewer rights than their husbands – but husbands, too, had fewer rights then than they do today, both within marriage and in choice of their marriage partners, which was often dictated by parents rather than by their own choice.

                    Regarding adoption agencies and it being morally hazardous to suggest that perhaps – just perhaps – children need parents of both sexes would be too ludicrous to be worthy of argument, except that nowadays people in power in academia, the media, and government generally seem to share it.

                    Ludicrous, too, is your attempt to equate this with opposition to racially mixed marriages by adoption agencies. (I don’t know about religiously mixed; Catholic and other religious agencies were historically permitted to discriminate in favor of Catholic, or Jewish or whatever faith couples.) First, that does not deny children the two parents of the opposite sex that nature provides. Second, the presumption that any objection to gay couples’ adopting children is based on homophobia is at best misguided: the various religious and secular traditions that oppose it would be equally opposed to two siblings or two best friends in a non-sexual but permanent relationship adopting children as well – because it is less than the best for children who are already at a disadvantage.

                    As for your statement that I must think single parenthood was caused by gay rights or feminism, I find myself utterly unable to understand where you got such an idea. I said that the single-motherhood-by-choice movement had made it difficult to discuss or encourage such “norms” as instructing young men to take responsibility for their children – and that the rise of the gay marriage movement would make this tendency worse. To make myself clearer, let me add that I was thinking particularly of people like politicians, educators and social workers, who will certainly find it harder to say “children need fathers” if many powerful and influential groups reject that as “patriarchal” nonsense. Thus, of course, further encouraging an already strong tendency among young men in vulnerable communities to abandon their children, or young women in such communities to have children with no thought for whether the fathers are worthy partners. Do you really think that doesn’t matter, that it won’t have an impact on larger society because hey, people are individuals and they can make choices?

                    About the idea that there have always been single mothers – well, yes. But not nearly as many as today, for much of European history, and certainly for most of the 20th century until the 1950s, and such single mothers as there were, were often widows or abandoned girls rather than single-by-choice. Lack of community resources to support mothers and their children, without fathers, made girls and women far more careful about how they bestowed their sexual favors.

                    Do you really think that biological parenthood is so discountable that society need not bother inculcating the value of sexual responsibility into its young men and women, or that we should avoid doing so in any way that puts non-biological or non-sex-differentiated parents at a disadvantage? If so, I suspect that you understand nothing about the way that society establishes and inculcates “norms” of behavior. Such a person is of no use as a moral reformer. Most children for the foreseeable future will be born as the result of heterosexual intercourse. It behooves society to find a way to ensure that those children will be born into as stable an environment as possible. The norms that the sexual liberation movement, the feminist movement, and now the gay marriage movement are attempting to impose on us will ensure that this ever less likely to happen.

                    Answer me one question: do you really think that it doesn’t matter to children whether they have a father and mother, or only one, or two of each?

                    • Nathaniel

                      1. De Facto and De Jure are two different things. While De Jure men might have been somewhat more restricted in their behavior as well, an examination of the actual facts on the ground in such times found that any man of means and desire could quite easily shrug off their supposed gender bound honor to do right by their wives. Men of lessor means often simply could run. We didn’t have Social Security numbers or driver’s license to chase deadbeat dads back in the good old days.

                      2. People like you keep on making the argument gay couples are unfit to be parents, and then keep failing to produce the data showing evidence for your argument. In fact, the few studies your side have attempted to use to bolster your argument are so poor that it seems almost as though your people find the very nature of gathering evidence for this argument distasteful, as you seem to feel it should be self-evident without actually showing evidence.

                      Extra hilarity comes from your side’s frequent and wide eyed assertions that gay couples are unfit to be parents and damaging to children doesn’t make you anti-gay in the least. And yes, you are saying that. Your words spell, “a child deserves a mother and a father,” but what it means practically is “gay couples are unfit to be parents. We’re not stupid. Such lack of honesty suggests a lack of confidence in the direct approach for what you feel about gay people.

                      Adding on the hilarity, such an argument doesn’t actually say a thing about marriage equality, only gay adoption. Something that was legal in many states far before marriage equality was.

                      3. Its not ludicrous to equate the two. Its quite logical. As is your dismissal of the argument.

                      Look at it this way. My side holds that your side has an irrational animus towards gay people that manifests itself in conscious efforts to denigrate them as less than “normal” people, and that in this sense it holds a tight parallel to the effects of racism. Its perfectly valid, if our assumptions are correct.

                      Your side’s response boils down to this: “But that’s different. We are right, and they were wrong.” And you know what? That’s a perfectly valid argument as well, if your assumptions are sound. The trouble is that its not going to convince anyone who doesn’t agree with you. Your side has been trying to convince that your assumptions are valid for the last few decades. I think you know how successful those efforts have been.

                      4. Further assertion without evidence. A very telling thing is that the areas of the country that have the most single parents tend to be the states with the most opposition to marriage equality. As my side takes great glee in pointing out, Massachusetts had marriage equality first and also has the lowest divorce rate in the whole nation.

                      5. Single parenting by choice may have less to do with changes in sexual morality and more to do with resources. We live in the richest time in history. I do find it rather telling that when in the country and time that allowed women for the first time to be potentially independent people without automatically being mired in brutal poverty, the divorce rate soared. Nor do I find it to be a coincidence that marriage became significantly more equitable around that time as well.

                      6. You seem to be conflating biological parenthood and sexual responsibility. Its a rather curious conflation, as their are a unfortunate number of people who show that biological parenthood is in fact a physical manifestation of their lack of sexual responsibility. I have fathered no children, and I’m sure that’s in large part due to my sexual responsibility.

                      Furthermore, it rather your conflation insults those who adopt. I’ll make sure to let any adoptees I know that they are considered to be at a “disadvantage” according to defenders of marriage against the Great Gay Agenda.

                      And I do agree. Children should have a stable environment. And gay couples can be that environment, and that environment is made even more stable if such couples can marry. Unless you have evidence to show me that gay parents divorce or split then straight parents do?

                      One thing is for sure. There are a lot less “oops” gay single parents than straight single parents.

                      7. I think that two is certainly better than one. Two means more resources, more time to have to pay attention to the children, just more of basically all the important stuff a child needs.

                      I think the genital configuration of such parents doesn’t matter as much. But lets consider for a moment if I am wrong. What if two gay people aren’t as good on average as two straight people when it comes to rearing children?

                      Well, I’d put that in context. The context where statistically, two white parents are better than two black parents, but not as good as two Asian parents. Rich parents are better than middle class parents, whom are better than poor parents. Bio-parents are better than stepparents. College educated parents are better than parents credentialed with only a GED.

                      As a judge on a recent marriage equality decision pointed out, unless those who oppose marriage equality are willing to restrict marriage only to rich, educated Asian parents, their arguments do not follow.

                    • LFM

                      YOUR COMMENT
                      1. De Facto and De Jure are two different things. While De Jure men might have been somewhat more restricted in their behavior as well, an examination of the actual facts on the ground in such times found that any man of means and desire could quite easily shrug off their supposed gender bound honor to do right by
                      their wives. Men of lesser means often simply could run. We didn’t have Social Security numbers or driver’s license to chase deadbeat dads back in the good
                      old days.
                      MY RESPONSE:
                      1. I argued that social control was a factor in helping to restrain men’s sexual behaviour and impose some level of sexual responsibility on them. I did NOT say that this always worked. The fact remains that out-of-wedlock births were rare at various periods in European history.
                      YOUR COMMENT:
                      2. People like you keep on making the argument gay couples are unfit to be parents, and then keep failing to produce the data showing evidence for your argument. In fact, the few studies your side have attempted to use to bolster your argument are so poor that it seems almost as though your people find the very nature of
                      gathering evidence for this argument distasteful, as you seem to feel it should be self-evident without actually showing evidence.
                      MY RESPONSE:
                      2. As the sexual radical, it is up to you to show evidence that your innovations will do no harm? I did not say that gay couples were unfit to be parents. I said that children need a parent of both sexes – something gay couples cannot provide. The few studies that YOUR side has attempted to use to support your argument are so small, and so carefully weighted to prove what you want, that they can be relied upon to prove nothing except that prosperous gay couples appear to have children who appear – in childhood, at least – to be reasonably contented. Whether they will remain so when no longer dependent on their parents, as they realize that their creation required their commodification, and the deliberate severance of ties with at least one biological parent, if not both, only time will tell. To judge from the studies I have seen on the subject of both ART and adopted children, they are not especially happy with the conditions of their birth. However, the adopted children at least know that their situation probably could not be helped. (Notice how I’ve said nothing here about whether the parents in question were straight or gay.)
                      YOUR COMMENT:
                      Extra hilarity comes from your side’s frequent and wide eyed assertions that gay couples are unfit to be parents and damaging to children doesn’t make you
                      anti-gay in the least. And yes, you are saying that. Your words spell, “a child deserves a mother and a father,” but what it means practically is “gay couples are unfit to be parents. We’re not stupid. Such lack of
                      honesty suggests a lack of confidence in the direct approach for what you feel about gay people. Adding on the hilarity, such an argument doesn’t actually say
                      a thing about marriage equality, only gay adoption. Something that was legal in many states far before marriage equality was.
                      MY RESPONSE:
                      Please drop the nonsense about the “extra hilarity”. It’s unconvincing, undignified and reeks of self-pity. I said – and if you had been reading with any understanding, you would have grasped it – that to “people like me” it makes no difference if the parents in question are gay because we are equally opposed to adoption by single parents and to ART for heterosexual couples. People like you, on the other hand, seem to feel compelled to relate everything to themselves and not to understand that there are many ways to fail children and to experiment with them, using them for the satisfaction of adult needs rather than attempting to provide for them as well as possible. I do know that gay adoption has never been illegal in many jurisdictions and do not object unconditionally to that fact, any more than I would object unconditionally to adoption by single people. But it’s less than optimal, and should only be undertaken in special circumstances, like when the person in question is related to the child and has a stable job.
                      YOUR COMMENT
                      3. Its not ludicrous to equate the two. Its quite logical. As is your dismissal of the argument. Look at it this way. My side holds that your side has an irrational
                      animus towards gay people that manifests itself in conscious efforts to denigrate them as less than “normal” people, and that in this sense it holds a tight parallel to the effects of racism. Its perfectly valid, if our
                      assumptions are correct. Your side’s response boils down to this: “But that’s different. We are right,
                      and they are wrong.” And you know what? That’s a perfectly valid argument as well, if your assumptions are sound. The trouble is that its not going to convince anyone who doesn’t agree with you. Your side has been trying to convince that your assumptions are valid for the last few decades. I think you know how successful those efforts have been.
                      MY RESPONSE
                      3. Our argument does not boil down to “that’s
                      different” and only someone who was blind to anything but his own needs or wishes could make such a statement. Children are conventionally born out of a sexual union of two people, male and female, of whatever color or whatever religious faith. They are not and have never been conventionally born to couples of the same sex, or been raised by them. Do you really think that this is insignificant? Do you really think that a colossal social experiment like raising children away from their biological parents, by people who have paid
                      large sums of money to do so (whether via adoption or ART) will not have major repercussions, both for the children themselves and for the society at large?
                      It’s true that this convention has often produced terrible parents, but given human limitations, it is the only way that human societies know of preventing or at least containing infanticide, child abandonment, and the emergence of feral children. Your “side” proposes to change social custom, and to a lesser degree
                      the law, so that a handful of people may adopt or [re]produce via ART a small number of children, most of whom will undoubtedly do quite well because their
                      parents are highly motivated (I don’t doubt that). Meanwhile you will force society as a whole to deny biological truths like the fact that children need
                      their [biological] parents to look after them; that women should choose sexual partners carefully for the sake of their potential children; that men should marry their sexual partners and help raise their children – because it hurts your feelings, even if we specify that yes, there can be certain exceptions to these generalities;
                      even if we say that yes, we support gay marriage and gay child-raising.
                      YOUR COMMENT
                      4. Further assertion without evidence. A very telling thing is that the areas of the country that have the most single parents tend to be the states with the most opposition to marriage equality. As my side takes great glee in pointing out, Massachusetts had marriage equality first and also has the lowest divorce rate in the whole nation.
                      MY RESPONSE
                      4. “A very telling thing” to note that areas of your
                      country (not mine, I’m Canadian) that have the most single parents tend to be those with the most opposition to marriage equality? Well, d’uh. It’s like saying that areas of the country with the largest wolf population tend to be the most doubtful about laws restricting animal control. Of COURSE they are. Those areas which have high rates of divorce and/or single parenthood are precisely those which have seen just how devastating they can be to social order, and which are fighting frantically to prevent the whole country from going down the same destructive path. Your glee ill-becomes you: it is a further proof of your inability to understand the fragility of society and how quickly it can collapse if parenthood – the kind of parenthood that *most* people experience – is not nurtured, supported and encouraged by society in ways that ordinary people can understand.
                      YOUR COMMENT
                      5. Single parenting by choice may have less to do with changes in sexual morality and more to do with resources. We live in the richest time in history. I do
                      find it rather telling that when in the country and time that allowed women for the first time to be potentially independent people without automatically being
                      mired in brutal poverty, the divorce rate soared. Nor do I find it to be a coincidence that marriage became significantly more equitable around that time
                      as well.
                      MY RESPONSE:
                      5. There you go, making the “fathers don’t matter”
                      argument in order to support your side. The damage done by single parenthood has more to do with resources than singleness? No, it doesn’t. A huge variety of studies have come out since the mid-1980s
                      – the height of the divorce revolution, and a time when few sociologists were willing to be honest about the subject – regarding the effects on children of
                      being raised by single mothers. Even when such studies accounted for differences in incomes and other resources, the children raised in such families tended to have more problems at school, at work, and in their later relationships than those raised by two parents (of the opposite sex). Again, you can find these online if you try. I’m not going to do the work for you because – as the sexual radical – I think it’s up to YOU to
                      prove that your side’s “values” will do no harm.
                      YOUR COMMENT
                      6. You seem to be conflating biological parenthood and sexual responsibility. Its a rather curious conflation, as their are a unfortunate number of people who show that biological parenthood is in fact a physical manifestation of their lack of sexual responsibility. I have fathered no children, and I’m sure that’s in large part due to my sexual responsibility. Furthermore, it rather your conflation insults those who adopt. I’ll make sure to let any adoptees I know that they are considered to be at a “disadvantage” according to defenders of marriage against the Great Gay Agenda.
                      MY RESPONSE
                      6. Yes, there are many people whose parenthood
                      shows their lack of responsibility, but that is not an argument in favor of gay marriage/parenthood. What these will accomplish – as I keep saying – is to make
                      it harder to argue, or even be permitted to argue, that biological parenthood is important and that children deserve to have their biological parents bring
                      them up if this is at all possible, however difficult it might be for the parents.
                      Adoption is a far more fraught, difficult process than people tend to acknowledge, and there are many “failed adoptions” in which the parents were unable to form a bond with their adopted children, and gave up. Look it up under that name and you may be surprised. In fact, there is a widespread anti-adoption movement
                      among adoptees. Also, there is far more chicanery and manipulation in the adoptive process, including the de facto “stealing” of babies, than you have
                      any idea of. Want stats? Look it up online.
                      YOUR COMMENT:
                      And I do agree. Children should have a stable environment. And gay couples can be that environment, and that environment is made even more stable if such couples can marry. Unless you have evidence to show me that gay parents divorce or split then straight parents do?
                      MY RESPONSE:
                      So far the indications seem to be that gay men
                      divorce less; gay women divorce more. (Again, look it up.) But my main concern is for children who are deprived of the parents who created them, parents of
                      the opposite sex. But that’s irrelevant. The children of whom you speak cannot be brought up in a “stable” environment because they start off with a huge disadvantage: the deprivation of one or both of their biological parents. In cases of adoption, of course, this cannot be helped, but in cases in which children are created for the purpose of being given to “infertile” couples, it is monstrous. The sexes of such parents only matter in that in the case of gay couples, the child is deprived of even a legal/social parent of one sex or the other.
                      YOUR COMMENT
                      One thing is for sure. There are a lot less “oops” gay single parents than straight single parents.
                      MY RESPONSE
                      Once again, that’s sort of the point. If we want fewer “oops” parents among straight people, society has to urge them to have sexual relations in situations – like marriage – that are better for their potential children, and above all not to do so when they have no intention of being present for their children. Society cannot do this if we are running around saying, “oh it doesn’t matter what the sex of the parents is”. Fatherhood remains of great importance to a father’s biological children of both sexes, yet paradoxically it is to a great degree a social construct that requires much societal support in order to encourage it. How can you convince young men of their importance, or young women of their need to choose partners wisely, if you’ve inculcated them with the idea that biological parenthood is not very important and that children can be happy with just about any parents, as long as there are two of them? (Or if one of them is a single mother, or whatever the grievance monger wishes to support.)
                      YOUR COMMENT:
                      7. I think that two is certainly better than one. Two means more resources, more time to have to pay attention to the children, just more of basically all the
                      important stuff a child needs. I think the genital configuration of such parents doesn’t matter as much. But lets consider for a moment if I am wrong. What if two gay people aren’t as good on average as two straight people when it comes to rearing children? Well, I’d put that in context. The context where statistically, two white parents are better than two black parents, but not as good as two Asian parents. Rich parents are better than middle class parents, whom are better than poor parents. Bio-parents are better than stepparents. College educated parents are better than parents credentialed with only a GED.
                      MY RESPONSE:
                      7. The parents that are best for children, statistically, are their own parents. (Again, look this up; you’ll find plenty of support for this assertion.) Children do not flourish when removed from their biological parents, although in rare cases this may be necessary if the
                      parents are extremely violent or unstable. Most children’s aid societies agree; that’s why they tend to be reluctant to sever children from their biological
                      parents, sometimes with tragic results.
                      YOUR COMMENT
                      As a judge on a recent marriage equality decision pointed out, unless those who oppose marriage equality are willing to restrict marriage only to rich, educated Asian parents, their arguments do not follow.
                      MY RESPONSE:
                      The judge is talking nonsense, for the reasons I mentioned in my previous paragraph.

                      n.b. I have not included any references here because this is a very long comment but I will do so either tomorrow or on Monday if Mark is still willing to publish them.

                    • Nathaniel

                      Perhaps we should start collapsing some of these points again.

                      2+7:

                      Are you willing to categorically state that gay couples are able to be quite fine parents, that their being gay doesn’t prevent them from rearing children? Then you are in fact saying that gay couples are unfit to be parents, and no amount of myopic rhetorical focus on straight people will change that.

                      I’ll also make sure to let my ex-girlfriend who is adopted and all her adoptive siblings know that they are in great danger of not “flourishing.” In your effort to smear gay couples you keep missing and are hitting both adoptive children and their adoptive parents.

                      What I find most fascinating about this given your position on this issue and your posting on this blog, I can be fairly certain that you oppose legal abortion. And by far the most common solution to abortion, the holy grail of “I don’t want this baby?” Adoption. Telling that the veneration of this practice disappears as soon as gay couples enter the picture.

                      And despite your dismissal, your words walk right into my objection. For all your talk of biological parents being statistically optimal lends credence to my point: If we can restrict gay couples from having children because they are “suboptimal” from a statistical viewpoint, then why can’t we restrict poor people from having children, given how statistically suboptimal they are compared to rich people? If being statistically best for child rearing is all that matters, then it has to matter consistently. You can’t declare gay couples raising children to be anathema based on statistics, and then turn around and declare that biological parenthood is the only thing you care about when I point out other statistically bad parents.

                      And for re-emphasize, all the arguments in the world postulating that gay couples are unfit to be parents isn’t an argument against gay marriage. Not so long as felons, child molesters and murderers on death row are allowed to marry.

                      As a final note, just what kind of study would convince you that gay couples are fit to be parents? I would be interested to see your standard of evidence, and how it compares to the studies you’ll have that show that adopted children don’t do as well.

                      4: Well, if its your contention that marriage equality hurts marriage in some general sense, then both Massachusetts and Canada both offer excellent case studies for your assertion. Both places have had marriage equality for over a decade, surely long enough to have some the negative effects you write so darkly of. When asked how marriage equality had hurt Massachusetts and when it would start hurting Massachusetts, Maggie Gallagher declined to state. So here is your chance to be braver than one of the most prominent opponents of marriage equality. Given your complaints about gay adoption studies, I’m sure that any argument you make will be statistically robust.

                      5+6. I do find it rather curious that you conflate a lack of concern with adoption with a disregard for the effects of single parent hood. Single parent hood is not the best situation for children. I’ve written so multiple times. Your concern about fathers in this regard seems misplaced, as single parenthood is equally difficult if its the father who is the single parent.

                      On another note, if it is really fathers you are concerned about, it would seem that male gay couples would be pleasing to you, as whatever children are their house would have the blessing of two fathers.

                      But to get to the meat of my argument, I find it baffling that people like you talk about the scourge of single parenthood, an epidemic of missing fathers and then go and blame it all on hippies and feminists burning bras. All the while ignoring the war against drugs that has millions of men sitting in jail right now, and has had countless millions more in and out of the system, unable to hold down jobs or be productive members of society because no one wants to hire criminals.

                      Its not the rich kids who get sent to rehab rather than jail for their drug parents who are missing fathers right now.

                      P.S Given that my opinion on these topics is the majority one, if you want to see a sex radical search your house for a mirror.

                    • LFM

                      In no particular order:
                      • The radicalism of an opinion has nothing to do with how popular it is. A radical political party that wishes, say, to abolish private property, is still radical even if it is voted in by a majority.
                      • It is far from clear whether your opinion is the majority one, in the US or anywhere else. In your country, the question of gay marriage has mostly been decided by judges.
                      • Your reference to Maggie Gallagher is ignorant and unfair. A decade (or two) is NOT long enough to determine whether a particular social or legal policy has any unfortunate effects; it doesn’t even encompass one generation. Your assumption that it’s enough indicates how little you understand what is at stake here, i.e. the stability of children, of families, and ultimately of society.
                      • Your “those who are not with us are against us” approach regarding gay marriage is not an argument but an attitude. I am opposed to gay marriage because gay couples lack an important component of children’s well-being: an opposite sex. Both girls and boys need models of functional relationships between partners of opposite sexes, and to know a parent of both sexes on familial terms. Yes, they can survive without either of these advantages, but to assign children to same-sex parents without special circumstances to justify it (like the gay-coupled adoptive parent is their favorite aunt, or their dead father’s closest friend) is to do them an injustice.
                      • Your suggestion that my “focus on straight people” is “myopic” shows again how little you understand the issues involved. First, my focus is more on children’s well-being, rather than straight people as such. In so much as my focus is on straight people, that’s because most of society is straight.
                      • I do reject abortion; I don’t venerate adoption. My misgivings about adoption has nothing to do with the prospect of gay couples raising children, however, but rather has much to do with my concern about the adoption process as it works today. I also fear the consequences of single parenthood for children, though, so this is a real dilemma for me.
                      • Adoption is, as I said, a fraught process. The people who seek to adopt children have many motives, not all of which are primarily concerned with the children’s well-being. That is why it has – unfortunately – become not only a lengthy but an expensive process.
                      • I refer more to fatherless than to motherless children because the latter is much rarer, not because it’s less damaging. Rejection by a parent is always damaging to children. What’s more, there’s some evidence that children do not experience the death of a parent as “abandonment” in the same way they do divorce or other parental absence. Even children know that no one can argue with death.
                      • Your reference to the “war on drugs” as an important element in family breakdown reaffirms your everything + the kitchen-sink approach to this discussion. (So does the reference to hippies and bra-burning, which have nothing at all to do with my argument.) There’s no war on drugs in Canada, or certainly not to the extent that you have it. We also supply more social services. Yet we still experience high rates of family breakdown and semi-intentional single parenthood from the middle classes down, just as in the US. The problem also exists in Western Europe, although it is not usually as severe. But then they have fewer children altogether…
                      • Speaking of which, among the upper middle-classes the entire Western world shows an increasing reluctance to have enough children even to replace the present generation. I happen to be part of that generation of childless couples, and I know that this was not exactly our intention at the start of our adult lives, so there’s no need for you to bring that up. Nevertheless that reluctance is not only widespread but increasing, probably as a result of the anti-family attitudes (not officially, but underlying pro-family rhetoric) rampant in society. It also suggests lack of confidence in the future.
                      • Finally, I am not suggesting that these trends are exclusively the fault of gay marriage and its accompanying rhetoric. I am saying that gay marriage is the culmination of other, long-term social trends, probably beginning in the aftermath of WWII, although not immediately apparent then, that made it possible in the first place. Many of those social trends – not all – are highly unfortunate for the good of children and for social stability. Meanwhile, the existence of gay marriage, the norms that it seeks to impose on society as a whole, and the other changes that progressives and libertarians will impose on society in the name of sexual liberty and rights (like marital polygyny and polyamory) are going to destroy even more before the headlong rush is halted when the money runs out.

                    • Nathaniel

                      Come now, its best not to assert things that are easily disproven.

                      Marriage equality does represent the majority opinion.

                      Most recent Gallup poll: 55% support

                      Poll by the Washington Post/ABC: 59% support

                      A poll by the Anzalone Liszt Grove Research that polled only the 34 states that didn’t have marriage equality at the beginning of this year: 51% support.

                      And that’s for marriage equality. Gay adoption polls even higher, with 63% percent supporting it in the most recent Gallup poll.

                      I do represent the majority opinion. It does you no good to pretend otherwise.

                      When it comes to your complaint about actually showing the supposed damage gay couples do to children and marriage, that’s a neat little argument you have there.

                      “Gay people will destroy marriage and make children suffer!”

                      “Do you have any evidence for that?”

                      “Of course I don’t! It hasn’t been around long enough for the gays to destroy marriage and torture children!”

                      So by your own admission, you have no evidence for your assertion that marriage equality will hurt marriage or children. You just assert it and expect national and state policy to adhere to your unsupported assertions.

                      And since you seem to need that reminder again, marriage equality and gay adoption are separate issues. And since gay couples have been adopting for more than the one to two decades you claim to be inadequate, I look forward to your data supporting your assertion that gay couples are unfit to be parents.

                      And the reason I call your focus on being straight as myopic is because as I have written again and again, there are far more salient factors to consider than whether a couple is straight when it comes to deciding which parents are best statistically. In your rush to denigrate gay couples and gay people you ignore these factors.

                      Btw, Canada does have a drug war. So your assertion that it doesn’t is baffling.

                      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/as-us-pulls-back-canada-continues-the-war-on-drugs/article17825870/

                    • LFM

                      • Excuse me. I thought that in referring to the familial problems caused by “the War on Drugs” you meant the massive incarceration of black people for minor drug offenses, something which I don’t approve of, but which does seem to have had the effect of improving safety in black neighborhoods in particular. The fatherlessness problem in the US had a long history well before the War on Drugs got started, however.
                      • Meanwhile, the tendency to incarcerate drug users in this country has a short history, as the Globe and Mail article itself suggests, and it has had little impact on families and fatherlessness here. I suspect that the G & M exaggerates the War on Drugs, too, as it is a progressive paper always on the lookout to bash the Harper government. Certainly it does not make itself felt to anything like the degree it does in the US.
                      • I told you that issue of whether yours is the majority opinion is irrelevant to the question of whether it is a radical one; it’s also irrelevant, of course, to the question of whether it is right or wrong. I added that I doubted that it was a majority opinion only as an afterthought.
                      • Meanwhile, my point about the use of your courts to impose gay marriage on your country still stands; I don’t doubt that this has had considerable impact on public opinion because people don’t want to find themselves on the wrong side of the law. The bullying tendencies of gay activists when they encounter opposition to their agenda has no doubt also helped to push this view over to a majority.
                      • I didn’t say that I didn’t have any evidence for my views regarding the effect of gay marriage and adoption by gay couples on children. I told you at the end of last night’s comment that I would try to put up a variety of such statistics, including ones on single parenthood and the effects of ART on children (which, I notice, you never address) online today or tomorrow. You may well not find them adequate; let me remind you that I find yours equally inadequate. But wait till tomorrow; I won’t have time today to undertake this.
                      • Gay marriage and adoption by gay couples are essentially the same issue; the second has been introduced in tandem with the first and in some sense to justify it.
                      • Gay couples have not been adopting as couples for very long; the law in many jurisdictions, though not all, did not and does not support dual adoptions by non-married persons. It is true that gay single-parent adoption is a different matter and has been legal for many years in some jurisdictions. It, too, is hard on children, but in this case, it’s because the gay person is a single parent.
                      • Gay couples have been raising or helping their own biological children born through conventional marriage throughout human history; I don’t object to this, because it does not actually deprive a child of two opposite-sex parents altogether, unless one such parent has been deprived of custody for bad behavior.
                      • Note, please, that I’m equally concerned about adoption by straight single parents and for that matter – as I have said repeatedly – by configurations of straight couples, like two sisters or two friends, raising children together. I would not necessarily support making any or all of these practices illegal. I do want to the freedom to express concern about them all without accusations of bigotry and without the obfuscating rhetoric about how all kinds of families are great and kids will do well as long as they are raised by two parents – suddenly it’s acceptable to say that they need two parents; I remember well when it was not, and when all the statistics seemed to support this.

                      • Finally, someone who believes in the legalization of polyamory has NO leg to stand on when it comes to supporting child well-being or social stability. Poly marriages cannot by nature do either. There is no way to have more than 2 parents raise a child without leading to endless gut-wrenching battles about who is in charge, to say nothing of what happens when this inherently unstable arrangement breaks down and divorce courts must step in to decide on who gets the child.

                    • Nathaniel

                      I tend to find what your side calls “bullying” somewhat odd and self serving. Was it bullying for the government to deprive Pat Robertson’s university of tax free status because of their refusal to amend their policy towards interracial campus couples?

                      You claim to have studies showing that single parents aren’t as good for children as couples. Why you think this supports your position on gay couples is something I don’t understand, nor does it particularly matter. You could have over a hundred studies showing that single parents are horrible for children and it wouldn’t matter. Because gay couples aren’t single parents, despite your strange insistence on conflating the two separate categories. So I would advise you not to waste my time on finding studies to cite that have nothing to do with gay couples.

                      And you’re quite wrong. Gay couples in certain states have been adopting children or having them through artificial fertilization for decades. Old enough for some of those children to have offspring of their own by this point. If you have data showing that such children were negatively impacted by their parents being a gay couple, I invite you to show it.

                      Your last point is a red herring. I could be worse than the Satanic child of Hitler and Stalin and I would still be correct if I said 2+2=4.

                      P.S. You still haven’t answered an earlier question: since you have dismissed all studies on gay parenting so far that have found no negative effects, what sort of study would convince you that you are wrong on this issue?

                    • LFM

                      I told you I’m not an American and I have no idea what your reference to Pat Robertson (who has never been of much importance among orthodox Catholics) has to do with my point about bullying. Yes, I think that the action against Robertson’s school was bullying. It should be possible for religious organizations to disagree with the state, however much you (or I, in this case) might disagree with their positions. For myself, I think it would be wiser for all religious groups to give up on tax-free status to retain their independence. However, you, with your ideas, ought to think very hard about whether this is wise from your own point of view. The tamest churches in Christendom are those which pay no taxes, but have taxes paid to them instead, to support them. They have given up their independence and allowed themselves to be essentially arms of the state: the Lutheran Church in Sweden, Germany, Norway, etc; the Church of England in the UK, and so forth.

                      I think that to pressure Mozilla to drop Brendan Eich was bullying, and of a particularly shameful sort that, if adopted by Americans in general, will crush the possibility of political debate in your country for good. I don’t recall any mass movement among conservatives to press various companies to fire individual employees for holding views that were unacceptable to them, or perhaps the gay marriage movement might never have happened. And please, don’t try to tell me Eich’s firing was the work of the free market. It’s one thing to boycott a company to protest against company policy; it’s another thing to pressure a company to fire individuals who disagree with you, on their own private time and with their own money – however it was earned – to make a political point.

                      Gay couples are not single parents; gay parents are parents either bringing up children with no father, or with no mother. Why you think, with such limited evidence, that this could possible be good for children, I do not know, but no, all I wanted to prove with studies of single parents was that single-parent families are not particularly good for children, although there are always exceptions. You have challenged every point I made about children raised in “non-traditional” families, so I assumed I would have to prove all of them, and not confine myself to proving anything about gay families. Meanwhile, what if I were able to demonstrate that your idiotically sanguine views about adoption and ART are not supported by much evidence? They aren’t, you know.

                      My last point was not a red herring, I wasn’t trying to suggest that your poor character was somehow a sign of how wrong you were about gay marriage. I was saying that someone who, by supporting poly marriage, showed such poor judgment about what was good for society, must be indifferent to the best interests of children. Because the matter in question IS a judgment call, rather than arithmetic, your judgment is a matter of concern, and it is clearly poor.

                      I wasn’t aware that you had asked that last question; I don’t think you put it in quite that form, but if you did, I missed it. I have dismissed all studies on gay parenting because they have been cherry-picked to exclude people who were previously part of straight couples, along with various other exclusions; because as a result of these exclusions the samples they contain are vanishingly small; and because the time period covered is so relatively short. What would convince me that gay parenting had no negative impact? Larger studies, covering several generations of children, produced in circumstances which I had reason to believe would not lead to the suppression of results which the study’s funders found distasteful.

                      BTW, in spite of reading many “studies” about the impact of divorce over the years, I never read a single word by an academic acknowledging that divorce could be bad for children from 1975, when I first began to take notice of such things in my early teens, until 1994, when the Atlantic published Barbara Dafoe Whitehead’s article, “Dan Quayle Was Right.” That’s one of the reasons why I am inclined to snort at the results of “studies” proving that gay parenthood, or poly parenthood, or heterosexual ART parenthood, are all hunky-dory for children.

                      But that won’t really be enough for me either. What would be enough is some sign that heterosexual couples are marrying in larger numbers, postponing childbearing until marriage, and staying married at least while raising their children. If – as I have reason to suspect – the rates of marriage, etc. among heterosexuals goes into a rapid decline for decades, starting now, I assure you I will blame gay marriage and gay parenting. Especially will I blame the oppressive effects that these innovations have had on our being permitted to say that children need their biological parents to raise them, and that although other arrangements may work, they cannot make up for the initial loss of that configuration.

                    • Nathaniel

                      If Mr. Brenden had given money to a Neo-Nazi organization and then when pressed about it said, “I have never mistreated any of my Jewish colleagues or employees,” no one would shed many tears over his resignation. Though I will note that in a majority of the US it is still legal to fire someone simply because they are gay. A fact that doesn’t seem to bother those who feel deeply wounded by what happened to Mr. Brenden.

                      I am sure your assertions about how stupid I must be to indicate support for poly relationships is as robustly supported by data as your assertions about how gay couples are unfit to be parents.

                      And I find your standard of evidence that you would accept on gay parenting to be very helpful. Why? Because you are asking for the impossible. No such studies you describe exist. The longest longitudinal study has been running since 1938, the only such study in existence that fits your 3-4 generation criteria. But even that doesn’t support your laundry list. Because that study only looked at one specific group of men. Not their children. Or their grandchildren, their spouses, their siblings, or their parents, or anyone else. They were the only ones whom the data was centered on. So not a single study in the history of psychology is able to survive the level of rigor you demand for gay parenting.

                      Which means I can also do this: apply your stated standard to any study you can come up with on single, adoptive, step or whatever else kind of parenting and see how they match up. As you can probably guess by now, not a single study you could potentially show me would adhere to the qualities you deem so crucial to giving the thumbs up to gay parenting. So by your own standards, you can’t say that single parenting is bad, divorce is bad, that adoption is suboptimal, or anything else really. With your standards in place, one could single handily wipe out almost every single sociological or psychological study ever done. I applaud you for being so open about entirely unreasonable your standards are.

                      Which in a practical sense, means that no evidence ever will convince you that gay couples are perfectly capable as parents. Its useful for you to declare that openly.

                      This is further solidified in your last paragraph. Because once again, using your own standards, one could not say that gay couples caused problems for marriage in general unless the issue was studied for 3-4 generations with thousands of samples. Yet I doubt that you’ll wait that long to condemn gay people being responsible for divorce, misbehaving children and gout.

                    • LFM

                      You don’t get it. I don’t feel wounded, or indeed “feel” anything about what happened to Mr Eich. I think that what happened to him could set a disastrous precedent for freedom of thought in the US. I do not believe it is right that people can be fired for being gay in the United States – but even that is not the same as being fired for what you think.

                      As I said earlier, it would trouble me just as much if an individual (gay or otherwise) were to be fired for defending gay rights, as it troubles me that Mr Eich – as an individual, not as a representative of his company – was fired because he supported a bill that was critical of gay rights. I repeat, you do not get it. You do not even get it on the level of ensuring that all individuals under any conditions should be free to voice their opinions in order to ensure freedom of thought.

                      p.s. Gout? I hold gay people responsible for gout? Heh. That’s a good one. Sort of.

                      What you say about polygamy etc. (by implication) is indeed stupid. Given that the sexes are born in a more or less 1:1 ratio (with somewhat more boys), and that men tend to be physically stronger than women, and richer, a sexual system which permits an individual to contract multiple marriages at one time will certainly lead to the monopolization of sexual resources by the stronger sex. That is, a number of women would be monopolized by one man. Yes yes I know that is not what “polyamory” is intended to entail, but the reality is that there is only a small number of powerful men who have the resources to support many women and their children, and there are many women who are willing to trade a portion of their autonomy in order to have access to such resources. Polyamory in practise will mean that some powerful men will have harems; it may also lead to a few powerful women having multiple sexual partners but this is likely to be rare. Meanwhile, any less powerful men (and less sexually attractive women) will find it much harder to find mates, with all the consequences that entails. It is not a coincidence that polygamous (Muslim) societies are so unstable.

                      I do not think you are arguing in good faith and thus I don’t intend to carry on this discussion. If you wanted to engage me at any real level, you could say “I don’t think we have enough information to know what the effect of the absence of an opposite-sex parent is, but I think you are too pessimistic.” I would be willing to accept that; I’d be willing to say “yes, well, we can’t be sure.” But you – while having no reason at all for asserting your certainty – nevertheless feel free to assert it. I have aeons of past history on my side for my assertions; you have nothing but wishful thinking.

                      Don’t bother to address this comment. I won’t answer, as I don’t think you are arguing in good faith. I will post a series of links to articles, as I promised, later tomorrow, but that’s all.

                    • Athelstane

                      People like you keep on making the argument gay couples are unfit to be parents…

                      Beause they ARE unfit. Sorry. It’s the truth.

                      …and then keep failing to produce the data showing evidence for your argument.

                      This kind of arrangement has only become a reality in the last generation. There’s hardly any data to work with – but if you want some (I am going to keep beating this drum whether you like it or not), I refer you to the Regnerus study. But we have plenty of data of how traditional families work. Children deserve to have a mother and father. Accidents may intervene, but we’re not holding such tragedies up as normative.

                    • Nathaniel

                      You mean that study where the author was so dishonest about his data that he was officially repudiated by the journal that published his findings? The data that when considered by multiple judges was dismissed as worthless?

                      I love it when people cite that study. Its a prime example of how utterly hollow your claims are.

          • I’m finding myself opposed to those changes- but I’m 150 years too late.

      • This entire line of reasoning (which can be applied to many areas of secular society) is resolved by the simple rule, senior wife (first listed on the contract) has the say. The homosexuals have exposed a weakness in our civilization that was known but not viewed as an urgent priority until recently. We have somewhat lost the thread as to what civil marriage is supposed to be about.

        We will have unstable civil marriage until we reforge our consensus regarding that. Instability favors the insurgents. As homosexuals win, they become incumbents, not insurgents. Will they act like it?

        • wlinden

          Write a thousand time “‘Polygamy’ is not a synonymn for ‘polygyny’.”

          If *I* know living, breathing polyandrists, how many are there I DON’T know about? And they did not disappear at the mantra of “there’s no slippery slope, there’s no slippery slope….”

          • As I said to Nathaniel, the legal principle of seniority works just as well with polygyny, polyandry, and even “Moon is a Harsh Mistress” style line marriages. In other words, it’s a fake issue to try to differentiate the two subcomponents. If you’re going to throw out monogamy, the problems and solution, are the same.

            Again, why do we have civil marriage at all?

            • Ye Olde Statistician

              Civil marriage arose for a variety of reasons starting in the mid-1800s in Europe, although the First Republic had a brief period when religious marriages were outlawed by the Rationalists. Curiously, this was about the same time that European states began taking control of education.

              One of the drivers was eugenics. In the US some states established marriage licensing to make sure no black men would marry white women.

              Anciently, of course, as Plato says in The Laws, marriage was instituted for the regulation of births.
              Athenian. What will be our first law? Will not the order of nature begin by making regulations for states about births?
              Cleanthes. He will.
              Athenian. In all states the birth of children goes back to the connection of marriage?
              Cle. Very true.

              The State had a compelling interest in ensuring that children did not become a burden on the King’s Purse, and so couples were not legally allowed to couple unless that had agreed to stay together and care for any children that might result from their coupling. (Whether or not any ever did.)

              Hence: “marriage” comes from L. maritas a husband, root meaning: a man who has been provided with a young woman, from PIE *mari, a young woman.

              • Clearly this history has been wiped away by our judiciary which has established that marriage is not, in fact, about staying together for the care of any children produced by their coupling. Once we lost sight of our actual history and the original purpose of marriage in secular marriage, it was all like a castle built on sand. The erosion continues.

                It’s something like US v Miller or Roe v Wade, two other cases that are based on lies. The fact that Roe lied about being raped is irrelevant. The fact that the US attorneys (arguing unopposed!) lied about sawed off shotguns never being used as a military weapon (they were called trench guns in WW I) is also irrelevant. The case is decided. The lie is irreversibly swallowed as precedent has been set.

                We’re holding on to our fingernails on civil marriage but we desperately need to restore our civic consensus of what marriage is for when done by the state. At that point, Congress passes a marriage restoration act, the president signs, and we’re probably going to have to limit jurisdiction for a time to keep a retrograde judiciary out of wrecking the legislation.

                But that’s far into the future. The first step is simply asking the question and really listening to the answers of our fellow citizens about what marriage is for and talking it out to a broad consensus.

                Our leadership, secular and religious, is failing us on this important civic task.

        • wlinden

          Funny how whenever I bring this up, people who have been talking about “rights” and “bigotry” keep turning into consequentialists and invoking legal and administrative complications, instead of “the fundamental human right ot marry the one you love”.

          • “the fundamental human right to marry the one you love”

            What if she doesn’t want to marry you?

          • Nathaniel

            I am not saying I am opposed to polygamy. I am saying that legally implementing it would be harder, and a poor fit for a court mandating its legality without being able to define just how the law should change to accommodate the new configuration.

            I am in fact a supporter of such a change, if I saw a convincing method of doing so without leaving the law open to abuse.

            • orual’s kindred

              This still seems to imply, however, that legal difficulties are a primary obstacle for polygamous unions (and others that are not same-sex). I’m not sure how this is, in fact, a more charitable treatment of wlinden’s position, and which still leaves polygamous people at a disadvantage. You may have described wlinden as “the sort of people who don’t actually mean that, but just try to make a “devastating” jibe against people you dislike” (based on what, I’m not sure–it can’t be a reasonable objection?) But I don’t know how a rationale of ‘it’s different for them because of legal difficulties’ can be so much better, especially when proposed by an advocate.

              • Nathaniel

                Because people like him aren’t actually supportive of polygamy. They just use it as a lazy tu quoque in lieu of an actual argument. And utterly fail to acknowledge people like me.

                And the legal difficulties exist, whether supporters like me wish to nod to them or not. Better to deal with them openly so that when such laws are crafted, they are done appropriately. We can safely ignore sniggering bigots like wlinden while we do so.

                • The polygamy question was treated seriously by conservatives quite a long time ago. I’ve not seen a better treatment on left or right since.

                  http://www.snappingturtle.net/jmc/tmblog/archives/005331.html

                • orual’s kindred

                  His point only stands if he were supportive of polygamy? It can’t be a sincere, actual disagreement? I guess I’m in trouble, because I consider it a real objection 🙂 Certainly not a tu quoque.

                  Better to deal with them openly so that when such laws are crafted, they are done appropriately. Saying ‘legal difficulties exist, and therefore it’s different’ is not how openly it’s dealt with, however. It’s saying that polygamy isn’t feasible and therefore a different case because of the problems it brings up (to which reasonable answers were provided in other comments below). I don’t know how or when favorable laws can be expected to be made by taking that course of action. And I say this without sniggering.

              • The thin reasoning of the homosexual lobby is being exposed in New Zealand. They are outraged, but cannot seem to explain why.

                Two men are marrying in New Zealand and the homosexuals are very unhappy about it. You see, they don’t want to have sex with each other (link above).

                This sort of sputtering incoherence is exactly what happens when you’ve lost the thread and only superficially understand why an institution exists and can’t handle the introduction of a new variant you haven’t considered before.

                We do not know what civil marriage is for. That goes for both sides of the marriage debate.

                • orual’s kindred

                  Oh, I remember that. (It was mentioned in a blog post here ). And I do agree that there is a lot of confusion as to what it has developed into now, and what should be done about it. I think that while the state ought to safeguard the best interests of society, what those best interests are are now in dispute; and at this point I’m not sure whether it should or should not continue to be involved in marriages.

                  • One on point topic for this forum is how the Church should work with civil marriage going forward. So far as I know Catholic priests are still doing the civil paperwork and are reluctant to have a religious wedding when there is no civil one.

                    So long as it isn’t morphing into some ersatz state church, I think that cooperation isn’t a real problem but I do think that some people are getting confused on that point.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      Of course. Given the current trends, however, the question is how long this can be reasonably expected to remain as such, how probable an ‘ersatz state church’ is, and how to deal with it if/when it does become so. And as such, how the Church should work with civil marriage going forward, as you say, is indeed an important matter.

                    • What would be devastating to the other side could be as simple as an inquiry along those lines. Just asking the question lets the cat loose among the pigeons and would be beneficial. I’ve got too small a soapbox to do it right now but the bishops certainly could manage it.

            • Since I’ve already solved the problem of who gets to decide, it’s a bit disingenuous to continue on that line of legal difficulties. It’s a pretty common sense patch that shouldn’t take much debate.

              In deference to the fellow bringing up polygyny and polyandry, the state can lay out a succession of authority based on seniority in the group with seniority of simultaneously admitted members established by order listed in the marriage certificate. Most senior available gets to decide in case of a fight. Court settles the hard cases as usual. This comes up in monogamous marriages so extending it to a poly situation breaks no new legal ground.

              Again, the real question is why do we have civil marriage at all. With the case of homosexual group outrage at the prospect of a platonic same sex marriage in New Zealand, this is not something that homosexuals seem to have settled even among themselves.

              http://www.smh.com.au/world/gay-groups-angered-as-heterosexual-men-marry-to-win-rugby-trip-20140912-10fu3t.html

              • Nathaniel

                But your suggestion runs wall first into another legal reality about marriage. Namely that for the last few decades its been legally conceived as a totally equal relationship, with all parties involved having totally equality when it comes to legal rights. Your version of polygamous marriage destroys that.

                • Sorry, could you point out in which legal code this concept of all parties being equal has ever applied to polygamous marriage? An url pointing to a provision of law would be great but even a country name would be helpful.

                  Either I’ve missed something major or the largest polygamous variants in the US are going to be mormons followed by muslims, neither of which have this total equality concept for their polygamy. Frankly, I don’t think any country has this concept enshrined in their polygamy code, if polygamy is legal at all.

                  So other than alienating and ticking off better than 90% of the actual polygamists that would use this law you’re in favor of, what are you after?

                  • Nathaniel

                    That’s for conceding my point. And the sort of polygamy I am after is the sort that the poly people I know want, which is equal legal partnerships with more than one person. I have no interest in allowing Mormon cult leaders legally attach themselves to their harem with the leader at the top and everyone at the bottom.

                    • Please re-read what I wrote. You’ll find no actual concession there, just a couple of questions. You, however, are making it very clear that you’re after some sort of created from whole cloth western liberal polygamy that is not very well documented to the exclusion of the majority of polygamists so we’ve arrived at my marriage limitations are better than your marriage limitations which was wlinden’s original point if I’m not mistaken. It’s not very clear why your marriage limitations are superior morally, ethically, or even in a utilitarian way.

                      By the terms of the debate as it’s been laid out in the public square by the holders of the cultural high ground, you’re a bigot no less than the most hardshell christian. You just haven’t been thrown under the bus and told to report for your reeducation. Your usefulness has not passed yet.

                    • Nathaniel

                      If there is an argument behind the smug posturing and sneering accusations of hypocrisy, I must admit I am too unmotivated to find it. Good day.

                    • Still didn’t answer the question, still didn’t lay out what your vision of civil marriage should actually be, not even in the form of a link by someone you trust and respect.

                      Now you’re inventing my emotions and my facial expressions and you’ve never met me in your life. In fact, I don’t know what the proper definition of civil marriage should be as separate from the Catholic sacramental marriage. I don’t have a set of set-in-stone conclusions on why we have it at all, what the legitimate governmental interests are that justify the practice, and, in fact, learned some interesting social history and linguistics of it in this very thread.

                      You had (still have really if you climb down and actually engage in good faith responses to my questions) an opportunity to present your vision of what civil marriage should look like. I am ready to listen.

                      My only fairly solid conclusion so far is that we’re really short on people who have seriously examined the topic and that they tend to be on the traditionalist side of the spectrum as far as answers go. That may be tainted by my relatively low numbers of respondents so even that is subject to revision.

                      The conclusion of hypocrisy is governed by the juxtaposition of your two separate statements within this thread that you’re both in favor of polygamy but not in favor of the majority of it as it’s actually practiced in the world. You get to resolve the apparent hypocrisy, if it is resolvable at all.

          • Which brings up another observation: “Fundamental rights” seem to be proliferating, like phony $100 bills from a forger’s press, devaluing the supply of authentic rights. And if calling something a “fundamental right” fails to overawe people into acceptance, you can get some Frightfully Important Person to change it into a “human right”, and thus push its protection to the top of the to-do list.

      • Won’t matter in a few years- the default will be to pull the plug because hospital beds are expensive and human life is worth nothing, is the teaching of the liberal church.

      • SteveP

        Balderdash! The Social Security Administration deals with multiple beneficiaries for a single claim as do insurance companies. A person can annotate as many powers of attorney as she wishes to distribute to different persons.
        .
        In reality, rather than your revision of history, “[the] legal contract that’s only been historically designed for two” is really a contract between a woman and a man, one each, for life.
        .
        Gay folk and other sundry progressives claim to have won the day but have failed to self-perpetuate: “gay marriage” will be gone in a generation simply because no one will fund it anymore.

    • Donalbain

      Polygamy is inherently more complicated than monogamy from a legal stand point. For instance, in cases where a person has a husband AND a wife, who would be classed as the next of kin with the legal right to make medical decisions. Now, if those problems can be overcome, I see no real reason to not allow polygamy.

      Of course, the above was written in the, probably incorrect, assumption that you were asking in good faith.

      • SteveP

        No, polygamy is not more complicated from a legal stand point: competing legal claims are settled in court just as they are now.
        .
        Rather, the amusing conservatism of SSM proponents is to keep the legal clout of “spouse” from further dilution. Yet it is a lost battle as civil marriage is shunned by the majority in North America; in a decade the “rights and benefits of marriage” will be limited to a shiny certificate from the local magistrate—suitable for framing of course.

        • Donalbain

          OK… so that is what happens after a decade of gay marriage. That is an actual prediction. When you make a prediction, it can be tested. Now, lets look at EVIDENCE..

          In 2001, gay marriage became legal in the Netherlands. It has been longer than 10 years since 2001, and yet the rights and benefits of marriage have not been limited to a shiny certificate. Why would the thing that has not happened in any country with gay marriage happen in what ever country you are worried about?

          • SteveP
            • Donalbain

              And how is that in anyway connected to gay marriage?

              • SteveP

                Obviously people, as well as courts, are able to adjudicate relationships and the ends of relationships without civil marriage. Apparently “the rights and benefits of marriage” are not even worth a small fee during a trip to the justice ‘o the peace. Is this where I congratulate you on your victory?

                • Donalbain

                  And what does that have to do with gay marriage?

                  • SteveP

                    Hey, Champ, you forgot your point: EVIDENCE.
                    .
                    I do understand as I’m forgetful too; I forget there are folks who, being unreasonable—probably born that way—cannot be reasoned with.

                    • Donalbain

                      You claimed that in a decade after gay marriage was legalised, marriage rights and privileges would disappear. They haven’t disappeared in any country with gay marriage. Instead you talked about a trend in marriage rates that seems unaltered by the legalisation of gay marriage in the Netherlands. Please, feel free to try again.

                    • SteveP

                      Yes I did and find despite the cost of marriage to be ridiculously low, very few people are seeking that commodity. Thus, civil marriage is worthless even now; in 10 years the precedents set in adjudicating current cohabitation relationships will overshadow “spousal rights and benefits” such that the latter will be dropped as antiquated.
                      .
                      Again, my congratulations. And keep storing those Betamax cartridges – surely someone will purchase them for millions, in cash of course, and you’ll be lauded for holding something of value.

                    • Donalbain

                      So nothing to say about the right of same sex couples to marry.

                    • Donalbain

                      And yet more people are marrying than not marrying. So please explain how it is considered to be “worthless”.

                    • SteveP

                      Dude, you have some mad numeracy skilz.

  • Dave G.

    To be honest, your opposition to gay marriage is well known. And the growing willingness of gay rights advocates to equate opposition to gay marriage with rank bigotry is also well known. So no surprise there.

    • LFM

      In fact, I suspect Mark’s support for Pope Francis gave the letter-writer reason to think that perhaps, at long last, Mark was moving towards the Other Side, in the political, not the spiritualist, sense.

      Just to make it clear, I think no such thing about Mark myself, but less nuanced minds are prone to jump to such conclusions. Meanwhile, I am, like some other people who initially greeted Francis with enthusiasm, increasingly skeptical about the Pope’s intentions.

  • Tom James

    “Jesus was a bigot!”

    Which is really what they’re saying here.

    Yet they don’t have the stones to actually outright say it.

    Yet.

    • Depends on your parish. St. Mary (stained glass revision) in mine lost one of her feet to a stone. Been repaired now, but we’ve added a locked fence around the back of the Church just in case.

  • Paxton Reis

    So they are using Paul to support gay marriage? But I thought Paul was a homophobe? Interesting how they won’t be engaged by Mt 19:4-5.

    Without any engagement or discussion about that, then the 3:28 movement reveals itself as self-centered and not Christ-centered.

    • Anonymous the Coward

      Oh, it’s just pick out the part of Paul that seems most modern and radically egalitarian and toss out the rest. Because the Holy Spirit only inspired the parts that modern liberal secular types like.

  • Homophiliacs can’t tell the difference between Jesus and Paul? Hmm, neither can the homophobes.

  • jroberts548

    It isn’t clear how Matthew 19:4-5 is a stronger argument against gay marriage than it is against clerical celibacy.

    The Church’s opposition to gay marriage isn’t rooted in Matthew 19:4-5. It’s an implication of the Church’s positive anthropology. We should leave lazy proof-texting to our Protestant brothers and sisters.

    • jroberts548

      Also, she’s at least partly right. The Church has lost the argument, at least in the US, for the foreseeable future. The Church lost the argument 44 years ago, and every Catholic who supported Reagan despite his record on marriage helped bury the possibility that the Church’s and the State’s conception of marriage would ever be similar. I don’t know if I would go so far as to say the Church should give in on the issue completely; however, at this point, the question isn’t whether the state will recognize gay marriage, it’s when and on what terms, and we should reframe the debate to focus on the terms of the Church’s defeat in the US for the foreseeable future.

      • Dave G.

        We should leave lazy proof-texting to our Protestant brothers and sisters.

        A smug dig. I’ll bet most Protestants I know would be happy not to be referred to as brothers and sisters with that attitude attached.

        • jroberts548

          Fair enough.

        • Eli

          I’m a Protestant. I don’t mind.

          • Alma Peregrina

            God bless you, brother. You seem a swell guy to go out of your way to say that, even though you should mind.

            • Joseph

              I don’t think he minds because he probably knows it’s true. My journey from Protestantism to agnosticism (then much later, and to my great surprise, Catholicism) began with that realisation.

          • Dave G.

            That’s fine. Note I said most.

      • Athelstane

        The Church has “lost” arguments with a number of cultures over the ages. In the end, she either ultimately transformed those cultures, or witnessed their passing. And the Church is still here.

        For the time being, the Church in most of the West must now adjust to being a very countercultural force – until the worm turns again. And it will, because the secularized culture entrenching itself is a sterile one.

      • kirthigdon

        You’re right and speaking as one who supported Reagan despite his deplorable record on marriage and even more deplorable record on abortion, I will repeat mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

        Kirt Higdon

        • Dave G.

          Eh, I still liked him. Too young to have voted for him. But like to think I would have. Speaking of deplorable morals and marriage, how about those Catholics who still venerate Kennedy. And yet, I like Kennedy, too. Maybe I’ve just not been Catholic long enough. Someday maybe.

          • Willard

            I supported Reagan too. I was just 11 years old when he ran for re-election but there was something magical about the guy. It wasn’t until much later that I found about his support for abortion, divorce and the pro-capitalist Koch agenda. This was the Rocky IV era and all I cared about was beating the commies. And now I’m a proud Obama voter. How times change.

            • neveraname

              @Willard—So NOW as an adult you’re judging Reagan because he played a minor role in abortion back then, but are a “proud Obama voter” when Obama’s been the propelling force in making everybody pay for other people’s abortions and birth control against their will and the US federal government is the largest funder of abortion world-wide??
              You don’t see your own inconsistency here? Take the log out of your eye.

              • Dave G.

                I caught that and thought maybe Willard was being funny about that.

            • Athelstane

              What exactly is it about Obama that makes you proud?

            • Obama, as state legislator, was the lone pro-infanticide vote in Illinois’ born alive bill.

        • Alma Peregrina

          As a non-american, could you please tell me what Reagan’s “deplorable record on marriage and abortion” was? Not trolling, just honest curiosity here.

          • jroberts548

            Reagan, as governor of California, signed the first law allowing no-fault divorce. Reagan, as governor, signed one of the first state laws legalizing abortion.

          • Dave G.

            Reagan was the first divorced president to be elected, I believe. A little note about how things change over time. As governor, he signed legislation that helped jump start no fault divorce. As governor, he also appeared much less dedicated to the cause of ending abortion. As for his later, harsher stances against abortion as president, that’s tough, is open to quite a lot of debate, and like many things, interpreting his motives and initiatives depends largely on rather one likes Reagan or not.

            Many in the day supported Reagan as a social conservative insofar as, politically at least, he was a prominent figure to the right of where many saw the bulk of American society moving in the late 70s and 80s. And he was vocally so when many were seeking ways to compromise (or in the case of Democrats, embrace) the changes. Whatever his record, just having a prominent voice echoing values that were quickly being dispatched appealed to many. It was also a time when people were willing to jump parties based on various concerns for the overall well being of a – then – declining country (the Reagan Democrats – socially conservative Democrats who wanted a stronger America to stem the decline of the 70s, but not always thrilled with Reagan’s economic policies for instance). That was when keeping America from declining was seen as important. Hope that helps.

            • RH123

              Regrettably, he also appointed Sandra Day O’Connor to the

              Supreme Court, knowing she had worked for Planned Parenthood. But she was the first female justice, and likely that was a political move, as they usually are. Plus judicial appointments are usually a crapshoot (just look at John Roberts).

            • jroberts548

              “Much less dedicated to the cause of ending abortion” is a lovely euphemism for “one of the first governors to legalize abortion.”

              • Dave G.

                But the question about how he changed over the years is the point. Was his much stronger stance as president the result of changed attitudes (change is allowed I believe), or political calculating? It’s quite the debate in historians’ circles. Again, interpretations vary.

                • Joseph

                  Change is allowed as long it’s carefully managed and controlled. Think John F. Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs.

          • kirthigdon

            As has been noted, Reagan signed into law both “no fault” (actually unilateral) divorce and abortion in California. The latter made California a mecca of abortion tourism until legal abortion was finally made national by the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. This was towards the end of Reagan’s term as California governor. As President , he appointed not one, but two pro-abortion votes to the Supreme Court – O’Connor and Kennedy – as opposed to one anti-abortion (Scalia). Had all of his appointments been opposed to abortion, Roe v. Wade would have been overturned 5-4 in the Casey case rather than upheld 6-3. In both Roe and Casey, the majority of pro-abort votes were from Republican appointees and, Blackmun excepted, not the same appointees. This rather belies the oft-heard argument that the way to get abortion overturned by the courts is to elect Republicans because of their pro-life judicial appointees – which always seem to lie somewhere in the future. All that said, there’s no good reason to vote Democratic either.

            Kirt Higdon

            • Alma Peregrina

              Thank you all for your responses. Unfortunately I must say that only your answer, Kirt, completely satisfied my curiosity.

              If Reagan as governor did what you say, that would explain why I never heard of his pro-divorce and pro-abortion stance outside the US. However, I would say that more important than his stance as governor would be his stance as president. For two reasons: 1) He was president after he was governor and could have had a change of heart and 2) As president, his actions were much more impacting than as governor, for he had greater authority.

              Nor did the argument that he was the first divorced president to be elected satisfied me, because political actions are what really matters. One of the main responsibles in legalizing abortion and homosexual “marriage” in my country prides himself of being a family man… which he indeed is. So what? If Reagan was divorced, but would have a pro-marriage policy, then his sin concerned only himself, but he would be virtuous as president.

              But you informed me that Reagan, as president, nominated pro-abortion judges to the Supreme Court, when this court could overrule Roe vs. Wade. That is indeed a compelling argument for a deplorable record in marriage and abortion.

              Thank you. It helped me change my perspective on this character. Another lip-service republican, unfortunately.

              • Dave G.

                FWIW, his nomination of O’Connor is seldom held against him except by really harsh critics, because by most accounts, she turned away from what she promised she would stand for, much to his surprise. Kennedy is another matter. The point about him being divorced is often brought up by more progressive critics of Reagan, pointing out that family values voters didn’t seem to mind he was divorced (this was a big point during the Clinton scandals of the late 90s). And therefore took a step away from their own standards in order to accomplish what they wanted politically. BTW, despite my always knowing all this, I still regard him in a positive light. But like all things in politics, that’s a matter of opinion.

      • In part, the problem with the argument is that, as I’ve been arguing elsewhere in this thread, nobody seems willing to lay out what civil marriage is for and who should be allowed to marry or not. Under the current frame the Church is, as you say, losing. Change the frame and the argument changes.

        Boil the frog.

        • jroberts548

          Right.

          Civil marriage today is mostly a set of legal protections for the economically disadvantaged spouse, as well as some tax benefits (except for the poor, whom we inexplicably pay not to get married), and a useful presumption of paternity. The state provides these protections for various reasons; chiefly, to prevent disadvantaged spouses and children from becoming wards of the state. If you have the money to hire some lawyers, you can get all these protections without marriage (except for any tax benefits).

          There’s another view of civil marriage, that it consists of the state expressing its fundamental approval and celebration of two people forming a household and blah blah blah hokey sentimental crap.

          Neither of these views coincide with the church’s definition of marriage. But the former at least recognizes that the purpose of marriage is to protect the family.

          So it comes down to two things: 1) can the church articulate any reasons that the protections of civil marriage shouldn’t be offered to same-sex couples? (1a: can we still do that without a real opposition to civil no-fault divorce?). 2) Assuming we’re not going to persuade a majority of people on (1), can we lose in a way that still recognizes marriage as something fundamentally ordered to protecting the family?

          • You’re walking right past the elephant in the room and going straight back to the dogs vomit that is the present frame on the marriage debate. Why do we pay the rich and middle class to marry and pay the poor to not marry? Start with mapping that nasty bit of public policy. It’s very important.

            The hokey nonsense is important as well. Is civil marriage in this, as you put it, hokey view a sort of a stub for a state religion? We’ve certainly discussed sillier theories. Frankly the farther we can get the state from the business of approving or denying approval of love in any way, shape, or form, the better because they’re very likely to get it wrong. They’ve already done so.

            I don’t approve of sliding past favorable terrain to argue and enhance the credibility of the Church with the public in order to fixate on the unfavorable terrain our media lords have decreed shall be the approved battleground.

    • Paxton Reis

      “It isn’t clear how Matthew 19:4-5 is a stronger argument against gay marriage than it is against clerical celibacy.”

      Fundamentally, Mt 19:4-5 is Jesus reminding us God is the Author of marriage. In our age today, what are we doing then in moving away from the reality of marriage being between a man and a woman.

      This reality of basic human relations was central to Saint John Paul’s teaching in his “Theology of the Body” and it is also presented to us in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church”, so it is the foundation from we see the world and underlies our conversations about marriage.

      I’ve been in a couple discussions with advocates for ssm and the other participants (one a politically active minister) both stated along the lines “Jesus never discussed marriage.”
      Okay, what about Mt 19:4-5?

      No response from either on this.

      • This somewhat assumes that civil marriage is the same as religious marriage. But by the terms of the US, it cannot be. Caesar is not God.

      • jroberts548

        Yes, that verse could be an answer to whether gay marriage ought be permitted, if bible verses were meant to be read one or two at a time.

        As it is, the evangelist and our Lord did us the courtesy of telling is exactly what these verses are about. They’re about divorce. They’re the answer to a question about the permissive kitty of divorce. They aren’t a generalized commandment for men to marry women.

        • Joe Blough

          But they could certainly be taken as a generalized definition.

          • jroberts548

            Was Christ answering the question “what is marriage?” Or was he answering a question about divorce?

            If a married couple moves into te groom’s parents’ spare room, is that an invalid marriage?

            This sort of lazy, silly proof-texting does no good at all.

            • Joe Blough

              “They’re about divorce.”
              Divorce from what? A *marriage*.
              Duh…

              • jroberts548

                So if a married couple lives on the groom’s parents’ spare room, is that not a valid marriage? If the groom’s parents move in in their dotage, is that grounds for a divorce? It’s right there in your definition of marriage – the groom has to leave his father and mother.

                Or maybe you shouldn’t try to read the bible one verse at a time.

                • Joe Blough

                  I don’t engage in dialogue with someone who deliberately and disingenuously employs the reasoning of a 12-year-old.

                  • jroberts548

                    You’re the one telling me that that’s the definition of marriage. If you’re getting your definition from that bible verse, instead of from the 2 millennia the church has spent thinking on the subject, how can you exclude the man leaving his parents part as essential?

                    • Joe Blough

                      I don’t engage in dialogue with someone who deliberately and disingenuously employs the reasoning of a 12-year-old.

                    • jroberts548

                      Did you overhear the word “disingenuous” once, and decide you like it?

                      I’m not being disingenuous. I’m not pretending to have a genuine opinion. I’m not pretending to be of a sort (genus) other than what I am.

                      What I am doing is calling out intellectually lazy proof-texting. Matthew 19 tells you what it’s about. If you read the whole the passage, it’s clear what’s going on. It’s part of the Church’s teaching on marriage, but it’s not the definition of marriage, unless you insist on reading the bible one verse at a time, which isn’t even how the Bible was written (verse divisions were added later).

                      If you insist on reading the bible one verse at a time, you should not read the bible. Or anything.

                      But since you can only read one sentence at a time, I can see why my comments confuse you. I will rephrase in a way that helps you.

                      Because the Church’s teaching on marriage is the product of 2000 years of deliberation on the Fathers of the Church, the Bible, the work of theologians, and human experience, attempting to find a definition of marriage in a single bible verse about divorce is misguided and fruitless effort; furthermore, attempting to read your own concerns into a single bible verse is similarly misguided, and results in a fundamental failure to place the Church’s opposition to gay marriage in its proper context as an outgrowth of her positive teaching on marriage instead of as part of the definition of marriage as a man leaving his parents to cleave to a woman.

                    • Joe Blough

                      If you’re too stupid to understand that “leave his father and mother” means more than “move out of their house,” I can’t help you.

                    • jroberts548

                      If you’re too stupid to read more than one sentence at a time, neither I, nor anyone who has ever written anything, can help you.

                      Edited to clarify: That was needlessly snarky on my part. I don’t think you’re an idiot. You might be, or you might be an otherwise reasonable person who is just wrong.

                      The Bible is an old document. It’s produced by the Church (rather than the other way around). Verse divisions are completely artificial, and whatever convenience they add is outweighed by the way they mislead people who might otherwise not be idiots. There’s no reason to divide Matthew into chapters. There’s no reason to divide Matthew 19 into verses. That’s not even how the Church uses them. If you look at the lectionary, the Church reads the Gospels in pericopes. Sometimes individual verses show up, but only as antiphons, and then they’re in the context of canticles or psalms.

                      If you’re ever reading one or two bible verses by themselves, and not in light of their immediate surroundings, you’re not reading the Bible. It’s abusive to the text, which wasn’t written in verses, and was never meant to be read in verses.

                      So here, if you try to turn Matthew 19:4-5 into a generalized definition of marriage, you run into problems, since at no point did either Christ, the evangelist, or the Church who ultimately compiled, preserved, and propagated the Gospel intend for it to serve that purpose. The verse doesn’t say anything about, e.g., solemnization. It doesn’t even directly say anything about being for life, even thought that’s exactly what the verse is in response to. It just says a man shall leave his parents, cleave to his wife, and become one flesh. If a man leaves his parents and becomes one flesh without solemnization, the technical term for that isn’t marriage, it’s fornication. It doesn’t define anything. It makes no sense divorced from the question that prompted it.

                      Alternatively, if you can just dismiss the “leave his parents” requirement, why not also dismiss other parts? On what grounds within these verses can you just dismiss the requirement that the groom leave his parents’ house? You can’t. Which is why you shouldn’t read the bible one or two verses at a time.

                    • Joe Blough

                      If you can show me where in Jesus’ discourse in the Gospel of Matthew there is a “requirement that the groom leave his parents’ house,” I will pay you $10,000 USD in cash. If you are unable to do so, I hope you will have the integrity to put an extra $10.00 in the collection basket this Sunday.

                    • jroberts548

                      It’s right there in Matthew 19:5. What else does “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother ” mean? It’s right there. The groom has to leave his parents. If I was the sort of intellectually lazy person who thought the bible should be read one verse at a time, I would think that if the groom doesn’t leave his parents, then there’s no marriage. It’s right there in Matthew 19:5, which you’re telling me is the definition of marriage.

                      But I’ll pass on the money, because I know better than to read the bible one verse at a time. There is no such requirement, because Matthew 19 is about the inpermissibility of divorce, and not about providing a proof text definition of marriage.

                    • Del Sydebothom

                      A groom who marries leaves his father and mother. The spacial proximity of subsequent living quarters is irrelevant.

                    • jroberts548

                      So “leaves” is metaphorical? What part of Matthew 19:5 tells you that leaving doesn’t require actually going anywhere?

                      Can we ignore spacial proximity to the wife as well? Why not? What part of the verse tells you that?

                      Joe Blough was telling me this is the definition of marriage – nothing about solemnization, it being for life, etc. Just leaving your parents and cleaving to a woman. You’re now kicking half of that definition out.

                      Or we could just read this verse as part of the passage to which it belongs, the way the evangelist and the Church meant us to, and avoid these profoundly stupid questions.

                    • Del Sydebothom

                      “So “leaves” is metaphorical?”

                      I don’t think so.

                      “What part of Matthew 19:5 tells you that leaving doesn’t require actually going anywhere?”

                      Obviously a man has to leave his father and mother to go get his girl. Where the two of them go–or don’t go–afterward is irrelevant. In Jewish society, they often went back to the house of the groom’s father.

                    • jroberts548

                      That’s outside of Matthew 19:5. Or do you agree that you shouldn’t try to read the bible one verse at a time, and are arguing with me over literally nothing?

                    • Del Sydebothom

                      Actually, I do. I’ve defended strenuously the idea of publishing bibles with chapters and verses printed in the margin, with the text itself a square block without paragraph divisions. One can indeed get used to reading texts in this way, and the smooth reading of Holy Writ is much helped by it.

                      I disagree with you on the “leaving father and mother” bit, though; to leave one’s father and mother–assuming one is living with them–is a physical necessity if one wishes to cleave to his wife. Whether the distance traveled is 20 feet or 20 miles has no bearing on the deed of “leaving”. Besides, a present day western “house” is more like a bunch of houses consolidated under one roof, albeit with a shared hearth. Alas, my children are unable to safely light a cooking fire in their room. 🙁 Stupid carpet.

                    • jroberts548

                      I’m not saying that leaving your parents is part of the definition of marriage. I’m saying only a functionally illiterate person would say that. I was offering that specifically as an example of why people shouldn’t read the bible one verse at a time. Matthew 19:5 is not a definition of marriage. It’s an answer to a question about the permissibility of divorce.

                    • Del Sydebothom

                      In Matthew 19:5, our Teacher is quoting from Genesis in answer–as you have rightly pointed out–to a specific frain. The way in which he wields the words of that passage may be taken as a model, for He *is* our Teacher. His main focus was, of course, on the words “two in one flesh”. We may look, when faced with the question of same-sex relations, on the words “man” and “wife”. And, of course, when asked about the necessity for consent to the marital union, we may at least use the phrase “he leaves his father and mother” as one bit of evidence.

                      That is, he must physically leave his father and mother to go cleave to his wife. I think our Lord would say this implies he must independently accept her as his wife, regardless of whatever legitimate role his parents may play in her selection. I would not dare state this as a certainty, but I think we ought to be slow to dismiss any part of a passage as irrelevant to its meaning.

        • Paxton Reis

          The Church recognizes these verses as being more than about divorce (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1605) and deeply profound for us and for families. By taking us back to the “Beginning” Jesus is reminding us of the goodness of our creation and the goodness of what man and woman were created for.

          “The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the marriage state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws…God himself is the author of marriage.” (Gaudium et spes 48:1)

          “The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator.” (Catechism 1603).

          Those questioning Jesus about divorce in Mt 19 weren’t merely seeking clarification on divorce statues, but were desiring to entrap him and to silence him. Jesus saw through their blinded simplicity and challenged them to look back to creation and its goodness. As St. John Paul II taught us in his “Theology of the Body” this is a fundamental perspective we need towards marriage in our world today, and it means much more than the question of divorce.

          Yes, Mt 19 is much more than a teaching about divorce, and the Pharisees knew this.

          • jroberts548

            Were the Pharisees asking about gay marriage? Which provision of the 1605 catechism deals with gay marriage?

            I’m not saying the church doesn’t oppose gay marriage, or making the similarly absurd claim that the bible can be read to support gay marriage. I’m saying that lazy, stupid proof-texting is lazy and stupid. We should let the bible and the fathers tell us what they tell us, rather than trying to beat out answers to questions that are wholly alien to them.

  • Joseph

    Hahaha. Lovely exchange.
    Person A: “Hi. I just want to tell you about the love of Christ and hope you support gay marriage because that’s what Christ wants, brother. God bless you!”
    Person B: “But Christ doesn’t want gay marraige.”
    Person A: “GO TO F*CKIN HELL YOU F*CKER!!!! I WILL SMASH YOU… SMASH YOUUUUUUU!!!!!!”

    • Alma Peregrina

      LOL! It’s funny ’cause it’s true!

  • Mike

    What a bizarre exchange; i hope it is itself a rare specimen.

  • Petey

    (Tracing back links) that peter west guy

  • The Eh’theist

    It is situations exactly like this one which make me glad I don’t support the push for some atheists to support all activists for all causes. While I believe that civil marriage should be open to all, I don’t support this sort of campaign or the attitude that accompanies it. Sorry you had to experience this.

    Had I received the message I likely would have inquired whether the writer only supported same sex marriage for Christians and not for Jews and Hindus since Paul is only addressing Christians in the passage.

    While I think the attention paid to the Scriptures to find a rationale for same-sex marriage has paid some minor dividends (such as a re-emphasis on the lack of hospitality as the sin of Sodom-something I think might have been a basis for additional reflection at the recent synod) I don’t find most of the exegetical arguments convincing, preferring instead to separate religious custom from civil practice.

  • Elmwood

    israel doesn’t have same-sex marriage because it is kept separate from civil law. they view marriage as a religious institution and therefore don’t issue licenses. seems this confessional community system of regulating marriage is a good solution to the problem of secularism.

    face the facts, the US as established as a secular state with absolutely no formal association or recognition of one religion over another, has no business telling us how to define the religious institution of marriage. they should leave this decision up to the various churches or religions within reason of course.

    there was a good discussion of the inherent flaws of american styled democracy over at the american conservative in relation to how the catholic church could operate. the argument of the americanists (weigel, murray, gibbons, first things… etc) being that the church can embrace and flourish best in the enlightenment american experiment being freed from messy politics and the corruption of worldly affairs. the traditionalist view would be opposed to such a political arrangement where chruch and state are completely autonomous from one another. whatever the best system is, i don’t think anyone can seriously say that what we have here in america is ideal for living the christian life.

    • D.T. McCameron

      Most Enlightenment principles (and nations founded by them) are, by design, inimical (if not entirely antithetical) to living out the Christian life.

      • Elmwood

        tell that to the american church! seriously though, we have to admit like jrr tolkien that catholic life in this world amounts to a long defeat. christendom, exemplified by the byzantine empire and catholic medieval europe, are nearly completely extinct. protestantism (product of catholicism) killed christendom in western europe and communism and islam killed it in eastern europe and the middle east. here in the americas, we are dying from the heresy of americanism, which is the ideologies of the GOP and democrat parties. i guess in reality americanism is really just the enlightenment.

        • D.T. McCameron

          To be fair, I believe even the most infernal of the minds behind the Enlightenment would be disappointed in the sclerotic mess that’s become the country.

          And I imagine that Americanism might’ve granted the country a sort of vigor, like believing in the ideal of Rome.

          Which is all still a sort of paganism, but a least a manly kind.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    What is cisgendered?

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    I’m so glad it’s an organic grassroots movement. I’d hate to think any grassroots movement was contaminated with pesticides, Roundup or GMOs.

    • Andy

      But is it gluten free????

      • Andy

        (I can make that joke because my kid is gluten free and we have a very lovely and accommodating parish with gluten free communion hosts and everything. So please don’t get started, fellow gluten free people.)

  • Andy

    “This movement has no leadership and is completely organic.”
    I doubt that very much. Could it be?…

    • Guest

      Could it be?…
      (Well dang it, I’m trying to insert a picture of Church Lady. You’ll just have to imagine how hilarious I am.)