“If you don’t think this is coming, you are a fool.”

“If you don’t think this is coming, you are a fool.” March 24, 2015

Rod Dreher on the actual end game for gay ideology in the West:

“This is the next step in the fight. It never was going to be enough for progressives to get gay marriage and discrimination against LGBTs outlawed except for within religious organizations. Now the push from progressive elites will be to tear down the wall protecting religious liberty to punish the wrongthinkers. If you don’t think this is coming, you are a fool.”

If people want to pretend they are married, nobody can stop them.  But this has never been about letting people pretend they are married.  It has always been about mustering the legal force to punish those who will no join in the pretense.  Tolerance is not enough.  You. MUST. approve.  It goes with the intensely narcissistic nature of gay culture.  It is a militant, crusading faith that cannot rest as long as anybody in the world refuses to play along.


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  • antigon

    ‘It is a militant, crusading faith that cannot rest as long as anybody in the world refuses to play along.’
    *
    Because its practitioners know their degradation, & must constantly struggle to keep that knowledge at bay. Should there exist any voice that reminds, it must be suppressed lest they be forced to struggle against their affliction & torment their pride through acknowledging a weakness hardly unique to these particular sins. But because with many so apparently compelling, & so particularly humiliating, the need to destroy all opposition is especially fierce, not to say potentially congenial to all whose pride is uneasy about our weakness before temptation of other kinds.
    *
    In passim, it is also what’s cruel about certain current distortions regarding the glory of mercy. Somewhere in ‘Orthodoxy’ Chesterton wrote of all the philosophers who were constantly telling him how wonderful he was, the consequence of which was to but drive him into a deeper & blacker depression. Then he read Catholicism’s understanding that, however glorious, GKC was also profoundly monstrous, & with that revelation found himself skipping down the street like a happy schoolboy.
    *
    May God spare us the black depression of a ‘mercy’ that is nothing of the kind.

    • Sue Korlan

      I think the problem is that no matter what a person does in having relations with those of the same sex, children never result. So as hard as someone tries to pretend it’s marriage, reality rears its ugly head and points out what is lacking.

      • kenofken

        We’re at 7 billion people and on track to probably (at least) double that by century’s end. Are we in danger of running out by virtue of same sex relations?

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          We’re not utilitarians.

          I’m still trying to figure out what possible reward you find from such commenting.

          Wish your Aryan Bros well for me! Toodles!

          • Vision_From_Afar

            No one mentioned utilitarianism.
            Also:

            • antigon

              Caro Mr. Afar:
              *
              Didn’t that happen much earlier in this thread, assuming you agree the ‘bigot’ epithet also subject to Godwin’s law?

              • Vision_From_Afar

                Caro: Are we using Latin (meat), Venetian (dear), or Esperanto (tsar)?
                I am a Meat Popsicle.
                I don’t know you well enough to be dear to you, I’m afraid.
                I am not Russian, nor royal.
                So…Latin?
                I missed the Internet-wide memo that Godwin’s law had been expanded. Get me that TPS report in triplicate.

                • antigon

                  ‘I don’t know you well enough to be dear to you, I’m afraid.’
                  *
                  But wait! You allowed it above! And feel you know me well enough to call me Caro even now! What’s going on!? What’s happened to us!?
                  *
                  P.S. Italian. And the report (in triplicate) is on its way, but disguised in an Hitlerian (& bigoted!) meat popsicle.

                  • Vision_From_Afar

                    Saw this comment first, and didn’t feel the need to follow up. We’re all just being silly about it anyhow. 😉
                    I’ll get a translator on it.

        • LotsofHomophobia

          Exactly. Look, I’m not sure we should be taking moral advice from an institution that has high rates of LGBT suicides, used to cover up abuses of children, thinks that homosexuality is a sin but refuses to enter the civil sphere to talk about no-fault divorce, or idolatry, or lying …

          There are hard positions to respect. If you care so much about marriage, say something about divorce and infidelity too! But Catholics don’t. I recommend you click on some of the posting histories, like Sue Korlan’s. She’s very concerned about gays, but not at all about infidelity, adultery, and so on. Only gays.

          Homophobic much?

          • antigon

            Fecalphobic anyhow. But I’m RC & here you go: Italians began their rush towards disappearing from history when they voted to legalize divorce in 1974. They should repudiate that mistake, & Europe along with the rest of the West should then follow their example.
            *
            This should of course be accompanied, Mr. Shea & Papa Francesco notwithstanding, by the death penalty for any CEO who fails to prevent people in his company working between 1 & 5pm, save for emergency ones like restaurants & I suppose hospitals.
            *
            Once this happens & civilization is accordingly re-established, we can then recommend the Caliphate follow suit which, if it does, world peace will obtain, or at least until Asian hordes catch on & start galloping across the plains at 3pm.

        • Sue Korlan

          Actually, the world population is expected to peak around 9 million in 2030 and then start dropping fairly rapidly in most countries. Japan is a current example of what will be happening to everyone, if we don’t destroy ourselves with nuclear war first.

      • NoNotProcreation

        I think you face two practical problems with this.

        First, the Catholic Church marries people for whom child-bearing is simply not possible. All it takes is for either the man or the woman to be infertile, and it is a very common problem. In many cases, this is known PRIOR to the marriage being entered into. The persistent failure by Catholics to accept that this argument poses a huge problem to the idea that marriage is about procreation is irresponsible, and possibly homophobic.

        Second, I hope you don’t mean to say that couples who can procreate, but who CHOOSE to adopt instead, are not in marriages. If a straight man and woman decide to marry, but adopt instead of conceiving, is their marriage any less of a marriage? Why is adoption an issue?

        Why can’t you be honest and just say that there are no good civil reasons and that you are coming from a place of religious conviction? IF I had a conviction that all people whose names begin with Sue and end with Korlan were complete retards, I wouldn’t try to bolster it with fake civil arguments and simply admit it was a faith-based decision. That’s intellectual honesty.

        • kenofken

          In no other venue of marriage has the anti-SSM movement advocated for the state to enforce reproductive capacity as a condition of marriage. In addition to the millions of couples who are infertile due to age or medical issues, many others willfully decide not to have children. In fact, you can be a young hetero couple who deliberately render themselves permanently sterile, and nobody is advocating that civil marriage be withheld from them.

          • Peggy

            They can still participate in the natural order as husband and wife. They can adopt a child, an orphan and give him a home with a mother and father, replicating the natural order that was broken for one reason or another. A childless couple are also aunt& uncle. A new husband of a remarried widow replicates the family order; a 2nd husband can be a grandparent figure to a widow’s grandchildren. Remarriage doesn’t replicate the natural order in cases of divorce. however.

            I don’t think infertility is usually known up front. We’d have to test people if it were a condition of marriage. That’s an infringement, I’d say. Furthermore, it’s not always conclusive. Amazingly a baby can be conceived after years of fruitless effort. We don’t have to test homosexuals for fertility.

        • Sue Korlan

          I have no idea why the Church allows people who can’t have children to get married. In the case of the elderly it’s probably because Sarah and Abraham were extremely old when they conceived Isaac, so it is sometimes possible for those who are past the age of fertility to have children. I have nothing against adoption, but a recent study shows that children do better with their birth parents than in any other situation. So it’s best for the future of the world if people have their own children.

          • Curious44

            Hmm, I’m not sure I’m convinced. So men that have vasectomies, or women who have removed ovaries/tubes/etc. due to cancer, aren’t truly “married” when they get married?

            As for biological parents, sure, perhaps it is one important factor in a cocktail of many factors. But surely you know of so many people who come from heterosexual families that are, for lack of a better word, pretty screwed up.

            Now, I’m not a scientist, and this is just seat-of-the-pants assumptions I am making 🙂 but I think what matters most is a stable, loving set of families. It strikes me that parents, whether gay or straight, who jump through so many hoops to adopt probably have thought through the decisions and really want kids, compared to the many accidental births and unwanted pregnancies in so many biologically born families.

            Also, last observation! Am I right to say there is nothing that will change your mind on the “rightness” of same-sex marriage or gay families? I mean … what’s the point of discussing this, really? Even if the research showed in twenty years that children do as well in same-sex homes as they do in straight ones, you would still be against it because that’s how you read the Bible right? Even if scientists found a gay gene, you would still think gay sex was wrong. So .. what’s up with all the recourse to civil arguments? It just boils down to your faith, no?

            There’s nothing wrong with that. But why not just say that it’s a matter of your faith, then? You can’t really have a conversation with someone who has entered with an immovable conviction, because the data won’t change anything.

            God bless.

            • Sue Korlan

              Scientists have searched very hard for a gay gene, and they haven’t been able to find one. If gay people could have a child naturally by having sex I would approve of them marrying.

              • Confused3

                Was this a serious reply? Or meant in sarcasm? I think the poster was engaging in good faith, and the shortness and oddness of this reply does not seem to match his good faith.

                • Sue Korlan

                  It was a serious response when I didn’t have much time. It seemed to me that he was trying to change the subject from marriage to sex. I have no problem with civil unions for those who don’t procreate, but I see no reason why I as one of the more than 40% of the country who are single should be expected to subsidize the married people who aren’t having children. Sex should be its own reward. For the many financial benefits of marriage see the website Onely.

              • Confused3

                And just to clarify, so if in fact the kids turned out to fare as well, or perhaps even better in same-sex families than in straight families, you would still be against it unless two men or two men could naturally procreate?

                So, is this just a roundabout way of saying – you will never accept same-sex families, and arguing about it is pointless because two men and two women can never naturally conceive?

                I think it’s helpful to lay these things out so people can choose whom to engage.

                • Dave

                  “If kids turned out to fare as well in same-sex families”, I would conclude that the study proving such was flawed or intentionally designed and cherry picked to output nonsense. It is complete nonsense that children would be just as happy growing up with two random people as with their actual parents. Even adoption by a man and a woman is not the ideal, but it sure beats having two parents of one sex and none of the other.

                  Could it work out OK in many cases? Sure. Children are resilient.

                • Sue Korlan

                  Last week I read that another study just came out showing that kids do better emotionally if raised by their birth parents rather than any other living situation.

        • Heather

          Actually, the Church considers the conscious intention never to have children to be an impediment to a valid marriage and potential grounds for an annulment. The physical inability to consummate the marriage is also an impediment. Involuntary infertility is not an impediment because sometimes the doctors are wrong, sometimes new ethically sound treatments are developed, and frankly sometimes miracles happen.

          You’re right though in that the Church lost this argument long before it even began. No fault divorce and the availability of artificial birth control was the one two punch that decoupled marriage from providing a stable environment for the raising of children. Once “till death do us part” turned into “till mid life crisis or boredom do us part” and children were the carefully planned for (or accidental and unexpected) exception rather than the expected natural result of having sex, marriage became what people did in order to have their desire to have sex with each other formally recognized rather than what they did in order to create a permanent family bond and bring up the next generation (barring tragedy or abuse). And when that’s what marriage becomes in the minds of society, there is no wonder that there is no reason to deny it to same sex couples, and I am quite certain that it won’t be long before it is not limited to groups of only two either.

      • Donalbain

        And that is why women with hysterectomies can never get married!

        • Joseph

          You’re showing that you’re basing your argument off of ignorance with a statement like this. Not very smart.

          • Donalbain

            And yet no actual counter argument.

            • Joseph

              Umm… ok… some statements are so abundantly stupid that they don’t require a counterargument… just an implication that it was a stupid statement. That’s what I don’t get about new atheists/pagans, they can literally spew volumes of verbal shite then expect everyone to explain why they think it’s verbal shite.

              • Donalbain

                Fair enough. No argument. Have fun. I will continue to celebrate as my friends get married.

  • Dave G.

    Not just gay marriage. The HHS mandate was useful. In fact, at this point, the discussion is out of the closet. I watched on CSPAN last year a discussion where all agreed that things like reproductive health, health care, and sexual orientation are absolute rights, but speech and religion? Not so much. And while they disagreed on what to do about it, none disagreed with the need to end this veneration of religious rights and free speech as the end all. Especially where the real rights we should care about were concerned.

    • Rebecca Fuentes

      If the tables of power turned and they were told they couldn’t discuss abortion or homosexuality, free speech rights would suddenly be *very* important to them. People are happy to do away with rights when they are at the top of the wave.

      • Joseph

        Reason and logic are not their strong suits. Religious zeal is.

      • kenofken

        Those tables of power were turned the other way, and the religious right was indeed quite happy to do away with rights when they were riding that wave. Until very recent time, gays and lesbians were being arrested and imprisoned for being homosexual. Not conjecture that “Caesar is going to come for us someday.” Actual jail.

        Speech was not exempt either. Early gay rights groups were subject to prosecution under the Comstock Law simply for advocacy. At least nine states still have laws on the books mandating that public schools teach an explicity anti-gay curriculum where sex education is concerned. Then there was DADT, which until four or five years ago was systematically destroying the careers of thousands of capable men and women in the armed services simply for their orientation. A number of Catholic bishops are eagerly pursuing similar policies as private employers to this day.

        For most of a century, the opponents of LGBT rights have followed a policy of total war. No quarter, no prisoners and scorched earth. Now that the tide of battle has turned, they can’t imagine how all these gays got so vindictive and militant. Where would they have ever learned such behavior? It must be something inbred to them or liberals as a whole….

        • Peggy

          RIghts of homosexuals were not “taken away.” They were not granted in the first place. This country was based on natural law, our rights being God-given, not government given. There has historically been no legal right to sexual activity outside of sacramental/lawful marriage between a man and a woman. (Yes, some societies allowed men multiple wives as well as looked the other way when men cheated on wives.) Only an sacramental/lawful marriage legitimized a male-female relationship and alliances among families, tribes or nations. Marriage serves very important functions for a society, in addition to the feelings/motives of those who choose a marriage.

          • Vision_From_Afar

            This country was based on British Common Law, the “Enlightenment”, and Greco-Roman notions of democracy and republic.
            How many wives did King David have? Salomon?
            To cap it off you’re arguing for legitimacy of child marriages in medival and Renaissance royalty, due to it’s nature of allying nations (I presume we all just hope they never bothered to consummate until proper age)? How is that more legitimate than two educated, modern adults?

            • Peggy

              I have not argued FOR anything in particular but the fact that marriage has always been male-female regardless of the imperfections and motives with which it has been carried out in societies. Even primitive peoples who never heard of the Judeo-Christian God have male-female marriages which has social, political and economic significance. No, I really wouldn’t want an arranged marriage, but sometimes I think we probably are not doing so well as a society making our own decisions in this area, given the high divorce rate and all.Marrying for love and happiness isn’t working out so well. People leave when they are no longer happy. I can’t count the times a person pursuing divorce used that expression.

              • kenofken

                If we really want to take marriage back to it’s roots, it arose with agriculture and permanent settlements as a way to solidify a man’s ownership of his property, including women and his land. It was a way to facilitate transition of political dynasties and inheritance of property. That’s it. It was never about getting people to procreate. That had been happening just fine on its own for many hundreds of thousands of years before anyone thought to codify it.

                If ancient provenance is to be the primary standard for evaluating the legitimacy of institution, we’d better prepare to re-embrace slavery, vengeance killings and duels, rape as a routine tool of war, child brides, polygamy, infanticide, torture, gladatorial combat and live murder for public entertainment, to name but a few time proven favorites.

                • Peggy

                  Whatever else marriage has been across time and place, it has always been MALE-FEMALE.

                  • kenofken

                    Only if you do a whole lot of selective editing of history and pretend that human civilization began with 4th Century Christendom.

                    • Peggy

                      No. Are you forgetting Rome? Egypt? Greece? Hebrews of the OT? Some people may have engaged in homosexual activity, but there were no marriages or unions that were held up as equal to male-female marriage. They had no standing. Or what Asian groups elevated 2 men or 2 women as equal to male-female marriage?

                      You see, no one had to read the Torah or New Testament to figure out that male and female bodies were meant to go together. I hope I don’t have to explain more.

                • SteveP

                  I ought not be surprised you have stooped to male shaming as in “how dare any man want his energy to be used exclusively on his own progeny.” Surely you know you are shaming men of color. Racist.

                  • kenofken

                    It’s not shaming, it’s just dispelling the myth which says that male-female marriage has always been rooted in Catholic theology of the body or some precursor. It was, and is, about property rights. I don’t know where I injected race into the argument. If I stop and think about it, the rise of agriculture in places like Mesopotamia probably meant that many originators of contract marriage were probably not alabaster white, but that’s neither here nor there.

                    • SteveP

                      It is out-and-out shaming of both males and females: males as they dare to even suggest how their own energy is spent; females because you suppose they have absolutely no agency. Slaver!

                    • Peggy

                      What the heck is “shaming” of males and females? That sounds like silly PC talk.

                    • kenofken

                      Hell if I know, and I’m accused of it! I’m also, apparently a “slaver”. Which prompts me to ask myself why I’m still driving a 2001 Saturn.

          • Don’tWasteYourMind

            Read some constitutional law textbooks. What I dislike about blog comments like these is that it is very disrespectful of your other posters. Take the time to research the issue before posting thoughtless drivel.

            Loving v. Virginia established that marriage was a right. Lawrence v. Texas, written by a Catholic justice, no less, extended the concept of privacy to the sexual sphere, establishing that our private lives are so essential and inalienable to our experience of our own humanity that it cannot be abrogated by legislative action. In decision after decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that marriage is a right, and in Lawrence, O’Connor embraced the argument that homosexual relations cannot be criminalized if heterosexual relations are not. So the state has to be consistent.

            So, instead of arguing by feeling, the silliest form of argumentation, my recommendation is to read a book. Your mind is a gift from God. Please don’t waste it.

            • antigon

              Dear Mr. Mind:
              *
              An untendentious reading of Peg’s post preceding yours would recognize it refers to America’s (largely Protestant) struggle with law prior to its descent into the current oligarchic legal positivism.
              *
              But to those with the soul – & prose style – of an assistant principal, honest readings won’t do of course.
              *
              May thy pompous ass know many a tack Mr. Mind.

            • Peggy

              Wow. I guess you missed that Declaration of Independence thingy. eh? Natural law has been operative until recent years, when, for example, Justice Kagan couldn’t bring herself to acknowledge this basis of US law. Nothing about inter-racial marriage is unnatural. It’s not new either. So, Loving v Va was not a novel idea.

              Lawrence v TX was novel and kind of silly too. I suppose it has been historically argued that men have a right to sex from their wives, but otherwise, there is no historical holding that sexual activity is a right of man–or woman. The founders didn’t discuss this. None of their intellectual predecessors did. And, yes, homosexuals did not have the explicit right to engage in such activity in the US until Lawrence. The people of the state have a right to decide what is illegal in their state. The best approach would have been to observe that it’s not a good use of public resources to police homosexual activity and we don’t really care what adults do in their own homes, so it should no longer be illegal.

              You’re pretty funny to argue against “feelings”. Feelings are the entire basis of the homosexual argument. There is no logic to it. Lawrence was full of silly “feeling” arguments. The defenders of true marriage are not using feelings at all but history, biology, anthropology, law, and logic, etc. Not much room for feelings there.

              Start using your mind.

              • kenofken

                In it’s formation, the United States created a presumption of privacy and freedom from government intrusion in their personal affairs. That presumption, which underlies Texas v Lawrence and Griswold v Conneticut has been there since day one of the republic. It has nothing to do with whether the founders personally articulated specific rights around sexual activity. Inter-racial relationships were held to be profoundly unnatural and disordered for virtually the entire length of our nation’s history, as were the basic rights of black Americans and women of any color. The rights all of them have to equal treatment and dignity do not exist because some hallowed historical figure “granted” them. The rights always existed. They just takes time, wisdom, and ceaseless struggle to recognize and enforce.

                • Peggy

                  The privacy claims have been questionable from Griswold to Roe to Lawrence. I’m not too concerned about Griswold. Lawrence was wrong. It is the right of the people of a state to determine what is unlawful. I have no problem with the people of TX voting that they really don’t care what adults do. But it was not for SCOTUS to declare individual rights over states rights in this.

                  Marriage as male-female, monogamous and interracial have pre-dated our nation. So, has homosexual activity. But it has always been known to be unnatural and certainly not equal to male-female unions. (It is not genetic, a new study of scientists from several countries has determined.)

                  There has never been a right to engage in homosexual behavior. It has never been legitimized until Lawrence.
                  This is a plain-english balanced discussion of the “right to privacy” in the constitution.
                  http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/rightofprivacy.html

                  Would that SCOTUS cared as much for the intimacy of religious beliefs, the first application of privacy that the founders considered. If a man’s conscience is not his own, how can he be free?

          • Donalbain

            Do people have the right to be a heretic?

            • Peggy

              Temporally: In a non-theocracy or a pluralist society.

              Before God: probably not if we really believe the Catholic faith.

              • Donalbain

                So, rights are not universal and depend on your location?

                • Peggy

                  Rights before God? Universal.

                  Unalienable rights of man from a philosophical viewpoint? Universal.

                  Temporal rights? Yes, you have universal rights, but some govts take them away wrongly. Some of our universal rights are being taken away in the US.

                  From a religious (Catholic) perspective? Universal rights to things in keeping with Catholic teaching.

        • Rebecca Fuentes

          It was wrong then; it’s wrong now. I won’t defend squashing free speech past or present. May we learn mercy from being the underdog, not seek comeuppance.

          • IPityYou

            Catholics are not underdogs. Let’s get real. There are five Catholic justices on the Supreme Court. There are many more Christians than atheists in any political branch or corporation.

            The problem with people like you is that you see the world in clean categories. Catholics vs. LGBTs. One of the reasons the Church is losing the argument is that it fails to realize that beyond the confines of blogs like those hosted on Patheos, the vast majority of Middle America has moved on. Nearly 60% of Catholics support same-sex marriage. Nearly 75% of Catholics support contraception. And so on.

            Meanwhile, stragglers speak out on blogs what they dare not voice at dinner parties. The emotion one feels most approximates intense pity.

            • antigon

              ‘The emotion one feels most approximates intense pity.’
              *
              Dear Mr. You:
              *
              Either that, or an intense if apparently not wholly secure smugness.

            • Rebecca Fuentes

              I guess discussion is pointless since you think you can read my mind. Go in peace.

  • Joseph

    I’ve been saying it all along and have been getting reamed by the right thinkers for daring to make such statements. Same with euthanasia activism… the end game is to have the populous willingly march themselves into the state sanctioned gas chambers when their afflictions become too burdensome to the state or the state no longer deems them worthy of support for any given reason. How silly are they who do not follow thoughts and ideas to their logical conclusions and that euthanasia activism is so closely linked to what happened during events such as the Red Terror and the Holocaust. Fools, useful idiots, boob-tube programmed morons who like to style themselves as free-thinkers gleefully marching to the gas chambers. While they accuse Catholics of being brainwashed for wanting to preserve human life, they march to the tune played by modern day Goebbels’ piped in steady streams into their ears through every source of media… the tune of the destruction of human life, utilitarianism. The ironic thing is, both Communism and Capitalism not marshalled by morality result in perfect utilitarianism and human slavery. Thus, both sides of the programmed masses end embracing in the same public square after their long journey fraught with superficial disagreements in ideologies. Fools them all.

  • Joseph

    Best case scenario, let the pagan states have control over marriage licenses. Let them have their cake and eat it. The Church gets out of the business of issuing state licenses or having anything to do with the State when it comes to marriage. If a Catholic wants to get married, they get their state license at the courthouse (which isn’t an official wedding or marriage in a Catholic sense), then they have the real marriage in the Church (before God). The Church’s marriage at this point becomes a private institution. It would be much more difficult for the enemies of God to mount an attack that way.

    We live under the new pagans’ rule. The Renaissance (pagan ‘baptism’) has come to fruition. Back to the catacombs with us. The Church actually managed to spread during those times anyway.

    • HornOrSilk

      The problem is not the marriage issue. The problem is forcing people to do things: for example a photographer is told they must take pictures at a gay wedding or else.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/04/08/is-refusing-to-photograph-a-gay-marriage-properly-considered-discrimination-based-on-sexual-orientation/

      • Joseph

        Yes, I know. But that makes me think of Christians being forced by the Romans to sacrifice to their gods or die. The Renaissance (pagan ‘baptism’) has come to fruition. The sooner we understand that and start preparing for the same treatment, the better. Who would have thought that the great persecution would be brought about by militant homosexuals.

        • Vision_From_Afar

          Please explain this veiled allusion you keep hinting at about the Renaissance.

          • Joseph

            It would take way too long in a simple combox. If you don’t understand it, just ignore it.

            • Vision_From_Afar

              If you can’t describe it in a paragraph or at least have a link to some lengthy argument, don’t use it. All you’re doing is promulgating elitism and confusion.

              • Joseph

                You’re actually right. I shouldn’t have used it knowing that a) my *veiled allusion* would probably run contrary to what you’ve learned about the Renaissance from the History Channel and television shows and b) actually taking the time to explain it fruitlessly in a combox would not only be a complete waste and would literally derail the thread.
                .
                But thanks for the recommendation, Mr. Combox Cop. 🙂

                • Vision_From_Afar

                  So what do you gain from it’s use? Other than throwing up a flag to those lucky, proud few *in the know*, what’s the point? It’s not adding to the conversation, it’s not aiding the discussion in any way, you’re just patting yourself on the back while winking slyly to whomever can decode your obscurity.
                  You have fun with that.

      • iamlucky13

        Not exactly. Forcing people to do things is the second stage of this. It goes beyond simply creating an official government policy of pretending people are married to forcing others to pretend, as well.

        That does not mean that first stage of the government policy is good, either.

        • CatholicTyrant

          But why is it your decision to make about whether gays are married? There are many religious organizations, such as the Presbyterians (USA) or the Unitarian Universalists who embrace same-sex marriage. Sure, maybe Catholics don’t. But shouldn’t other religious organizations be allowed to define marriage in their own way too? Do only Catholics get religious rights, and no other religious institution gets to do that?

          What the state is doing, has always been doing, is separating civil from sacramental marriage. Notice that the Church does not dictate social security policy, when a spouse might claim disability benefits, for how long, or up to what amount. The Church has COMPLETELY abnegated any civil aspect of marriage to the states. So, it’s fine if you don’t think gays are truly married. That’s your prerogative. But civilly, why should not others, in a democratic process including many religious organizations who support same-sex marriage, have the right to institute same-sex marriage by popular support? We are talking states that have more than 65% support of gay marriage, and they have made that choice – so who are you to say otherwise? It’s a democracy, no? Or are you a Catholic prince and the rest of us your servants?

          • antigon

            ‘It’s a democracy, no? Or are you a Catholic prince and the rest of us your servants?’
            *
            Dear Mr. Tyrant:
            *
            Well no, actually. It’s an oligarchy, through which much more than just ssm has been imposed due neither to popular support nor any process of the demos, but in the teeth of it.
            *
            And we are the oligarchs’ buttboys – if I may coin a phrase – servants if you prefer, whatever religion they pretend to invoke.

            • kenofken

              You guys didn’t seem to mind the oligarchy so much when it took your side. When they enacted DOMA and DADT, they were the best thing since wood-fired pizza in your book.

              • Peggy

                The majority of society is not an oligarchy.

                Only 1-2% of people are homosexual. That’s an oligarchy. That’s the 1% controlling our govt and society.

                • antigon

                  Folks who actually succumb to this unhappy perversion, while employed energetically, aren’t the ones in control, tho they have been found most useful for deeper aspirations of oligarchic power.

                  • Peggy

                    Yes, I see you are talking about a different oligarchy.

                • kenofken

                  If that 1% (most of who are not economic 1 perenters), truly managed to overcome you by guile and force, in one generation, from the position of extreme disadvantage and degredation you had them in, they deserve to rule over you.

                  Of course I think the far more likely explanation is that they won the battle of hearts and minds in America.

                  • antigon

                    Such battles as have been ‘won.’ were somewhat lower in the corpus methinks.

                    • kenofken

                      How so? Did the 1% of gays and lesbians just get straight America so turned on by lurid accounts of “homosex” that we just couldn’t say no to them at the ballot box?

                    • antigon

                      ‘Did the 1% get America so turned on that we just couldn’t say no to [ssm] at the ballot box?’
                      *
                      Ah, but apostate ken, we did say no, consistently & overwhelmingly in 32 states, tho it’s true the oligarchy’s court efforts did finally pay off when in 2012 their views squeaked through by just past half in the 3M states & Starbuckland.
                      *
                      But tho a quick perusal reveals ssm ballot efforts went down in at least 3 states in ’14, not to worry: you may be confident America will learn to play bottom to the plutocracy’s whims when properly instructed, or when that fails, when properly whipped.

                  • Peggy

                    The folks that are supporting the 1% of society who are homosexuals are mostly doing so to be hip and/or out of animus toward orthodox Christianity.

                    The public really hasn’t been won over. Many lefty biased judges are on their side.

              • antigon

                Just in passim apostate ken, our oligarchy enforces its gestalt via the courts, & thus since it was but via the somewhat more democratic expression of the legislatures & executive that doma & dadt were established, they were always necessarily doomed.

      • Donalbain

        And lunch counters have to serve niggers, and photographers can’t discriminate against Hindus or Jews. Awwww diddums.

        • HornOrSilk

          So you think a black should be forced to go to a White Power rally? People continue to misrepresent this law, and in doing so, show they are the ones who a bigots, hating religious people.

          • ReadMichigansRFRA

            You should think carefully about your analogies. Obviously no one has to be forced to go to a rally of any sort.

            Companies are free to decide if they want to serve pork or not. They can’t be compelled to serve something. But if they do serve pork, they can’t decide to only serve it to hot women but not to ugly ones, or to men above five feet, but not shorter men, or kids with three moles on their faces, but not those with less.

            Companies are free to institute policies that are business rather than class-related. If you are a high-class restaurant and you say people can’t wear sandals, that’s fine, because a Muslim or Christian can simply go change into sandals. It is difficult for a Christian to stop being Christian for two hours just to eat at a place. Just as someone can’t stop being gay, or white, or black, for two hours. So, if you are noisy and obnoxious, you can be asked to leave. But you can’t say – no bread for you because you’re gay.

            I think you are the one who does not understand RFRA laws. Let me ask you some simple questions as a test. What is the two-pronged test used in RFRA? Which prong did Hobby Lobby rely on in its narrow exemption ruling? On what basis did the dissent base its argument?

            Stop throwing around analogies that are, frankly, stupid. If you want to participate in public conversations, have some respect for the people here and take the time to read and gather some facts and materials. You seem to have a good enough IQ, so I surmise it is simply lack of preparation and not inherent stupidity.

            • HornOrSilk

              Actually, photographers have been sued for not wanting to go to a wedding. So if the argument is you can’t use opposition as a just cause for not doing a job, then others would have to be forced too, otherwise we no longer have equal protection under the law. Sorry but you don’t know what you are talking about. And this is why people like you ignore the reason why this is needed.

            • antigon

              ‘If you want to participate in public conversations, have some respect for the people here and take the time to read and gather some facts and materials. You seem to have a good enough IQ, so I surmise it is simply lack of preparation and not inherent stupidity.
              *
              Dear Mr. A:
              *
              Are you by any chance more than just spiritually involved with Mr. Mind or Mr. You below, or Alice & Mr. Please above, these folk who yearn to be assistant principals if only even some junior high will have them?

          • kenofken

            There is no equivalency between forced rally attendance and denial of wedding photography to a gay couple. There would be no obligation for a black man to attend (obviously) or even to cater business to a white supremacy event, for the reason that political views and group memberships are not protected categories under civil rights law. There is no presumption that the hypothetical black man is discriminating against the rally because those involved are white. White supremacy activities are in no way an inevitable consequence of the fact of being white. When a photographer or baker explicitly refuses to do gay weddings, that refusal stems from no other fact than the participants orientation.

            If anyone wants to read what courts are actually saying about these things, rather than wild conjecture, here is a link to the New Mexico Supreme Court decision in the photography case:

            http://www.nmcompcomm.us/nmcases/nmsc/slips/sc33,687.pdf

            • HornOrSilk

              No, ken. The White Power group is a legal group. If you can’t refuse a legal request, which is what is said, then you can’t refuse. However, you say it is “political views.” The gays have political views opposed to some, too… sorry, in this case, you are showing the discrimination against some .

              • kenofken

                It’ doesn’t matter of they’re a legal or incorporated group or not. It also doesn’t matter that discrimination is taking place. What matters is whether that discrimination is expressed in actions covered by civil rights public accommodations laws. The White Power group in your example would not be covered by any of those laws or any of the supporting case law for the reasons I described.

                • HornOrSilk

                  The point is that this shows discrimination against religion. Thanks for playing.

        • Peggy

          Should an Orthodox Jewish caterer be made to serve a Catholic wedding party ham and shrimp? Do you think an Orthodox Jewish photographer would want to attend a Catholic wedding with a full mass? (Orthodox Jewish friends of ours did not attend our ceremony nor our children’s baptisms. But they attended the receptions.) Some vendors might be open to these moral compromises, but why should they be forced by law to do so?

          The wedding industry is already religiously, culturally and economically very segmented. Some serve only specialized markets. Why isn’t the same sex market simply a new market to serve, which vendors can decline if they wish?

          • Donalbain

            And there is the stupid comparison to the serving of ham by Jewish people. Again, so very predictable. A Jewish person does not have to sell ham or shrimp to anyone if they do not want to. You can tell that is the case because kosher delis and vegetarian restaurants exist. But a kosher deli or a vegetarian restaurant are not allowed to refuse service to someone because they are Hindu, Muslim, Catholic or a woman. And in civilised parts of the world, they cannot refuse to serve someone or a couple because they are gay.

            • Peggy

              Should a Muslim cabbie be forced to transport alcohol or dogs? (yes, this is a real issue in the US)

          • kenofken

            The public accommodation civil rights laws and anti-discrimination ordinances in no way require business owners to offer any good or service they don’t already offer. No photographer who doesn’t do weddings is forced to do a gay wedding. No baker who does break or cupcakes only is forced to do a wedding cake for a gay couple. The law simply says whatever you offer cannot be selectively denied to some because of race, religion and (in some areas), sexual orientation.

            • Peggy

              But a ceremony about a homosexual relationship is not a “wedding” and the relationships are never “marriages”. A gay ceremony is not the same as a marriage. A “marriage” in even the general sense of the word is a union of opposites or things/people that are different. Shall we marry salt with salt on our steaks this week? Boy that sounds interesting and exciting!

              If homosexuals want some legal security to their relationship I don’t really care. Don’t ask me to call it “marriage”; don’t ask me to photograph 2 men kissing; or make a cake with 2 men or 2 women on top. I don’t make cakes with 2 women or 2 men; I don’t photograph 2 men kissing. It isn’t what I do. Just like the Kosher deli doesn’t sell pork.

              Christians are able to “live and let live” but that is not what is being asked.

              • kenofken

                The law doesn’t say you have to approve of anyone’s marriage. You just have to treat gay couples equally based on what the law says marriage includes, in states where that applies. Your conception of marriage is not some universal that holds an eternally privileged place in law, as much as that pains you to hear. If you don’t do wedding cakes or photography or other business, nothing in the law would force you to do it. If you do make wedding cakes with little figurines on top, you have to do so for same sex couples, at least in states like New Mexico. This concept is nothing new in civil rights law, by the way. It’s been the standard for 50 years. Deeply held convictions, even religious ones, do not translate to a right to say “we don’t serve your kind here.”

                • Peggy

                  Refusing to sell cupcakes to some one who is homosexual is discrimination. Refusing to compromise one’s morals by aiding and abetting recognition of an unnatural relationship is not discrimination. It is exercising one’s religious freedom. (I could get into what kinds of “discrimination” are fine and even beneficial from an economic theory standpoint, but that’s another issue.) 2 men or 2 women are NOT similarly situated to a male-female relationship. There is NEVER a possibility of accidental or purposeful creation of life. No need to ensure the child has his bio parents in one family for his needs to be met. That is the big purpose in civil marriage–tying the father to the children he creates and to the mother he creates them with. The shacking up and divorce-and-remarriage culture has been terrible for children. The state & society benefit from lifelong male-female marriages. 2 men or 2 women together have no value to social stability.

                  The idea that two men or two women can be engaged in a legitimate relationship is indeed a novel idea in any human society from the beginning of time. We don’t really have to invoke religion to defend male-female marriage. (We might invoke religion to defend monogamy and age of consent etc issues. We might also cite biology/heredity for restrictions on marriages between extended or immediate family members. There are lots of restrictions on marriage. Not every has the right to marry any one in the US.)

                  • kenofken

                    The legitimacy of same sex relationships has been recognized, tolerated and even celebrated to different degrees in many societies for many thousands of years, despite the fact that it was not frequently consecrated in formal marriage in the West.

                    • Peggy

                      I will give you “tolerated”.

                  • Heather

                    Honestly, if a Catholic wants to claim religious reasons for denying service for a particular event, they had better also be denying services for any other attempted marriage that would be considered invalid as well, not just same sex ceremonies. So no photographing second or third attempted marriages when the first spouse is still alive and there has been no declaration of nullity, and no catering for attempted marriages between Catholics or between Catholics and non-Catholics that do not follow proper canonical procedure.

                    The idea that two men or two women can be engaged in a legitimate relationship is not a novel idea in human society at all. There have been ceremonial recognition of various kinds of relationships in various cultures throughout history, some of sexual relationships, some of non-sexual relationships. The novelty is calling a relationship that is not intrinsically ordered toward the procreation and raising of children “marriage.”

                    • Peggy

                      Some Catholics may object to photographing such attempted marriages as you cite. They are free to do so. Just as Catholic Churches are free not to host these events.

                      Of course it is novel.

                    • Heather

                      Calling it marriage is novel. But there were cultures, in some parts of ancient Greece for instance, who celebrated the relationship between shield-mates far more highly than the relationships they had with their wives, because men were awesome and women were a mere biological necessity, only useful for breeding. Actually loving your wife could be taken as a sign of unmanliness.

                      I’m not saying such a profoundly misogynistic culture wasn’t seriously screwed up. But to say that there was no cultural recognition or celebration of same sex relationships in the past is just bad history. (For a non-sexual example, take the “adelphopoesis” or “brother-making” ceremony that existed in Christendom and still survives in some form in some Eastern European cultures. No, it’s not the ancient gay marriage that some have tried to claim it to be, but it WAS a ceremonial binding of two people of the same sex into a type of familial relationship.)

                    • Peggy

                      So, male bonding and male relationships competing with marriage is nothing new. There is nothing evil or sick in deep affection between men or between women. It’s called friendship. That is wholesome and good. I have no idea why such relationships should be interpreted as homosexual and held up as equal to marriage.

                    • Heather

                      Sorry, Peggy, but I wasn’t talking about friendly male bonding between guys. When I said shield-mate I meant shield-MATE. It was thought that fighting alongside your lover was good for morale and made you fight better.

        • Joseph

          Wow, show your colours. Thanks for that. Evidence who the true intolerant racists are. Hope you took pride in typing that.

    • kenofken

      As a supporter of SSM, a pagan and a proponent of church-state separation, I concur 100% with your proposal. Legal marriage is a state circumscribed legal contract. It is a civil union, not a sacrament. The state has no business performing sacraments in this country and clergy have no business dictating the terms of civil law.

      • Stu

        What is the purpose of a civil union or marriage in the eye of the state?

        • Vision_From_Afar

          Simplicity really. Once that contract is established in law, it allows for dozens of other laws to presume behavior based on that contract. Custodial relationships, insurance eligibility, medical power-of-attorney, the list goes on.

          • Stu

            You are close with the “custodial relationship” aspect. The other items are secondary.

      • ManyMoreSpices

        I’m not following you here. If legal marriage is a legal contract, what is wrong with two people – with the advice and blessing of a clergyman or religious institution – establishing the parameters of that contract? Freedom of contract is a pretty basic right in liberal societies.

        • kenofken

          Beyond the legal obligations of the state contract, you’re free to impose whatever other terms you wish between yourselves and your deity. You just can’t use the instruments of state power to enforce those terms on everyone else.

          • antigon

            Absolutely. Only the oligarchy can do that.

      • Joseph

        I don’t support SSM, for the record (can’t be *for* something that makes no sense from a historical, anthropological, sociological, or biological perspective… religion has less to do with it). I’m just saying that we don’t live in a theocracy… well, not a Christian one anyway… more like an antitheocracy. Western governments do approach their animus to Catholicism with a particular religious zeal.
        .
        What’s the point in trying to make a post-Christian new pagan society that has a skewed view on human rights accept reason and right philosophy, let alone accept any religious instruction from a religion they clearly hate. The day will come when parents who attempt to correct their children on sexual education after a long day of indoctrination at school will lose their children to the State and be prosecuted under hate crimes. Of course, there are those who will say I’m being paranoid, but every prediction I’ve made thus far is right on course. Once SSM is accepted in all Western nations, the very first thing that will happen is schools will be forced to teach children about the virtues of homosex. God help the parents who defy this teaching.

        • iamlucky13

          “I’m just saying that we don’t live in a theocracy… well, not a Christian one anyway… more like an antitheocracy”

          I’d still call it a theocracy. Atheism, despite the protests of its adherents, is a religion. Even though it’s not formally organized, it is still a set (or rather, a set of numerous sets) of beliefs about human origins, morals, etc. It even has evangelists who, as we are seeing, work very hard to influence public policy.

          They’ve now crossed a line of not merely working to protect their rights to their own beliefs, but to suppress the rights of those with differing beliefs. It has not genuinely achieved a theocracy yet, but it is definitely heading that direction at a rapid pace.

          • Tweck

            Well, there appear to be two vastly different sets of atheists. There’s the standard atheist who simply doesn’t subscribe to religious belief (most every atheist I’ve ever met in the real world seems to be of this stripe), and then there are the New Atheists, who are a fundamentalist atheist religion seeking to actively (and often with sanctimonious condescension) proselytize to the rest of us. Chris Hedges wrote an interesting book comparing the New Atheist movement to Christian fundamentalism in America, demonstrating just how similar the two groups are.

            • iamlucky13

              One might even use the terms fundamentalist, mainstream, and cradle atheists.

              • Tweck

                ha ha, thank you, that just made me laugh. 🙂

            • Joseph

              Exactly. I actually respect *real* atheists (as they actually respect me) because they are intelligent, have an understanding of history and the sciences, and can debate on a philosophical level. And they never *push* anyone or criticise their differing beliefs using internet memes or regurgitating what they see on television. They are, however, few and far between. Most modern day atheists, self-proclaimed pagans, are idiots who simply follow the herd.

          • AliceinWonderland

            OK, so assuming I’m sympathetic to your arguments. On one side, we’ve got Christian doctors who don’t want to treat the sons and daughters of lesbians (in Michigan). We’ve got Christian bakers who don’t want to serve same-sex weddings.

            On the other side, we have supposedly Christian kids in small towns across America hitting on “faggots”. Matthew Shepard who died (btw, I’m curious – who was the last Christian in America to be beaten to death for his or her beliefs?). Civil law that prevents someone from being fired for being Catholic; but it’s OK to be fired if you are gay. When was the last time a Catholic was refused service? What is the Christian equivalent of the word “faggot”? Is there one?

            What world are you living in, exactly? Alice in Wonderland?

            • antigon

              ‘who was the last Christian in America to be beaten to death for his or her beliefs?’
              *
              Well, Jim Pouillon was shot to death for holding a sign opposing mass murder outside an extermination camp on 11 September 2009. Will that do?
              *
              Altrimente: a Catholic teacher was just fired this week for a very mild questioning of ssm on Facebook, that Atlanta cop got fired for same, & people getting bounced for expressing even the mildest doubts about the sacredness of the Sacred Hole does seem, rather more than seems actually, both common & a real growth industry.
              *
              Haven’t seen anything about a person fired for their expressed proclivities in quite some time on the other hand, & expect we’d hear about any such case. Not counting open violation of contracts, can you name any such firings since Do Ask & Do Tell lent resonance to the Few & the Proud?
              *
              Yup, it’s a Wonderland all right, where the oligarchy tells us that words mean exactly what the cocktail parties say they mean.
              *
              Appreciate the sympathy tho Alice.

              • kenofken

                They haven’t experienced a 10th of 1 percent of what they dealt out to gays, and already they’re screaming murder in the streets. The whole of the “persecution” of Christians in the gay rights debate consists of their views being really unpopular in the marketplace of ideas…

                • antigon

                  the marketplace of the oligarchy in any event.

              • HiandPeace

                I grew up both gay and Catholic, and do still consider myself Catholic. I can’t speak for everyone, but personally, it was much tougher to grow up gay than to be a Christian.

                It’s not always the big things. I was only beaten up twice and otherwise got away easy. But many Christian friends have used phrases like “That’s so gay.” There’s a lot of gossip about me even though I had no boyfriends in Catholic school, and many were sleeping around.

                Before I moved to my current job, my boss, also Catholic (though I only found that out later), used the word faggot. Although he only used this in social situations and never in the workplace, it still did make me uncomfortable.

                Anyway, just one person’s personal history and contribution. Cheers.

                • Joseph

                  Not that it matters, but I’m sorry that you were bullied for being gay. I, for one, had many gay acquaintances growing up and would jump to their defence when idiots would bully them. One thing I hated was the social witch hunts that would take place when someone was believed to be gay. I hated it and always tried to quash it. That said, homosex (the actual activity, not the attraction) is simply unnatural, not because I think that gay people are disordered (no more than I think I’m disordered, or a gambler is disordered, or an alcoholic is disordered).
                  .
                  With regard to the phrase *that’s so gay*, I think you’re taking it a bit too personally. Sorry to say. I think we, as a society, should start become less prone to take offense rather than continue the opposite trend. If everyone gets offended about everything, we’re going to become a weaker society.

                  • HiandPeace

                    Joseph, would you apply the same standard to Christians who I assume would get offended if someone joked around and said as a shorthand to describe someone who was judgmental – “Oh, he’s just being a typical Christian.”?

                    The analogy isn’t perfect, but it’s the closest I could get to “That’s so gay.”

                    By the way, my point was just that I am just one data point, and that although I grew up both gay and Christian, I was only ever bullied for being gay, and never for being Christian. I don’t presume to speak for all gay Christians, or Christians.

                    I understand that you think my sexual relations are unnatural, and that even if we were friends, there’s a point where the bridge can’t connect two different rivers. That’s OK, and I think that’s probably just the point where it’s hard to do anything but shake hands and agree to disagree.

                    If I may, I’d just like to say that I have only ever had one boyfriend, and we have been together for 11 years. I do understand you think that our sexual relations – though not us – is disgusting and unnatural. And you have every right to that opinion. But what I’m curious about is would you be OK with all the other aspects of the relationship truly? Just as a straight relationship is not all about sex, my relationship with Ryan is not all about sex, particularly since we are now busy professionals. Would you embrace a relationship that he and I had if all we did was love each other, supported each other, kissed, hugged, cuddled, but not penetrate or have anal intercourse? Is that truly what’s bothering you?

                    I hope you can tell I am not asking this in “attack” mode but am genuinely curious.

                    • Joseph

                      Yes. Absolutely… because it happens. I’m ridiculed all of the time for adhering to my Catholic beliefs. But I don’t let it get to me. I learned a long time ago not to be a wimp and take offense to everything said to me. It’s the only way to survive in this world – learn to laugh at yourself and you’ll never get offended. Sorry to say, but grown men nowadays who are constantly crying because they’ve been offended is extremely embarrassing. When one does they end up living in a small world, their worldview closed and boarded up. Their space gets smaller and smaller as they try to control their environment and make sure no contaminants enter. I prefer to engage rather than spend all of my time protecting my fragile feelings. Thus, I have friends who are gay, who are evangelical atheists, who are anti-Catholic Protestants, who are communists, who are hyper capitalists, who are poor, who are rich, who are artsy, who are technical, etc. Even when they criticise me, even harshly, I don’t get offended.

                    • HiandPeace

                      That’s a good point. You actually sound like someone who is very in touch with your feelings, very feminine, and open to friendships with everyone. If only men stopped feeling the need to project false images of masculinity and strength, and took the time to realize that they have, as you admitted that you do, a great deal of “fragile feelings”, we would be in a better place.

                      Have you ever been ridiculed, or do you ever feel under attack for being so, for lack of a better word, “feminine” or emotionally attuned?

            • Joseph

              Are you serious? Countless Catholics have been killed for their beliefs in the US. Do you think that the KKK only targeted blacks? Do you know any Catholics in the South? The KKK used to raid Catholic neighbourhoods as well. Several of my friends and colleagues who are from states such as LA and AL have actually had family members killed or persecuted for their beliefs.
              .
              Sheesh, the utter lack of historical context in the minds of the new pagans/atheists is remarkable.

        • Sue Korlan

          Napoleon ruled for 16 years, Hitler for 12. However bad the times may get, the bad times will end. Our Lady of Fatima said that in the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph and there will be a period of great peace on the earth. So don’t be so down; the bad will end, and faster if we pray and offer sacrifices for reparation and conversions.

        • ReadSomeBooksPlease

          You must never have been in a sex-ed class, which are not about teaching the virtues of anything but explaining, factually, what happens.

          I remember seeing horrible pictures of chlymydia, gonorrhea, and all sorts of other STDs. I did not walk away from the presentation thinking about the virtues or vices of straight sex. Sex ed is not about taking a position about sex but explaining what teenagers should do if they go ahead and have it, so that they can protect themselves. There’s nothing particularly Christian or secular about it, unless you think schools should start preaching in schools that sex can only take place between married couples.

          If you wanted to support marital bonds based on anthropological or historical research, why not support polygamy, the most common marital institution for most of history? Why not the subjugation of women, who for most of history had very few legal rights in the marital relationship? The concept of marriage as an equal partnership between men and women is a very modern concept; and the concept of a marriage as a monogamous union between only two people also fairly recent in the long sweep of human history.

          Now, I don’t much care about whether you find gay sex or gay people disgusting. You seem to feel that way. But if you want to quote anthropology or history, at least pick up some books.

          Name three good history and three good anthropological books on marriage, and tell me what they say. You’ll notice that the institution of marriage has changed radically through time, that anthropologists observe strange forms of polygamy in different places, that scholars argue that Eastern European polities and even ancient China had same-sex unions formalized through ceremonies, and so on. So, do some reading. A mind is a terrible gift to waste.

          • antigon

            ‘do some reading. A mind is a terrible gift to waste.’
            *
            So is a prose style, which shouldn’t remind one of junior high assistant principals at their pompous (& pathetic) worst.

          • Joseph

            Never been to the same sex ed classes you’ve been to, no. But I’ve studied the sciences at a university. The sex ed class I was forced to take in high school did mention what sperm was and what it was used for though.
            .
            And… there it is folks… because homosex is unnatural (simply because sex in itself is a function designed for procreation in nature), I must hate gays. You are so predictable. It may come as a surprise to you that I don’t, but that’s not going to stop you from making the accusation. After all, it’s what you’ve been brainwashed to do.
            .

    • ManyMoreSpices

      You’ve got this backwards. If you want to protect marriage from assaults by the state, you get the state as far away from it as possible. You end legal recognition of marriage. You can’t be forced to treat opposite-sex and same-sex legal marriage the same way if they don’t exist.

      This is not the preferred solution. We’d be better off if the state recognized real marriage and only real marriage. But just as sometimes amputation of a limb is necessary to save the body, getting the state out of approving relationships is better than the only alternative existing within the Overton Window.

      • Joseph

        Good luck with that. Doesn’t seem to be going that way. You can’t prevent a pagan antitheist government from hating reason, the sciences, and He who created them. We brought it on ourselves in so many different ways. Our time to pay is coming, and that’s actually the way these zealous militants see it… they can’t wait to collect.
        .
        In Ireland, the referendum on SSM is all but definite to pass this year, just after they made sure to allow for SSM adoption. Schools will be forced to teach the merits of homosex to young children and God help the parents (like me) and their children. Fortunately for me, my young son has taken a real interest in sciences, particularly biology. He’s very good with reasoning as well. This should help him understand truth when the mindbenders come along.

        • kenofken

          What lurid vision do you have of a program “to teach the merits of homosex”? Do you imagine that hetero kids are going to be “recruited” or converted? Many decades of highly concerted efforts to convert gay kids to hetero failed utterly. Why do you think it would work any better in the opposite direction?

          If you want your son to adopt your own attitudes on homosexuality, the last place you want him to go is a scientific career. As a scientist, he’ll learn to weigh the evidence of actual data, and ALL of the studies purporting to show the harms of gay parenting etc. are completely discredited junk science. He will also learn that the genes which contribute to homosexuality in men also tend to increase fertility in the women of their line, which sinks the idea that gay orientation is a hopeless evolutionary dead end.

          • Dbom

            Data- great idea!

            Before we change Marriage Laws to something BRAND NEW and NEVER TRIED BEFORE, maybe we should get some data!!!

            “Naw, let’s just do it. Besides you hater, what could it hurt?” (to borrow from Mark)

            Pro-Science Progs are for science until it shows them things they don’t like, ie life actually does begin at conception…then is all, “yeah, whatever dude…”

            • kenofken

              Never tried before? We have coming up on 26 years of data for same sex marriage in modern western countries. How much data do we need, in your estimation, to move forward? 50? 100 years, 500 years? What standard of evidence would you consider sufficient in order to support SSM, or at least not oppose it? Can you realistically say there IS any way rooted in science that you would arrive at that conclusion?

              If we are to hold off from allowing it anywhere until we get all the data, where do you propose that data will come from? Computer simulations? Information beamed to us from the distant future through a wormhole, perhaps?

              • LFM

                Twenty-six years is not really a long time. It is long enough for one generation of children to grow up. Most of the “studies” of the impact of same-sex parenting on children are too small and too slanted to provide much information, as with similar studies of no-fault divorce back in the 1970s. Meanwhile, the impact of the compulsory approval of same-sex marriage continues to weigh heavily on those who have doubts about it, even where it has not been legally accepted. Same-sex marriage activists may yet end by destroying such American traditions as freedom of association and freedom of speech – although admittedly other activists for other causes (extreme feminism, extreme environmentalism) are working towards the same end.

          • Joseph

            Sure, guy. You’ve already proven yourself ignorant in the comments above regarding paganism and sociology, philosophy, and anthropology (sciences by the way). Now you’re telling me that biology is wrong too in order to support your argument (e.g. where does sperm come from? what does it do? how does it do it? what is its primary function?).
            .
            In the mind of the post-Christian new pagan which has been crushed by cartoons and other simple images provided by the modern media teet, science is rejected yet they still believe that science supports their arguments. Bring your drool cup next time.

            • Vision_From_Afar

              Wow, a reductionist argument, elitism, and ad hominem all rolled into one. I can tell you worked hard on that one.

              • Joseph

                It wasn’t that hard. But thanks for the credit!

      • Vision_From_Afar

        The problem with abolishing legal recognition of marriage is that it dissolves the family entirely, adding not only spousal relationships (legal/insurance/inheritance/etc.), but parental responsibilities and custody.
        I wouldn’t mind a complete overhaul of the system, but I don’t see it happening any time soon.

        • kenofken

          The other problem with abolishing legal recognition of marriage is that its an utterly empty threat by the anti-SSM crowd. In addition to the loss of tax benefits (for many), they the web of legal documents needed to even approximate the built-in protections of marriage are very expensive and full of holes. Straight people would not put up with that regime for 30 days.

    • Obpoet

      Why even bother to get a state license. Stay single in the state’s eyes, avoid the marriage tax penalty, then get married in the Church, in a new “invisible (visible only to God)” ceremony that has not jurisdiction by the state. Win win. Of course the pagans will come after that too, but no matter.

      • Vision_From_Afar

        “Of course the pagans will come after that too”

        No reason to.

        • LFM

          No reason to? They’ll want their taxes. They’ll want to impose compulsory state education on any children of such marriages, and to take them away if this is refused, on the grounds that the children are being abused or denied their civil rights. (Everything that progressives don’t like they now construe as a denial of civil rights, or abuse if the victims are under the age of majority.) Also, a large part of the resentment being directed against the religious is that their marriage ceremonies carry a weight of legitimacy and gravitas that others don’t.

          • Vision_From_Afar

            Are you aware that currently, being married gets you a discount on your taxes? Why would this nameless “they” you speak of chase these invisible marriages down, intent on returning tax money? I highly doubt that.
            I’m not sure why children of these marriages would be treated any different than, say, kids born to a single parent. Can you explain, beyond your rather impressive persecution narrative?
            You conflate “religious” with ” ‘traditional’ Christian”. Given the plethora of Protestant churches, not to mention other religions like the Hindu and Pagans that are perfectly willing to perform (to the attendees and participants) legitimate ceremonies, that’s rather narrow-minded of you.

            • LFM

              Marriage doesn’t invariably bring a discount in people’s taxes. Have you not heard of the “marriage penalty”? Regarding the children of secret unions in the future, you miss my point. It’s not the fact that they might appear to have been born to single parents, but that religious people (and some atheists) will be increasingly unwilling to make use of the public school system at all, seeing it, quite rightly, as a tool of state propaganda.

              Finally, as a Catholic writing on a Catholic website, I can only say to your last point, do you not know the old Lenny Bruce line “There’s only one ‘the Church'”? (And that’s from a Jewish fellow…) As long as Rome withholds its approval, it will be a target for takedown or takeover. The Pagans (why do you capitalize that? it’s a descriptor, not a proper noun), and the Hindus, etc. can do as they please; there are not enough of them to make up for the sensation of withheld approval that same-sex marriage activists feel radiating from Rome.

              • Vision_From_Afar

                Re: Taxes
                I stand corrected. It waffles, but if the state refuses to acknowledge marriage legally, how would it persecute or tax someone for being married? Plenty of people currently live together, share expenses, and file separately as individuals. In a world where someone was religiously married but not legally, there would be no difference in the eyes of the law. See recent rulings from the ‘Sister Wives’ TV show.
                Re: Kids
                How is that any different than now, with Catholic and even Protestant schools growing as parents are already making these kinds of decisions. I fail to see how any impact on marriage would affect this behavior.
                Re: Final Point
                I get we’re talking in the Catholic section of an interfaith website, but ignoring the fact that other religions exist and have meaning for other people kind of seems like enjoying the beach while shoving your head in the sand.
                Pagans are capitalized because we are a proper noun, and a recognized religion. Lower-case ‘pagan’ can still be a descriptor (though I take issue when it’s used in a pejorative sense), but upper-case ‘Pagan’ is a broad descriptor, equivalent to how ‘Christian’ can refer to everyone from Baptists to Catholics.
                There’s a bit of a dissonance in your final comment. If we really can “do as [we] please”, while being “a target for takedown or takeover”, that’s an awfully authoritarian stance. I respect your views, but my religion does not exist by Rome’s benevolence.

                • LFM

                  I was recently accused of being a troll for daring to comment on a (Catholic) Patheos blog where I was not a common visitor, so it’s difficult for me to think of this as an interfaith website or indeed as one that is occupied by more than one person.

                  I can make no sense of the words “my religion does not exist by Rome’s benevolence” in that it is a non sequitur in relation to what I meant to say. Perhaps it has something to do with some ambiguity in my own phrasing? I meant that as far as the state (and same-sex marriage activists) are concerned, Pagans and Hindus (to me simply one of the varieties of paganism) can do as they please; they are no threat to either. Rome’s disapproval *does* matter to such people, for a whole series of reasons both historical and structural. It is therefore Rome that is the target for takedown or takeover by the state. Does that clarify what I meant?

                  • kenofken

                    So you’re proposing that the states, which cannot afford to care for its current legitimate wards, or to educate the broad base of children, is going to seize or otherwise herd millions more kids into reeducation camps? You think they will do this because of some burning envy for your sacrament or need for your approval. You must truly think the entire world revolves around your own religious beliefs. If everyone wants the supposed exclusive legitimacy of Catholic marriage, why is it that a third of your own adherents don’t even bother to get married in the Church and next to none who divorce and remarry trouble with annulments?

                    As a Pagan who was raised Catholic, I can tell you that Rome’s approval or disapproval doesn’t matter to me any more than the Koran or the ruling of any given Amish council of elders. If Rome’s approval mattered to me, I’d still be Catholic, or at least a heretic if I felt invested enough to want to bend the theology to my will.

                    • LFM

                      There are more states than “the states” in the liberal anglosphere.

                      Many of them appear to be lining up to take on all kinds of issues that are not the legitimate business of the state.

                      I never said anything about seizing or herding children into reeducation camps. You have quite a colorful imagination, sir. A few fines, a few threats to fire state employees (and many people in such countries as Canada, where I’m from, ARE state employees in some capacity) and no herding will be necessary.

                      I didn’t say that everyone wants the legitimacy of the Church’s blessing on their weddings, or at least I don’t think I did (am not so sure of this one). What I meant, however, was that your lot is eager to delegitimize the Church and will do whatever it takes, whether via destruction or infiltration, to achieve it. If the Church matters so little to ex-Catholics, why are so many of you so hostile to it?

                      As for your last paragraph, I don’t believe a word you say there about your indifference to Rome’s disapproval; it is simply not convincing when delivered with such indignation. I also don’t believe that you are a pagan, or you would not capitalize the word. Doing so shows little understanding of what paganism is – i.e. an acceptance of the rule of local, immediate, small deities, sub-lunar and tied to place and time. Capitalization of the name of a faith, rather than of a god, belongs to the world of what I expect you would conceive of as religions with imperialistic claims, like Catholicism and Islam.

                      Paganism is a mentality, not a creed nor a faith, and one that is at bottom closer to Catholicism (the most pagan of the imperialistic, syncretistic religions) in its understanding of the relationship between flesh and spirit and between metaphor and fact than it is to the denatured stuff that most modern “Pagans” espouse.

                      I suggest that you read the works of the crime novelist Michael Gruber, who has an interesting take on the confrontation between paganism, scientism, and Catholicism. (Try Tropic of Night, or Valley of Bones.)

                    • kenofken

                      I wasn’t aware the convention of capitalizing pagan disqualified me from being one. I’ll have to tread more carefully with my next religion and consult an English professor before risking a misstep in print. I’ll also be sure to inform the many deities of the ancient Greek and Roman pantheons that they vastly exceeded their mandates as all pagan gods are, by your decree, small and localized entities.

                      I don’t know on what basis you can assume I’m hostile to Catholicism. I parted with it in good faith and civility (and in writing). I’ve had plenty of criticism to offer about the Church’s conduct as an organization in regards to the abuse scandal and its role in the culture war, but I’m not hostile to it. I don’t get into matters of theology as far as women priests or the liturgy or any of the stuff I consider “inside baseball.” It’s not my concern. I have always advocated for the Church’s freedom to ordain who it will, marry who it will etc. I have no interest in forcing sacramental gay marriage or to see any changes in theology whatsoever. Not my circus or my monkeys, or my catechism.

                      Where SSM is concerned, I feel no need to try to press any further advantage. I’m pretty happy with the way things turned out. LGBT folk are getting the justice in civil law they deserve and we’re finally living up to separation of church and state in this country.

                    • LFM

                      No need to consult an English professor; it’s a philosophy and/or classics professor that is wanted in this case. You’ve misunderstood my reproach. It wasn’t intended to point out an error in punctuation but in understanding. Your last comment shows little knowledge about Greco-Roman gods: they WERE all local deities in origin, and their adherents never made transcendent, universalist claims. Even when their “mandate” and function was expanded as a result of the imperial expansion of Greek and then Roman society, they retained their sub-lunar (i.e. non-extra-terrestrial) status.

                      Please do some reading in works like The Golden Bough to inform yourself about paganism. I say these things as one with a profound admiration for Greco-Roman and other forms of paganism, and as one who lived among “pagans” at a formative period in her childhood and adolescence.

                      The definition of marriage [edit: as a union between a man and a woman or women; very rarely between a woman and several related men] predates both organized society and organized religion, so it cannot be attributed to a failure to separate church and state. It was based on an understanding – a pagan understanding – of what men and women are, and their biological functions. Only a society that had concluded that there are no meaningful differences between men and women (not something a real pagan could ever accept) could conclude that there is no meaningful difference between the union of same-sex and opposite-sex couples. The idea is a post-biological, post-Christian, post-modern one.

                  • Vision_From_Afar

                    “As long as Rome withholds its approval, it will be a target for takedown or takeover.”
                    AH! I see, I took “it” in your statement to be the religions/marriages that Rome did not approve of, not (if I’m understanding your clarification) that Rome herself was the “it” target.
                    Mea culpa.

                    Sorry someone ripped you for wandering outside your normal articles. I make a point of at least reading/skimming 1-2 other faiths, just to see what’s going on. Though we disagree on a lot, you Catholics always make decent arguments, and discussions can be…fun.
                    Cheers. 🙂

                    • LFM

                      Thanks. Always pleased to take part in good faith debates – i.e. those in which both parties give the opponent’s argument due consideration, even if they disagree sharply.

                      I admit I’m not always fair to modern pagans because, while keenly aware of the beauties and appeal of pagan religions, I don’t find that most modern attempts at re-creating (as opposed to continuing) pagan traditions capture much of either of these aspects of paganism. I spent part of my childhood in India, surrounded by actual pagans who were part of a living tradition, so the New Age kind who have emerged in the West in the last 30 years were something of a shock to me.

                    • Vision_From_Afar

                      Re: Pagans
                      To paraphrase a wise sage: “When 50 years old your religion reached, look as good, you did not, hm?”
                      We’re still figuring ourselves out, and always appreciate a willingness to listen disagreeably. Catch you around. 😀

                    • LFM

                      I’ve seen some successful attempts to revive pagan traditions, but mostly in places where they had never really been extinguished. Here’s an example from Nigeria (that I’ve visited) that might interest you: http://www.wmf.org/project/osun-osogbo-sacred-grove.

                      Like all pagan monuments in continuous use, it has a strong quality of immanent presences that are not necessarily friendly to human beings. Think of Tolkien’s Old Man Willow, or the Withywindle River.

                    • Vision_From_Afar

                      My tradition certainly isn’t Disney-fied, as some might call it, so I completely understand the idea of greater, but indifferent-to-hostile, powers.
                      You seem like a nice enough fellow (and that was an interesting link, I’d love to visit something like that!), so I’ll not drag up why my tradition was extinguished in the first place. 😉

                    • LFM

                      Ouch. Are you a native North American by any chance, if you don’t mind my asking?

                    • Vision_From_Afar

                      Norse.

                    • LFM

                      No regrets then – on my part, I mean!

                    • Vision_From_Afar

                      And why is that? (I ask in all curious sincerity)
                      Is it due to the apparent barbarism of the Scandinavian and German countries during the Viking Age? Is it because we are chronologically removed far enough for it to be “okay”? Are Native Americans allowed sympathy because we can still see the effects of misapplied conversion attempts?

                    • LFM

                      Reasons:
                      1) There was no great cultural and military power imbalance between Christian Europe and pagan Europe during the period of the Christianization of Scandinavian peoples. Either could have “won”. I see nothing wrong with any kind of conversion attempts as such, btw.
                      2) The pagan peoples of Europe were not overwhelmed into cultural surrender by the waves of terrible epidemics that occured here, however unintentional these were.
                      3) I have no personal connection with the religious conversion of Scandinavia.

                      The evidence still suggests that the conversion of native peoples here was largely voluntary, but the epidemics, the eventual numerical superiority of European peoples, and their technological and military power all tended to sweep aside resistance.

                    • Vision_From_Afar

                      Fair enough, I suppose.

                    • LFM

                      Perhaps I should clarify that when I said “I see nothing wrong with any kind of conversion attempts as such, btw”, I meant those that did not use violence or emotional blackmail – e.g. “all your family members are dead, perhaps God hates you…” In short, there are some that I do object to, but mere argumentation seems to me to be fair game.

                    • Vision_From_Afar

                      Given our conversation to date, I assumed as much. 🙂

                    • antigon

                      Dear Mr. Afar:
                      *
                      Your folk were certainly excellent fighters back in the day, but surely made the world much more interesting precisely when they abandoned paganism, no?
                      *
                      Just as they made it so much duller once they abandoned the Faith, if you don’t count Sigrid Undset.

                    • Vision_From_Afar

                      Fighters, yes. Much better traders, though.
                      Are you referring to the prodigious amount of Lutherans in Scandinavia? That does strike me as rather dull, but to each his own.

                    • antigon

                      The road back to paganism is paved with Lutheran enthusiasm.
                      *
                      Dull as it is; if alas, in this case, like father, like son.

                • Dave P.

                  If you have civil partnerships for any two consenting adults (including siblings, a parent and child, two good friends, or business partners), then the tax laws can be altered for that.

                  • Vision_From_Afar

                    True, but given the inordinate number of laws on the books that refer to marriage, not just in relation to taxes, means the level of effort to create some kind of equivalence would be nightmarish.

            • Kevin Osborne

              Again with the conflate! You’re killing me!

              • Vision_From_Afar

                It’s a fun word. And discussing it with you got it stuck in my head. Even used it in a conversation with the spouse last night. =^.^=

      • Joseph

        Because we would probably *have* to anyway.

    • Vision_From_Afar

      There’s nothing wrong with that outcome (though I would never argue for shoving you guys back to the catacombs).

      • antigon

        Ah, but your confreres would – & how can one know that you won’t change your mind once the fashion gets popular?

    • Dave P.

      It won’t be good enough.

    • Tweck

      This has been my argument all along. Let Caesar have control of secular marriage, let the Church have its say in sacramental marriage. It seems that simple to me. Suddenly, everyone gets their way, and the fighting stops. One could say that if we didn’t try to tell them what to do, they wouldn’t try to knock our Church walls down and stake their claim in our sacred spaces. We may see it as a compromise, but honestly we won’t be compromising ourselves by letting them have the same legal rights as straight married couples who also don’t care about Church law.

      • kenofken

        That makes eminent sense. The problem is, the religious right has never wanted compromise. They were, and are, convinced that gays, at least those who don’t accept themselves as disordered, are vicious by nature, and that the entire gay rights movement was merely a pretext for the premeditated destruction of Christianity. Accordingly, their strategy has been one of pre-emptive self-defense. Dehumanize and marginalize the the enemy. Never concede to them the merest wisp of dignity or equity, lest they use it against you. Aside from the fact that such moral reasoning is more in tune with Herod or a Roman emperor than their savior, it was foolish. They launched an existential war of aggression without ever weighing the possibility they might lose…

      • Joseph

        Thank you. That’s precisely my position. It’s not capitulation at all, it’s surrendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s. We live in an anti-Catholic relativist society, there is no way we can expect them to understand the reasoning behind the Catholic understanding of marriage no matter how well-formed. It’s what Caesar wants, it’s his government.

  • neoconned

    Orwell was a prophet.

  • h

    much like transhumanism

  • Vision_From_Afar

    “End game”, like this is something new. *snicker*
    The OP is complaining that an admitted Liberal Protestant seminary is creating a symposium to address the arguments of “religious liberty” in legal and extralegal usages. That’s complaining that your opponent decides to start strategizing halfway though a chess game. “I’ve been planning ahead and strategizing this whole time. What the heck makes you think you’re allowed to do so now?!”
    Oh, that’s a good one…teehee.

  • Mark R

    The religious right was long accused of forcing its agenda on the United States in a similar fashion. It failed because it was too corrupt to succeed. It had too few friends on the outside for support as well, unlike gay activism–which seems to depend solely on heterosexual alliances for success. What is the LGBT activism weak spot? I am too unfamiliar with their cultures, but if one can find it, it can be their undoing.
    One thing we can do is the way we practice our Christianity. Heretofore, being argumentative or judgmental has not helped. How about changing the perceptions of others of Christianity by actually being Chrisitian? People as bitter as those mentioned in Mr. Dreher’s piece could be prayed for.It would not hurt us to be more charitable, even if all we receive in return is opprobrium…which would do us more good than a pat on the back as it would test our character and build it up.We probably are coming towards a losing battle — it might even be just punishment for our sins –nonetheless we would be betraying Him if we did not stand firm in charity and in bearing with various evils.

    • antigon

      ‘How about changing the perceptions of others of Christianity by actually being Christian?…which would do us more good than a pat on the back as it would test our character and build it up.We probably are coming towards a losing battle — it might even be just punishment for our sins — nonetheless we would be betraying Him if we did not stand firm in charity and in bearing with various evils.’
      *
      Dear Mr. R:
      *
      True enough, truly pious, & piety is good. Whether just pietistic can be decided when you send that message to the Christians in Syria & Iraq to see how apposite they think it.

  • Donalbain

    And again, the exact same rantings as from the people who oppose mixed race marriage. How terribly predictable.

    • ManyMoreSpices

      The Catholic Church never opposed mixed-race marriages. Ever. Try again.

      • Donalbain

        And yet they use the same arguments as those who did. I don’t care too much which form of bigotry you support, you are all as bad as each other.

        • ManyMoreSpices

          The same arguments?

          • antigon

            Dear MMS:
            *
            Don’t fret. Mr. Bain is obviously still just upset about Mit Brennender Sorge.

    • SteveP

      I assure you you have nothing worth squabbling about when you pass on; your will will be uncontested and your incredible Elton John album collection will go to the designated heritor who will promptly put it in a landfill. This is your legacy.

      • Donalbain

        How adorable. a couple of assumptions and a few stereotypes. Just as one might expect from a bigot.

        • SteveP

          O the sting having been called a bigot! Yet you think I’m adorable; thus: miscegenation arguments where based on the fact that a male and a female “mix”; a male and a male do not mix; a female and a female do not mix.

          Try as you may to drown out questions about SSM, you cannot for biology has already defeated you: the next generation will toss your constructs in the trash heap where they belong.

          • Donalbain

            Biology has nothing to say about marriage. There is no biological way to tell the difference between married people and single people.

            • SteveP

              To the one who thinks I’m adorable: then stop bring up miscegenation laws and the overturning thereof if marriage has nothing to do with biology.

              • Donalbain

                It has to do with the law. I think you are a bigot to have the law ban gay marriage OR mixed race marriage.

                • SteveP

                  To my secret admirer: this is what I’ve been trying to tell you: your law (and your stuff) will be rubbished; the next generation is poised to treat your “law” just as you treated your grandparents “law”. This is what you have taught the young; this is your legacy.

                  • Donalbain

                    I see. You are a fortune teller. How adorable.

                    • SteveP

                      O adoring one: fortune telling is not required when one reads the precedents.

                    • Donalbain

                      What precedent are you using for people deciding to invalidate thousands of legally entered and recognised marriages?

                • antigon

                  Only a member of the National Socialist Party, at least one in spirit, would even *think* of making an argument like that!

                  • Donalbain

                    Yes. The Nazis were famously in favour of race mixing and gay marriage. That is definitely a true thing that really happened.

                    • antigon

                      Exactly what Hitler would say! (plus you can’t deny that Nazis were rather big on bonking feces).

                    • Donalbain

                      This has become too odd for me. I honestly can’t tell if you are trolling, so I will bow out. Have fun. I will just continue celebrating the weddings and marriages of my friends, gay, straight, mixed-race and all the rest!

                • Tweck

                  Who is even talking about mixed race marriage?? Let’s stay on topic here – it’s not about race, it’s about sexuality.

                  • Donalbain

                    Then please come up with an argument that WASN’T used by the bigots who opposed mixed race marriage.

                    • Tweck

                      We evolve, y’know. We (I mean society), have (mostly, at least) evolved past being bigoted about mixed-race marriage (even if racism is still a huge issue in this country). The argument from biology, let’s call it, certainly can’t be used to say that a black woman and a white man are somehow incompatible. I’d like to say that society has become at least somewhat more enlightened since then.

                    • Donalbain

                      Now, all you have to do is show that marriage is biological. That would involve a way to use biology to tell the difference between a married person and a single person.

                    • Tweck

                      The desires of men and women to get together and have babies is certainly biological, yes. Thus, marriage.

                      That isn’t to say that the state shouldn’t issue licenses to gay couples for a variety of reasons (this is just my opinion, though).

                    • Donalbain

                      Having babies is not marriage.

                    • Tweck

                      Men and women getting together is a biological imperative for the purpose of pro-creation, and that’s why marriage even exists in the first place.

                      Stop splitting hairs, it isn’t working. Also see my second paragraph.

                    • Curious44

                      Hi Tweck, is that argument you are putting forward the argument made by commentators like Ryan Anderson and Sherif Girgis or something more like the Catholic conception of complementarianism/sacramental marriage? I would love to discuss more.

                      I think Heather somewhere in this thread pointed out (I did not know this) that a couple who intentionally enters into a marriage with no desire to have children, and who in fact may have undertaken specific actions in this regard (vasectomies, tying of Fallopian tubes, etc.) actually do not properly enter into Catholic marriages.

                      Would you agree with this characterization? So, it is wrong to civilly marry two individuals – a man and a woman – with neither the intention nor the capacity to naturally procreate?

                      Cheers.

        • antigon

          Ta-ta. Godwin’s law now applies to casting the epithet ‘bigot’ you know, you Hitler!

      • kenofken

        Hell, if we’re doing his estate planning, I’ll call dibs on his Elton John vinyl collection! 🙂

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          Once I shuffle of this coil, I’d gladly leave you mine. Its complete thru the late 80s, when he rocked a piano instead of impersonating Elizabeth II.

          • Tweck

            OooH! I love 80’s Elton John. “I don’t wanna go on with you like that,” is a fantastic song! And the video is just great! 🙂 🙂

    • LFM

      No, they are not the exact same rantings. Gay married couples contain two people of the same sex. Straight married couples contain two people of the opposite sex; mixed race straight married couples contain two people of the opposite sex.

      The marriage of the latter two types of couple was legal everywhere under English common law jurisdiction *except* in parts of the United States through the history of the Anglosphere and required no special accommodation in the law.

      The legal acceptance of the former type of couple requires, at the very least, various concessions in the law regarding the meaning of consummation, adultery and grounds for annulment. This has led to somewhat comic mental contortions among English barristers as they try to work out gay-couple equivalents to the legal conventions designed for heterosexual couples.

      At the most, the accommodation of gay couples requires the social acceptance of fatherlessness (admittedly we were heading there anyway – and not for the greater good) and now motherlessness (the ghastly Elton John weeps crocodile tears for his motherless sons) as being of no significance to children. It requires the establishment of fertility services to such couples. It demands the provision of eggs and wombs to those gay couples whose bodies do not furnish these organs themselves.

      Insist that gay marriage is fair or right if you want; better yet, admit that it is a concession but say that it will work for the greater good of gay people and society. I won’t agree, but I can respect such an argument. But the insistence that those who resist gay marriage are exactly like those who resisted mixed race marriage is so absurd that it would not deserve an argument – except that so many people appear to take it seriously.

      p.s. Why should the sex of one’s partner matter so much in the bedroom but be a matter of indifference in marital law and to children? [Edited for clarity March 28, 2015 11:25 A.M.]

      • Curious55

        I think you raise good points. As a Catholic who is also legally trained, my instinct is to approach this from the perspective of law. (Not that I would be quick to dismiss suspicions of homophobia. I think Christians are rightly frustrated to be called “homophobes” as it stops the conversation everytime it gets somewhere interesting; but there ARE homophobes out there and it can be easy for someone to not realize how angry and shocking this makes one feel to experience it. I’m shocked to say that I had homophobic friends – people usually associate the term with beatings, or insults like the “f” word. But it could easily be seen in people who have an unhealthy preoccupation with gays … I had a friend who never stopped talking, when he had the chance, about how gays were bringing about the fall of America. Now this was OK in its own right as he is entitled to his opinion, but as it was the only thing he felt strongly about … I realized in the end he was homophobic.)

        But back to the point … the problem with what you are saying, that “concessions” have to be made, is that the concessions happened a long time ago, long before gay couples wanted to be part of the marital contract. When we started allowing spouses long divorced to collect residual SS benefits as long as they had been married for 9 months; when we allow no-fault divorce, which gives the lie to the insistence that children absolutely must have a father and a mother; when we allow infertile couples, who in your own words “demands the provision of [the organs]” that they themselves do not have … and so on.

        So none of this is something caused by the gay rights movement. I think it would have been harder for them to win the acceptance of so broad a cross-section of society had society already not, so gradually over the centuries, redefined the meaning of marriage for themselves. Does that make any sense?

        So, I do think there are competing visions of what marriage constitutes at stake. There is a conjugal view, that marriage must be between a man and a woman, and to be sure, it is fundamentally religious in character, but that does not make it wrong, although it does limit its appeal to other religions and secular folks. And there is the contractual view, which came into ascendance long before the LGBT movement had anything to say on the matter. To deprive LGBT of marriage equality requires redefining, or returning, to an older version of marriage. But I don’t see how we could successfully, from a legal or civil perspective, deny them rights based on a vision of marriage that it seems society has already accepted.

        If Catholics are to “win” this battle, I would have waged it a different way. First, I would not focus on gay people at all, taking pains to emphasize their dignity and equality in every way. We don’t say it enough because, not being gay, we have never experienced what it is like to be discriminated against, and why they react so angrily to the smallest of slights. Second, I would try to rehabilitate the mystery and sacramental nature of marriage for straight couples. How can we convince a secular culture that we mean well, that we do not intend to discriminate against our LGBT brothers and sisters, when we are completely silent on what a GOOD marriage is for straight couples, and only attack what we see as a sham marriage for gays? Third, I think we should enter the civil sphere where we can to work for rights for LGBT people that are independent of marriage, and build up goodwill toward a cultural conversation. Why not support anti-discrimination bills in workplaces, as the Mormon Church has done, but the Catholic Church, sadly, has not? Surely this isn’t objectionable?

        God bless.

        • LFM

          It’s going to be difficult to address all your points in a single comment, but I’ll try. (1) I agree that some people who oppose gay marriage *are* homophobic; I’ve also met genuine homophobes who take no interest in gay marriage.

          (2) It’s not true that “none of this is caused by gay marriage”, although I readily agree that much of it was not. You make it sound as if all the battles in the area of marriage and reproduction have already been conceded by straight people for their own benefit; while many have indeed been won (a pyrrhic victory for society), others have not. Until recently, no one had suggested that babies have no need for even a “social” mother (as such a person is called in IVF circles). Also, if people wished to criticize such arrangements, they were free to do so, at the risk of no more than the annoyance of people who had a personal connection to ART. That is no longer true: gay activists want, so far as I can tell, absolute capitulation regarding marriage and gay reproductive “rights”, to be upheld in schools and by all public officials, and even, in certain cases, by private citizens. Nor are we really allowed to suggest that fatherlessness or motherlessness are bad for children and for society.

          (3) The vision of marriage of which you speak, and which gay couples wish to adopt, has in fact been under question for some time, to the extent of the start of a movement to try to re-define marriage back to its older form. Certainly, as Charles Murray has pointed out, the upper-middle-class has largely abandoned the habit of easy divorce, having noted that this is not really good for children, something they learned in part from experiencing it as the children of divorce themselves. But they have chosen not to spread the message via the cultural institutions they control, like the academy and popular culture.

          (4) Who is completely silent on what a “good” marriage is for straight couples? The issue has had much attention from orthodox Catholics since John Paul II’s papacy, but it never interested the “MSM”.

          (5) I would be happy to work towards anti-discrimination laws on behalf of gay people as long as this did not lead to major attacks on freedom of speech (within the legitimate conventions of social politeness and non-provocation). In certain areas of private business, there are some issues of free association in the US that should be given greater consideration than they now receive (I’m not an American so these freedoms are not accessible to me anyway). I would not turn away patrons for being gay – if I were in a position to do so – and think it’s a bad idea. At best such refusals are inhospitable, for businesses that exist to provide hospitality. Still, I think that the small florists, bakers etc. have a point in saying their rights have been infringed when they are forced to cater to anyone who turns up in their shops. That isn’t a matter of freedom of expression/speech etc., but of freedom of association.

          (6) You don’t say anything regarding the whole trans issue, but I’m aware through friends that the problem of MtF trans people who *insist* that it’s their right to enter lesbian nightclubs has caused great difficulty in such establishments. It’s possible that issue will become so heated that gay rights activists will back off a little regarding what small business owners are allowed to do to cater to their regular customers.

          • Curious55

            LFM, I am gay myself, and I’m not sure if based on our conversation so far, you count me as among the “gay activists” who want “absolute capitulation.” Did I ever say anything to give you that impression? I’m not sure what good can come from making caricatures out of people we disagree with. There are going to be some very vocal folks on either side of the camp, but I suspect the issue cuts across affiliations in very complicated ways. Many U.S. Catholics support same-sex marriage (perhaps somewhat surprisingly, they support it at a rate higher than ordinary Americans). Increasingly, support for same-sex marriage is also gaining traction among Republicans (I think it was 40% or approximately there). And the strongest predictor of support is actually just age. So, all in all, I think, it’s not really about LGBTs or MSMs against Christians. People fall where they fall. And I believe we can engage respectfully without a need to paint the people we are speaking with as members of clean-cut opposing tribes.

            It seems that we do agree that a lot of the groundwork predates the LGBT movement. And I do agree that gay marriage will cause further changes in the way that we understand marriage, primarily by extending the types of principles enshrined by the concept of marriage as a romantic/contractual relationship. As for whether kids need a father and a mother, I don’t see why this is an unreasonable position, and certainly one we should consider and discuss. The social science research is entirely mixed on this, in part because we don’t have long-term sample populations of children in same-sex families, and because the children in some of these studies self-report that homophobia (bullying because they have two dads or two moms) was what caused some of teh adjustment difficulties. At some point, because many states now legalize same-sex adoption, social scientists will be able to study representative populations of children in similarly situated families (families matched in income, education, attachment styles, etc.), and i’m sure there will be more conversation then.

            But it occurs to me that the argument against having two Dads and two Moms must go farther than that. We don’t tell single Dads or Moms that they don’t deserve to be parents. But when people imply that two Dads and two Moms shouldn’t raise kids, the logical implication is that the addition of that extra person to what would otherwise be a single-parent household is bad. That is … the 1+1 is worse than just the 1. I don’t want to guess what the argument is, except to say that it needs to be fleshed out, because otherwise, it is hard from a legal perspective to see why single parents can adopt (the Father or the Mother isn’t there, by definition), but two Fathers or two Mothers cannot. Even if we concede that it isn’t ideal (the ideal situation is a mother and father), how can we justify treating single parents and same-sex parents differently?

            I think a consistent argument could be made that public accommodations jurisprudence was a mistake in the American constitutional tradition. One might argue that businesses should have the right to be as racist, sexist, and homophobic as they want. And that this is not something specific to LGBT people (although surely the fact that it has not before gained any political currency before this moment is itself telling). So, as you put it, it is a “bad idea” but it shouldn’t be illegal.

            But short of saying that we should never have embarked on this path, I think it’s fair to say that public accommodations law is here to stay. Businesses cannot arbitrarily decide whom they wish to serve. Eugene Volokh, a professor of law, makes a useful distinction. If expression is implicated, people should not be compelled. So if a cake says “gay marriage is good” – I don’t think Christian bakers ought to be compelled to bake the cake. But it’s hard for me to see how flowers have a message. I don’t think an arrangement of roses or geraniums constitutes approval of marriage at all, and if we are prepared to say that it does, then how can we – as a matter of law – distinguish providing flowers at a gay wedding, from providing pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis by pharmacists to gay couples, or from Christian realtors who do not wish to sell houses to gay couples? In none of these cases is the freedom of expression implicated. Just as a lawyer who defends rapists isn’t endorsing rape.

            Can you give me an example of how working toward anti-discrimination law would lead to an attack of freedom of speech? I am trying to understand. And also let me know if anything I said leads you to believe that I am part of that gay activist camp who demands nothing less than absolute capitulation – I feel strongly about these issues and may not be aware of how I come off to others. I admit I was a bit surprised when you started saying that as I thought I had been pretty even-keeled and respectful.

            cheers.

            • LFM

              You strike me as a gay activist who does NOT expect or desire “absolute capitulation”, in that first of all you are prepared to enter into a dialogue about these matters. When I referred to such persons, I did not intend to include you in the description. However, I don’t think they’re rare.

              I should perhaps add that from the perspective of a (moderate, in my own eyes) social conservative, all the hot progressive causes and their advocates tend to run together. After a while, people demonized at every turn as racists, homophobes, sexists, and despoilers of the environment, begin to see all progressive-led social justice wars as emanating from the same people.

              With regard to how anti-discrimination laws might lead to attacks on certain freedoms, including freedom of speech, much depends I suppose on how one defines discrimination. Many gay rights activists do not want Catholic schools (or any others) to uphold Catholic teaching. Consider San Francisco’s Catholic schools, where the city’s Board of Supervisors is considering legal action against the archdiocese for attempting to do so. Or the case of someone like Brendan Eich, fired from Mozilla under intense pressure by social media SJWs for having dared to support Proposition 8, although not guilty of practicing any kind of discrimination through his company.

              I can’t really agree with you about businesses, but you’re correct that the law in this respect is probably a done deal. I notice you say nothing about the trans wars, though I specifically mentioned problems associated with them, esp. for lesbians – but also of course for female athletes and some others likely to be highly vulnerable to these people but who will be told that they are “transphobic” for voicing objections.

              Your point about whether two dads versus one, two mothers versus one, are better than single parents is a red herring – or else you simply do not understand the issue. Those of us who object to same-sex marriage are usually equally troubled by single parenting *when it is intentional*. There are times when it cannot be helped, when addiction, abuse, death, etc. make it inevitable – but yes, it is inferior to the care of two biological parents as a general rule and is not to be encouraged. The addition of an extra parent by remarriage in such cases is not usually helpful and may even be detrimental, even when money is a problem.

              I don’t think single people ought to be able to adopt except in specific cases (like they’re the child’s aunt or the parents’ old friend); I would make the same provision for gay couples regarding adoption.

              Whatever the state of social science research into same-sex parenting as such, research does suggest that children do best with their married, biological parents. I would never recommend same-sex parenting because it – like intentional single-parenting – willfully deprives a child of one of its biological parents, and in some cases of both. In the case of heterosexual couples who make use of ART, although I greatly disapprove of it too, they at least provide one parent of each sex to the children they purchase. (It is a transaction, and often an ugly one, with little attention given to the health of the egg donors and womb surrogates who make it possible.)

              And that is as much as I have the energy to write out for the moment!

              • Curious55

                I think part of the issue about homophobia is that people’s life experiences cause them to see things very differently. I’m gay and Catholic, and I have experienced my fair share of homophobia, but not very much in the way of bigotry as far as my religion is concerned. I don’t imply that you or other Catholics have not experienced bigotry.

                Homophobia is not just about being beaten up, although I have been beaten up, once by two older kids. They were Christian, although I don’t know if it was their youth or that they were Christian that contributed to it. I think what most gay people mean when they talk about homophobia is far more subtle, but equally insidious. I hope it’s OK to give you examples from my own life. You can decide if you think it’s homophobic, and why this word matters to some of us. (1) A boss who once over dinner said that “if gays like anal sex so much, I wonder if they deliberately keep all that shit in their ass just so to feel good. Or maybe they just need to be taught to shut their mouths.” He was Christian, though not Catholic. (2) Christians from my church who once they found out I was gay, only could think about me from the perspective of sex. I had two male acquaintances ask me if I actually liked anal, if I was the top or bottom, and so on. No one does that with straight people by reducing their entire being to sex. The tone of disgust, of what you call “unnaturalness” was very palpable to me. You don’t have to remind me that you think that gay sex is unnatural. LFM, I am reminded of that all too keenly, always, as a gay Catholic. Trust me when I say that I will not forget even if you don’t remind me.

                I don’t know much about trans-issues, and I’m not sure that equating all these things always makes for the best conversations. For instance, lesbian sex is actually much healthier than heterosexual sex or homosexual sex. The rate of STDs is extraordinarily low, so the type of arguments that apply to the G in LGBT don’t apply to the L. Trans people have their own set of unique challenges, and I think these issues are beginning to come to the fore. Why isn’t it possible to speak about gay issues without proxy? Without reference to transpeople, or without proxy to some other issue, like polygamy, and so on? If the argument leads there, it is great, but some of the conversations are difficult as it is without greatly expanding the scope of the topic.

                The case with Cordileone and the Catholic schools is not something the gay rights community seems to be part of. Correct me if I’m wrong as I also have been following the case, but the 80% or so of teachers who responded did so because they felt that the prior practice of consultation had not been followed. These are overwhelmingly religious/Catholic/Christian teachers themselves, and as far as I can tell, most of them are not gay. I wonder sometimes if putting everything into political categories, so that if you support gay rights, you must be a Democrat-secular-atheist-gay-ally person causes us to misunderstand the actual context of a given argument. Many churches are having this debate *internally* – gay activists did not pressure the US Presbyterians to amend their code to provide for the possibility of same sex marriage. I am not sure that gay activists reached out to the 76% or so of self-professed U.S. Catholics to convince them. Why ascribe so much agency to this concept of an all-encompassing “gay lobby”?

                Aren’t Christians and Catholics themselves internally discussing these issues, and reaching different conclusions? So, while I agree that there are certainly some gay activists who detest Catholicism, and who would celebrate its demise, I genuinely believe that the vast majority of gay couples don’t think too much about Christianity in their daily lives, focusing more on whether they can get health insurance, if they should come out at work, if their families will accept them, and so on. I think the problem with all these extreme rhetoric on both sides in the media is that the real people get lost.

                In the case of Brendan Eich, I do think the backlash was ugly. And hopefully, in time, we will be able to see that people of different opinions can still co-exist and work together, as we have always done. But the work is cultural, not legal. Companies and board of directors, who act as proxies for shareholders, are perfectly within their rights to select CEOs or express corporate messages that they choose. Just as Chick-Fil-A is totally free to decide that gay marriage is wrong, and just as its founder is quite willing to express that belief in the public sphere, Mozilla’s Board of Directors should be free also to decide that they want Mozilla to stand for LGBT rights. Whether we agree with their decision is not the point.

                When you say that you don’t agree with the point about businesses, could you be a little more specific? Do you mean to say that you believe that providing flowers at a wedding constitutes speech, and forced participation abrogates the First Amendment? Or something else? I think it’s a fascinating question from a legal perspective, and it is, in fact, my area of law, so I am always eager to hear opinions.

                As for single parenting vs. same-sex, your point is well taken. Are there any papers in particular you had in mind about the superiority of children raised in biological families? I don’t know the sociological field well. And my own uneducated guess was that children do well in homes that are financially stable, with parents that have stable attachment styles, and so on. Do you know of studies that adjust out, whether through regression studies or otherwise, the dependant variables of things like lower-income (single parent), or drug/alcohol abuse from the variable of an opposite-sex parenting unit? That would be great, actually.

                Cheers.

                • LFM

                  Curious55, I admit to being slightly baffled by your most recent comment, as it appears to be arguing with someone else’s views, although addressed to me. I have never used the word “unnatural” here or elsewhere in discussing homosexual intercourse, and I don’t use it even in my own thoughts. The Catholic meaning of that term is, as you probably know, highly specific and rather technical, and so unintelligible to most people. I’m not in fact much preoccupied with the unnaturalness of gay sex at all, as the sexual practices of most 1st-world straight people nowadays are also unnatural in the Church’s eyes.

                  I would indeed describe the conversations you quote to me as evidence of homophobia, let me say first that I’m astounded that anyone in civilized life should have such atrocious manners. Unfortunately, the same movement that allowed gay people to come out of the closet seems to have encouraged boors to make whatever vulgar or intrusive comments they like, whenever they want. The freedom of speech I want is merely to be able to voice political opinions when the occasion is appropriate (when asked; or when the talk turns to politics at a social occasion, etc.) without being subject to penalties.

                  “Trans people have their set of unique challenges… Why isn’t it possible to speak about gay issues without proxy?” Did you not say you were legally trained? Surely it is clear to you that cases in which, say, the freedom of business owners to serve or exclude certain patrons, is part of the essence of their business – something which (as I said in my previous comment) is under strenuous threat by trans MtF people in some jurisdictions? The law is a blunt instrument to use for some of these issues, but that is what many activists want to do with it.

                  Regarding Cordileone and Catholic schools (although I agree in retrospect this wasn’t the best example), the pressure often comes from heterosexual people who think they are serving the cause in which they believe. Also, as I mentioned before, from the point of view of so-cons, there are all kinds of issues, all sorts of views, which we are not supposed to express in public – perhaps not even in private, at the risk of our jobs. (I hve reason to think I lost one for doing so.) If we regard all SJWs as an undifferentiated, perhaps dangerous opposition, surely it isn’t surprising?

                  I mentioned Brendan Eich thinking of the social media attack on him, not of the company’s right to fire him, but I disagree with both. I would disagree equally with a company’s decision to fire a gay employee either for his political activities or his sexual orientation. Employment is necessary to life and I don’t think employers ought to have the right to remove it arbitrarily – short of wrong-doing, of course (or failure to “give satisfaction” in some concrete way) – except in very specific types of business. I most certainly don’t believe that boycotts as a weapon ought to be wielded against individuals, rather than companies. Using the boycott weapon in this way is going to be highly destructive to individual freedom of expression and could crush people’s willingness to express political dissent once and for all. I’ll leave the other business issues alone; don’t have the energy to keep going, as I said before.

                  Tracking down and citing all the articles I’ve bookmarked over the last 10 years regarding the benefits of married, two-parent families for children would be a real challenge. Many I think are available online, though. Meanwhile, you could try googling reviews of Charles Murray’s latest book, Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010, on how the decline of marriage among poor and middle-class white Americans has hurt their prospects and made their children’s lives less stable. There’s also a much older piece by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, “Dan Quayle Was Right” (The Atlantic, 1994), which is also available online. It was the first widely read public breach in the consensus that divorce and single parenthood are harmless to children. In fact, it changed *my* mind about gay marriage (although it never mentions the subject), which until then I had tentatively supported.

                  • Curious55

                    I’m a little surprised about the reference to Charles Murray, because doesn’t Charles Murray support gay marriage? (http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/charles-murrays-gay-marriage-surprise)

                    Unless he changed his mind again between March 2013 and now, it seems that he explained that conversations with Jonathan Rauch (a writer I greatly respect and recommend if you haven’t yet read him) changed his mind. Charles Murray says, in the link provided above, that the gay couples he knows are not just responsible parents, they are “excruciatingly responsible parents.” He actually suggested that the Republican party should shift his entire platform.

                    But perhaps your point to me is to read his book written by the man prior to his change of heart, and examine the arguments there? To look at the man before 2013, rather than the man he is now? And that point is well taken, although the fact that he changed his mind is perhaps emblematic of a broader shift in American culture.

                    I think those comments that seemed to shock you in terms of how homophobic they were are really not that rare in everyday life, though as a gay man, I suppose I attract them more than you do. My sexuality is always the primary topic or lens through which many people approach me. For many people, the fact that I am gay immediately structures their response to me – it is this reducing of gay people to merely our sexual identity that is at the heart of most homophobia. I apologize for assuming you believed that gay sex was unnatural – since you say that you don’t think it is unnatural, or at least not more unnatural than the gamut of heterosexual sexual practices, there’s nothing more to discuss there. I think the heart of the gay rights movement, when you peel beneath the layers of hurt, thorny anger and sound and fury, is a desire for recognition that we, too, like everyone else desire intimacy, companionship, and equal treatment.

                    My legal training is precisely what instinctively makes me suspicious of arguments that draw in trans or lesbians. Let me try to explain in brief. All RFRA laws ipose two questions. First, does the state have a compelling interest in abridging religious freedom? Second, is the state’s interest accomplished in the most narrow way? Anyone who understands public accommodations law or RFRA jurisprudence (which is not many, as they had the good sense not to go to law school!) will realize you cannot conflate bakers with florists, photographers with trans people. There is no one category of service vs. non-service. This is something that laypeople and the media at large does not understand, because RFRA is not an easy law to condense by way of explanation. The whole point of RFRA is to create a balancing test that is suited to that two-pronged test.

                    Let me try to give you examples. If a Washington florist decides not to serve gay weddings, courts will ask themselves if the state has a compelling interest in ensuring that everyone gets served flowers, and if flowers incorporate speech. Courts have found that, no, you cannot discern speech from particular arrangements of tulips or roses, and that people don’t generally think that florists “approve” of weddings or whatever events merely by providing flowers. So they move on to the first prong of the test. Given the current state of public accommodations, and the standardized nature of flowers or cakes (as opposed to photos, or advertising), courts have found (and I think, rightly) that one cannot deny the state has compelling interest in ensuring equal service without rolling back decades of public accommodations jurisprudence. So they move on to the second prong of the test, and ask if this is the most limited way of accomplishing that goal. This has to be broadly applicable. If, for instance, we could show that in every single state/city/town in the U.S., there was an easily available alternative to the florist who did not want to sell flowers for a same-sex wedding within 20 miles of any individual, then this test would have failed, and we should err in favor of religious freedoms.

                    This is a condensed explanation, but I hope you can now understand why from the perspective of law, there is no way to conflate bakers, florists, photographers, sole proprietorships, closely held corporations, CEOs of large corporations, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals/gender, etc. The whole point behind RFRA was to allow communities to mount arguments to prove exemptions to public accommodations. That balancing test was designed to be specific to each situation. It was intended to allow the court to rule one way with, say, photographers, but rule another way with bakers. Rule one way with florists, but rule another with public toilets.

                    This is slightly off-topic, but I have a suspicion that in the next few years, any success in RFRA will be met with a pushback to enshrine sexual orientation as a class subject to heightened scrutiny. Right now, that impetus is not strong, because to be honest, I don’t think most people have a problem serving gays, and the media blows a few cases out of proportion. To cut a long-story short, trans-people present difficult constitutional questions. For instance, sex discrimination cases based on a trans identity is still very much in its infancy.

                    As for expressing views, I sometimes find it hard to distinguish between manners and abridgement of speech. You might think (as you indicated) that single parents don’t make good parents, but I doubt you would say that at a dinner party. But i have found that lots of people have no problems declaring that they find gay sex unnatural, but that they love the sinner and hate the sin in front of me. Friends sometimes shut it down, not because they disagree, but it seems rude and impolite. My experience is that people tend not to obey the rules of decorum with gay people – our sex lives are up for public dinner-table discussion, even when we are physically there. But otherwise, I do agree that no one should be penalized for holding opinions. Catholics believe in the resurrection of the body, in transubstantiation, in a host of other things that scientists find more ludicrous than their opposition to homosexuality. So I’m not how sure much of this is specific to the sense that Catholicism is homophobic, as opposed to anti-Catholicism in general.

                    Brendan Eich is really not a good test case for freedom of speech, and I think you recognized that his freedom of speech was not in question, rather that he was penalized and ousted by a corporation for a private action. The thing is, though, CEOs are not just any employee. Part of the material duties of a CEO is leadership, and more specifically the board’s faith in his ability to command the respect of an organization that is fundamentally diverse. An ordinary employee, gay or straight, might be asked to code or to write. You can’t fire someone if they can code well, and if they can write well. But CEOs and other higher management personnel have in corporate America been fired for reasons entirely due to a loss of confidence. In fact, CEOs routinely lose jobs for errors that are not specifically of their own making; they are ousted because of a particularly huge crisis that reflects badly on their leadership. Calls for Jamie Dimon to resign, for instance, even though he did not place the trade implicating Bruno Iksil. Barillo lost a huge chunk of its dominance in the pasta industry following missteps by its CEO, another example of how one of the key employment roles of a CEO is to convey the corporate message of the firm. Unlike others, I took Eich at his word. I believed he would not have discriminated against LGBT people at the helm of Mozilla. But others did not believe him. That is a decision Mozilla’s board and community makes. It’s up to them. That’s fine by me.

                    Anyway, I end again with Charles Murray, because what is so curious and intriguing is that a book the man wrote caused you to change your mind about gay marriage (to not supporting it) even though he himself changed his mind to become in favor of it. It’s a sign of the complicated times, and the importance of this conversation.

                    • LFM

                      I think you are confused about what I said. It was Barbara Whitehead’s article that led me to change my mind about gay marriage (although, as I told you, it did not mention the subject) not Charles Murray’s book.

                      The reason I brought up Murray’s book is that it shows the terrible mess brought by the acceptance of intentional single motherhood – or perhaps I should say single motherhood without thought – below the ranks of the cultural elite in the US, although his findings are actually applicable across the Anglosphere. The fact that he accepts gay marriage (which I knew, though had momentarily forgotten) is neither here nor there, as one of my aunts used to say.

                      My own fear is that because gay marriage adherents are so, er, intransigent, they will not tolerate any suggestion that raising a fatherless or motherless child on purpose might have undesirable consequences, with the result that it will become increasingly difficult to make this suggestion in places like classes dealing with sex-education, in universities, and in public policy debates, leading to the further breakdown of heterosexual family life – something which will have a great impact on society as a whole (including gay people). The breakdown of African American families has certainly affected black people more than anyone else in the US, but it hasn’t exactly left white people untouched either, especially in more modest neighborhoods.

                      I’ve never given much thought to gay people’s sexual practises, as I said before. My first experience of meeting gay men en masse was, however, on Mykonos in the 1970s (yes, really), as a teenager. Quite an introduction. But when I actually began to meet gay men to talk to, several years later at university, my enjoyment of their company came from the fact that they were the first men I met to whom I could speak mind to mind, yet also had an understanding of the role of the emotions in human life – the artistic temperament, I suppose you could call it. Women with intellectual pretensions find this a rare experience: straight men are not interested in one’s mind, at least in youth, and most women, however intelligent, are not strictly speaking “intellectual” by inclination, because too practical.

                      One final point (for now): I don’t think that single parents make bad parents: I think that single parents lack some of what is necessary to be complete parents – i.e. 2 parents of the opposite sex. However, many of them are able to rise above this disability; I just find it less likely (though not impossible) that they would be able to do so if they are single-by-choice parents, because the choice bespeaks a certain self-centred thickness in the first place.

                    • Curious55

                      LFM, I do understand better the trauma that in some ways you feel when people say you are homophobic. And what brings it home for me is that this issue keeps coming back in our conversation even though I have never accused you of anything, and even though you don’t think I am accusing you of anything. I hope that in time people can discuss these issues, as we have, with evidence, with good will.

                      As with adoption, the issues are numerous, but I just want to make one point. In Deboer v. Snyder, the Michigan case that is going to the Supreme Court, the involved parties on both sides of the issue do not dispute that, at least in Michigan, same-sex couples often take on the children – special-needs and disabled – that straight couples do not want after they have gotten first pick. These children are often, prior to same-sex adoption, simply not taken into families. I don’t mean to suggest that gay families are more noble because they take in these special-needs children when straight couples will not. But I do admit feeling pained by your description of same-sex or single families as selfish. It strikes me, from reading Deboer v. Snyer, that these two lesbian nurses have made inordinate sacrifices for their special-needs children. Maybe you will reconsider your opinion that gay couples are being selfish in their desire to have kids, but I hear your point even if I disagree with it.

                      It seems that we have moved off into different issues and dropped several threads in the previous comments, but just wanted to say I enjoyed the back and forth.

                      In time, I think society will figure out ways to speak about the issue in less charged ways. I highly recommend Jonathan Rauch, the man who changed Charles Murray’s mind on the topic. He is a gay man who has also written about the importance of defending religious liberties, and does not embrace the divisive rhetoric emanating from both camps.

                      But I also do think that one of the key reasons why we shouldn’t throw about the word “bigot” or “homophobic” so lightly is because there *are* bigots and homophobes out there, and using the word so casually diminishes its power. Sometimes people are just ignorant, especially when they think about gay men in a stereotypical way (I cannot count the number of times someone has told me that gay men are better decorators, more artistic, more emotional, etc.) because they don’t know many gay men beyond the stock types they see on TV. Sometimes they disagree, and no, disagreeing with same-sex marriage obviously does not make one a bigot, and LGBT allies should step in when such counter-bullying takes place.

                      But the biggest problem is that people don’t realize that bigotry is not about beating someone up or yelling abuse. It’s that casual disinvite from the dinner party, the roommate who doesn’t want to room with you because he thinks you would perv on him, the kids of same-sex families who are teased for having two Dads, the insinuation that gay men are more promiscuous (the median number of sex partners across *all* groups is 6), the reduction of a gay person to gay sex, etc, that random dude who fails to see the problem with kids throwing out phrases like “that’s so gay.” Until you have lived your life as a gay kid, you can’t understand how harmful this is, and the historical role the Church has played in cultivating this regime, although it is now changing with Pope Francis. It is being anti-Catholic to call out bishops when they *are* being homophobic. But using the word indiscriminately doesn’t help anyone.

                      Your fears about speech being outlawed would make sense if we were in a constitutional regime like Canada, which among other things, is the only polity in the world to have embraced Catherine McKinnon’s claim that pornography constitutes sex-based abuse. Canada’s jurisprudence has taken hate-speech and free-speech laws in a direction quite different to the rest of the developed world. The US Courts have ruled nearly unanimously protecting even the speech of the Westboro Baptist Church.

                      I enjoyed our conversation, and i find you are a person marked by a certain open-mindedness I don’t find often on these blogs. As it is, I hope our conversation has changed each other a little.

                      Take care.

                    • LFM

                      It appears you wish to wind up this discussion but before you do so, I’d like to add a few points, quickly (I hope).

                      I’m not in favor of a categorical ban on gay couples’ adopting children, or single people adopting children; I said that there were particular circumstances in which I thought it was acceptable. I think that younger children need mothers and fathers, but again special cases might make other family formations acceptable. I do object to the idea that unconventional family set-ups should automatically be on an equal footing with more conventional ones when it comes to being selected as adoptive parents.

                      I do not think I used the word “selfish” in our discussion, but in as much as I may have implied it, I was thinking not of adoptive parents as much as of people, gay and straight, who make use of ART, which I find particularly distasteful. I’m a childless woman who married late, so my beliefs cost me something, but I still think that the procedures involved are wrong and socially destructive. Proponents of ART fail to realise that, as with most “outsourcing”, there is a good deal of ugliness that goes on behind the scenes to bring them the adorable product that shows up in their bassinets.

                      You implicitly reproach me for stereotyping gay men as emotional and artistic. I would argue that stereotypes exist for a reason – i.e. there is usually much truth in them. Where I think this becomes a problem is when people expect every member of a stereotyped group to conform to type, and refuse to see that the gay man in the next cubicle prefers gaming to Mozart. I understand your objection to the uglier stereotypes to which you refer, but the trouble is that until quite recently most straight people were unlikely to encounter gay people (knowingly) in the course of ordinary life, except in the sort of situation which creates ugly stereotypes, like embarrassing misunderstandings in public washrooms. I think you will find that some of this kind of assumption about gay men fades away as time passes.

                      I do not think the Catholic Church has had much part in creating the “regime” of which you speak, although this is not a point that would be easy to prove, historically. But consider the fact that predominantly Catholic nations, especially in their cities, have always been much more relaxed and accepting of homosexuality than Protestant or (in the case of places like the USSR or Cuba) officially atheist ones. It is only recently that the Church has begun to insist again that it is not enough merely to be a ritually observant Catholic. Pope Francis may change attitudes but I doubt that it will be the attitudes of observant Catholics, whose views will remain what they have always been.

                      My own suspicion, again unprovable, is that distaste for, as opposed to moral objections to, homosexuality is much older than any religion and rooted in male animals’ status anxiety. “Mounting” is a form of dominance expression among mammals. Human males are after all animals too, and their intense feelings about gay sexual expression are probably rooted in their fear of other men’s dominance. I’m sure you’ll have noticed that people in general are less fearful of female homosexuality than the male variety – even excluding the silly sexual fantasies straight men have about it.

                      I am surprised that throughout this discussion you attribute my anxiety about freedom of expression solely to my religious situation. That is not an accurate assumption; nor is the problem peculiarly Canadian. Surely you cannot have missed the fact that campuses ban speakers like Ayaan Hirsi Ali; that even some Catholic schools refuse to allow anti-abortion speakers to appear; that the story of poor tragic Matthew Shepherd was distorted beyond recognition by those who wished to use it for propaganda; that PC enforcement of identity politics rules campuses, the media and the public service? I don’t feel persecuted as a Catholic; I feel silenced as a thinking person who has a mildly conservative bent but finds that the mere questioning of progressive orthodoxy is likely to get one in trouble. I don’t think this type of activism is peculiar to gay rights supporters. But they are certainly in the forefront of the movement today.

                      God bless you too. (To quote from your first message to me.)

                    • Curious55

                      Hi LFM, I have left the Church (see post above), and this closure for me is part of the reason I no longer see the point in my participating in the discussion. Thank you for your generosity and time.

                      I do encourage you not to think about people in terms of being “activists” or not. I do get a sense through your posts that you have a need to understand the motivations of people, and that is totally understandable, and you described me as the type of gay activist who does not require absolute capitulation. I have never thought of myself as an activist, and in fact as a gay Catholic, I have often felt rejected by both worlds. I am not sure how much more in the middle I can be, and if someone like me is seen as activist/extreme/too loud, then what might be a person somewhat less activist like me look like? But maybe I am one by virtue of having certain positions? Or because I engage in conversation about hot-button issues?

                      I think stereotypes are sometimes harmful. Now that gay men and women can be more open, there is little need for them to resort to furtive encounters in the washrooms. It isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when I think about the gay community, but knowing that stereotype exists out there helps me understand some of the fears and anxieties out there. I know that is not what you were saying – your point is that previously perhaps encounters in public were predominantly negative ones. But I don’t think this has been true for a long time – most people now have enough gay friends that this idea that all gay men and women are areligious, far-left leaning, promiscuous, …, …, … (fill-in-the-blank) folks has been thoroughly dispelled. Like straight people, gay men come in all colors of the rainbow.

                      I think the vindictiveness, where it exists, will peter out in time. Some of it is political, a way for people who may not care very much about gay rights one way or another to take potshots at opponents. I think that won’t disappear, and it is endemic to political discourse, not to gay rights conversations. But as the anger from people who are gay, who have suffered from a lifetime of discrimination fades away, I think the shape of the gay rights movement will change. The movement is, after all, made up of everyday people. There is these days not very much self-consciousness about being gay, and bullying thankfully is much less prevalent in schools. I think this is a transition period.

                      But, in any case, thank you. You have been a pretty good model, I think, of how to talk about these issues. The amount of homophobia and posturing (on both sides) on Catholic blogs on Patheos surprised me, so your contribution was particularly valued.

                      I’m sorry if I mistakenly assumed you were Catholic. I was one, and as of today, I no longer am one. So perhaps that is one more thing we have in common now.

                      Take care.

                    • LFM

                      One last thing: I am indeed Catholic. I was saying only that Catholicism is not the only source of my sense of dissonance from the world around me.

                      Thank you for being willing to debate with me in an open and polite fashion. Good luck to you.

                    • LFM

                      Another point I wanted to add: I have never doubted that gay parents could be responsible parents. What I have said is that they lack certain requisite conditions for being *complete* parents. As I’ve said in this discussion already, it seems odd to me that people who think “gender” is so important in sexual relationships, should be a matter of indifference in parental relationships. Will a baby be affected by the sex of the people who raise it? Why no, of course not! Will it affect their sexual development, their knowledge of themselves, their understanding of the world? Don’t be a stupid bigot! Why would it?

                      Then there are the moral issues raised by ART, increasingly the resort of same-sex couples who want children. Don’t even get me started on that subject. I’ll leave it to you to imagine what my objections might be, based on things I’ve already said here.

                    • kenofken

                      So are you prepared to bar civil marriage to opposite gender parents who use IVF? What about opposite sex parents who have indisuputable risk factors for negatively impacting children? (Poverty, drug or sexual abuse or family instability in their own past, low education etc)? We have mountains of research which prove that many two-parent hetero situations are bad for kids. We have zero evidence suggesting the same is true for same sex parents. In fact all of the “evidence” we have against them is the product of dishonest and rigged junk science commissioned by culture warriors. But let’s say for the sake of argument we can’t be too careful, so we decide even speculative harms warrant denial of civil marriage rights. Will that strict standard be applied to hetero couples? I rather doubt it.

    • Tweck

      I’ve known many truly homophobic people who aren’t Christians. In fact, most of the one’s I’ve met are, in fact, atheists. But this is beside the point. The real problem with homophobia is that, in our society at least, men are trained to idolize their own “manliness,” to an unhealthy extreme, as defined by popular societal opinion, and thus become uneasy and uncomfortable with anything even slightly “effeminate” in their male counterparts.

      I’m not particularly, “manly,” and don’t prescribe to this false idealization of having to present myself as some kind of crude, emotionless, lumberjack stereotype – I just am simply me, and won’t buy into demands of stereotypical behaviorism. And I’m as straight as they come. It has had the hilarious effect of causing discomfort in those I mentioned above when I behave in a manner they see as unbecoming of the typical manly stereotype (such as simply allowing myself to be a sensitive, emotional person, dressing colorfully, skipping down the road singing, telling my friends I love them, you name it). Sometimes I even chide them for their overt homophobia.

      I’ll note also, that in my observations it’s become clear that the same people who are overtly homophobic are also prone to “man talk,” crudely and insultingly objectifying women “because it’s cool,” when the ladies aren’t present (and which I refuse to participate in (which itself seems to make my homophobic friends uncomfortable about me (sometimes they even suspect that I’m gay because of it!))), which is something I’ve found abhorrent and unfortunate in our society. These people also tend to extol the virtues of pornography, and unlimited sexual “gratification” without any concern for the harm it does to themselves or those they are using for their selfish and lustful self-fulfillment.

      So homophobia is certainly not a problem relegated to religious people whatsoever. The Church is not a homophobic institution by any means. In fact, we follow a narrow path when it comes to sexuality as a whole, and view unfettered and objectively selfish sexual promiscuity as inherently harmful to people, whether they know it, or believe it, or not.

      I believe that any kind of self-indulgent sexual activity is wrong. And these aren’t just arbitrary rules that God made up simply to make life unnecessarily difficult for people – there are good reasons for these rules regarding sexuality. It’s because of the harm that such activity perpetuates – primarily emotional and/or physical harm that people do to themselves and each other, and more broadly to society as a whole. I mean, look at America. We are swimming in a sea of grotesque pornography, STDs, people with incredibly low self-esteem because they’ve been objectified and used and have been led to believe that their sexuality is all that they have to offer to make people love them, among a great variety of further incredibly harmful effects. Not to mention the destruction it does to love itself – I mean real love, being trampled underfoot by this cavalier attitude our society has toward sex as some kind of self-fulfillment tool.

      But that certainly doesn’t mean I am the enemy of those who believe differently. I have gay friends, and I’m not afraid of them. I think they’re very wonderful and lovely people, and we get along quite well. I have sexually promiscuous friends. Sometimes I tell them how I feel about promiscuity if they ask (that sex creates a very strong emotional bond between people, and “if you do engage in this ‘friends with benefits’ thing with so-and-so, regardless of your feelings going in, someone will eventually get badly hurt, but who am I to judge?” – and each time I’ve been proven right. Someone always gets hurt), but that’s really it.

      So any time we come out and say, “this is not a good idea,” we’re doing it because we care about love, and we care about peoples’ health and safety. We don’t (or shouldn’t) shun them or hate them, or even try to make them feel bad about themselves. We really do love everyone, and want people to be emotionally (and physically) safe and happy.

      Okay, that was a long, sort of tangential rant. Apologies if I seemed to swing wildly off-topic, but in the Christian world-view, all these topics do tend to fall into a single category.

      Oh, back to homosexuality. Note that Catholics don’t say that “being gay is a sin,” only that certain sexual acts are sinful. And we don’t hate the sinner – indeed, we are called to love them.

      • Curious55

        This is an admirable post, and I appreciate the gentleness with which you framed your opinions.

        As a gay Catholic, the truly hard question for me, though, is if you genuinely think that the problem the Church has with gay people is just sex in particular. If all that two men did was cuddle, kiss, give massages, hold hands, call each other “honey” and “babe” but stopped short of actual anal intercourse, do you think the Church would be OK with that?

        I suppose one of the things I have been struggling with is whether I believe that the Catholic suspiciousness of gay relationships is specific to gay sex, or whether it is a generalized distrust of what gay intimacy, defined in its broadest sense, means.

        I know you mean well, Tweck, but can you remember the last time you talked about loving the sinner but hating the sin when it came to a particular sin? Did you say that to a friend who was a glutton, that you hated the sin (gluttony) but lover the sinner (the glutton)? Or perhaps a friend who habitually lies … that you love the sinner (the liar) but hates the sin (the lie)? Why are Christians forever speaking about loving the sinner and hating the sin in respect to homosexuality if there isn’t something specific about it that is particularly troubling?

        • Sue Korlan

          I think the reason people use that explanation about the difference between the sin and the sinner with respect to homosexuality is that we are accused of bigotry when we oppose gay marriage (see the responses to me above for an example), whereas when we write about incivility in comboxes, for example, no one accuses us of bigotry.

          • Curious55

            Actually, Sue, as a Catholic, I hear that from Christian friends whom I love and who love me all the time. We have never accused each other of bigots, but I have often wondered why they take pains to tell me that they “love the sinner and hate the sin” when they approach my homosexuality, but do not say the same thing to other close friends, one of whom is a serial adulterer (well, three women in five years).

            The funny thing is that posting on these blogs can sometimes cause people to lose perspective, I think. But I do see where you are coming from. As you say, your desire to emphasize homosexuality as a sin through phrases like “love the sinner and hate the sin” is retaliation for what you feel you have experienced (being called a bigot)

            • SteveP

              Your friend, the serial adulterer, has fomented to become a legally protected class of person including survivorship rights from publically funded pensions? And your other friends gladly take dollars away from their own children for that public fund because this adulterous friend of yours was born that way?
              .
              I can see why you’d be concerned: that’s like totally unfair.

            • Sue Korlan

              I don’t, as far as I know, have any friends who are serial adulterers. I do know people who use contraceptives, and the reason I haven’t said that to them is because those to whom I’ve spoken couldn’t care less whether what they were doing is a sin or not. And in real life I haven’t said that to gay people when I’ve talked to them because they’re well aware of how important having children is and wish they could have them.

        • kenofken

          Ask yourself what the evidence over the long arc of the debate tells you. Are any other sinners routinely likened to child molesters, bestiality, Nazis or similar fascists? Are any of them other than gays portrayed as an existential threat to children, the existence of families and the nation itself? Have Christians undertaken to strip the most basic protections of civil rights from other groups of sinners? Have they mounted organized campaigns and legislative acts to destroy their livelihoods? Outside of the flowery and nuanced language of theological documents, where do you see love for the sinner toward LGBT folks from that movement?

          • Curious55

            I see the love from individual Christians who have been wonderful friends. I choose to be patient and to be optimistic. It is not always easy for people to change their minds, and yet minds have been changing (mostly in one direction) on this issue for the last decades. I don’t disagree that the historical Church has been deeply homophobic, and sure, I don’t disagree that some Catholics are homophobic. But I think people change.

            One of the strongest predictors of whether someone supports gay civil rights is if they know someone who is gay. Because, suddenly, the issue becomes a deeply human one. You can always tell who the people are. People who talk about “gay activists” in the abstract as opposed to John my neighbor, or Leslie my dentist. People who put an article in front of .. “the gays” and so on.

            I do think we should engage with good faith. Accept, for instance, that florists don’t actually want to be homophobic, and that they are genuinely OK with serving gay people, just not at gay weddings. We can disagree with their point of view, but that does not make them homophobes. I think it is likely that the Michigan doctor who refused to treat the daughter of a lesbian couple was homophobic, but the question is how will expressing this opinion further the conversation?

            Yes, I agree Christians have been extremely inconsistent. That inconsistency smacks of homophobia (why they don’t take now to criminalizing no-fault divorce even though more kids are left in fatherless or motherless homes through this act than any other way). But how do we engage? By calling them homophobes? How do you think they are going to then respond?

            I am all for calling a spade a spade, but my personal rule is to give people a few chances. I love talking with LFM. With someone like Ms. Korlan, I rarely do because from my view she deliberately misses all the key points. But that’s OK. We don’t have to engage everyone.

            take care.

            • Heather

              Thank you Curious55 for your respectful and charitable participation in this discussion. Have you ever visited the Spiritual Friendship blog? It is run by a group of Catholics and other Christians of various stripes most of whom identify as somewhere on the alphabet soup spectrum, but who nevertheless subscribe to traditional Christian sexual ethics. I don’t identify as any particular kind of sexual minority myself but as a non-consecrated single person I share long term celibacy and its associated gifts and challenges with many people there, and I find they have interesting perspectives to offer.

              • Curious55

                Hi Heather, thanks for reaching out. I might check the blog out sometimes. I don’t mind sharing this, although it’s a little weird – a kind of internet coming-out, so to speak, over an issue that has been very difficult for me. Over the last week, I have been struggling over the question about whether I can remain Catholic.

                I took this week off, and simply told the boss I had family matters to attend to. It is now the last day of the week, and conversations with you, with LFM, have been helpful, with others, a little more painful but nevertheless necessary. I do sense a personal animus from some people on this blog, in the choice of language that is used. But that is no longer relevant. There have been arguments, internal doubts I could float on this blog that I couldn’t articulate quite as directly in real life because I am forced to put thoughts down into writing, and it has helped me to think things through.

                I have decided to leave the Church. I told certain members where I attended earlier this morning. Take care, and I wish you (and my internet friend, LFM) well. I have come to the conclusion that this is an unbridgeable divide.

                Take care.

                • Heather

                  I don’t know you, but it saddens me that you have come to this conclusion. Your remarks have been very thoughtful and charitable in the midst of a heated discussion of a hot button topic on the internet, and that is not always easy to manage. I can only hope that you have been looking at things not from the perspective of what have people IN the Church done, because we’re a bunch of hypocrites and sinners, but from the perspective of whether or not you believe what the Church actually teaches, at the fundamental level, is true.

                  If you have thought about it and truly believe that the Church’s actual teachings, and not just the crappy ways we interpret and enact them, are in error, then I can only respect your decision to part ways. But if the decision is based on any factor other than “is it true?” then I beg you to reconsider. I recognize that this is a very personal private matter that doubtless has a lot of factors going on and I don’t have any claim on a response from you, but I just want you to know that I will keep you in my prayers that whatever you end up doing from here on out will lead you to a place of peace. God bless you.

        • LFM

          Curious55, I hope you don’t feel I’m unfairly pursuing you across threads, but I do think there are many unwarranted assumptions in what you write. I’m only one person – and female – and can’t speak for everyone, but still, one of my favorite love stories has always been The Persian Boy, Mary Renault’s story of the love between Alexander the Great and a Persian courtesan who had been been a favorite of Darius.

          And I have spoken of loving the sinner and hating the sin rather more often in situations that had nothing to do with gay sex, like reproaches to female friends having adulterous sexual relations, or to drug addicted relatives, etc. Does it not occur to you that the reason you have not heard of or been present on many such occasions is that they tend to be private? As for why the sin issue becomes more public in the case of gay people, that’s because gay rights are today a far more political cause than those you mention, involving radical changes in the law.

          But I mean, really, that was not always the case. I suspect from what you say that you are not old enough to remember the convulsions of outrage that greeted the introduction of no-fault divorce. And even more obviously, there’s the outrage that still follows abortion. Can you – and still more, kenofken – really be so deaf to these other issues that have attracted at least as much public concern as same-sex marriage?

  • Notagod

    It might be due to catholics demanding that everyone respect catholic god-ideas through forceful persuasion or if that proves ineffective force of law.

    • LFM

      The word “Catholic” is the name of a particular branch of Christendom, functioning both as a noun and adjective. The word “catholic” is an adjective meaning “universal”. In attempting a crude insult by refusing to capitalize the word “catholic” you actually support the Church’s claims to the status of universality.

  • antigon

    Leaving aside the various homosexualist arguments below advanced – apostate ken’s invocation of the vast historical records revealing marriage of folk other than male & female was especially delicious – the real problem is that the whole nature of sex can’t seriously be addressed without first deciding the old standby – why are we here? What is sex for?
    *
    Rather too complicated a question for a combox or what passes for debate in the West in this unhappy hour, but MacBeth’s theory – that life is but an idiotic tale signifying nothing – does come to mind.
    *
    If Macbeth & his partisans are right, then sure, bonk or get bonked by whatever hole you can find or offer, or don’t, kill yourself & others or don’t, do whatever feels good &/or what you can get away with, indulge our vanity by constructing whatever systems can gain fashion, be they monotheisms, communisms, racial pride or any other, in short find such stimulants as can be found until we expire into the nothingness whence we popped. Hell, tickle that vanity by struggling to leave a legacy for all those who will follow us on that glorious road to an extinction thorough, & complete.
    *
    As observed, a subject somewhat complicated for what passes as debate these days, but if MacBeth is wrong, if, oh, say, Abraham’s insights – for all his shortcomings & those of his many billion purported offspring – actually do address why we are here, then there is arguably something more to sex than the thrill of it, thrilling as well as compellingly dominating as it continues to be: because it is the means by which being itself obtains.
    *
    So perhaps Macbeth, but again if not, then any serious exploration of sex must struggle both with the implications of its relation to being, as of course with the implications of being itself.
    *
    Such seriousness is arguably wanting in at least most of what follows, in fact most discussion of sex at all these days, for all the sound, & occasional fury.