Roberts’ Dissent

Roberts’ Dissent June 26, 2015

“If you are among the many Americans–of whatever sexual orientation–who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not Celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”

–from the dissent of Chief Justice Roberts.

Of course not.  It was an exercise of raw judicial power in which an elite decided to exert Nietschzean will.  There will be future such exercises until reality and nature eventually inform us with their characteristic bluntness that they decline to join in our pretenses anymore.  What that will look like is anybody’s guess.  But as the pope has recently reminded us, when you slap nature, nature slaps you back.  Ideas *will* have consequences.

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  • honzik

    It’s taken 85 years for the lambeth conference of 1930 to reach its logical conclusion, but it has:

    * “Since a week ago last Saturday we can no longer expect them to defend the law of God. These sects will work out the very logic of their ways and in fifty or one hundred years there will be only the Church and paganism. We will be left to fight the battle alone — and we will.”
    — Father Fulton J. Sheen, April 1931

    * “Carried to its logical conclusion, the committee’s report, if carried into effect, would sound the death-knell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality. The suggestion that the use of legalized contraceptives would be “careful and restrained” is preposterous.”
    — The Washington Post, March 22, 1931.

    • antigon

      ‘We will be left to fight the battle alone — and we will.”
      *
      Those of a ‘serene theology’ hope to convince us otherwise via events this autumn that only privately will they call a Synod Against the Family.

    • Mike

      AMAZING!

  • ManyMoreSpices

    A number of states have had SSM for a few years. Time will tell how damaging this development is to the institution of marriage and society as a whole. It may be difficult to determine how much of the blame for our culture’s descent into immorality should be apportioned specifically to the spread of SSM, as opposed to any number of other related and unrelated causes.

    So although this ruling is an unhappy development, I’d like to take some solace in understanding that SSM was something that was already happening and spreading, and therefore this ruling isn’t Earth-shattering. But I can’t. Because the legal reasoning (or rather, the replacement of legal reasoning with argle-bargle and jiggery-pokery) in the opinion of the court indicates that for these five lawyers, when the happiness of gay people is at stake, the Constitution, the rule of law, history, and the English language are probably going to have to yield.

    On its face, this ruling does not persecute the Church. But the next one might.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      Very good comment. Hear, hear!

    • EMG

      Not to deprive you of any solace, but when, in the past, some States recognized SSM – or local Judges imposed it on a particular State – other States were free to regulate marriage laws as they traditionally have done. That’s how federalism is supposed to work. Moreover, in the absence of a law or decision federalizing the issue, the threat to the free exercise of religion under the First Amendment remained relatively low. Now that the Supreme Court has created a new Constitutional right to SSM, the marriage laws of more than half the States have been invalidated with the stroke of a pen. And, as Justice Alito pointed out during the oral argument, this new right inevitably will come into conflict with the right to freely exercise one’s religion. As we see with this Administration’s zealous litigation to force religious institutions to comply with the contraception mandate, the secular left desires to wage war on those of traditional religious faith, particularly the Church. They have a new weapon and that war is about to escalate, as the dissents warn.

      • Ben Hammer

        By the end of next year, there will be a lawsuit filed against a church, for not “marring” a same sex couple. How they went after cake stores, is only the tip of the iceberg. Freedom of religion died today. The Church should prepare to lose its tax exempt status. Find the interview with George Takei, he will explain it all to you.

  • StumbleBumble

    “But as the pope has recently reminded us, when you slap nature, nature slaps you back. Ideas *will* have consequences.”

    A sad and frustrating and “be ready for grave consequences” day indeed. I have many thoughts on this ruling but the one that comes to mind the most is what awaits those who will stand opposed and hopefully united against such a lie.

    There is no such thing as “same-sex marriage” I don’t care how they ruled or redefined it…God’s law stands and it is His who will wipe this one off the map all in good time.

    • Raymond

      So, like, earthquakes, typhoons, flooding? Those are sort of self-fulfilling prophecies – if they happen, you can say they were God’s wrath for SSM. If they don’t happen, you can just say “wait for it”.

      And what about faithful Christians who support traditional marriage? Do they share in the catastrophes despite their beliefs?

      • Tom

        No! God will not smite us, He will let us smite ourselves. And yes the innocent will suffer too. In this case it will be the family

        • StumbleBumble

          Amen!

        • Rebecca Fuentes

          And especially the children. The “right” to marriage will be followed by the “right” to children (a right for those who can afford it), just as so many have advocated for the “right” for no children.

      • StumbleBumble

        By God’s grace, hearts will be transformed. Who knows what will happen as a result of this farce? Like Mr. Shea has said after quoting our Holy Father, there are consequences and they will not go unanswered and yes, we all will suffer for it.

  • Raymond

    So you reject the due process and equal protection arguments?

    • ManyMoreSpices

      There really wasn’t much of an equal protection argument. This was primarily a “liberty” decision under the 14th Amendment, i.e., a Substantive Due Process decision, and those are always hot garbage.

      • Raymond

        I’m not much of a constitutional scholar, but it seems to be that issues like inheritance, medical decisions, leases and mortgages and the like, that the equal protection clause would be relevant.

        • Peggy

          I am not a lawyer but an economic expert who’s worked on cases of “discrimination” before courts. First, the discrimination has to be ‘undue’. Discrimination on its face is misunderstood as always evil. Not true. Further, for a party to show it’s been discriminated against, it has to show it is “similarly situated’ to the parties obtaining the treatment desired. Two men or two women are NOT similarly situated to a man-woman union. The state cares about marriage mostly in that the woman and her children are provided for by a father. Thus, 2 men or 2 women are of no interest to the state. I don’t think that rationale got much play. I have no idea why.

          • Rebecca Fuentes

            Because marriage isn’t about children anymore. It’s about self-fulfillment and happiness. Whether children were part of the state’s original concern is now irrelevant–and will continue to be as more fringe sub-groups push for this same equality.
            A friend of mine, who supports gay marriage and is quite libertarian, was lamenting the way the decision was made, “Marriage is between two people and the state shouldn’t have anything to do with it.” I just couldn’t help thinking, “Why is it only between two people? Isn’t that the natural next question on this?” I already know trios of people who live in a “polyamorous marriage” (obviously not licensed). They’re looking at this ruling as their foot in the door.

            • Peggy

              Yep, I understand all that. But the state should still be able to separate its concerns from the motives of individuals. Any one can marry for whatever reasons they want. But the state has historically wanted to ensure that a man and woman marry BEFORE children arrive…we are long from that…

        • ManyMoreSpices

          I understand why you want to push hard on the “equal protection” argument, but that wasn’t the case at bar. The opinion of the court throws in some Equal Protection stuff, but it’s an afterthought and it doesn’t have any actual legal reasoning accompanying it. Here’s Roberts:

          It is important to note with precision which laws petitioners have challenged. Although they discuss some of the ancillary legal benefits that accompany marriage, such as hospital visitation rights and recognition of spousal status on official documents, petitioners’ lawsuits target the laws defining marriage generally rather than those allocating benefits specifically. The equal protection analysis might be different, in my view, if we were confronted with a more focused challenge to the denial of certain tangible benefits. Of course, those more selective claims will not arise now that the Court has taken the drastic step of requiring every State to license and recognize marriages between same-sex couples.

          (emphasis added).

    • SteveP

      Huh?

  • Tom

    yes, if you slap nature it will slap you back…God’s laws make sense and they are for us due to His mercy…we need to pray for the future of the family.

  • zebbart

    A great victory for capitalism! Marriage is now a commodity and the only criterion for eligibility is whether you can afford it (many can’t). The marriage industry rejoices! Spousal benefits are now obsolete since both spouses can and should work for their own benefits. Employers rejoice! Millions of people gain exemption from inheritance tax. Oligarchs rejoice!

    • SteveP

      The loss of spousal benefits will be the hardest—men, in general, die before women. “Gay marriage” will usher in a new age of penniless widows; those women who “chose” to bear and raise children thus missing out on private and public pension accrual points.

      • thisismattwade

        Sorry, I don’t really understand the “spousal benefits” part of these comments. Could you help me understand?

        • SteveP

          Generally men die before women. Marriage statutes in the US were, in general, instructed by the command to care for widows and orphans. Thus, when pensions are offered, there is usually a survivorship clause: the surviving spouse, usually the female, had rights to continue receiving a portion or all of the man’s pension. Likewise inheritance rights ensured real property (think of a “Mom & Pop” business) transferred to the surviving spouse – usually a widow – sans estate tax.
          .
          I suspect OP’s prophecy is accurate: the family as a basic economic unit has been undermined for the past few decades and now has been accelerated toward obsolescence if not completely obsoleted already.

          • thisismattwade

            So y’all are saying that companies/programs will stop offering spousal benefits? I understand the concept of spousal benefits, I’m just not sure how today’s decision affects them.

            • SteveP

              Do you know of a man who will give another man a stipend solely because his “husband” died?

              • thisismattwade

                I understand where you’re coming from, and I would agree in principle because I don’t think two men can be married. But I just read an article on USA Today about this topic, about gays’ new strategies for SS benefits being similar to what heterosexual married couples do. It seems that with this ruling, in fact, DENYING those spousal benefits is now illegal. As much as I expected this disappointing ruling, it’s cast an weird pall on this day for sure.

                • SteveP

                  I think the grim reality is affordability: the US cannot seem to import workers fast enough to keep up with the tax revenue requirements. It is doubtful the system can sustain additional “orphans and widows”.

                  • thisismattwade

                    I’ve been fortunate enough to not factor in the “system” into my plans for future sustenance. However, your point is well taken. I feel grieved for how this will affect “the least o these”.

                  • Joseph

                    Why do you think that the next push will be for legal euthanasia? There are ways to *take care* of orphans, widows, and handicapped.

              • kenofken

                No major corporation is going to curtail/change their benefits as a result of this ruling. Most have been equalizing treatment of hetero and LGBT families with company benefits for many years now.

                • SteveP

                  Yup, just like “domestic partner benefits” did not entail on-shore staff reduction in favor of off-shore (cheaper) staffing.
                  .
                  You’re an idiot as you believe your fanaticism is not contagious and, if someone else catches it, the mutation will be benign.

              • Actually, I do. That said, pensions are a vanishing benefit anyway, aren’t they?

                • SteveP

                  Very interesting . . . I’d like to hear that story. Not in the comments here of course.

        • zebbart

          The economics and moral rationales for spousal benefits, already severely weakened by contraception and the two income depndence of many, disappears completely with same sex marriage. The only reasons a worker, usually a man, would want spousal benefits more than a simple wage increase are because his wife isn’t doing wage labor and/or could not get wage parity, and because his wife would outlive him and not have her own pension or ssi. Spousal benefits mitigate the cost and risk of getting hitched to a low wage earner and of having children. Their is no reason now for firms or the state to offer that benefit now. Is there any particular reason we should want to continue paying a man’s male companion his social security after the man has died and when the companion has had just as much chance to earn his own? Is there any reason we should want to exempt a man’s male companion from estate tax when we wouldn’t exempt his son or his brother?

      • Vision_From_Afar

        This makes absolutely zero sense. If they have kids, their husbands were in the system (not that anyone outside the govt has a pension any more). Are you really arguing that two guys are somehow taking available spots or some nonsense?

        • SteveP

          You really must read your SSA report.

          • Vision_From_Afar

            ,,,

  • Eric

    Well, Fr. James Martin seems totally pumped about the outcome. Surprise, surprise. His prayers were answered. With friends like these….

  • thisismattwade

    The most difficult part is not losing what little bit of charity I have by God’s grace by posting my immediate feelings to many of my Facebook friends’ celebratory posts. Lord have mercy on me first. A discouraging day.

    • AquinasMan

      Right. I totally went over to Facebook to see who was celebrating. Ugh. Mostly Catholics, too. Interesting times, these.

      • Dave G.

        My son started the conversation when I got home by saying “they’re celebrating their sale of a bowl of stew, losing birthright to follow.’ That began a nice round table about what happened and where things went wrong from a traditional viewpoint. My fourteen year old then asked why Ireland had a majority vote, but we had to have the court step in and make it law? And my always quick sixteen year old replied, before I could even answer: Because there are still too many Protestants in America, the vote would be too close. Ouch. Fact is, without the support, and general respectful disagreements, from the majority of Catholics toward these issues, we would never even be close to where we are.

        • antigon

          Not to mention the clerical footsies lo these many decades.

    • ManyMoreSpices

      Try to look on the bright side: after today or tomorrow, SSM will be removed as an issue that you have to deal with much on social media. No mini-celebrations when this or that state establishes SSM, no more red/pink equal sign every time one of these cases goes to court, no more gloating over the latest judicial blow to traditional marriage. Stay off the interwebz for a day or two and they’ll all be back to cat pictures, inspirational quotes that tell you that they’re still not over their exes, and sharing whatever goofy stuff Takei posts.

      • thisismattwade

        You’re right, and I’m looking forward to not hearing any more about homosexuals being persecuted and discriminated against on par with Blacks in America. What an absolute affront to our brethren of color! Mr Shea has long been right that the “victors” today have “bravely faced the applause” for long enough. Now they will use their hands to bludgeon us into acceptance.

        • ManyMoreSpices

          Thomas – a black man in an interracial marriage – wrote in a footnote that “The suggestion… that antimiscegenation
          laws are akin to laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman is both offensive and inaccurate.”

          But he doesn’t count as black, so whatever.

      • I’m hoping this will finally put an end to the insults and nasty comments coming from *both* sides.

      • antigon

        Cling to the hope, mms. The debil don’t know when to stop.

      • Rebecca Fuentes

        Today, everyone has rainbow filters on their facebook avatars. I wish rainbows weren’t part of the whole gay-pride thing. I have little girls who love rainbows, and I’d like them to be able to wear them without any political overtones.

        • Tweck

          I felt the same way as I was wearing my big, comfortable rainbow colored socks yesterday. I put them on without thinking, and didn’t want to be misinterpreted as supporting the decision. But they’re comfortable socks, and I’m a huge fan of rainbows! When I see one I am reminded of God’s promise to Noah, and how grateful I am to be back in the Church. So I think that’s a good way to look at all those rainbows and not feel discouraged… see ’em as what they really mean, not what people have co-opted them to mean.

  • Andy

    I think that this ruling signals the need for the Catholic Church to withdraw from acting as an agent of the government – in the sphere of marriage it should now be a two step process – one by the state and then a blessing by the church as separate actions. It is time to remove the need to rely on government grants for a variety of services. If the church wants to retain its freedom it must now take it – to remain tied to the government through grants and the like spells the end of this freedom.

    • thisismattwade

      Amen brother, aside from the argument that the government should be supporting things that build up society like marriage, charities, schools. But I guess that principle can’t really apply when our society is so corrupt, and the government seems more than willing to comply.

      • Andy

        The corruption of society- I think we can trace that to our own willingness to “sell out” to mammon. I think that the Laudato Si points that out so clearly. Mammon requires ignoring what is right and good and focusing only on what makes us comfortable and/or happy; regardless of cost. The worshipers of mammon own the government and now call the tune. Mammon is the direct antithesis of what CST speaks of as the role of government – promoting the common good.

        • thisismattwade

          My biggest fear for myself is my tendency to enclose myself in a Catholic bubble. I have to remember to mercifully extend myself to those who don’t share my same viewpoint, even to the point of discomfort. Decisions like today make me want to become a recluse at a Benedictine monastery to live out my days. My wife wouldn’t appreciate that very much.

          (Man there was a lot of “first person” in that comment.)

          • Andy

            I am not advocating shutting myself or anyone into a Catholic bubble – my wife would not like the monastic life either by the way. I believe that if we want to model what we believe and to share it with others we have to model why it works – we have to show the world the power of what we preach. Being tied in to the government through grants and whatnot, acting for the government means that we may not believe what we preach. Jesus asked us to give, now is the time to give beyond what we normally would consider possible. We have to believe that God will provide and in so doing our message become clearer, louder and more powerful.

            • thisismattwade

              Agreed, and the sooner Catholic institutions get off the govt teet, the better. I will gladly donate in a more targeted manner when the time comes, tax deductions be damned.

          • etme

            You said “man”. You are divisive and hurtful.

    • AquinasMan

      I think it’s pretty clear that the trajectory of this persecution is leading to massive contraction in the visibility of the Catholic Church. Our diocese was/is having difficulty keeping parishes open as it is without the specter of removing tax-exempt status. And forget about what’s in the bank account to pay school teachers whatever it’s possible to pay them. Tax exempt status will get challenged a la Bob Jones University, and then — if it goes the wrong way — big ticket charitable donations to the Church will be severely curtailed. It’s going to get real lean real quick, and the sooner we come to terms with that, the easier it will be to combat any despair that arises. We should always take comfort that what is outside of us can’t harm our souls unless we invite it in. There’s a rich history of heroic men and women who would not bow to Caesar in his many forms over the centuries. They can have their pseudo-marriage. I’ll take eternal life instead.

      • Andy

        The church is somewhat complicit in its shrinking – poor leadership at all levels, poor teaching and divisiveness within itself – not blaming anyone, but pointing out the obvious. I think these have reduced our voice and visibility to a far greater degree then we are wont to believe. Your diocese is like all dioceses in general I would guess, ours is struggling terribly and there seems to be no end. I would guess that the church will not have its tax exempt status removed – that removal would not just impact the Catholic Church, but many other churches as well.
        I agree that it will become lean soon, because many of our institutions have come to rely on the largess of the government and either we walk away on our own terms or they will withhold the monies as means of blackmail. I fear groups caving into blackmail or persecution, because they do not have leaders to support them. I personally don’t envision private donations drying up, but that may be due to my belief that it is the government grants that keeps private monies away.
        I think your comment about not inviting evil in is most apt and bears repetition in a loud voice.

      • VicqRuiz

        Not that the USCCB or the Pope will be particularly inconvenienced.

        I’m sure that our progressive leaders will permit them to drone on at length about the unequal distribution of income. And, of course, air conditioning.

        Will we notice any difference??

      • Sue Korlan

        Maybe giving will decrease, but maybe not. Bob Jones didn’t close, you know.

  • Vision_From_Afar

    • ManyMoreSpices

      Well, I’m convinced.

    • iamlucky13

      The suggestion here is that we’ve either “discovered” something new about human sexuality or that opinions matter in determining what marriage is.

      We’re not talking about a matter of policy here, like whether to care for the poor with job training or poor farms. We’re talking about fundamental facts of who human beings are and how we relate to each other.

      • Vision_From_Afar

        The ones acting like this is new or different are not the ones pushing for acceptance. What is new is the concept of not stigmatizing something very old and natural.
        It is absolutely about policy and how a truly representative government should treat all of its citizens.

        • iamlucky13

          Talk about this being natural has the same basis as pedophilia being natural. It is, but that doesn’t make it right. I’m not saying consensual homosexual relations have the same moral status as pedophilic rape, but the discriminator there is the “rape” part, not the “natural” part.

          Bringing the question back around to policy doesn’t change anything. Policy is a matter of how to achieve what is right, not a matter of trying to redefine what is right.

        • SteveP

          “It is absolutely about policy and how a truly representative government should treat all of its citizens.”
          .
          That statement is absolutely chilling wannabe tyrant. Stay away from me and my family.

          • Vision_From_Afar

            .,.

            • SteveP

              Still looking for love I see. Perhaps you ought to shave.

              • Vision_From_Afar

                .,,

        • antigon

          Save that anal marriage is neither old nor natural Mr. far.
          *
          Like that bit about our truly true representative government tho.

          • Vision_From_Afar

            Why would someone marry a bum? Shouldn’t you marry an entire person? I mean, if you’re that obsessed with body parts, mayhap you should seek help.

            • antigon

              PPS: Shoulders too for some reason. And…well, the list is long, naturally.

            • antigon

              Whaddya talkin’ Vis, gals marry bums all the time, even tho, as the religious lexicon would have it, they’re entire persons.
              *
              PS: Mayhap I should. Been a leg man all me life.

              • Vision_From_Afar

                .,.

  • The constitution is dead. Satanists have taken over

    • Vision_From_Afar

      Oh, please. Hyperbole is unnecessary.

      • Gunnar Thalweg

        Not much hyperbole. The Holy Father said the same-sex marriage movement comes directly from the father of lies. So, not a stretch.

      • No hyperbole at all. Gay marriage is Satanism.

        • Vision_From_Afar

          And Progressive Protestant Christian, and Buddhist, and Hindu, and Pagan…
          Please, don’t limit the good ideas to one small minority, fascinating though they are…

          • Progressive is Satanic. There is no hope left, we might as well set off the nuclear bombs.

            • Vision_From_Afar

              That kind of attitude terrifies me. If you’re that eager to shuffle off, don’t ruin it for the rest of us. We’ll be just fine without you.

              • Your kind started this shooting war. It is what you wanted all along- the destruction of the family you always hated so much. The blood that will be spilled is your fault.

                • chezami

                  Shut up, Ted.

                • Vision_From_Afar

                  Sick bastard. How you can be that bloodthirsty and call yourself a Christian I’ll never understand.

                  • It is you who are bloodthirsty and started this war

                    • chezami

                      Ted: I will not have violence threatened in my combox. You were warned. You are gone.

            • chezami

              Despair is a sin. Stop talkiing about mass murder just because you lost a culture war battle. You only bring the Church into disrepute.

            • virago

              Let them have it! The secular world has worked long and hard for this. Focus on the prize.

  • blacksheep

    Perfect. The American Church got into bed with the Republican Party, with uncle Milton Friedman’s unbridled capitalism, under the cover of the five non-negotiables. And unbridled capitalism won. I will leave it for you to work out who lost.

    The average man does understand your contraception-leads-to-SSM theology. But he does get who is standing between his bread, who wants him to die on the street without medical care, who is trying to make his life harder. He does get who is the lesser evil. You can cry to kingdom come that both sides do it, but people are not that stupid. When the Church sided with Mammon – whatever be the reason, the Church get’s diminished. When you mix raisins with goatshit, you get goatshit.

    Work to regain the independence of the Church from the Republican party.

    • Peggy

      Capitalism did not require this outcome. I admit that many major corporations were supportive so they could have a single employment policy nationwide. Milton Friedman’s ideas of capitalism and liberty are vital; our economic and religious liberty are tied together. Ask the bakers and florists who have been found guilty of not providing for homosexual nuptials. ..

      • Dave G.

        I see the problems with Capitalism as not the cause of the problems, but the result of the problems. Maybe I’m wrong, but it appears that Pope Francis would disagree.

        • Paxton Reis

          “The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.”

          Relativism and materialism abounds in many systems. I agree, capitalism may be the the result of the problems.

          • Dave G.

            I think Capitalism is like democracy. It will never be perfect since it’s doomed to be practiced by people. But if that people becomes a godless, hedonistic, self absorbed and prideful brood, then expect it to zoom to the head of the class of ‘bad stuff hurting humanity.’ An evangelical pastor friend of mine, c. 1993, said (in a somewhat echo of John Paul II), Capitalism without Christ would be no better than Communism. Shockingly, most of the people in the congregation actually seemed to agree. I think the problems go deeper than Capitalism. And I wonder how many of us are innocent of those deeper problems.

  • Pete the Greek

    Regardless of where you are on this issue, is anyone else unnerved to be living in a nation where the law of the land, enforced with prisons and bayonets, is entirely dependent on how Justice Kennedy feels when he gets up in the morning?

  • Elmwood

    Doesn’t the constitution say something about securing the “Blessings of Liberty”?? Couldn’t one argue that “Liberty” includes the right to marry whomever or whatever you want? After all, the constitution says nothing about the catholic church having the final say in the matter, only SCOTUS.

    • virago

      We will see how the blessings of liberty play out for the Catholic Church.
      Unfortunately, SCOTUS May not be so “tolerant” when it decides, as it surely will, the right to worship, right to speak freely,…..

  • virago

    My question; will this cause a schism in the Roman Catholic Church. Will some part of the US Roman Catholic feel the need to separate? Or am I way off base here?