Will the Catholic Church be hurt by the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage?

Will the Catholic Church be hurt by the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage? June 26, 2015

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Hats off to everyone who was surprised by today’s Supreme Court ruling that states cannot constitutionally ban gay marriage. Hats off for your optimism and your faith in the judicial branch!

Those of us with a more jaded view knew that this ruling was inevitable, and that the seeds for this decision were sown decades ago, when contraception and no fault divorce became the norm.  If marriage is just a financial and emotional arrangement to make adults happy, why not gay marriage? If marriage is just an official pronouncement that some people love each other, then why not? Gay people can love each other.

 

Of course, Catholics don’t believe that marriage is just an official pronouncement that some people love each other. And of course our job remains what it has always been: to faithfully, doggedly, charitably continue to explain that a sacramental marriage is between one man and one woman for the benefit of their children, for the benefit of society, and for the benefit of each other. It’s not that we will not accept gay  marriage, it’s that we cannot.

If we Catholics are clear on what marriage is, how much will it affect us when the rest of the country is all mixed up? I don’t believe that priests and ministers will be prosecuted — jailed, fined, or strung up in the public square — for refusing to officiate at gay marriages. But I do believe that churches are in immediate danger of losing their tax exempt status if they are found to discriminate against people in gay (and other non monogamous, non hetero) unions.

If you read the bottom of Huffington Post or any typical American combox, you’ll get the impression that churches are exempt from paying taxes because, in the bad old days, religion was in control and the poor taxpayers didn’t know any better than to fork over their hard earned dollars to a bunch of corrupt prelates who spent it on fancy robes, wine, and cages in which to imprison women and the occasional altar boy (and if we’re talking about Los Angeles, this was more or less true. It’s getting better!).

But now we know better, says the bottom of the internet, So tax ’em, but good! Seem fair, especially if you’ve been taught that religion is mainly a giant oppression machine. 

But the truth is, churches are tax exempt because they are good for the community. They serve the people, and the revenue they take in shouldn’t be taxed by the government because it’s used to do the work that government isn’t able to do on its own. Even if you think there is no God, you have to admit that churches do good for the community even while teaching and believing things that the community isn’t always happy to hear. This has always been the case. 

In my state of New Hampshire, nearly every charitable organization is run by Catholic Charities. Food, shelter, counselling, services for homeless people, abused women, and immigrants — Catholic Charities does it all. They run under names like “NH Food Bank,” but it’s all Catholic Charities; and Catholic Charities is, of course, inseparable from the Catholic Church.

So what would happen if churches lost their tax exemption? Poof goes Catholic Charities (and all the fine organizations manned and funded by non-Catholic churches, as well! The Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization in the world, but it is by no means the only one). Poof goes their ability to serve the poor, the widow, the orphan, the homeless, the nuts, etc. etc. Poof go the vulnerable.

Goodness knows we’ve already seen how this works. When Catholic organizations declined to place children with gay couples for adoption and foster care, they lost their contract with many states. They were unable to comply with a law that violated their faith, and so they were forced to shut down. This secular media portrayed this as “evil Catholics would rather abandon helpless children than make a loving couple’s dream come true” rather than “society would rather see children go without parents if it means that gay couples won’t be able to work with every agency in the state.” So we know that the Tolerance Inc. has no qualms about sacrificing the helpless if they think they can make Christians hurt; and we know that these injuries will be portrayed as self-inflicted.

What to do about it? I have no idea. It makes some sense to get churches altogether out of the business of offering civil marriages. If the state wants to define marriage, let the state performs all those marriages, and let people pursue sacramental marriages in the churches as a separate thing. I suspect that even then, if sacramental and civil marriage are decoupled, churches will face discrimination lawsuits, just like bakers and inn owners faced lawsuits for refusing to facilitate gay couple’s weddings. They’ll win some and lose some. There is no legal coherence in this country anymore.

People have no idea how much our nation depends on the Church. Well, they’re about to find out.

***

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  • kmk1916

    No coherence whatsoever in most things. At least it is great mission territory! Thanks for the good post.

  • Abby

    Just a reminder: it’s best not to use “sacramental marriage” to mean “real marriage.” The Church also recognizes marriages that aren’t sacramental because one or both of the spouses aren’t baptized. There are three categories: sacramental marriages, natural marriages, and unions that claim to be marriages but aren’t. Or something like that.

  • catfink

    Will the Catholic Church be hurt by the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage?

    Yes. Institutions and individuals who continue to oppose gay marriage, whether for religious or secular reasons, will increasingly, and correctly, be viewed as the moral equivalent of opponents of interracial marriage.

    • Korou

      And rightly so.

      • catfink

        Hence “and correctly”.

        • Jack

          That is incorrect. There is no moral equivalence between gay “marriage” and interracial marriage. The difference between black and white in marriage is superficial and irrelevant. That is why it is unjust discrimination to place impediments to interracial marriage–because there is no RELEVANT difference involved.

          A basic principle of logic is that if two things are equivalent, they have the same relevant properties. If everyone 200 years ago engaged in interracial marriage, we would still have a healthy population–if fact, we might even have a healthier population due to the increased genetic diversity in the offspring created. If everyone 200 years ago engaged in gay “marriage”, the population would be devastated. This obvious difference shows us that that the two are not logical equivalents.

          Some would argue that since not all heterosexual marriages can result in offspring, that cannot be a criteria. This is another basic error in logic that ignores the type-token distinction. Heterosexual marriage is the TYPE of thing that can produce offspring, while any individual instance of it (TOKEN) may be infertile. However, gay “marriage” is a TYPE of thing that is infertile.

          There are RELEVANT differences between interracial marriages and gay “marriages”; therefore, to say that the opponents of gay “marriage” are “the moral equivalent of opponents of interracial marriage” is untrue, and is itself prejudiced–precisely because it lumps in two groups that, demonstrably… logically, are not equivalents.

          • The race-based restrictions on marriage were based on erroneous beliefs
            concerning the “racial superiority” of Caucasians over “non-whites”. The
            ban on interracial marriages was based on the racist idea that children
            born of such a marriage would pollute the “white race”.
            Of course,
            we all know now that no race is superior or inferior to any other race.
            The children that come from interracial marriages are equal in every way
            to children coming from “same race” unions.

            There never has been any legitimate reason to prohibit marriage between a man and woman of different races.

            The
            same cannot be said about “marriages” between two men or two women. As
            much as some would wish it were otherwise, the ultimate biological and
            evolutionary purpose of sex is to reproduce the species. I know it isn’t
            fashionable to say this, but sex is not about self expression. In this
            day of contraceptives and abortion-on-demand, people seem to have
            forgotten this basic biological fact.

          • catfink

            As much as some would wish it were otherwise, the ultimate biological and evolutionary purpose of sex is to reproduce the species.

            If you think marriage should be restricted to unions that “reproduce the species” why don’t you oppose childless heterosexual marriages?

          • What makes you think I don’t?

          • catfink

            The fact that such opposition is extremely rare, if it exists at all. There are tens of millions of marriages in the U.S. in which the married couple is unable to conceive a child due to age or illness/disability. I have never heard any Catholic — clergy or laity — express opposition to these marriages or suggest that they are somehow invalid or immoral because they lack children. Do you oppose them? Do you believe they are immoral?

          • Were you married in the Catholic Church? One of the things the priest talks about to the would be bride and groom is their openness to having children.
            If a couple’s inability to conceive was discovered after the wedding, then they wouldn’t be divorced…..although it could be seen as legitimate grounds for annulment.

          • catfink

            The Catholic Church does not require heterosexual couples to pass a fertility test, or to make a pledge to attempt to conceive a child, or even merely to express the desire to have children, as a condition of performing marriages or recognizing marriages performed by other churches or by secular authorities as valid. There are millions and millions of married couples who do not have children, cannot conceive children, and/or have no desire to have children. The Catholic Church most definitely does not teach that these marriages are invalid. Do you think they’re invalid?

          • bryce1012

            Oh, the Catholic Church absolutely does require heterosexual couples express a willingness to have children before performing a marriage. You might find a priest who doesn’t ask many questions, but it’s a good way for the marriage to be annulled down the road.

            As for non-sacramental unions between a man and a woman (aka “natural marriages”), it only teaches that they are to be presumed valid, not that they necessarily are valid. In the same way that a sacramental marriage could be annulled (thus declaring that it “didn’t really happen”), so too could a natural marriage be declared invalid if a lack of openness to children were proved. This only happens on a case-by-case basis, though.

          • catfink

            See my reply to Robert Simms above on this point.

          • As bryce1012 points out “the Catholic Church absolutely does require heterosexual couples express
            a willingness to have children before performing a marriage”.

          • moon1234

            Robert Simms. The Catholic Church requires only that a couple is open to life. By this it means that they will not do anything to try and block new life. This usually means that contraception will not be used. If one party to the marriage goes into marriage with the express desire to never have children and NOT be open to life (i.e. use contraception and if that fails resort to abortion) then the marriage will not be allowed. If one party conceals this desire then it is grounds for a declaration of nullity. Declaring a marriage null is not divorce. Remember that marriage in the Church is an oath and not a civil contract. If one does not properly take an oath then it never happened.

            There are also physical requirements in order for a couple to be married. If a man is impotent, for any reason, he is not allowed to marry. For Catholics there are two ends of marriage. The primary end is to bring new life into the world and the secondary is mutual love of the spouses. BOTH have to be possible. If a woman has had a hysterectomy then she is also unable to marry or re-marry as the primary end of marriage can no longer be met.
            Whether you agree or not, does not matter. These are the rules if you want to be a member of the Church. When the Church teaches about “natural” law they are referring to what nature has ordered as right and good. Perpetuation of the species is required for it to go on. This is only accomplished through sexual reproduction in nature. Homosexuals are unable to produce offspring and so are ineligible for marriage. It is why homosexual unions are referred to as disordered, meaning not ordered towards the perpetuation of the species.
            What about old people? If their reproductive organs are still in tact and, for the man, can still deposit semen in V*, then they meet the primary end of marriage, even if their age may no longer allow for conception.

          • Moon, I hope you don’t think I disagree.

          • catfink

            No it doesn’t. If you still dispute this, show us the text in the Catholic Catechism or any other Church document stating this requirement.

            Even if the Catholic Church made this a requirement for “performing” marriages, it still would not be a requirement for recognizing marriages performed by other churches or by secular authorities. Yet the Catholic Church does recognize such marriages. So your claim here would be irrelevant to the issue of the Church recognizing same-sex marriages (without necessarily performing such marriages) even if it were true.

          • bryce1012

            I’m not sure what you’re arguing.

            I mean, I guess you’re correct that there’s no form you have to sign saying “We promise to do our best to get knocked up ASAP!” before the priest will perform the ceremony. But CCC 1664 states quite plainly: “Unity, indissolubility, and openness to fertility are essential to marriage.” If a couple is not willing to have children, they simply cannot contract a valid sacramental marriage in the Church. A priest could neglect to ask, or ignore the couple, if they told him they didn’t want kids, and still perform the ceremony — but it would not (in the eyes of the Church) be valid. It would be play-acting — just as two actors on stage aren’t actually married by the time the curtain closes, so too would this be a “fake” ceremony with no sacramental import. The so-called “marriage” would be easily annulled, thus formally declaring that it didn’t actually happen.

            As for recognizing other marriages, I answered this in my previous post:

            [The Church] only teaches that they are to be presumed valid, not that they necessarily are valid. In the same way that a sacramental marriage could be annulled (thus declaring that it “didn’t really happen”), so too could a natural marriage be declared invalid if a lack of openness to children were proved.

            A same-sex marriage is de facto not open to children, therefore the presumption of validity is moot.

          • catfink

            But CCC 1664 states quite plainly: “Unity, indissolubility, and openness to fertility are essential to marriage.”

            Then why does the Catholic Church marry couples that are not “open to fertility” due to age or illness/disability? An 80-year-old straight woman can no more conceive a child through sex with her husband than a lesbian can conceive a child through sex with her wife.

          • bryce1012

            You might take a quick look at Gen 18:10-14 and Gen 21:1-2 for a quick counter-example.

            As far as the Church is concerned, so long as the couple is not actively preventing fertility then they’re in the clear. That is, if they can and do have non-contracepted sex, they’re in the clear. This leaves the actual question of “will a child be conceived as a result of this act?” in the hands of God, even if the presupposed answer is “almost certainly not.” This is also the basis of Natural Family Planning.

            (I will throw out here that Josephite marriages, aka “spiritual marriages” aka “celibate marriages” are a special case. They do not require consummation, but the greater point still holds in that there’s no contracepted [aka “closed to fertility”] sexual activity.)

            By the way, I’m gonna go ahead and tell you the same thing I said elsewhere here — I am familiar with the Church’s teachings here because I was raised Catholic, not because I currently subscribe to them. My explication should by no means considered an endorsement; I just want to make sure that those who reject these teachings are understanding and representing them accurately, so as to argue all the more effectively.

          • catfink

            You might take a quick look at Gen 18:10-14 and Gen 21:1-2 for a quick counter-example.

            Seriously? As far as I’m aware, there has never been a single recorded case of an 80-year-old woman getting pregnant. Or, for that matter, a younger woman who has no eggs or no womb. It is no more biologically possible for such a woman to become pregnant than for a man to become pregnant. Of course, you can appeal to the possibility of miraculous intervention by God. But that could happen to a gay couple as well as an infertile straight couple. So how does this justify the Church’s double standard with respect to gay couples and infertile straight couples?

            As far as the Church is concerned, so long as the couple is not actively preventing fertility then they’re in the clear. That is, if they can and do have non-contracepted sex, they’re in the clear.

            Then a gay couple is “in the clear” if they don’t use contraception (the Catholic Church supports bareback gay male sex? Who knew?).

          • bryce1012

            Of course, you can appeal to the possibility of miraculous intervention by God. But that could happen to a gay couple as well as an infertile straight couple. So how does this justify the Church’s double standard with respect to gay couples and infertile straight couples?

            Ah, well, there you and I agree. Because so far as I’ve been able to determine, the Church’s answer is “it’s just different.” I’m sure there’s a deeper theological argument, but I don’t imagine it would convince either of us.

            Then a gay couple is “in the clear” if they don’t use contraception (the Catholic Church supports bareback gay male sex? Who knew?).

            Sorry, I wasn’t precise — I mean to say “if they can and do have non-contracepted penis-in-vagina sex” which makes it pretty tough for a gay couple. Fun fact, it’s my understanding that any sexual activity (whether gay or straight) that does not culminate in “a penis ejaculating into a vagina” is illicit.

            Keep in mind, this has been kicked around a lot at various points over the last few thousand years. Whether or not you accept the arguments — and again, I’m right there with you in disagreement — I can assure you that the Church has constructed a pretty comprehensive defense of their teachings on sexuality.

          • catfink

            I think I’m pretty familiar with the various tortured efforts to provide an intellectual veneer to the Church’s anti-gay teachings, but “it’s just different” is all they ultimately boil down to. Stripped of its flowery rhetoric, the stuff about reproduction is just an arbitrary rule created for the express purpose of trying to justify the exclusion of gay couples from marriage but not infertile straight couples.

          • bryce1012

            Well, I mean, it’s also a great way to ensure you get lots of new little Catholics running around. 🙂

          • catfink

            This leaves the actual question of “will a child be conceived as a result of this act?” in the hands of God, even if the presupposed answer is “almost certainly not.” This is also the basis of Natural Family Planning.

            The whole doctrine on “Natural Family Planning” is also logically incoherent. The whole point of using NFP is to try to thwart the “natural” relationship between sex and reproduction. Couples who use it are trying to have sex for non-procreative purposes only.

          • bryce1012

            Not exactly. NFP does not thwart that relationship — it simply takes advantage of some implementation details. Of particular importance to the Church is that it doesn’t interfere with any bodily processes, in the way that artificial contraception does. For example, in the case of hormonal birth control, there’s a manipulation of how/when the egg is released, as well as interference with an embryo’s implantation in the uterus. In the case of condoms, it’s a prevention of the sperm being deposited into the vagina. Same thing with the “pull out” method — which the Church condemns just as strongly as any hormonal method. Most importantly, NFP can fail just as any other method does — and going back to that “openness to fertility” line, the Church expects that any child resulting from such failure be considered a blessing direct from God, not a “mistake” or “accident” or anything along those lines.

            Another fun fact for you: A couple whose practice of NFP is “motivated by selfishness” violates CCC 2368. If they don’t want kids and intend to practice NFP for their entire marriage, they are just as much in violation of CCC 1664 as any other couple not wanting children would be.

          • catfink

            No, NFP most definitely tries to thwart the relationship. For unsurprising evolutionary reasons, the time of month at which women are most fertile coincides with the time at which their desire to have sex is greatest. There is a “natural” correspondence between sexual desire and sexual fertility. NFP thwarts this relationship by restricting sex to times of the month when women least desire it.

            Your attempt to defend NFP in comparison to other forms of birth control based on a supposed “natural” vs. “artificial” distinction doesn’t make much sense, either. To be effective, NFP requires a woman to be keenly aware of her monthly fertility cycle, and that in turn depends on “artificial” mechanisms like thermometers and calendars to record daily changes in temperature. NFP is just as “artificial” as wearing a condom.

          • bryce1012

            I can’t say I enjoy spending so much time arguing with someone who I largely agree with — but like I said, if you’re one of the folks that’s gonna be arguing against the Church, you really need to make sure you’re arguing well. All you’re doing when you argue poorly is make the rest of us look bad.

            Point number one: look up “concupiscence.” From a biological/evolutionary perspective, sexual desire and fertility are absolutely linked. But we’re not talking about science, we’re talking about theology. Theology says that desire is irrelevant — all that matters is that when you do ejaculate in your wife’s vagina, nothing interferes with any of the processes that follow. It’s not NFP that severs the connection between desire and fertility — it’s Catholic Sexuality 10-freaking-1.

            Point number two: what makes you think I’m defending NFP? I’m not endorsing it, I’m explaining the teachings of the Church that you insist on attacking without understanding. And yes, I’m rejecting your your claim that using a friggin’ thermometer to take your temperature is somehow comparable to taking pills that drastically alter the processes of ovulation and implantation because it’s ridiculous on its face. Seriously, that’s probably the dumbest thing I’ve heard all day (and I went to mass this morning).

            Hormonal birth control, or condoms, or vasectomies, etc., etc., etc., are most certainly “artificial” in a way that NFP is not. The Church thinks this makes them inherently bad. I DO NOT SHARE THAT VIEW. But at the same time I’m not gonna say that measuring your temperature, mucous, and cervical position is in any way comparable. Because it’s not.

          • catfink

            First of all, you can lay off the “trust me, I know what I’m talking about” guff. It’s not going to work on me.

            Point number one:

            You seem to have completely misunderstood this point. There is a natural, biological relationship between sexual desire and sexual fertility. For women, sexual desire tends to be greatest at times of greatest fertility. Thus, the “natural” cycle of sexual behavior will generally mirror the cycle of fertility. NFP thwarts this “natural” relationship by intentionally deferring sex to times of lower desire — and also uses “artificial” mechanisms to achieve this goal.

            Point number two: what makes you think I’m defending NFP?

            The fact that you claimed it does not thwart the relationship between sex and reproduction, and claimed that it’s “natural” rather than “artificial” (like condoms and pills). Both of those claims are key aspects of the Catholic teaching in support of NFP, and both are false.

            I’m rejecting your your claim that using a friggin’ thermometer to take your temperature is somehow comparable to taking pills that drastically alter the processes of ovulation and implantation because it’s ridiculous on its face.

            I didn’t say they’re “comparable” (whatever that’s supposed to mean). I said that they are both artificial, like pills and condoms and IUDs are artificial. You’re seriously claiming that thermometers are not artificial, are you?

            Hormonal birth control, or condoms, or vasectomies, etc., etc., etc., are most certainly “artificial” in a way that NFP is not.

            So you’re now conceding that NFP is artificial, but in a “way” that makes it permissible? In what “way” are condoms, pills and IUDs artificial that renders them illicit as a means of birth control, but not NFP? Be prepared to cite Catholic documents to support your claim on this point.

          • bryce1012

            You know what? You win.

            I’m gonna go ahead and print off your comment here and send it to Pope Francis. I’m sure he’ll be stunned to read it and realize that all the specific justifications he and his predecessors have made consistently for the past hundred years are so weak!

            I expect we’ll see an encyclical by the end of the year announcing new doctrine on birth control, gay marriage, and the perpetual virginity of Mary while we’re at it.

            Obviously you’re right that taking one’s temperature with an OMGWTFBBQARTIFICIAL thermometer — and then perhaps not having sex — is directly, explicitly, intentionally interfering with, altering, and/or modifying the processes involved in intercourse and conception. How could we all have been so stupid?

            That said, you’ll have to give me a minute look up the (obviously now discredited, thanks to catfink) specific teachings that used to describe the difference. I’m sure I’ll laugh and laugh and laugh, along with all the Magisterium, at how ridiculous their claims used to sound!

          • catfink

            Pope Francis’s views on sex and marriage and reproduction are not based on facts and reason. They’re based on faith and tradition and indoctrination. He’s probably not going to change his mind significantly, especially given his advanced age.

            If you manage to find a teaching that you think explains your supposed distinction between the “way” in which condoms and pills are artificial and the “way” in which NFP is artificial, and justifies prohibiting the former but not the latter on the basis of this distinction, please present it here.

          • bryce1012

            In what “way” are condoms, pills and IUDs artificial that renders them illicit as a means of birth control, but not NFP? Be prepared to cite Catholic documents to support your claim on this point.

            Thanks for your patience. Now that I’m done with supper, and have had the chance to refresh myself on the teachings, I’m happy to respond to this. The answer is, “the way in which condoms, pills, and IUDs are artificial has no bearing on their licitness; thus, any similarity or difference in the ‘artificiality’ of NFP does not affect why or why not it would be licit.”

            That’s not really what you’re looking for, though. So let’s tweak the question. The problem is, it is not “being artificial” that renders condoms, pills, and IUDs illicit — it is the fact that they are contraceptive. “Natural” things are not necessarily allowed; for example coitus interruptus aka “pulling out” is perfectly natural, but still illicit. So when you make the claim that NFP is artificial and thus should be considered an illicit form of birth control (which I still disagree with) it’s simply not relevant to what the Church is saying. Here’s the question that Catholic teaching actually addresses:

            In what “way” are condoms, pills, and IUDs contraceptive that renders them illicit as a means of planning and spacing births, but not NFP?

            Periodic celibacy, or abstinence from sex, is perfectly licit. See 1 Cor 7:1-5. However, if a married couple does have sex, they cannot revoke the procreative potential. Specifically, “any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation” is “excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children.” See Humanae Vitae 14. That is to say: in any case where a man ejaculates, the sperm must enter the vagina. It must be allowed to enter the fallopian tubes and allowed to penetrate the egg. An egg may not be prevented from its natural release and if it is fertilized, it must be allowed to embed in the uterine lining and remain there. Any action taken to interfere with any of these processes, either before, during, or after the act, is illicit.

            This of course includes the items we’ve listed: condoms and coitus interruptus, which prevent the entry of sperm into the vagina; pills and IUDs, which prevent release of eggs and implantation; spermicide, which renders the sperm unable to penetrate the fallopian tubes or fertilize the eggs; and so on.

            Since NFP is simply periodic abstinence, there is no sexual intercourse. There is no ejaculation. It does not violate these process, it is not contraceptive, and it is not, in and of itself, illicit. As previously noted, however, it MAY BE illicit if the couple is “motivated by selfishness.” See CCC 2368.

            If you’d like to read further, I would suggest Casti Connubii, Humanae Vitae, and the works of Pope John Paul II collectively known as the Theology of the Body. For a good summary of these teachings, you might read Good News About Sex & Marriage by Christopher West.

            Once again, I remind you that I DON’T ENDORSE THESE BELIEFS, and I personally reject much of Catholic teaching on human sexuality. If you have further QUESTIONS about these teachings, I’d be happy to try and answer them. If you just want to ARGUE AGAINST them, I’m not your guy. Go yell at a priest or something. But for the love of Pete, at least make sure you’re arguing against what he actually believes.

          • catfink

            The answer is, “the way in which condoms, pills, and IUDs are artificial has no bearing on their licitness; thus, any similarity or difference in the ‘artificiality’ of NFP does not affect why or why not it would be licit.”

            Then why did you just claim that “hormonal birth control, or condoms, or vasectomies, etc., etc., etc., are most certainly ‘artificial’ in a way that NFP is not” as if this supposed “way” in which a method is artificial is relevant to the Church’s teaching? What was the point of the claim? I think it’s obvious that you were previously trying to defend the Church’s position on the basis of some incoherent “natural” vs. “artificial” distinction, and when you realized that won’t fly you simply decided to abandon it and try something else.

            That’s not really what you’re looking for, though. So let’s tweak the question. The problem is, it is not “being artificial” that renders condoms, pills, and IUDs illicit — it is the fact that they are contraceptive. “Natural” things are not necessarily allowed; for example coitus interruptus aka “pulling out” is perfectly natural, but still illicit. So when you make the claim that NFP is artificial and thus should be considered an illicit form of birth control (which I still disagree with) it’s simply not relevant to what the Church is saying.

            Huh? In what relevant way are condoms and pills “contraceptive” but not NFP? “Contraceptive” means “against conception” or “contrary to conception.” Any device or behavior that attempts to reduce the chance of conception is “contrary to conception.” That includes NFP. You’re just playing word games here.

            Specifically, “any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation” is “excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children.”

            Delaying sex until fertility is lower in order to reduce the chances of pregnancy is undeniably an example of an “action … before sexual intercourse … specifically intended to prevent procreation.” So again, permitting NFP explicitly contradicts the Church’s stated principle.

            Of course, this is just a basic test of whether the Church’s position on birth control is internally consistent. And it can’t even pass that simple test, let alone a test of whether its position is consistent with broader goals of human welfare that it claims to support.

          • bryce1012

            If you have further QUESTIONS about these teachings, I’d be happy to try and answer them. If you just want to ARGUE AGAINST them, I’m not your guy. Go yell at a priest or something.

          • catfink

            I don’t have questions about the teachings, and if I did, I wouldn’t expect to get reliable answers from you, not least because you don’t seem to have a clear understanding yourself of what the teachings actually say. I’m rebutting your claim that the teachings are logically consistent.

          • bryce1012

            Fine.

            What do you want me to say? “Burn the Church, they all suck”? “The Pope is a doo-do-head”?

            No, I’m not a theologian. No, I don’t have all the answers. No, I can’t present a perfect and ironclad case for the magical wondrousness of everything the Church teaches. But you came in here with a gigantic chip on your shoulder and took us on a tangent with a blatantly wrong claim. I made the mistake of trying to address that claim; unfortunately you are more interested in proclaiming that the Church is wrong than in actually understanding what it says.

            I hope that attitude serves you well in the future. But I’m not interested in any further dialogue. Have a nice life.

          • catfink

            I have no idea what chip you think I’m carrying. I’m criticizing the Church’s teachings. You’re the one who raised the teachings about Natural Family Planning, and attempted to defend the coherence of those teachings by appealing to various supposed Church principles distinguishing licit from illicit behavior. As I have explained at length, I don’t think the teachings even pass a simple test of internal consistency.

            You say you reject the teachings, but you also seem to feel compelled to argue that they make sense given certain moral principles espoused by the Church. I’ve seen this pattern of behavior before in former Catholics. They cannot quite let go of the idea that their former religion at least has a certain intellectual respectability, even if they’re no longer persuaded that its claims are true. The shadow of Aquinas and Augustine still looms. But this is just a conceit. Catholic doctrines are no more rational or coherent than those of fundamentalist protestants.

          • catfink

            Probably not, no. But if you’re determined to get into the clinical details of sexual behavior, many people, male and female, gay and straight, appear to get sexual pleasure from their anus.

          • catfink

            How do you know what the “functions” of the sex organs are?

          • catfink

            “Human biology” most certainly does not claim that the function of the sex organs is limited to a specific type of sexual act (coitus).

          • catfink

            The sexual function of the penis (the organ you seem to be referring to here) is not limited to “getting semen in the vagina.” It also serves the function of providing sexual pleasure that does not involve insemination. This function is not only universal in human cultures — masturbation is ubiquitous — but has also been observed in numerous animal species.

          • catfink

            You’re conflating biological function with an effect of that function.

            I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. What particular “function” and “effect of that function” are you referring to here?

          • catfink

            Your example doesn’t help. We’re discussing the function of sexual organs, not the digestive system. Again, what particular “function” and “effect of that function” are you referring to here? I think the reason you’re being so vague and obtuse is that you have no clear distinction to make.

          • Korou

            Yes, if it gives sexual pleasure.

          • Korou

            Surprised you didn’t add pedophilia as well. Or would that have cut a little close for a Catholic?
            The answer to any of those would be no, because children, animals and dead people are unable to give informed consent, and so having sex with them would be a form of rape.
            On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with two consenting adults having anal sex (as plenty of heterosexual couple do) except that you think it’s yucky.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            It feels like a bag of knives: whatever you do, getting anywhere near it will almost certainly cut you. Then there’s the whole “”rabbit comment” that makes NFP sound even more like just another form of body shame.

          • catfink

            No, that’s an irrelevant distinction. Regardless of whether you think lesbian sex qualifies as real sex, the fact remains that an 80-year-old straight woman can no more conceive a child through sex with her husband than a lesbian can conceive a child through sex (or whatever word you prefer to use) with her wife.

          • catfink

            Coitus by an 80-year-old woman is not “reproductive in type.” 80-year-old women are infertile. They simply cannot get pregnant. So why does the Catholic Church marry them if the ability to reproduce through coitus is a necessary condition of a valid marriage?

          • catfink

            How is coitus by an 80-year-old woman “reproductive in type” given that it can never result in reproduction?

          • catfink

            Of course I did. I ask again: How is coitus by an 80-year-old woman “reproductive in type” given that it can never result in reproduction? What is “reproductive in type” even supposed to mean? Type of what? You keep introducing these bizarre terms without explaining what you mean by them.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            The Bill Clinton Fallacy?

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “I did not have sex with that woman.”

            Quite.

          • catfink

            No, a reproductive act is an act that causes reproduction. Sexual intercourse between infertile people, or between people using contraception, is not a reproductive act because it doesn’t lead to reproduction.

          • catfink

            Sexual intercourse between an infertile couple is not a reproductive act, because it cannot result in reproduction. The mere fact that it is “different” from sexual intercourse involving contraception is entirely irrelevant to this fact.

          • catfink

            No, they don’t help. They’re just the original sources of your meaningless guff about certain acts having a “nature” or being “ordered.” They offer no explanation of what those terms are supposed to mean, or why they are supposed to matter. Which isn’t terribly surprising, since the terms were invented for the express purpose of trying to add an intellectual gloss to a purely arbitrary moral distinction.

          • Korou

            You really should give this up. He had you when he said “Sexual intercourse between an infertile couple is not a reproductive
            act, because it cannot result in reproduction. The mere fact that it is
            “different” from sexual intercourse involving contraception is entirely
            irrelevant to this fact.”

            And he’s quite right. If an act cannot lead to reproduction, you cannot call it reproductive. It would be like a chef putting an empty pot on the fire, stirring it, getting plates and cutlery ready and saying that he was cooking.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            Sex is also for pleasure, bonding, and a host of other things. Women are only fertile for a portion of their cycle, yet are capable (and often quite enthusiastically so) of intercourse AND orgasm throughout their cycle. So sex obviously serves more than one purpose, and we can accept that for some people procreation will never be a priority – without fear that our species will die out, because there is plenty of procreating going on! If you only work backwards from “gayness is wrong”, you’ll never see the whole picture.

          • JM1001

            Sex is also for pleasure, bonding, and a host of other things. … So sex obviously serves more than one purpose…

            Yeah, but those things only possess what philosophers would call instrumental value. In other words, the pleasure of sex is good only insofar as it motivates us to perform an action that has the preservation of the species (procreation) as its objective end. In the same way, the pleasure of eating is good only insofar as it motivates us to perform an action that has the preservation of the individual (nutrition) as its objective end.

            Again, the value of sexual pleasure is instrumental in nature; it is not an end in itself. Indeed, when pleasure is sought as an end in itself, pleasure usually becomes the first casualty. To desire any sensual pleasure as an end in itself would be to violate the order of right reason (which is why such desires are called “disordered”).

          • catfink

            Why is pleasure not legitimate as an end in itself, or as a means to some goal other than procreation, such as happiness? Where does the Church teach this?

          • cest_moi

            this is ludicrous, logically, not everyone, now or then, will “engage” in gay marriage …. not everybody is gay, only gay people are

            the extension of marriage equality to homosexuals has no effect on relationships formed by heterosexual couples

            the only consequence of this ruling is that the religious institutions which have chosen to marginalize homosexuals, based on the arbitrary interpretations and applications of their holy texts, no longer have the ability to impose their will on the portion of society which are not adherents

          • catfink

            Aristotle also believed in slavery. I’m not sure why you think his moral views deserve to be taken seriously by anyone today.

          • catfink

            His notion of natural slavery is not reflective of his overall moral framework, but is more a biological conclusion based on limited and flawed evidence

            Then his (alleged) moral views on sodomy were also a conclusion based on limited and flawed evidence. How do you know he would view it in the same way if he were living today? You don’t, of course. That’s one of the problems with all appeals to the moral views of historical figures to justify contemporary moral claims.

            As for your supposed point, virtually all of the (rapidly diminishing) opposition to same-sex marriage in the U.S. and other western nations today is based on religion. There are virtually no organizations or institutions that oppose it for secular reasons. Religious bigotry is basically all you have left.

          • catfink

            Doesn’t follow. Just because belief x, of some belief set, has property y, it does not follow that any other beliefs in that belief set share that property.

            I have no idea what statement of mine you’re referring to here.

            At any rate, I never cited Aristotle to justify opposition to SSM; I cited him to show that that opposition need not stem from religion.

            But, as I said, in modern western society it overwhelmingly stems from religion.

            Religion has assumed the primary mantle of opposition in this country because many people associate Biblical teachings with morality, and aren’t aware of non-biblical moral systems that are relevant to this issue.

            To the contrary, religious opponents of same-sex marriage routinely try to justify their opposition using secular arguments as a pretext for their religiously-motivated claims. Because they know that nakedly religious arguments — appeals to scripture and the like — have no chance of working. The most common type of secular argument they make is the claim that same-sex marriage will harm children. Unsurprisingly, since these arguments have no serious support from social science, they have failed spectacularly.

          • catfink

            Your argument is completely illogical. Opposite-sex married couples who are unable or unwilling to have children do not “produce offspring” or increase “genetic diversity” either. Yet the Catholic Church does not oppose childless opposite-sex marriages. So your supposed “relevant difference” between interracial marriage and same-sex marriage is not relevant at all. The Catholic Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage is not grounded in any consistent principle related to reproduction. It’s simply religious bigotry.

          • casal de dormond

            The Catholic Church does not oppose childless marriages that are not deemed so by choice, hence the teching on artificial contraception. However, for a marriage to be valid, there must be an openness to children. Check the Code of Canon Law. Marriage between two persons of the same sex is intinsically opposed to procreation.

          • Korou

            “An openness to children.”
            So the Catholic Church is opposed to people who marry with no intention of having children? If a couple marries, never tries to have children and dies without having done so they were not actually married?
            Ridiculous ideas, but the logical outcome of “openness to having children”.

          • bryce1012

            Not sure if this was a serious question — but yes. It’s my understanding that a couple that does not intend to have children cannot be validly married in the Catholic Church.

            And yes, I agree it’s pretty ridiculous.

          • Korou

            Well, I’m glad you see that. I hope that one day you’ll see that the Church’s attitude to same-sex marriage is also ridiculous, as well as cruel, for much the same reasons.

          • bryce1012

            Oh, no worries, I do. I’m familiar with Catholic teaching (because it’s how I was raised) but I’m not a believer.

          • jaybird1951

            It is obvious you are not a believer. No actual follower of Christ could ever take the position that two people of the same sex could ever marry each other. Read the Gospels as to what Christ said about marriage. He was very direct and clear about what it is.

          • Korou

            Ah. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

          • catfink

            The Catholic Church does not oppose childless marriages that are not deemed so by choice, hence the teching on artificial contraception. However, for a marriage to be valid, there must be an openness to children.

            I don’t know what “openness to children” is supposed to mean. An infertile heterosexual couple is no more capable of conceiving a child than is a same-sex couple. But both couples are able to create a family and raise children through adoption. So why is the infertile heterosexual marriage “valid” but not the gay marriage? Your position doesn’t make sense even on its own terms.

          • Adam King

            There’s the ridiculous myth in the Bible that Sarah conceived when she was like 90 years old, because God wanted it that way or something, so now every couple in the world is supposed to be “open” to God playing similar perverse tricks and keep having sex into their 90s no matter how infertile they are. Catholic doctrine is very, very logical.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            Well, if even unwed virgins can conceive if God wills it, why not lesbians?

          • JM1001

            An infertile heterosexual couple is no more capable of conceiving a child than is a same-sex couple. … So why is the infertile heterosexual marriage “valid” but not the gay marriage?

            Because an infertile heterosexual couple is only contingently incapable of conceiving a child. A same-sex couple is intrinsically incapable of conceiving a child. Sexual complementarity is the essential feature in question, not the contingent capability to conceive. Sex between an infertile heterosexual couple is still intrinsically ordered towards the procreative end, even if that end can never be fulfilled; so, as long as the element of sexual complementarity is present, and nothing is done to actively frustrate the procreative end, then the marriage is still valid.

            Not really hard to understand. You may not agree with the argument, but it’s logically valid.

          • catfink

            Because an infertile heterosexual couple is only contingently incapable of conceiving a child. A same-sex couple is intrinsically incapable of conceiving a child.

            A straight woman who has no eggs or no womb is no more “intrinsically” capable of conceiving a child through sex with her husband than is a lesbian through sex with her wife. There is no “continency” that would allow the sexual act to produce a child for either couple. The two couples are in precisely the same position with respect to their ability to produce a child through sex with their spouse.

            Sexual complementarity is the essential feature in question, not the contingent capability to conceive.

            Since neither couple is capable of conceiving a child, regardless of “contingency,” what is the relevance of “sexual complementarity?” What value or purpose is served by limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples?

            Sex between an infertile heterosexual couple is still intrinsically ordered towards the procreative end

            No it isn’t. If a heterosexual couple cannot conceive a child due to age or illness/disability, that is an intrinsic, natural, biological limitation on the couple’s ability to reproduce.

          • JM1001

            There is no “continency” that would allow the sexual act to produce a child for either couple.

            For the infertile heterosexual couple, the “contingency” in question is what classical philosophers would call a deficiency from the norm. So, for example, a three-legged dog is no less a dog simply because it lacks the four legs that a dog is supposed to have. In fact, it is because the dog has only three legs that we can conceive of it as possessing a deficiency that, under normal circumstances, would not be present. By its nature, a dog is supposed to have four legs, even if a particular instance of that species is deficient in that regard.

            Likewise, the sex between an infertile heterosexual couple is still procreative in kind (or intrinsically procreative), even if there is a deficiency that prevents it from fulfilling the ends proper to its kind. Like our three-legged dog, a deficiency in the fertility of a heterosexual couple no more implies that their sex is not procreative in kind than our poor crippled dog is any less a dog.

            By contrast, a same-sex couple is infertile by its very nature. There is no deficiency from a norm, since the lack of fertility is intrinsic to its type.

            What value or purpose is served by limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples?

            By still permitting infertile opposite-sex couples to marry, the procreative norm of marriage is not harmed, since, again, their marriage is still procreative in kind and intrinsically ordered towards that end, even if, due to deficiency, that end can never be fulfilled.

            No it isn’t. If a heterosexual couple cannot conceive a child due to age or illness/disability, that is an intrinsic, natural, biological limitation on the couple’s ability to reproduce.

            Wrong. When we use the word “intrinsic” here, again, we are referring to instances of a kind, regardless of how defect, age, or any other limitation that frustrates members of that kind from achieving its natural ends. A sexual act between people of the same sex couple can never result in conception, because it belongs to a completely different kind of act, and therefore is fundamentally different from an infertile heterosexual couple, whose sexual acts are limited merely by being deficiencies from the norm.

          • catfink

            Your argument just gets more and more tortured. Infertility due to age is not a “deficiency.” It’s a natural, normal, universal biological outcome of the aging process. To use the phrasing you apply to same-sex couples, elderly straight couples are infertile by their “very nature,” not because of “deficiency from a norm.” And yet the Catholic Church will happily marry an 80-year-old woman to a man, even though there is absolutely no chance that the marriage will produce children, or that any marriage of an 80-year-old woman will produce children. Marriages between old people have nothing do with having or raising children. They are all about love, companionship, dignity, expression, etc. — the same purposes you decry as invalid when applied to same-sex marriages. So this version of your argument doesn’t work either. You simply ignore your own stated principle when it produces an outcome you don’t like.

          • JM1001

            Again, elderly opposite-sex married couples do not deviate from the procreative norm, since even their sexual acts are intrinsically ordered towards the procreative end. It’s really important to have a grasp of metaphysical essentialism to understand this argument. That being said, traditional marriage advocates have always argued that marriage is a good in itself, regardless of whether children may ever result from it, since it constitutes a comprehensive union of a man and woman, ordered to intrinsic goods in virtue of its kind.

          • catfink

            Again, elderly opposite-sex married couples do not deviate from the procreative norm, since even their sexual acts are intrinsically ordered towards the procreative end.

            No, they’re not. When an elderly, opposite-sex couple gets married the “procreative norm” is no procreation. No one expects the marriage of an 80-year-old woman to produce children. And yet the Catholic Church is perfectly willing to perform and recognize such marriages.

            You have simply invented a rule that infertility due to the sex of the partners justifies excluding them from marriage, but infertility due to the age of the partners does not. Again, you offer no justification for this rule. It’s simply an arbitrary restriction invented for the express purpose of excluding gay couples from marriage, but not elderly heterosexual couples.

          • JM1001

            No one expects the marriage of an 80-year-old woman to produce children.

            Of course not. Because what we’re talking about is the nature of an action independent of the moral agent’s intentions or the circumstances surrounding the action — or, what’s known among philosophers as the moral object of an act.

            When we analyze the moral object of an action, we necessarily abstract it from any particular agent’s intentions or any particular circumstances surrounding the action (like a defect or age). And the simple fact is, that sexual acts between elderly heterosexual couples are procreative in their moral object, which is why they can still be properly married.

            Homosexual acts, on the other hand, are non-procreative in their moral object.

            Again, you really have to have a grasp of metaphysical essentialism (as well as the teleological conception of nature) in order to understand this argument.

          • catfink

            And the simple fact is, that sexual acts between heterosexual couples are procreative in their moral object, which is why they can still be properly married.

            For the umpteenth time, this is obviously not true when the heterosexual couple is infertile. When an 80-year-old woman has sex with her husband, the “nature of the action” is not procreative. As a matter of biological reality, it simply cannot make a baby. No one expects it to make a baby. The nature and purpose of the act is entirely non-procreative.

          • JM1001

            For the upteenth time, the nature of an act does not depend on contingent circumstances, like defect or age. Torture is no less intrinsically evil because there’s a ticking time bomb. Again, when we analyze the moral object of an action, we abstract it from whatever circumstances surround that action, even circumstances that would perpetually frustrate that action from achieving its ultimate end. And the nature of the sexual act between any heterosexual couple is still procreative in its moral object.

          • catfink

            You’re just repeating claims I have already rebutted. Age is no more “contingent” than sex. They are both “intrinsic” characteristics of a person. You can’t change your age any more than you can change your sex.

          • JM1001

            Except you have actually rebutted them. All you’ve done is beg the question against a moral evaluation of acts based on their object, independent of circumstances and the intentions of the moral agents. If it’s true that acts are intrinsically ordered towards certain ends, then the moral object of the sexual act between a heterosexual couple is procreative, even if they are infertile or past child-bearing years.

            It should also be noted that traditional marriage advocates argue for another objective end of marriage, alongside the procreative one, which is typically called the unitive end. This would correspond to fidelity and monogamy — binding a man and woman together for the good of any children that may result from their physical union, but also because the union is good in itself. Yet another reason why these essential features stand or fall together.

          • catfink

            You keep ignoring the fundamental problems with your argument that I have described. The latest version of your argument is that marriages of infertile elderly straight couples are valid, but not marriages of gay couples, because age is “contingent” but sex is “intrinsic.” But this is obviously not true. You can’t change your age any more than you can change your sex. Age and sex are both intrinsic characteristics of a person. An 80-year-old woman cannot change herself into a 20-year-old any more than she can change herself into a man.

          • JM1001

            You’re still missing the point, sadly. I’m not talking about “characteristics of a person”; I’m talking about the nature of actions, or what philosophers sometimes call the moral object of an action. When we evaluate the moral object of an action, we abstract it from all particular circumstances and particular intentions. The sexual act is procreative in its object, completely independent of the agent’s subjective intentions or any circumstances, biological or otherwise, that would prevent that action from fulfilling that end. The objective end of every human action is something that exists outside the subjective ends (or intentions) of the agent and the circumstances surrounding the action. That is why it’s called the moral object; it cannot be changed by defect, age, or intention.

          • catfink

            I’m not talking about “characteristics of a person”; I’m talking about the nature of actions

            I’ve been over this repeatedly with you. The “nature of the action” when an 80-year-old woman has sex is non-procreative. There is no possibility that the action will create a baby. It is a scientific impossibility. Just as it’s a scientific impossibility for a same-sex couple to make a baby by having sex. You keep appealing to a non-existent difference in the “nature” of these two sexual acts.

            or what philosophers sometimes call the moral object of an action. When we evaluate the moral object of an action, we abstract it from all particular circumstances and particular intentions.

            For the umpteenth time, age is not a “circumstance” any more than sex is. It is an immutable characteristic of a person.

            The sexual act is procreative in its object, completely independent of the agent’s subjective intentions or any circumstances, biological or otherwise, that would prevent that action from fulfilling that end.

            If age is merely a “circumstance, biological or otherwise” then so is sex. So if infertility caused by a person’s age does not disqualify a couple from marriage, then infertility caused by the person’s sex doesn’t either. You can’t have it both ways.

          • catfink

            So what if the acts are “fundamentally different?” The issue here is the validity of different marriages, not differences between sexual acts. Both heterosexual and homosexual couples engage in a variety of different kinds of sexual act.

          • catfink

            Why is “the ability to engage in coitus” necessary for a marriage to be valid? What is the justification for this claim?

            Where does canon law say that a marriage is not valid if the man lacks a penis? And what is the justification for that restriction (assuming your claim here is actually true)? The church will certainly marry a man who has a penis but is infertile, so why wouldn’t it marry a man who lacks a penis too?

          • catfink

            It’s not my job to look for evidence for your claims. That’s your job. You claimed that canon law says that a marriage is not valid if the man lacks a penis. Show us where it says that.

          • catfink

            It’s not my job to look it up. If you cannot or will not support your claim about what canon law says regarding marriage of men who lack a penis, it need not be taken seriously.

          • catfink

            No, you made a factual claim about the contents of canon law. I think your claim is highly implausible, so I asked you to show us the canon law that says what you claim it says. You haven’t done that. I don’t think you can do it, because I think you probably made up your claim out of thin air.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            A sterile man’s penis and a sterile woman’s vagina are not sex organs by this logic either.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            And this doesn’t sound like a hackneyed argument to you as it does to me why?

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Are you resorting to ablist arguments now and without any relation to the discussion? Yeah, you just did.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            You’ll have to learn how to properly parse out how an ad hominem might be constructed before you can accuse me of that because I can, and I would correct the fallacy in order to give a more valid argument. I’m not aware of the ad hominem you imply.

          • catfink

            Infertility is a condition, often changeable, of a human sex organ.

            No, infertility is a condition of an organism, not an organ.

            Intercourse between the sexes that does not result in pregnancy is still an act that is biologically reproductive in type.

            Incomprehensible. What is “reproductive in type” supposed to mean? “Type” of what? What distinguishes these different “types?” You talk in riddles because you are incapable of articulating any serious argument in plain English using clearly defined words that supports your ridiculous double standard with respect to marriage between gay couples and marriage between infertile straight couples.

          • catfink

            Great response as usual, Martel. With this kind of “argument” (I use the word loosely), how can you lose?

          • JM1001

            I’ve been over this repeatedly with you. The “nature of the action” when an 80-year-old woman has sex is non-procreative.

            I suspect the reason why you keep repeatedly misunderstanding my argument is because you don’t realize that when I use the word “nature” here, I use it in the classical sense meaning essence. I’m not referring to biological factors like defect or age, which have no bearing whatsoever on this nature (or essence) of the action. The sexual act is, like all human actions, intrinsically ordered towards particular ends by their nature (or essence). This never changes, regardless of age, defect, or intention.

            When an elderly heterosexual couple engage in the sexual act, that action is intrinsically ordered towards the procreative end by its very nature (or essence), even though that end can never be fulfilled. Homosexual acts, by their very nature, are never ordered towards this end. This isn’t hard to understand. As a result, as I stated before, allowing elderly heterosexual couples to marry does not harm the overall procreative norm of marriage, since the moral object of the sexual act never changes.

            It is scientifically impossible for an elderly couple to conceive a child, but the metaphysical nature of the sexual act remains unchanged, regardless of their age. Again, I would strongly advise that you study metaphysical essentialism (and teleological conceptions of nature) if you want to understand this argument.

            It should also be pointed out that men usually remain fertile into their elderly years, so allowing them to marry serves the other purposes of marriage as well: fidelity and monogamy, which, along with sexual complementarity, still serves the interests of why the government is involved in marriage at all.

          • catfink

            I suspect the reason why you keep repeatedly misunderstanding my argument is because you don’t realize that when I use the word “nature” here, I use it in the classical sense meaning essence. I’m not referring to biological factors like defect or age, which have no bearing whatsoever on this nature (or essence) of the action.

            Substituting “essence” for “nature” doesn’t make your position any more coherent. What is the “essence of the action” supposed to mean? If the age of the actor doesn’t have any bearing on it, why does the sex of the actor have any bearing?

            When an elderly heterosexual couple engage in the sexual act, that action is intrinsically ordered towards the procreative end by its very nature (or essence), even though that end can never be fulfilled. Homosexual acts, by their very nature, are never ordered towards this end. This isn’t hard to understand.

            It’s impossible to understand, because it makes no sense. How is the first sexual act “intrinsically ordered towards the procreative end” but not the second sexual act, given that neither of the two sexual acts can possibly result in procreation? Your claim here is just logically nonsensical.

            It is scientifically impossible for an elderly couple to conceive a child, but the metaphysical nature of the sexual act remains unchanged, regardless of their age.

            What on earth is “the metaphysical nature” of the act supposed to mean? And if this “metaphysical nature” is unchanged regardless of the couple’s age, why isn’t it also unchanged regardless of their sex?

          • Korou

            “Again, you really have to have a grasp of metaphysical essentialism (as
            well as the teleological conception of nature) in order to understand
            this argument.”
            No, but you do have to believe that:
            1. Gay sex is yucky
            2. Therefore it’s immoral
            3. Therefore arguments against it must necessarily be right, no matter how illogical they are
            …in order to make it.

            And that’s what’s really behind this. You start with a distaste for homosexuals, leap to the conclusion that this means gay people are immoral and then invent arguments to rationalise your prejudice.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            To be valid for Catholics. Not for the state. And churches still have the right to deny marriage to couples who want to swing, or who’ve been divorced, or who never want kids, or blah blah blah. And who are gay. Huzzah for the church.

            But everyone who ISN’T interested in following canon law gets to enjoy the same rights as everyone, including you.

          • jaybird1951

            The Catholic view on marriage is approx. 2,000 years old and is based on the direct teachings of Christ about the nature of marriage and God’s wishes for it. I can assure you that those early Christians had no desire to frustrate 21st century gays in the United States. In fact, the concept of “gay” would have been incomprehensible to them and subsequent generations for over 1,900 years.

          • catfink

            I wasn’t talking about the desires of early Christians. I was pointing out that Jack’s claim that the Catholic Church opposes gay marriage because same-sex partners cannot “produce offspring” or “increase genetic diversity” is completely illogical. Heterosexual couples who are infertile due to age or illness/disability cannot “produce offspring” either, yet the Catholic Church does not oppose marriages between such couples. So Catholic opponents of same-sex marriage will have to come up with a better pretext for their anti-gay bigotry than this claim about “producing offspring.”

          • radiofreerome

            You’re right that banning interracial marriage is less of an injustice than banning gay marriage. A heterosexual in love with another heterosexual of a different race could always find another heterosexual of the same race to marry. Banning same-sex marriage means that for all intents and purposes 5% of the population is forced to live and die alone. This is cruel and evil.

      • AnneG

        Not the same thing and you know it.

        • Korou

          That’s why catfink said “the moral equivelant”. Gay marriage and same-sex marriage are the same in that they were/are both opposed by people with bigoted and baseless reasons.
          (Edit – sorry, I meant same-sex marriage and mixed-race marriage).

          • AnneG

            I’m not a bigot. I have lots of reasons and reason, unlike proponents who are able to only call names, make ad hominem attacks, and personal slurs with nary a reason or philosophical argument to be found.
            You still have not changed the definition of Matrimony as the Union of one man and one woman.

          • Korou

            The people who oppose same-sex marriage have lots of reasons, as we saw in the dissenting statements from the supreme court. But they’re bad reasons, probably because they’re just rationalisation for more deeply-felt prejudices.
            Would you call a person opposed to interracial marriage a bigot? I’m sorry if you don’t like the label, I’m sure you are a very nice person, but if you oppose marriage rights for gay people I’m not sure what else to call you.

          • AnneG

            Korou, you, sir, are the bigot. Marriage for millennia has been defined as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman, not the illogical smoothie of law Justice Kennedy made in the vapors of emotion. Marriage is foundational for children and society.
            Sodomy is bad for the human body, no matter who you are and what you believe.
            I do not discriminate against gay people and have taken care of my share as patients and have friends who have ssa. Just because I do not approve of their behavior does not mean I hate anyone.
            What I hear from those in favor, though is a lot of thought police trying, with threatened Stalinist tactics, to stop any dissent, to control the conversation.
            That is a real problem. What, are you going to have gulags and re-education camps for religious believers, now?
            Your threats and insults are tolerated because I respect you as a person, even when I disagree with you.
            Btw, from a small child, in the segregated south, I have not believed in racial discrimination, segregation or prohibiting marriage in any way. My parish is integrated and I have friend of many races, religions and colors. This is about behavior and we will reap the whirlwind. I’m counting on persecution and name-calling against the Church and believers. It has always been so.

          • Korou

            I did have a certain amount of sympathy for you, but that vanished after you said you weren’t a bigot and had many arguments against same-sex marriage and then went on to prove that you were by showing that your arguments are unfounded nonsense.
            I’ll go with the opinion of the medical and psychological communities on homosexuality rather than Catholicism’s fevered fantasies; speaking of which, there really are no thought police coming to lock you up in a Gay Gulag.
            The stress you’re feeling is that of unwarranted privilege being revoked. Hopefully one day you will come to realise the bigoted views you now hold; until then we can at least be glad that you and others like you have been effectively checked from enforcing them. Liberty and justice for all. Hooray!

          • AnneG

            Korou, Every time I make a valid argument, you say, oh, that’s not so, then, attack. How is that liberty. I feel no stress and have no fevered fantasies. I believe you may be the one with a limited view of reality. I have seen some of the medical effects of behaviors you are heartily endorsing and would not wish them on anyone. Catholics want people to thrive, not be mired in emotional delusions that lead to more unhappiness, and never bring contentment. Most of your argument is very uncharitable sentimentalism.
            I used to believ the way you do. Now, I see that sodomy is harmful, multiple sexual partners are harmful and the biggest hear lands on children in many ways.
            The medical community tries to deal only with the physical effects of unnatural acts while psychology tells you to feel good wallowing in destructive behaviors.
            I’m really amazed at what I am seeing. Lots of people on your side are saying shut up and go away. We won. Only they didn’t. Now, I’ve seen some articles advocating regulating “hate speech.”
            Blessings on you from God, the Father of All.

          • Korou

            “Korou, Every time I make a valid argument, you say, oh, that’s not so, then, attack. How is that liberty. ”
            Your liberty is to say whatever you like. But if what you say is hateful nonsense then there’s no reason why someone else can’t point that out.
            I’m not interested in debating with you on this at the moment. I was just curious because you said you weren’t a bigot and that you had reasoned arguments; and then I was a bit disappointed to see that you are and that you don’t. I would suggest that you look further into the other side, and hope that one day you truly will join the side of love.

          • MarcAlcan

            Your liberty is to say whatever you like. But if what you say is hateful nonsense then there’s no reason why someone else can’t point that out.

            Except that you have not proven that it is hateful nonsense.
            In fact, it is you have not provided any reasoned argument. Just accusations of bigotry. Which is nothing more than bullying on your part in the hope that we will be cowered by your cry of bigotry.
            YOU are the bigot. And a dumb bigot at that because bigotry and stupidity go together.

          • Korou

            Yawn.

          • MarcAlcan

            Ha, ha. Like I said before you have absolutely not rational argument do you. It always comes back to this in the end. You running out of reasonable arguments. Actually, correction, you didn’t have any in the first place so you can’t run out of it LOL.

          • Korou

            What I run out of, Marc, is patience with bigots who can’t argue, read other people’s arguments or admit that they’re wrong.
            So, yawn.

          • MarcAlcan

            Brilliant!

          • MarcAlcan

            , as we saw in the dissenting statements from the supreme court. But they’re bad reasons,

            Okay, SHOW HOW THEY ARE BAD REASONS..

            Waiting….

            Would you call a person opposed to interracial marriage a bigot?

            Stupid argument. Opposition to interracial marriage can rightly be opposed because it is racist. The requirement for marriage is that it be between a man and a woman. A man and a woman can contract a marriage. But a man and a man cannot, nor can woman and a woman.

            Whatever genital activity happens between same sexed couples is not conjugal and can never ever be conjugal.

            The union between a same sexed couple is totally, completely dead. It is self-absorbed union that is unfruitful.

            if you oppose marriage rights for gay people

            We don’t. NO SINGLE GAY PERSON HAS EVER BEEN DENIED THE RIGHT TO MARRIAGE. THEY HAVE ALWAYS HAD THE RIGHT TO MARRY SO LONG AS THEY MARRIED THE OPPOSITE SEX. In fact, many have done so. Get that into your head.

          • Korou

            Well, these two are easy, for a start.
            Genital interaction? Sure, gay people can have it. What you mean is they can’t have penetrating penis-vagina sex or have children. So what? We don’t forbid a man and a woman from getting married if, for some reason, they are incapable of having children. Imagine, for the sake of argument, a man whose penis was hurt in an accident and had to be amputated. Would be be able to get married? Of course he would.
            Your second argument is even more hilarious, as it’s exactly the same one that was once used against interracial marriage. Of course black and white people can marry! Who’s trying to stop them? A black woman is free to marry any black man she wishes.
            The discrimination is that you’re saying that one consenting adult should not be allowed to marry the other consenting adult that he or she loves. Indeed, the Catholic position on homosexuals is that they ought to spend the whole of their lives denied any romantic love at all.
            Thank goodness that most Catholics disagree with these horrific “teachings” and that the Supreme Court did the right thing.

          • MarcAlcan

            Genital interaction? Sure, gay people can have it

            And what do you call that? Fencing?

            Whatever that genital interaction maybe that ain’t sex. Genitalia as the name suggests pertains to pro-creation. So yes, thank you for using the right term: GENItalia.

            So what? We don’t forbid a man and a woman from getting married if, for some reason, they are incapable of having children

            Stupid argument number 3 (or is it 4) I can’t keep count.

            Firstly, that they may be barren is more an exception than the rule. Their genitalia may malfunction but the purpose of the genitalia remains that it is for procreation. Same sex genital fencing on the other hand were never meant for that purpose that is why they end up with all sorts of grotesque genital activity.

            A black woman is free to marry any black man she wishes.

            Precisely! Because the only requirement for marriage is that they be adult male and female, not blood related to a degree.

            But two men cannot contract a marriage for the simple fact that they are of the same danger. There is no racial impediment to marriage but there is to gender because of the very simple reason that same gendered couples cannot contract a marriage. Whatever union results from it is NOT marriage.

            The discrimination is that you’re saying that one consenting adult should not be allowed to marry the other consenting adult

            Stupid argument no 5. Marriage is not simply about consenting adults. Marriage is between a man and a woman. That is what it is. The union of two males or two females are dead, dead, dead unions.
            Furthermore, consent is not the overriding motif of marriage. What makes marriage is man and woman.
            To allow same sex couples to “marry” is to destroy marriage and put something in it’s place. Something that is NOT marriage.
            So, if homosexuals are allowed to tamper with marriage, why should we stop there. Maybe zoophiles can tamper with it too and move to allow marriage between man and his pet. After all, if homosexuals can alter the definition, why should we discriminate against zoophiles by not allowing them to alter the definition of marriage.
            Like I said, all arguments for gay marriage are the height of stupidity and the abandonment of reason.

          • Korou

            You’re the one who used the phrase “genital activity.” If you don’t like it, don’t blame me.
            If we’re trying to keep count of the number of times you call your debating partners stupid or other insults – yes, I can’t keep count either. Come on, are you still in school? Talking to you gets embarrassing.

            “A black woman is free to marry any black man she wishes.
            Precisely! Because the only requirement for marriage is that they be adult male and female, not blood related to a degree.”

            Do you not realise that you missed the point? The argument made against interracial marriage was that black and white people weren’t being discriminated against because a black person could marry any black person they chose to. It was realised, correctly – and I dare say you would agree too – that this was discrimination, because it was preventing consenting adults from marrying the other consenting adults they wished to.

            Are you with me so far?

            The argument that gay people are free to marry any other person they wish of the opposite sex is exactly the same argument, and fails for the same reason: they don’t wish to marry a person of the opposite sex, and the law – until recently – prevented them from marrying the person the consenting adult that they loved.

            Which is discrimination. You can call it a stupid argument, but that just makes you look stupid for denying the obvious.

            “Stupid argument no 5. Marriage is not simply about consenting adults. Marriage is between a man and a woman. That is what it is.”

            Repeated assertion does not make it so. Not even if you say it really, really loudly. You’ve done that a number of times in your post, and it’s clear that it’s nothing more than denial.

            “To allow same sex couples to “marry” is to destroy marriage and put something in it’s place. Something that is NOT marriage.”

            I’m sorry – I didn’t realise that the marriage I have with my wife had been annulled.

            Which is about the only sensible reaction to the nonsense you’re spouting.

            “So, if homosexuals are allowed to tamper with marriage, why should we stop there. Maybe zoophiles can tamper with it too and move to allow marriage between man and his pet. After all, if homosexuals can alter the definition, why should we discriminate against zoophiles by not allowing them to alter the definition of marriage.”

            Because animals can’t give informed consent. Nor can children, for that matter, which is why an attempt to marry either of them would mean nothing.

            “Like I said, all arguments for gay marriage are the height of stupidity and the abandonment of reason.”
            Maybe if you say it long enough it will become true? Considering that you don’t have any actual arguments, that’s your best hope.

          • Croquet_Player

            “MarcAlcan” is an aggressive and abusive troll, and displays a particularly vehement hostility towards atheists and people he perceives to be gay. I suspect he is mentally disturbed, and have flagged and reported his abusive comments to several moderators.

          • Korou

            Mmmm. He started off quite reasonable when I was debating with him elsewhere, but he seems to have gone off the deep end. I broke off a debate with him before, and should perhaps consider just “putting him on ignore”.

    • MarcAlcan

      Yes. Institutions and individuals who continue to oppose gay marriage, whether for religious or secular reasons, will increasingly, and correctly, be viewed as the moral equivalent of opponents of interracial marriage.

      Only those who are stupid and intellectual deficient will equate the two.
      Gay marriage and interracial marriage are two EXTREMELY DIFFERENT proposition.
      We rightly opposed banning of interracial marriage because it is racist – it depriving someone of the right to marry because of their race EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE THE CAPACITY TO CONTRACT A MARRIAGE.
      Same sex couples on the other hand have no capacity to contract a marriage. So the union between people of same gender is not marriage despite what the supreme court may say. The supreme court cannot alter the reality that two men or two women cannot be married. It would be like the supreme court declaring that a cat is a dog or that catfink is furry animal. (Unless of course catfink is indeed just a furry animal).

      • catfink

        Only those who are stupid and intellectual deficient will equate the two.

        Calling the people you’re trying to persuade “stupid and intellectual deficient” probably isn’t a winning strategy.

        Gay marriage and interracial marriage are two EXTREMELY DIFFERENT proposition.

        Opposition to both of them is bigotry.

        Same sex couples on the other hand have no capacity to contract a marriage.

        So you keep saying. How’s that been working out for you? Maybe you should give a bit more consideration to the possibility that you’re wrong.

        • MarcAlcan

          Calling the people you’re trying to persuade “stupid and intellectual deficient” probably isn’t a winning strategy.

          I am not into stragies. I am into exposing the stupid lies and calling the spade what is – a dirty shovel.

          Opposition to both of them is bigotry.

          Naaah, you will never, ever be able to make your case for that. Racism is bigotry, unnatural acts are unnatural. Stating the fact of nature is not bigotry.

          So you keep saying. How’s that been working out for you? Maybe you should give a bit more consideration to the possibility that you’re wrong.

          Like I said, gay arguments are stupid. Because if you actually have a counter argument, instead of saying that I do not have a good strategy, or that I should consider the possibility that I am wrong, you should have shown me why I am wrong. But you haven’t because you can’t. Truth wins out.

        • Croquet_Player

          User “MarcAlcan” is an aggressive and abusive troll, and displays a particularly vehement hostility towards atheists and people he perceives to be gay. I suspect he is mentally disturbed, and have flagged and reported his abusive comments to several moderators.

  • Momtoafew

    Yup. Legal ramifications are far larger than the whole ‘but this is just about two people’ argument I am hearing…

    • AnneG

      The appalling thing is that this is to accommodate the feelings of a very small number of people to do what they want. Then they will not follow any vows we would recognize as marriage. That is why civil union was not enough. Now, we won’t be allowed to disagree.
      As they attack the Church’s existence we may have to do,less better.

      • Civil union was not an option for same-sex couples just as marriage wasn’t an option. It is ridiculous to say that same-sex couples would not follow any vows you would recognize as marriage. I think the same-sex couples that have been together for decades would disagree when they recite, “I, ____, take you, ____, to be my lawfully wedded(husband/wife), have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” That is universal, whether or not you are religious.

        • AnneG

          No, I’ve read lots of anecdotes from “married” gay men who say they don’t take it seriously, it’s a joke to them. Would you like me to post a list of those articles?
          Here is one. Please, not the source. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/06/gay-marriage-decision-polygamy-119469.html#.VZBGQHD3arX

          • That is an article on polyamory. There is nothing about saying “they don’t take it seriously.” As with any person, gay or straight, there will be always be people that don’t take marriage seriously. We live in a culture where women (and a lot of men where I’m from) that live their lives just to get married. To whom doesn’t really matter. They can do it over and over again until they get the right person.

          • Whether straight or gay there will be people that do not take marriage seriously. It’s not a gay/straight thing. It’s a human thing. It’s probably a huge factor in the high divorce rate in the U.S, and most likely factors in infidelity.

          • AnneG

            There are lots of unfaithful, adulterous straight people.
            The statistics and anecdotal evidence shows that it is almost universal among gays.
            Also, statistics from academia studies show that economic pressures, particularly among working class people, are the most frequent cause of divorce. Which just makes economic pressures greater.

  • Re Ja

    The angry part of me today says let society really feel the pinch when the Catholics step back from providing any administrative services for government programs. When hospitals close. When soup kitchens and shelters and USDA food distribution networks close down. When senior and homeless and immigrant and refugee programs close. When Mr and Mrs CEO have to send little Mary and Johnny back to their public schools. If it happened overnight it would be a wondrous thing to behold. Except for all those least of us who would be hurt in the process. No, it won’t happen because we’re better than that.

    • Blobee

      Just recently the Cook County (Illinois) Sheriff once again went hat in hand to the Catholic Church to bury indigents because the state (being almost bankrupt) cut off funds for that purpose in April. The Chicago Archdiocesan Cemeteries provides the lots and the burials “for free.”

      • cest_moi

        “for free.” ?

        according to the chicago tribune … “Catholic Cemeteries in the Archdiocese of Chicago offered the burial plots, which will be unmarked, for about $4,000”

      • Why should the sheriff have to go “hat in hand” to ask the church to do works it has previously agreed to do? Why isn’t the church proactive? Because it wants to show it still has control over the government, that it has the power to withhold necessary services to extort whatever it needs or wants from the government. If burying the paupers is part of the churches good works, the sheroff should not be made to come begging for help.

        • Blobee

          What? That isn’t true. What IS true is that the state took over burial of the indigent and funded it a long time ago. Now they are out of money, and are going back to the Church for help. How would the Church know there is a need unless someone from the state approaches them about it? How would the Church know the state hasn’t found an alternate solution or source of funds?

          And what a strange comment yours is, as if the Church is at fault for doing good works, but not doing them quickly enough or “proactively” enough – for ingrates, pagans, and apostates, no less.

          (How long, O Lord; how long?)

    • Rebus Caneebus
  • Lark62

    The church is safe. It is free to teach what it wants and marry who it wishes. Your church simply does not get to control who gets to receive government issued marriage licenses.

    As for charity. It is nice that you do nice things. But the services available to citizens should not be limited by the prejudices of any private group. If you choose to contract to provide services on behalf of the government, you have to serve everyone the government serves.

    • Chris W

      I think you are speaking with a skewed perspective and imply either the Church only serves other members of the Church or forces its beliefs on those they serve.
      The government does give the Church SOME funding to do what she has already been doing and doing well. Something done far more efficiently than the government could ever do. Things such as orphanages and adoption agencies, medical services for the poor and elderly… In fact the Church the Church already serves everyone.
      Unfortunately, the strings attached at a later date by the government, causes the some institutions to close their doors. It can be plainly seen as institutions such as Catholic adoption agencies are forced to close. It can be plainly seen as the Little Sisters of the Poor, Catholic organizations and many others are forced into court to defend their right not to contribute to abortion and contraception.
      So it is no longer serving those in need, it is now the government dictating how we are to serve those in need, even when it violates the most basic fundamentals of the faith.
      We will not sacrifice our faith on the altar of government funding.

      • Lark62

        If your charity signs a contract with the government to provide adoption services, it cannot refuse to provide services to gay couples.

        The charity is under no obligation to enter into this contract with the government or take the government’s money, The charity is under no obligation to facilitate adoptions by gays. But if the charity chooses to act as agent for the government and take their money, it must serve everyone the government serves. The government cannot discriminate either directly or by contracting with a group its behalf.

        The catholic church has a right to its beliefs. But it has no right to dictate the beliefs of others.

        • Gail Finke

          Simcha’s point proved right here.

        • Chris W

          As I recall, the Church didn’t ‘go to’ the government. Laws were passed enabling private charities to receive federal funding BECAUSE they were doing far more with far less than the government could or can do. After time had passed, the government started putting conditions on the use of funds.

          Make no mistake, your funds are not required. However, you are making the conditions beyond a question of funds and couching it in phrases such as discrimination. It is not discriminatory to state we will not comply with policy which forces us to violate our faith, which we have practiced peacefully in this country since its creation. Please see the 1st Amendment.

          • DearbornGuy

            Spot on, Chris. Even the government knew that the previously set up charities were more efficient than what the government could do.

          • Lark62

            Yes. The first amendment says the charity can operate as it wishes. But when the govt picks a vendor to provide services, that vendor is held to the same standards as the govt. Your choice.

          • Chris

            Again, the point is missed. The Church is only a vendor among other vendors after the fact. Remember, the government came to people of faith to fund the work they were already doing. Now, as years roll by, the government says you must comply with our requirements to provide the services you have always provided.
            It is not merely a matter of funds. Even if we refused the funds, it is now discriminatory/ prejudiced/ and actionable.
            It is the reason so many faith based organizations are in Court defending their rights NOW, not years from now.
            It will only get worse.

          • Adam King

            God forbid the charity stop being discriminatory and prejudiced!

          • jaybird1951

            Your proof for this supposed discrimination and prejudice?

          • P. McCoy

            The 1st Amendment in fact, all matters of freedom of speech, religion, assembly etc; are being abused by those who wish to impose a theocracy on the United States and subsequently impose draconian and arbitrary relgious rules on to others.

            The British Penal Laws effectively checked Catholic influence and totalitarian like power along with its Fundamentalist co conspirator. Putting limits to reverse these abuses would solve many problems.

          • jaybird1951

            You have no idea what a real theocracy is but Iran is a perfect example. Not one Christian country on the planet is anywhere near being a theocracy. What an ignorant comment on your part. Those Penal Laws you so admire involved massive persecution of Catholics.

          • P. McCoy

            You would jump head over heels for a Catholic theocracy in the United States: no contraception, no divorce, “Legion of Decency,” punishment for LGBT people and Feminists, a clothing police [ ( to enforce “Marian, (read Moslem) standards of dress on Women) ] -the list goes on.

            Catholics made themselves the enemies of the Protestant British state and their power to influence was checked and severely curtailed. You will NEVER get power over the British!

            How many reformers died in Catholic regimes?

            The American laws for freedom have been abused by tyrannical belief systems- with the Penal Laws, we would be free, like Canada.

        • jaybird1951

          You neglected to mention that states like Massachusetts revoked the ability of Catholic Charities to legally carry out adoptions. Period. It wasn’t just a refusal to fund but the license to carry out adoptions was taken away. The same thing happened in Illinois and other places. Catholic Charities would have been willing and able to continue as before without government funding but were denied the right. That undercuts your argument.

          • Chris W

            License was not revoked or taken away, it was surrendered and no longer sought. Principles against our beliefs were made conditional to licensure. it is not undercut, since all these agencies are required to be licensed by the state. They could not “continue as before” without violating the state licensing regulations.
            .

      • P. McCoy

        Allowing women to be killed aka Savita is NOT serving the public. This is why many Women in OB/GYN distress have ER or Advanced Directive instructions NOT to be transported to a Catholic hospital under any circumstances. The take over of secular hospitals by Catholic ones to the point that they become the ONLY hospital in town to go to appears to be a discrimatory monopoly to me that should be investigated by the government.

        Clergy who lack medical training shouldn’t be allowed to let their subjective religious beliefs be used to deny complete OB/GYN services to Women which in our modern era includes abortion and contraception.

        • jaybird1951

          I wonder why those Catholic hospital chains have been able to take over management of so many secular hospitals. Could it be that they are better run and more efficient even while providing large amounts of charitable care BTW, the Savita case has been grossly misrepresented in the media.

          • P. McCoy

            How can leaving a rotting
            fetus in a body (because of a “heartbeat”) that causes the host body to get sepsis and die be ” grossly misrepresented?”

            You hold a sentient Woman’s life very cheaply.

            Canada is a whole lot better.

        • Chris W

          I suppose you would have appoint if Savita had happened on this continent and in this country. Your getting terribly close to proving you have little understanding of Catholic teaching.

          • P. McCoy

            Her needless death proves I understand enough; enough to say emphatically that: I’m NOT interested!

            The conceit and smugness alone would engender disinterest, If the cavalier choice of a rotting fetus over a sentient Woman wasn’t bad enough already!

          • Chris W

            Thank you, you are of course free to take an isolated and misrepresented death and hold it up as a world wide rallying cry for an institution being wrong. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is not happening here or that you really do not understand what we teach.

          • P. McCoy

            I understand THIS: that CULTS and CULTISTS are sly, Machiavellian, cunning, unscrupulous, manipulative and deceptive by nature.

            Some have been huckstering for two millennia.

            You chose to repeat yourself, I am just elaborating.

          • wineinthewater

            Oh, if only the Catholic Church allowed for the administration of prophylactic broad-spectrum antibiotics! Because of Catholic Church’s backward teaching about prophylactic broad-spectrum antibiotics, a woman meaninglessly lost her life.

            Oh wait.

            Her needless death was not due to the fact that she did not get an abortion. An abortion would not have saved her life. Her autopsy showed that she had a bacterial infection that lead to sepsis. If she had been administered the proper antibiotics at the proper time, her life might have been saved. If she had been granted the abortion, her life would have been in just as much danger (perhaps more given the possibility of the abortion providing an avenue for the infection to get worse) because by the time she asked for it, she already had the infection.

            But, facts have never been a priority to the pro-choice movement.

          • P. McCoy

            So called pro lifers are past masters at deception, all too willing to lie for “the cause.”

            Nice attempt of the Irish medical community to CYA.

            Try your wiles on someone else; cults don’t interest me.

          • wineinthewater

            “So called pro lifers are past masters at deception, all too willing to lie for “the cause.””

            Examples? Here’s a counter-example: the pro-choice movement continuing to blame this woman’s death on lack of access to abortion when abortion wouldn’t have saved her. Or how about denying the science about the beginning of human life? I suppose the science of embryology exists to cover someone else’s ass?

            I wish you were interested in the faith, but for now I’d settle for arguments made in good faith.

          • P. McCoy

            The entity in utero is human life like a skin cell or cancer cell since it grows and exists by establishing a parasitic relationship with the host body via the placenta – medical Fact. Personhood is accrued at birth the law as it stands. That is what is important to me, not an onerous cult whose tentacles would not be entwined in our supposedly non specific ( catering to one religion ONLY) government. I would have preferred that the United States had adopted the British Penal Laws.

            If this had been done, radical right wing religions in Fundamentalist Protestantism and Catholicism would have Never taken power hate symbols like the Confederate flag would have been illegal and LGBT rights as well as contraception and abortion would be accessible without the interference of forced birther Domestic Terrorists!

            Although I am not a Lesbian and have never had an abortion or no need for contraception, I would never be part of a cult that attempts to micro manage every aspect of one’s life as well as show blind indifference to Women and Girls, idolizing a fetus over sentient lives, not to mention scapegoating the Gay community for its own problems with its sexual predator clergy.

            I trust that my position is clear to you!

          • wineinthewater

            I’d suggest getting some rudimentary embryology under your belt. This display of ignorance is embarrassing. At conception, an individual organism of the human species is created. A skin cell is not an organism, it is part of an organism. A cancer cell is not an organism, it is a mutated part of an organism. Personhood laws establish the beginning of personhood, a legal construct. That has nothing to do with the start of human life, which begins at conception. THAT is scientific fact, embarrassingly found in any embryology textbook out there.

            So, you have to ask yourself if you want to align yourself with other groups that have sought to deny the human rights of some human beings, if you want slavery advocates to be your fellow travelers, of if you want to take the natural consequences of scientific fact and protect human life, even before birth, even when it is inconvenient or even outright hard.

          • P. McCoy

            Slavery involves sentient humans beings who eat, breathe and excrete on their own that is a medical fact.

            They do not have a parasitic relationship with solely one host body that they are NOT entitled to. What is in utero behaves as a parasite and maybe human life, again a skin cell but not a human being.

            I am on the side of Women who make their own choice on abortion. If they don’t want one fine if they do, then it should be available, without interference from complete strangers who know nothing about them and commit acts of terrorism to fulfill their desires while voting for Republicans whose policies deprive sentient Women and children the means of survival.

  • cest_moi

    charity is not, exclusively, a christian or catholic virtue, it is a human one

    the notion that humanity will no longer be charitable if churches are taxed on their revenues or assets, like any other institution, is absurd … charities that exist to prosletyze will be replaced by ones with secular ideals.

    • Gail Finke

      Oh really?? Most charities are religious. The bigger they are, the more religious they tend to be. There are, of course, secular charities, many of them good ones. But in general, secular people tend to think that the work done by charities should be done by the state, and put their energies into creating tax-funded state agencies. This is easily demonstrated, and has been demonstrated many times. Proponents find this neat, easy, and (in theory) more controlled — the same people, either elected officials or appointed bureaucrats, can allocate everything and will do a good thorough job. In reality, state agencies vary as much as private ones do in quality and efficiency, but it’s much, much harder to get rid of a bad one or expand a good one. Take a look around the world and see how much charity is done without any religious impetus. Not a lot. Human nature is in general selfish, and people are generally kind whenever it’s convenient. Religion is what galvanizes people to go beyond what’s convenient.

      • cest_moi

        the very fact that charity extends across all cultural and religious boundaries identifies it as a common human trait not exclusive to any philosophy … charity , as you have stated yourself “There are, of course, secular charities, many of them good ones” does not require religion

        religion is what galvanizes people to define prosletyzing as charity

        • DearbornGuy

          Sure there are “secular” charities, but you’re kidding yourself if you believe religious belief does not make a difference in giving. It has been shown time and time again. The true mission of most religions is to take care of others.

          https://philanthropy.com/article/Religious-Americans-Give-More/153973

          http://religiondispatches.org/new-study-three-quarters-of-american-giving-goes-to-religion/

          • cest_moi

            there is probably some debate as to whether donating to a church for evangelizing and maintaining houses of worship or so that ministers can buy jets is truly charity in the sense that the author of this piece maintains

            you really should read your second link more closely as it doesn’t support your argument …“Remember that statistic, that 65% of religious people donate to charity? The non-religious figure is 56%. But according to the study, the entire 9% difference is attributed to religious giving to congregations and religious organizations. So, yes, religion causes people to give more—to religion itself.”

          • cececole

            I have no statistics, but I wonder at how many taxpayer dollars are saved each year by children that attend parish Catholic schools. Much of the funds donated to a church with a school go to paying for the school to keep tuition low. Bet it would be 100s of millions of dollars that public schools are saved (and lower taxes for all) because of the children in Catholic parochial schools. (P.S. Catholic have priests and they don’t buy jets–that would be those few uber-rich evangelical ministers)

          • cest_moi

            donations to a catholic parish to teach catholicism, provide worship services and “advance religion” hardly fits this author’s definition of charity, either

            oh wait

            for the record … in the country that I live in (where there has been marriage equality for a decade) catholic schools are funded by taxpayer dollars

          • jaybird1951

            You likely live in Canada. I understand that in places like Toronto and elsewhere many non-Catholic and non-Christian immigrants clamor to get their children into the Catholic schools because of their faith dimension and superior education.

          • Bil Carter

            The Catholic Church doesn’t do “worship services”. Let’s clear that one up right now. We celebrate Mass.

            It is entirely reprehensible that the schools will be teaching that gay “marriage” is equivalent to the sacramental marriage my wife and I have. I will not permit anyone to teach that to my children. That is an affront to my First Amendment rights.

            Teaching Catholicism is certainly charitable. There are millions of parents who desperately want their children catechized in school, but can’t afford it. I have 2, soon to be 3 children who are in Catholic school. I am exceedingly grateful that I can afford it, but many can’t. They deserve the same thing I do. The Church offers many scholarships to provide it to them.

          • Korou

            Schools will be teaching that a secular gay marriage is entirely equal to a secular heterosexual marriage. There will be no mention of the Catholic sacrament of marriage. Your rights will not be infringed.

          • jaybird1951

            Catholic schools have a total of 2.5 million students, I believe. Multiply that by $10,000 per student, a not unreasonable estimate of what public schools spend per student (much higher in many areas) and the savings are at least $2.5 billion per year. On top of that, the Catholic schools generally do a better job at educating, especially children in minority communities. cest-moi has a hang up about ‘proselytizing’ ( a word that means aggressive evangelizing rather than serving the poor as those charities do) but the fact remains that religious based charities service millions of people each year without regard to their religion. For example, the St. Vincent de Paul Society in my area feeds, clothes and finds housing for thousands of people without regard to their faith or lack of it.

          • dublinireland

            The majority, if not all, uber rich ministers are Church of God or Holiness Churches…they are the main ones who work the cable channels and the gullible wherever they may be. Local evangelical churches operate on a budget and often a stringent one. The preachers live in ordinary parish houses and drive ordinary cars. They are not “in it” to get rich.

          • AugustineThomas

            You’re just making up nonsense. Religious people more often work at soup kitchens, food pantries, and every other type of charity. None of the stats include “evangelizing and maintaining houses of worship [so] that ministers can buy jets”.
            You’re a bitter secularist. When people like you take over we end up with the Soviet Union, Communist China or Communist North Korea.

          • Korou

            Newsflash: we’ve taken over already. And you’re lucky that we have. The USA has been a secular state since the beginning, and the Catholic religion has been protected by it.
            Imagine how much persecution you would have had if the USA were a sectarian state. Your children would have been forced to pray Protestant prayers and learn the Protestant bible, Catholics would have been persecuted and banned from working in many areas…but no, the USA is a secular state with freedome of religion. How lucky you are.

          • DearbornGuy

            Sorry. Not buying your stuff. The last stat you state I do not argue with, but what do those congrations and religious organizations do? They do charity. See the Capuchins in Detroit or Little Sisters of the Poor, or the soup kitchens and PBJ ministries or St. Vincent de Paul Society.

          • P. McCoy

            Religious “charity” should be replaced with social services like in Scandinavia because taxes on the majority serve more in a better way than depending on the capricious whims of those who give when they feel like it.

            As for the SC decision, the same apocalyptic views of
            ‘ morality and society’ were expressed after the law was changed to permit marriage between Blacks and Whites as well as prohibiting racial segregation and discrimination. Same type of bigotry.

            Those people who don’t wish to provide goods and services for LGBT people can choose to resign OR get involved in businesses that don’t serve the public. If they choose not to, then being fired and sued for discrimination is fine with me.

            Since church based businesses use public utilities, roads and police and fire fighting as well as paramedic services paid for by NON Catholics, they should be held accountable for serving the public, not just people they ‘think’ are moral.

          • testadirapa

            since when charities are “businesses”?

          • lizzysimplymagic

            Right! Unless that care includes affirming the love between two consenting adults who want to share their lives together with blessings and happen to have similar genitals.

          • jaybird1951

            They can do all that and likely already were without calling their relationship a marriage (or demanding that the wider society do the same), which it by definition cannot be since marriage means and has always meant the union of male and female. It predates any government or court in existence and is not their creation. They have no authority to redefine it. Same sex marriage is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            Marriage used to mean the ownership of women (or even young girls) transferring from fathers to husbands. Thanks be to God, that meaning has changed. Women now must actually consent to marriage, have recognized human rights both in and out of marriage, etc.

            Now once again our society is moving away from systemic oppression, even though you feel your religion prohibits celebrating this change. Marriage reform is terrible because it’s not in the Bible? Well, a lot of what the Bible says about marriage goes against basic human rights if you happen to be a woman – or are you hoping stoning adulteresses will come back in vogue?

          • Bil Carter

            “a lot of what the Bible says about marriage goes against basic human rights if you happen to be a woman”

            Seriously? Please elaborate. I’d love to show you where you are incorrect.

            The Jews were revolutionary for their time. Among their contemporaries, they were the only society that did NOT view women as property. Even the so-called “enlightened” Greeks and Seleucids regarded women as property and gave them no rights outside the home.

            One interesting, yet often missed fact about the Bible is that marriage is the **most recurring** metaphor used to explain the relationship between God and His people. It is ALWAYS a relationship of trust and love.

            Have a look at the book of Hosea and get back to me.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            How about the punishment for rapists being marriage to the woman they raped? It may have been totally progressive then, but now? Not so much.

            Are you trying to say Hosea is an example of a good partnership? Stripping someone naked, calling her a whore, and treating her children without pity doesn’t sound like love to me.

      • catfink

        Most charities are religious.

        I’d like to see your evidence for this assertion. According to Wikipedia, of the 35 largest charitable foundations, only one or two are religious. The rest are secular.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wealthiest_charitable_foundations

        • jaybird1951

          Most of those on that list are personal charities set up by billionaires for their pet projects and most do not serve the poor and needy. The Gates Foundation is an exception and does good work in the health and medical fields. In addition, universities are set up as non-profits and pay no income taxes but like Harvard and Yale receive billions of dollars in endowments that continue to pile up. Those funds are largely used to serve the needs and purposes of the institutions. Religious charities cannot match those billionaire trusts in size but they number in the many thousands and collectively do more to serve the poor and needy.

          • catfink

            Most of those on that list are personal charities set up by billionaires for their pet projects and most do not serve the poor and needy.

            This claim is simply false. Most of the foundations on the list support a variety of charitable endeavors in the fields of health, education and/or the environment. Many of these projects are specifically focused on the poor.

            Religious charities cannot match those billionaire trusts in size but they number in the many thousands and collectively do more to serve the poor and needy.

            This claim seems highly implausible. Do you have any evidence to support it?

          • AnneG

            Sure, but first, you prove that the Clinton Family Foundation has done anything substantive to help actual poor people. I bet my Catholic parish has given more in direct aid to poor people in Haiti than CFF or a number of other rich people.
            You see, we believe in helping actual individuals who need help. The for profit NGOs like to show off, but it’s mostly for themselves.
            Btw, anybody who shows up at St Vincent de Paul, the Food Bank or any other charity is served, regardless of their religion or orientation.

          • catfink

            I have no idea why you’re asking me to prove a claim I didn’t make. I didn’t say anything about the Clinton Family Foundation.

          • AnneG

            That is an example. Prove something. That’s what you keep telling anyone else to do. So you prove something, anything.
            Or do not criticize

          • catfink

            I expect jaybird to produce evidence to support his factual claim that religious charities do more to help the poor and needy than secular ones. If he cannot or will not do that, the claim doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously. I still have no idea why you expect me to prove a claim I didn’t make.

        • Bil Carter

          The charities listed there are indeed (for the most part) doing great work, and should be encouraged. Still, Catholic Charities is not a single charitable organization. It is a parent organization for many smaller ones throughout the country. That still does not include the Catholic hospitals, retirement homes, schools and colleges that give billions to those in need.

          The Church provides about 30%-35% of all charity in the United States. In developing countries, it’s even higher.

          • catfink

            As someone else already pointed out, Catholic Charities gets two-thirds of its income from taxpayers. You can’t attribute that to “the Church.”

            The Church provides about 30%-35% of all charity in the United States. In developing countries, it’s even higher.

            Citation?

    • anna lisa

      Charity really doesn’t involve currency.

      Charity is about speaking the truth with our actions/bodies.
      *

      Data from the Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census shows that only 29% of gay/lesbian relationships last more than 7 years.

      More than 85 percent of the couples reported that their greatest relationship problems center on issues related to outside relationships.

      The book Sex in America: A Definitive Survey, by authors Michael, Gagnon, Laumann, and Kolata, cites a study of homosexual male couples conducted by gay researchers.

      The couples who participated had been together between 1 and 37 years.

      Findings were as follows:

      100% (all) of the couples experienced infidelity in their relationship within the first 5 years.

      • cest_moi

        curiously, this piece’s author defines charity in, exactly, economic terms … take it up with her

        as to speaking the truth … a study from 1994?

        try finding something current … you know, from an era when homosexual relationships aren’t under the same strain of restrictive societal attitudes and religious condemnation

        like, say, this one from 2013

        charity is, certainly, not defined, however, by the marginalization of members of society based on the arbitrary interpretations and applications of ancient holy texts

        • jaybird1951

          You are no doubt aware of the many gay advocates like Dan Savage, who espouse open gay ‘marriages’ rather than fidelity. In other words, marriages that are from day one unfaithful. Two-thirds of the gay marriages are among lesbians and the incidence of spousal abuse is disproportionately high among them.

          • cest_moi

            one thing i have no doubt of is that you have no particular insights into the relationships of homosexual people

          • Ron Turner

            Waaaaah II

          • JM1001

            I think jaybird is just referring to the “open secret” about why many gay marriages were reported to be successful, according to the New York Times back in 2010. Dan Savage’s recommendation of “monogamish” marriages for gay and straight couples alike is just more evidence that, when sexual complementarity is abandoned as an essential feature of marriage, then there is no reason not to throw fidelity and monogamy out the window as well.

            This is what Justice Kennedy didn’t seem to grasp when he assured us all that marriage “embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family” [emphasis mine].

          • catfink

            Dan Savage’s recommendation of “monogamish” marriages for gay and straight couples alike is just more evidence that, when sexual complementarity is abandoned as an essential feature of marriage, then there is no reason not to throw fidelity and monogamy out the window as
            well.

            Huh? How does that follow? How does the fact that the marital partners are of the same sex imply that “there is no reason” for them to be monogamous?

          • JM1001

            How does the fact that the marital partners are of the same sex imply that “there is no reason” for them to be monogamous?

            That’s not quite what I said. What I was saying is that, if the state no longer recognizes sexual complementarity as an essential feature of marriage, then there is no rational basis to preserve fidelity and monogamy as essential features as well. If the purpose of marriage is now to allow people to “express their identity” (to use Kennedy’s words) and to give dignity to those relationships through state recognition, then there is no reason fidelity and monogamy should be regarded as any more essential, or that such arrangements are any less deserving of dignity through state recognition. Indeed, Roberts says as much in his dissent:

            Although the majority randomly inserts the adjective “two” in various places, it offers no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not. Indeed, from the standpoint of history and tradition, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world. If the majority is willing to take the big leap, it is hard to see how it can say no to the shorter one.

            It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage. If “[t]here is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices,” why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry? If a same-sex couple has the constitutional right to marry because their children would otherwise “suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser,” why wouldn’t the same reasoning apply to a family of three or more persons raising children? If not having the opportunity to marry “serves to disrespect and subordinate” gay and lesbian couples, why wouldn’t the same “imposition of this disability,” serve to disrespect and subordinate people who find fulfillment in polyamorous relationships?

            Once one essential feature of marriage is abandoned, there is no rational basis for preserving the others, like monogamy. Hence, it’s no surprise that not even a day after the Obergefell ruling, we get this.

          • catfink

            That’s not quite what I said. What I was saying is that, if the state no longer recognizes sexual complementarity as an essential feature of marriage, then there is no rational basis to preserve fidelity and monogamy as essential features as well.

            I don’t know why you think that’s different in any relevant way from what I said. But to use your phrasing, how does “the state no longer [recognizing] sexual complementarity as an essential feature of marriage” imply that “there is no rational basis to preserve fidelity and monogamy as essential features?” Why does the sex of the partners imply anything about fidelity or monogamy?

            If the purpose of marriage if to allow people to “express their identity (to use Kennedy’s words) and to give dignity to those relationships through state recognition, then there is no reason fidelity and monogamy should be regarded as any more essential,

            Huh? Why not? A couple may marry to “express their identity” and to “give dignity” to their relationship regardless of whether the marital partners are of the same sex or different sexes. So how does this purpose imply that anything about monogamy for same-sex marriages, but not for opposite-sex marriages? Your conclusion here just does not follow logically from your premise.

          • JM1001

            So how does this purpose imply that anything about monogamy for same-sex marriages, but not for opposite-sex marriages?

            Actually, I would argue that such a paper-thin definition of marriage damages opposite-sex marriage as well (see no-fault divorce). Marriage was in pretty bad shape before same-sex marriage advocates ever got their hands on it, and that’s partly due to the fact that so many heterosexual couples over the last half century treated marriage as merely an emotional bond that expresses their own subjective desires, not an institution that has certain essential, objective features independent of one’s subjective desires. Kennedy just ratified into constitutional law a view of marriage that was already pretty widespread, including among heterosexuals.

            So, if marriage is now merely defined as an emotional bond that expresses one’s subjective desires and “identity,” then there is no rational basis for preserving monogamy as an essential feature, if that would prevent, say, polyamorous people from expressing their identity by being allowed to participate in the institution (again, read Roberts’ dissent). And once the culture no longer recognizes sexual complementarity, fidelity, and monogamy as essential features of marriage that are ordered towards certain intrinsic goods (like the well-being of children, for example), then abandoning those features will become normalized. Dan Savage understands this, to his credit.

          • catfink

            Then what does “sexual complementarity” have to do with it? You originally claimed that abandoning “sexual complementarity” as an “essential” feature of marriage eliminates any reason to retain fidelity and monogamy. But now you’re conceding that straight marriages may have the same purposes as gay marriages (“expressing their identity,” “giving dignity” to their relationship). So what does the sex of the partners have to do with it? Your argument is just completely confused.

          • JM1001

            Well, the argument of traditional marriage advocates is that marriage is the institution that unites a man and woman together in life-long commitment for the purpose of the well-being of any children that might result from their physical union. This requires three essential features: sexual complementarity, fidelity, and monogamy. Protecting these essential features for the well-being of children is typically cited by traditional marriage advocates as the reason why government is involved in marriage in the first place.

            But if one of these three features is abandoned, then the entire rationale for state involvement in marriage collapses, until marriage is conceived of as either (1) an emotional bond that allows adults to express their own subjective desires and identities, regardless of the well-being of children; or (2) an assortment of various state benefits that one can enjoy; or both.

            I only concede that many heterosexual couples, over the last half century, have adopted these paper-thin definitions of marriage, which helped pave the way for the steady erosion of those three essential ontological features of marriage. As Roberts eloquently put it in his dissent, if the state no longer explicitly recognizes sexual complementarity as an essential feature of marriage, defining marriage only in terms “dignity-bestowing” permission to express one’s identity, then there is no reason for the state to recognize monogamy as an essential feature as well, since that would discriminate against polyamorous people who wish to express their identities too.

          • catfink

            You’re not responding to the problem with your claim that I described. You claimed that without “sexual complementarity,” there’s no reason to retain fidelity and monogamy. You still have not offered any argument as to why “sexual complementarity” is relevant to fidelity and monogamy at all. Both straight marriages and gay marriages may be monogamous or non-monogamous. The sex of the partners is simply irrelevant to that fact.

          • JM1001

            You still have not offered any argument as to why “sexual complementarity” is relevant to fidelity and monogamy at all.

            Actually, I don’t have to offer the argument; it’s already been offered in this article — again, not even a day after the Obergefell ruling. In fact, that article actually cites Roberts’ dissent in order to make its case that, when sexual complementarity is considered by the state to be superfluous in marriage, then why shouldn’t monogamy be considered superfluous as well? Again, to his credit, Dan Savage understands this in a way that most same-sex marriage advocates haven’t quite grasped yet.

          • catfink

            Actually, I don’t have to offer the argument; it’s already been offered in this article

            Nothing in that article says or suggests that fidelity or monogamy rests on the idea of “sexual complementarity” as an “essential” feature of marriage. The author supports polygamous marriage regardless of whether the partners are all of the same sex, or a mixture of the sexes. He’s explicitly rejecting your claim that “sexual complementarity” is relevant.

          • JM1001

            Yeah, that’s kind of my whole point — which you repeatedly seem to be missing. Once a culture no longer recognizes sexual complementarity as an essential feature of marriage, then all bets are off. He says that now that we no longer acknowledge gender as a basis for marriage, then monogamy can go with it. And, indeed, that was my initial claim. Once one essential feature goes, they all go.

          • catfink

            You just seem confused. You cited the article as a supposed argument for your proposition that without “sexual complementarity” there is no reason for fidelity and monogamy, when in fact the author explicitly rejects that proposition by supporting polygamous marriage regardless of the sex of the partners.

            So, again, how do you justify your proposition? Why are fidelity and monogamy in any way dependent on the premise that “sexual complementarity” is an “essential” feature of marriage?

          • JM1001

            Re-read what you just wrote, because I really couldn’t have said better myself. Again, the author argues — citing Roberts’ dissent no less! — that if the state no longer recognizes sexual complementarity as an essential feature of marriage, then recognizing monogamy would be completely arbitrary as well, which is my entire point. If marriage is no longer defined as the union of a man and woman in lifelong commitment for the well-being of any children that may result from their union — but, rather, as merely an emotional bond that allows adults to express their subjective desires and “identities” — then what is the reason for preserving monogamy? It is evident how sexual complementarity and monogamy are tied together given the first definition of marriage; but given the second, neither makes any sense, which is why that Politico writer and Justice Roberts find themselves in full agreement.

          • catfink

            Again, the author argues — citing Roberts’ dissent no less! — that if the state no longer recognizes sexual complementarity as an essential feature of marriage, then recognizing monogamy would be completely arbitrary as well, which is my entire point.

            No, he does not argue that. DeBoer supports polygamous marriage regardless of the sex of the partners. He supports it because he thinks civil marriage is justified for romantic and sexual relationships between more than two people, independently of their sex or ability to have children. “Sexual complementarity” has nothing to do with his argument.

            If marriage is no longer defined as the union of a man and woman in lifelong commitment for the well-being of any children that may result from their union — but, rather, as merely an emotional bond that allows adults to express their subjective desires and “identities” — then what is the reason for preserving monogamy?

            The fact that the partners wish to be sexually exclusive to each other. You seriously believe that married couples have no reason to be monogamous unless they have children, or want to have children, do you? I’m pretty sure the vast majority of actual childless married couples would reject that assertion.

          • JM1001

            “Sexual complementarity” has nothing to do with his argument.

            Again, that’s my whole point. Once sexual complementarity (or “gender difference,” as he called it) is seen to be irrelevant or arbitrary, then the other essential features of marriage can be ditched as well.

            You seriously believe that married couples have no reason to be
            monogamous unless they have children, or want to have children, do you?

            Nope. The marriage of a heterosexual couple who remain open to life is still intrinsically ordered towards the goods of marriage (like the well-being of children), even if they remain childless.

          • catfink

            Again, that’s my whole point.

            Huh? Your whole point is that, contrary to what you claimed before, his argument has nothing to do with your claim about “sexual complementarity?” Then why did you bring it up in the first place? You just seem completely confused.

            The marriage of a heterosexual couple who remain open to life is still intrinsically ordered towards the goods of marriage (like the well-being of children), even if they remain childless.

            But you just claimed that there’s no reason for a married couple to be monogamous if “marriage is no longer defined as the union of a man and woman in lifelong commitment for the well-being of any children.” Since marriage is no longer defined in that way, you’re claiming that married couples no longer have a reason to be monogamous. This is the ludicrous position you have now talked yourself into.

          • JM1001

            You just seem completely confused.

            Nah. You’re just being willfully dense.

            The author states:

            Now that we’ve defined that love and devotion and family isn’t driven by
            gender alone, why should it be limited to just two individuals?

            That was precisely Roberts’ argument in his dissent, which is why the author cites it to make his case. If sexual complementarity is no longer recognized as an essential feature of marriage, then there is no reason why monogamy should either. And, indeed, that was my original claim. People like Dan Savage, as I stated earlier, understand this. But willfully dense people like you just can’t grasp it.

          • catfink

            No, you’re the one who’s being dense. Freddie DeBoer supported polygamous marriage long before the court ruling on Friday. He’s been arguing for the legalization of polygamous marriages for years. His support for polygamous marriage has nothing to do with Friday’s ruling, and nothing to do with “sexual complementarity.”

          • radiofreerome

            You are no doubt aware of Frances Kissling and Catholics for Free Choice. Can I deduce that her political positions as a Catholic mean that you will have abortions?

        • Ron Turner

          Waaaaah! The truth hurts.

          • cest_moi

            isn’t it that homosexuals can now be legally married in all 50 states the truth that hurts?

        • anna lisa

          cest_moi. It’s not a disputed fact that gay males very *rarely* practice monogamy.

          Now there are gays weighing in all over the place saying “so what?” Affairs are *fun*, so why not?” They love to mock us for being straight laced, but they can’t even imagine being totally and exclusively in love with one person for a lifetime–and extending the security of this kind of solid union to the children that naturally spring forth from this kind of love.

          (sigh) Promiscuity hurts people. (sigh) This kind of transient behavior is so far, far, far from marriage it’s laughable. (sigh) Promiscuous behavior is the *opposite* of love–it is the practice of objectifying human beings.

          Like everything else, the weak end up being hurt the most. When children become the accessories of bogus, sex addicted unions, it is the ultimate objectification of the *most* innocent members of society.

          And yeah–heteros have made a fine mockery of marriage too.

          • cest_moi

            “sowhat” sums it up succinctly … promiscuity is not sufficient grounds to deny the right to marry to anyone, including homosexuals

          • anna lisa

            What you’re saying is that anything goes, –no matter who gets marginalized in the pursuit of hedonism– just as long as the word “marriage” is stamped on some certificate that guarantees economic rights. Was it about *holy matrimony *that they were celebrating butt naked in the parks of San Francisco?

            Nope.

            I’m all for the economic/legal rights for such “partnerships”–but it aint marriage by any stretch of the imagination –even if gays are desperate to call it that. Its time for the those who believe in higher ideals to come up with a new name.

            In some countries there is a civil ceremony, that is separate from the religious one. It would be an extra hassle to need to have both, but I wouldn’t mind. Couples who are holding themselves to a far higher ideal need to underscore the difference.

          • cest_moi

            there are as many definitions of marriage as there are couples … your view doesn’t define it or limit it

            there’s something that needs to be underscored

          • anna lisa

            Truth is not subjective.
            Example:
            “but I don’t *believe* in gravity! Your truth is not *my* truth!”

          • cest_moi

            truth?

            the truth is that homosexuals can now be married in the USA … that isn’t subjective

          • Bear Fact

            The truth is that homosexuals could always “marry.” The only difference is that the State is now complicit in their bargain. It makes me wonder what other business Uncle Sam is getting me into.

          • anna lisa

            It’s a civil union. Same sex marriage is an ontological impossibility. It doesn’t matter to me if Ruth G. says I have the legal right to flap my arms and fly.

        • anna lisa
    • It’s curious that the church’s charity is conditional. This article suggests that they will only be charitable so long as they are not required to pay taxes.

      • cest_moi

        seems that way … this piece’s author, somehow, defines this, also, as a consequence of not enforcing their will regarding marriage on non-adherents

      • AnneG

        Obviously if the Church has to pay taxes, less will go to the poor who need it. There is a finite amount of money and Catholic charities are very, very efficient.

        • If the church has to pay punitive damages, those resources are drained further; but that’s not an espoused reason for not being charitable.

          Further, much of the funding for many catholic charities come from tax-payers – some of whom the charities refuse to treat as equal in society.

          • GaryLockhart

            “much of the funding for many catholic charities come from tax-payers”

            Any verifiable data to back up your assertion or are you simply talking out of your, ahem, hat?

          • For one example:

            Catholic Charities is one of the nation’s most extensive social service networks, serving more than 10 million poor adults and children of many faiths across the country. It is made up of local affiliates that answer to local bishops and dioceses, but much of its revenue comes from the government. Catholic Charities affiliates received a total of nearly $2.9 billion a year from the government in 2010, about 62 percent of its annual revenue of $4.67 billion. Only 3 percent came from churches in the diocese (the rest came from in-kind contributions, investments, program fees and community donations).

            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/29/us/for-bishops-a-battle-over-whose-rights-prevail.html?_r=3&hp=&adxnnl=1&pagewanted=all&adxnnlx=1325186577-HcbIO0Mt2HY1KPr31Lz+zA

          • responder111

            Well, now that Catholic Charities will have to get out of the “helping everyone” business, the government can pay to create the infrastructure that it was using with Catholic Charities.

            At the end of the day, there will be billions less money to go to the poor. Let the government take care of the poor. They can tax more businesses (anyone who doesn’t leave the country) and the rich.

            The important thing is that the gay community got its way. Instead of accepting “domestic partnerships” which would have been a compromise between the two groups, they have now made the entire Catholic community feel disenfranchised. I’m sure the churches will lose tax exemption next. I’ve been a life long contributor and now all the money I give will go only to the Catholic community and everyone who hates the church, which is almost all liberals, they can take care of their own.

          • You seem to think that Catholics are the sole service providers.

          • Wayne Johnson

            Let local communites and extended families take care of the poor. Why is it the governments(ie taxpayers) responsibility? Stop sending missions to 3rd world countries and take care of the poor and needy in your own neighborhood. If you look at the millions of dollars that go into building churches, especially catholic ones, they don’t seem to be hurting for money.

          • Ellim

            To be fair, I have rarely heard anyone on the other side of the issue that was known for compromise. From what I’ve seen all the LGBTs wanted in the beginning were the rights and they couldn’t even get that compromise, so then they turned to more emotional/moral arguments that got them where they are today.

            I have no bone in this fight, but it always seemed to me that the Catholic (and other) community disenfranchised itself on this by being rather uncompromising. Honestly, as far as the Church is concerned, aren’t “domestic partnerships” gay marriage by another name?

          • wineinthewater

            There’s a reason for that. Catholic charities has created an extensive, extremely cost effective infrastructure for delivering help to the poor and needy. Prudentially, the state has realized that an effective use of available funds is to rent that infrastructure rather than building its own. The state benefits greatly by everything that catholic charitable donations has built and all that donated catholic work.

            You are essentially trying to invalidate the work that Catholic Charities do based on the fact that they are so effective at that work that the state would rather pay them to do it than waste money doing the work less efficiently itself.

            Governmental funding of Catholic Charities is not evidence of Catholic Charties’ dependence on the government, but of the government’s dependence on Catholic Charities.

          • Bil Carter

            Well, where do you think the money comes from? I give to Catholic Charities, and I am a taxpayer. So do many other Catholics.

          • AnneG

            You make a lot of accusations with declarative sentences in your comments but no back up at all.
            Funding for some of the programs that serve the poor comes from taxpayers, many of whom are Catholic, too, btw, as well as other Christians. You would be willing to let poor children suffer without services, be trafficked for sexual slavery and every other kind of abuse rather than let the Church offer those services and programs, above and beyond what they get paid for?
            That does not surprise me. Religious people feel a responsibility to the poor and those in need. That’s why we found hospitals, schools, adoption, education and every other kind of service. But, you would rather have those in need go without to support your prejudices?

          • AnneG

            By the way, punitive suggests there was damage done or harm suffered. I see no harm or damage. Where is it?

          • Stevie D

            Well, punitive damages have been levied against many Catholic Diocese on another matter. That hasn’t stopped (for example) His Eminence Cardinal Dolan from shifting money around to avoid paying the victims fully.

            He still seems very well looked after, clothed in gold and defended by the faithful. Sadly the victims are struggling to repair their lives.

          • wineinthewater

            So your response to her asking for you to substantiate your argument is: “I don’t have to because .. Abuse!”

          • Stevie D

            Try reading the full thread.

            Anne says “Obviously if the Church has to pay taxes, less will go to the poor who
            need it. There is a finite amount of money and Catholic charities are
            very, very efficient.”

            The church is doubly guilty here: once of abuse yes; secondly by hiding not only the crimes and the criminals, but also the money whcih was rightly awarded to the victims as PUNITIVE DAMAGES.

            Dolan and Ratzinger were complicit in this deceit.

            Those $00s of millions could have helped the poor either directly or through the tax system. The residences, robes and trinkets of the bishops, archbishops, cardinals, nuncios the curia and all the rest of them are worth $billions.

            Where is Jesus to evict the moneylenders ?

          • wineinthewater

            I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that I had to read everything you have written in order to make any comments. But after reading most of the thread, I don’t see how it changes things.

            It’s odd to me that in some places in the thread you make light of there being less help available from religious charities because of loss of non-profit status, but when it comes to less help being available because abuse victims are being paid punitive damages, it is a horrible thing.

            You’re obviously not inside the Church. A very large portion of those punitive damages were paid exactly by selling off church assets. You have to keep in mind that the resources in the Church are not the bishop’s private stash. Abuse victims have a legitimate claim on those resources, but they are not the only ones. So do the poor, so do the hungry, so do the sick, so do catholic school students, so do myriad others. Bishops have an unenviable role in trying to meet all of those claims.

          • Stevie D

            How about selling some more of the assets then?

          • wineinthewater

            So that’s the argument: Catholic institutions should be punished with greater taxation for not toeing the ideological line and they should sell their assets to pay that punishment.

            First Amendment be damned, if we don’t celebrate how others get their rocks off, we must pay the price. Good to know.

          • Stevie D

            No.

            Catholic institutions should have the same taxation regime as other NPs….and the IRS should enforce the tax laws, rather than allowing religious “NPs” to get away with transgressions….e.g endorsing political candidates/positions from the pulpit.

          • wineinthewater

            “e.g endorsing political candidates/positions from the pulpit.”

            I call BS. I have been a Catholic my entire life, East Coast, West Coast, in between, the US and other countries, mass at least once a week. I have never once heard a political candidate endorsed from the pulpit.

            However, I have been working in the secular non-profit world for the last 6 years and watch those non-profits explicitly endorse candidates and positions every single election. If you want to see the IRS strictly enforce its laws on non-profits, the Catholic Church has much less to fear than most non-profits.

          • Stevie D

            No doubt, you will be surprised to find that my experience differs from yours.

          • Bil Carter

            That argument is horribly weak. It is always trotted out by those who have no understanding of the Church and the nature of its assets. In terms of pure cash, Apple has a lot more than the Church. Why don’t you lean on that “socially conscious” organization to give their wealth to the poor? Steve Jobs gave almost nothing to charity, yet he is little less than a god to many Americans because he made a phone.

            The Church still manages to be the largest provider of social services in the world. Bigger than any corporation, country or NGO.

          • Stevie D

            So if he gave charity on the basis of “here’s the money for an iPhone and a bit extra….as long as you sign up for a lifetime contract” you would be pleased?

            That is your church’s offer.

          • Korou

            That sounds very strange. “Oh, I’m sorry, we’re unable to pay money to the people whose lives we ruined because we already have prior commitments towards charity.”
            I’d like to see that argument in court. “Me pay a speeding fine, your honour? But I gave $50 to help widows and orphans just last week!”

          • MarcAlcan

            once of abuse yes; secondly by hiding not only the crimes and the criminals

            You mean the homosexual priests who abused those boys.
            Yes, homosexuals were the ones who did most of the abuse.

          • Bil Carter

            Learn the history of that story before you cite it. The money that Cardinal Dolan “shifted around” was not a scheme to avoid paying victims. It was moved to avoid creating more victims, this time of fiduciary irresponsibility. The money was in a trust that required it to be used only for the intended and pledged purpose – maintenance of Catholic cemeteries. Cardinal (then Archbishop) Dolan acted appropriately in moving it, and a federal judge agreed.

            If you are so quick to embrace 9 federal judges’ decision on gay “marriage”, you should be just as quick to embrace another federal judge’s decision that Cardinal Dolan acted within his authority and rights to protect those funds.

          • Stevie D

            http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/cardinal-dolan-and-the-sex-abuse-scandal-b9948776z1-214440451.html

            http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/us/dolan-sought-vatican-permission-to-shield-assets.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

            http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/church-slow-punishing-priests-not-saving-57m-article-1.1387804

            If your conscience allows you to support this behavior, then I am sorry for your soul.

            I reiterate; Dolan and Ratzinger conspired to hide assets, so as to prevent victims of Catholic Sexual Abuse receiving recompense.

            I also acknowledge that many regular Catholics donate funds ostensibly to help to charitable causes. I applaud their intent.

          • Stevie D

            “The money was in a trust that required it to be used only for the
            intended and pledged purpose – maintenance of Catholic cemeteries.” …..so you feel that maintenance of these cemeteries is closer to God’s will than dealing with the pain caused by his so called representatives on earth?

            Shame

        • Stevie D

          finite amount of money and Catholic charities are very, very rich. FIFY

          • wineinthewater

            When the prefect of Rome demanded that St. Lawrence deliver to him all the Church’s wealth, St. Lawrence asked for three days to do so. After three days, he returned with all the poor of the city and told the prefect: “Here is the wealth of the Church.”

            Yes, Catholic Charities are very, very rich indeed.

          • Ellim

            Entirely right. But I also think that’s a good reason people should stop freaking out about the tax issue 😉

        • MarcAlcan

          Obviously if the Church has to pay taxes, less will go to the poor who need it. There is a finite amount of money and Catholic charities are very, very efficient.

          In this regard I disagree with you.
          It is the over focus on efficiency of helping the poor that has caused many Christian charities (even Catholic ones) to sell out to the prince of this world.
          I say that Catholic Charities make do with what can be collected by the Church so that the government cannot dictate to us what we do with the money.
          Since there are many other secular charities, if the only aim is to help the poor, then let them do it.

      • GaryLockhart

        Be prepared to pick up the difference in higher taxes earmarked for more entitlement spending when the Church gets out of the business of feeding, housing and clothing the poor, caring for the sick, burying the dead, running orphanages, et al.

        • Well, you people certainly are persistent. I’ll give you that.
          Are you seriously suggesting that non-Catholic providers don’t exist?

          • Bil Carter

            Nobody is saying that, but in terms of sheer numbers, they can’t come close to the volume of charity that the Catholic Church provides.

            That said, I can’t rightly consider Planned Parenthood or any other such institution charitable. They are purveyors of death. Charity never kills.

          • Korou

            Are you aware that abortions comprise a tiny percentage of Planned Parenthood’s work? They are a health service and provide many useful resources, including abortions. 3%, I think it is.

      • wineinthewater

        Not at all. It suggests if you tax religious charities, there will be less available for the charitable work. It’s basic math. It also suggests that the state has shown itself willing to prevent religious organizations from doing charitable work if they don’t subscribe to the political correct group-think currently in force. The result of that is also a decrease in the charity available to the poor and needy since the extensive infrastructure of help those charities have spent decades building will be dismantled.

        But ideologues on the left and right have long-since proven that they don’t really care about the poor, just their ideologies and political capital, so we shouldn’t be surprised.

      • Bil Carter

        The Church’s charity is not conditional, nor does the article imply that. The Church does not give charity because the laws are either just or unjust, it gives charity because the Church is Catholic. It is what Catholics do. Taxes can, and do have a punitive effect on non-profit organizations to carry out their mission. Operating expenses are already high, and taxes would undoubtedly siphon tremendous resources away from those who need it.

    • Eugene Edward Yeo

      Can you show me where this has happened? Roughly ten percent (according to gallup polls) of Americans are atheists. Thus, according to your statement, somewhere along ten percent of the universities, hospitals, shelters, orphanages and food banks should be run by atheist organizations.

      • cest_moi

        you are being willfully blind if you are not aware of secular charities … unlike religious institutions, like the catholic church, non-believers don’t operate charities to promote their belief system

        • Ron Turner

          Waaaaah III

          • cest_moi

            brilliant rebuttal … you must have been captain of the debate team in college

          • Eugene Edward Yeo

            My debate team had a president. And you have not answered the question. If they are there, show them to me. I do not deny that they exist, and I can name a few myself. However, they aren’t nearly as numerous as religious charities. In fact, the reason that religious bodies carry a tax-free status is because they reach people the secular government can not or does not care to reach. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that persons with religious convictions are much more likely to give to charity to a tune of over thirty million more people in America alone.

            Again, I asked a very simple question, and your failure to answer proves my point: if you can’t name a handful off the top of your head, how much work can really be getting done?

        • AnneG

          You did not respond to the question.
          Why are 10% of schools, hospitals, etc not funded and maintained by atheists?

      • Anon

        Atheist and secular are not the same thing.

        Most people who are secular are not atheists.

        • Eugene Edward Yeo

          Now THAT is a good point. However, the point still stands. The reason that religious groups are given a tax-exempt status is because they do so much work that the secular authority (government) is either unwilling or unable to do. And our government is unable to keep the insane asylums open or take care of it’s own vets. I’d hate to see them responsible for the REST of the homeless population.

    • Elizabeth K.

      Where are all of those secular charities now, exactly? Nothing’s stopping them from getting in on the act–the more the merrier! What’s the name of the one you’ve started?

    • AugustineThomas

      You deny all reality that secularists (atheists, agnostics, “nones”, etc.) do almost zero charity and those who regularly attend church do nearly all charity.

      It’s amazing to me how secularists like yourself who think you’re so wise always refuse to admit that every society that has outlawed or persecuted religious people (especially Christians) has been one of the most hellish, murderous societies in history. But given that you represent baby murderers, I guess mass murder must not bother you.

    • wineinthewater

      You are mischaracterizing the argument. The issue is that if you revoke the non-profit status of religious charities, you will automatically reduce the amount of help available to the poor. The charities will lose some of their revenue to taxes and will therefore be unable to use that money to help the poor. Donation will decrease because those donations will no longer be tax exempt. The result is a new *decrease* in the amount of charity out there to help the poor and needy.

      That secular charities will step up is an utterly unproven premise. The reality is that the vast majority of charity work to the poor and needy is done by religious charities, not secular. Its not to say that there are no secular charities, just that they are dwarfed by the religious charities. Also, I work in the non-profit field and when I think of that landscape, those secular charities are much less likely to be involved with helping the poor and needy and more likely to be involved with environmental issues (not entirely unrelated though, just read the new encyclical). And when I think of secularizing nations, generally I see a pattern of the slack left by dwindling religious charities being picked up by the state, not secular charities. That, too, is telling.

      The reality is that if religious charities lose their non-profit status, there will be less help to the poor and needy. But hey, ideologues will have succeeded in punishing people with different ideas for not celebrating what they do with their nether regions, so it’s worth it right?

    • Bil Carter

      Not absurd at all. It’s happened in history before. Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth I systematically persecuted the Catholic Church, taking over the monasteries and convents and either killing or driving out the monks, nuns and priests who lived and worked there. The consequence was that the vast majority of the kingdom’s social services went with it. Education, hospital and hospice care and service to the poor was all being done by the Church, and was NOT picked up by the realm after they left. To this day, the disparity between rich and poor in the UK can trace its roots to this scourge.

      The same thing will happen here if the Church is forced to shut down. The federal government is neither capable or willing to put the effort into social services that the Catholic Church does.

      • Anon

        Interesting theory. I wonder why the same gap between the rich and poor doesn’t exist in Scandinavia, which had the same pattern of monasteries and convents being shut down during the Reformation? On the contrary, Scandinavia has one of the smallest gaps between rich and poor.

        There must be more to gaps between the rich and the poor. Like culture, economic policies, etc.

        • Bil Carter

          First of all, Scandinavia is not a representative example of Western democracy. Until only recently, they have not had the diversity of ethnic groups or religion that the rest of Western Europe has had. Social services evolved quite differently there. They are, however, starting to struggle with the large influx of Arab immigrants, so their situation may change in the coming years.

          Governments get drunk on their own hubris and think that everything must be under their control. It would behoove them, both in Europe and America, to let the solutions rise from the people, not get pushed down by government. The Catholic Church could easily be a great ally to any nation that would allow them to operate under their own consciences and without persecution.

    • MarcAlcan

      charity is not, exclusively, a christian or catholic virtue, it is a human one

      There is natural charity. But the perfection of charity is a Christian virtue.

  • Tom

    I’m wondering if the wizards of SCOTUS who magically proclaimed that which is not marriage marriage can now proclaim the poor rich, the starving fed, the ill healthy, the homeless sheltered, the addicted clean.

    • Richard_L_Kent

      Shut up you Nazi, they explained. </sarc :/

      • Tom

        Explained what?

    • You’re a moron. If you were trying to be funny or sarcastic this was an epic FAIL!

      • Tom

        Wow, epic fail, that was original.

    • c71inc

      Gee Tom, that is a stellar indictment of the “wizards of SCOTUS”. They have NOT made the poor rich, fed the starving, healed the ill, sheltered the homeless, or cleaned up the addicted.
      And looking at the numbers of poor, hungry, sick, homeless, and addicted, neither have “the wizards of Rome”.
      But, of course, the wizards of Rome claim that these acts are their sole purpose in this life. Why is it they have done such a poor job?

      Don’t bother to answer; I already know what you’ll say: gay marriage.

      • Tom

        I’m not sure what your point or question is. Hard to read through your apparent blind hatred of the church that spends billions feeding the poor, clothing the naked, housing the homeless, caring for the sick and addicted.

        • c71inc

          It’s actually a quite lucid hatred, Tom. I’m sorry you are too scared of dissent to comprehend it.
          Yes, the wizards of Rome have spent billions… which is a trifling percentage of the trillions they sit on and spend for their own luxury.

    • emmy243

      Do you really think your magic bearded man in the sky can have more of an effect on the major problems in our country than our ‘wizards of SCOTUS’? How does that work? When there’s no improvement in these issues, all the blame goes on the government, but where is the blame for the omnipotent being who supposedly loves everyone so much?

  • Geo Washington I ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    We have now officially entered a slippery slope where soon, liberalism will reign supreme and religious institutions/beliefs will be forced to take a back seat to every minute perversion, all in the name of equal rights.

    • cest_moi

      name a single country, in which marriage equality has been previously extended to homosexuals, where this is the case

      • Re Ja

        You can’t make the claim yet. Can you name another country that has opened the door, literally, to any definition of marriage, not just ssm? SSM was always the camel’s nose under the tent, the first bold step onto the slippery slope.

        • cest_moi

          there is none … which refutes the slippery slope claim

          • Re Ja

            It’s a distinct feature of progressive liberalism that the slippery slopes they build are invisible to them. I doubt if you will admit you are on one even when you’re near the bottom, covered in muck.

          • cest_moi

            and yet there are no actual examples of this claim

            the flip-side to this coin is that the invisibility of the slippery slope is due to its non-existence

          • lizzysimplymagic

            If they are visible to you but nobody else, it’s called a hallucination.

      • Blobee

        Canada.

        • cest_moi

          you are either confused or a liar

  • Dave

    We can only hope so.

  • Hexep

    Other ones will step in. Consider it surgery; painful in the short term, healing in the long term. A junkie feels pain when he doesn’t get his junk, but it’s better to go clean.

  • jrb16915

    There are about 1.2 Billion baptized Catholics world wide. As an institution it is almost 2000 years old. Longer lasting than any other institution in all of Western Civilization. If don’t believe the Church is led by the Holy Spirit, then reasonable people would have to conclude the people that have managed it for 2,000 years probably know more about growing and sustaining an organization than you do.

    • catfink

      No one has managed the Catholic Church for 2,000 years. The Church must continually replace its members and leaders as the old ones die or drift away. Every new generation has to relearn how to sustain and grow it. And they are increasingly failing at that task. The Catholic Church is clearly in serious decline in the west. It is increasingly difficult for the church to retain its existing members, attract new members, and persuade its members to adhere to its doctrines. The most likely long-term future for the Church is a continued slide into irrelevance.

      • Stevie D

        …or the modern corruption (financial and sexual ) of its priestly class.

        • moon1234

          Which is actually less than in public schools (which are tax payer funded).

          There are sinners everywhere. The Church is a hospital for sinners. There are bad people in every institution. Does that mean you brand the whole institution and try to destroy it? By your logic every teacher alive is not fit to have any child near them because of the bad acts of a few.

      • msb29

        The operative phrase being “in the west.” It remains to be seen how long the west as a whole can maintain its “relevance” without its most lasting institution.

        • catfink

          What plausible alternatives do you think there are? China? India? The Catholic Church has even less influence in those countries than in the U.S. and Europe.

          • msb29

            India certainly has growth potential. The Philippines are 80% Catholic, and the 12th most populous country in the world. (Also, notably, the only UN member state that still has not legalized divorce. So I doubt gay marriage is going to be an issue there anytime soon.) Much of sub-Saharan Africa is in agreement with the Church’s position on these issues.

          • catfink

            The social, political and economic influence of the Philippines and the nations of sub-Saharan Africa over the west, and the world in general, is tiny, and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Moreover, as the people of those countries become richer and better educated, the influence of religion over them is likely to decline, just as it has in virtually all first world countries.

            In fact, the influence of the Catholic Church in the Philippines is already in decline, as illustrated by, for example, the passage of the 2012 law requiring government health care centers to distribute free condoms and contraceptive pills.

    • Korou

      The Catholic Church once ruled the western world – Christendom. Princes bowed before it and kings took orders from it. And now? Nobody listens to the Catholic Church, not even Catholics. The Church is still here, but just because, when it was defeated by the Enlightenment, its opponents were merciful. Secularism does not seek to eradicate religion, just to keep it out of government. And secularism has won.

      • Blobee

        Just the battle, not the war.

        • Korou

          Statistically speaking, the majority of Catholics who disagree with the Church’s morally bankrupt views (on divorce, gay marriage, abortion, contraception, etc. etc. ) shows that you’re wrong.

          • Blobee

            Decisions based on evil and lies cannot stand the test of time. They never do. Just because people stray from the light (Catholics who disagree with the Church’s teachings) because they prefer the darkness doesn’t negate the power of the light.

            I am sad for all here who have bought into the lie that you can break the natural law and not suffer the consequences. You will have to learn that lesson the hard way now. The “easy way” was to accept the wisdom of the ages, the truth of the moral law. The hard way is to have to live the consequences yourself. That’s what you have chosen. Sad. Very sad.

          • Korou

            Sorry, you were saying something about the Catholic Church teaching the truth of moral law?
            Was that the same Catholic Church which, in 1962, sent a document to all bishops around the world ordering them in the strictest possible terms to keep secret any allegations and discoveries of child abuse by priests? The document which ordered that any victims who came forward must be sworn to secrecy, that abusing priests were to be let off if they repented and were to be transferred to new parishes, again in conditions of utmost secrecy? The document which, in short, said that child abusers in the Church must be kept secret and safe? The document which you can see a pdf of here?
            http://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/aug/17/religion.childprotection

            The Catholic Church has no right to speak of moral authority. It lost any claim to having it when it sanctioned decades of cover-ups of child abuse. The idea that it can now tell us what’s right or wrong is laughable.

          • Blobee

            Actually, your comment proves what I say. The document you cite (which I have never heard of, and may be false, but let’s just say it’s accurate) is a perfect example of a decision based on evil. And see, it did not stand.

            The Church’s teaching on morality is far wider in scope than a decision made in 1962 regarding protection of homosexual pedophile priests. The moral teachings of the Church do not condone the abuse of children. If these Church leaders did evil, as you can see, it was exposed and did not stand.
            The same with anything based on evil and lies, including the pretense of marriage for sodomites and women who lay with women.

          • Korou

            It’s quite horrifying that, on being presented with evidence that your Church, as an organisation, protected child abusers for decades, your first reaction is to say, “Well, never mind.”
            The decision was based on evil, as you say, and it did stand. It stood for decades, being reaffirmed by the previous pope in this century, and would no doubt have continued to be official church policy if the church had been successful in its attempts to keep this horror secret.
            This document was sent to every bishop in the world and guided the entire Catholic Church’s reaction to children being abused. Do you think that each and every person in the Church who abused children or protected child abusers should be in prison? No?
            The “church leaders” whom you blame are, in fact, the entire church. They’re still leading the church, none of them have been punished, and they have no right to speak to the rest of the world about what is moral.
            And, since your attitude is that there is no problem here, nor do you.

          • Blobee

            Ridiculous. I didn’t say it didn’t “never mind.” I said it proves that those who conspire to do evil eventually get exposed and overturned. The bishops got caught in the lie and this has been corrected as policy and punishment has been mete out. Or have you forgotten the millions and millions of dollars paid out to victims even decades after the statute of limitations was past, even after the perpetrator was dead, and bishops and priests who have either resigned or been expelled. I guess so. Your so called “outrage” at these crimes doesn’t ring true when NAMBLA exists, yet you say nothing against that.

            And all this from those who believe sodomy and cunnilingus is a basis for a relationship. Talk about horrifying. Perverse generation.

          • Korou

            “Ridiculous. I didn’t say it didn’t “never mind.”
            Really? You did say that you’d never heard of this document. I must have missed your reaction of shock and horror once you had read it.

            “I said it proves that those who conspire to do evil eventually get exposed and overturned.”
            Exposed by people outside the Catholic Church, with the Catholic Church doing everything in its power, then and now, to impede these investigations and protect the criminals within its ranks.

            “Or have you forgotten the millions
            and millions of dollars paid out to victims even decades after the statute of limitations was past, even after the perpetrator was dead, and bishops and priests who have either resigned or been expelled. I guess so.”
            No, I’m not satisfied with resigned or expelled. Are you? Don’t you feel that they should be tried and imprisoned?

            There comes a point when a conversation reaches the end of its usefulness. You’ve seen proof that the Catholic Church conspired to protect child abusers and you still think that it has the authority to lecture the rest of the world about sexual morality. Fine. Thank you for explaining your views.

          • Korou

            What you mean is, you didn’t know about this document and, now that you do, you don’t care.

            I think this puts it best:
            http://scottpaeth.typepad.com
            “In all honesty, my first reaction to any attempt by the U.S.
            Conference of Catholic Bishops to make any kind of moral argument, least of all one involving sexuality, is to want to say “Shut up, old man.”
            And no Bishop who is honest about the negligence and criminal malfeasance of the Catholic Church around the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of allegations of child molestation and rape around the world over the last half century should expect any other response.

            How can any Bishop expect to exercise moral authority, particularly in the authoritarian “do it because I say so” manner that they use, given their record. Every single solitary Bishop should be on his hands and knees begging for forgiveness from both those they’ve directly harmed, and from every Christian, Catholic and non-Catholic, for the damage that they have done to the church. The Bishops, through their choices, erased 2,000 years of authority over the period of a few decades. And why? To protect their own institutional position while shielding absolute moral monsters from being held accountable for acts
            that were both criminal and detestable. There is no excuse. And it will probably take another 2,000 years for them to regain that authority. In the mean time, the only thing I want to hear from a Bishop is the phrase “I’m sorry.””

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            I want to hear the names of abusers and any associates to the crimes being read out to real authorities.

          • Korou

            Actually, your comment proves what I say. Confronted by irrefutable evidence of the Catholic Church’s policy on child abuse you say, in effect, that it doesn’t matter. In so doing, you waive your right to be taken seriously when talking about morality.

          • Blobee

            How absurd. As I said, the Church’s teaching on morality is beyond an individual, whether he be the Pope, a cardinal, bishop, priest or layman. If an individual does not obey those moral laws, he is a sinner no matter what his status or standing in the Church. If even a group of men in the Church conspire to not follow the moral law they are wrong. But the truth of the moral law isn’t negated because a teacher of it doesn’t follow it. He may be a hypocrite, but the law is still true.

            You exercise perverse logic.

          • Korou

            But it wasn’t a group of men in the Church. It was the whole, entire Church. Every person in power in the Church was ordered to protect child abusers and did so. That means that the entire Church is guilty. Not the lay people, since they didn’t know about it – but since it’s not the laity who decide church teachings, they don’t count.
            It is the hierarchy of the Church who decide that contraception, gay sex and divorce are bad. And since that entire hierarchy also decided that child abusers should be protected, why should anyone care what they think “the truth” is? Any moral compass which says “child abuse is okay” cannot be relied upon to point to the truth. They’ve lost the right to talk about it.
            And by the way, if you defend child abuse – as it seems you do – so have you.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            They claim that Jesus is the head of the Church, a real person with a body. How would they clear Jesus of child molestation culpability?

    • P. McCoy

      The numbers are not accurate. Lapsed and Catholics who convert to another belief are counted because now “you can NEVER leave the Catholic Church! ”

      2000 years? Buddhism and Hinduism have been around for much longer. Size and age don’t matter. The fact IS that First World Catholics bankroll the “rice Catholics” in the 2nd and 3rd World.

      The former are leaving the church and the church can not afford it.

      • Korou

        It’s interesting to note that there was, until recently, a way in which a person could formally leave the Catholic Church. A website was set up, providing people access to this knowledge so that they could do so if they wished. Many people used it to leave the Catholic Church which, in a stunning display of hypocrisy, responded by changing canon law so that this procedure could no longer be followed.

        • P. McCoy

          Yes ! Putting emotional pressure on leaving was not enough; now the “church” must act like any common cult.

          Isn’t that a rather insecure way to behave or did they notice that the Irish, Germans, Austrians and Dutch, the money suppliers were leaving in this fashion in droves!

          • Korou

            No need to say “or” – it’s clearly both, as well as being a very real violation of human rights. “You can join our group, but you may not leave it.”

  • BobRN

    “People have no idea how much our nation depends on the Church. Well, they’re about to find out.”

    I hope that’s true, but I have my doubts. Just as most people in the ruling classes, in the mid to higher socio-economic categories, and at the helms of the news organizations are not aware of all the Church does to help society, few will be aware of the consequences when the Church is handcuffed from doing so. Yes, people’s taxes will go up. Yes, the poor will be less served. Yes, there will be fewer options in education. Etc, etc, … But, people won’t make the connection. Just as people today are somewhat aware that there are lots of kids being born out of wedlock, and people are somewhat aware that more people are in poverty now than in recent past decades, they don’t make the connection between single-motherhood and poverty. They also don’t make the connection between our changed attitude and understanding of marriage and single-motherhood. People are dense that way, sadly.

    And these connections will be covered up by reporting that turns the attention of the public toward other, more important matters, like whether or not Derek Jeter and his girlfriend went dutch on their pizza order, or who the next guy gone girl will be. Just as whenever a Democrat is elected to the White House, the press stops reporting on the homeless, the press will never report the connection between the Church’s lost tax exemption and fewer services and options for the poor.

  • Ron Turner

    Name one person who was surprised.

  • tacy

    Amen. We are about to find out just that. And we are about to see why the world needs the Catholic church today.

    • DareJ

      Or if.

  • Crissy Cleveland

    Good grief what a bunch of stuff and nonsense.
    Catholic Charities does wonderful and amazing work helping the poor and struggling regardless of faith, gender or sexual orientation.
    I have worked for Catholic Charities for years and I can tell you this:
    90% of CC staff members, including men and women Religious, have No Problems helping and serving All people in need or crisis. The vast majority feel this way about gay adoptions too.
    Only the hierarchy mandate and enforce rules requiring discrimination. Shame on them!
    God bless Catholic Charities.

    • Korou

      I’m glad to hear it! I once worked in a Catholic elementary school and was present at a staff meeting in which the headteacher passed on new guidelines from the Church on sex education. One of the teachers spoke up to say that he priority was to make sure that the children were as well prepared as they could be for the world, and that involved comprehensive sex education – and if the Church had a problem with that, then too bad.

  • KarenJo12

    On the very narrow question of whether your church will be forced to perform gay marriages, no, it won’t. My husband was raised Catholic; I am Presbyterian. We were married in a purely Protestant ceremony because I refused to endure Catholic pre-marital counseling as a condition of having a priest at the service when only his mother and brother would be there but all of my Presbyterian family would be. There was nothing I could do to force a priest to conduct, bless, or approve our ceremony, and, since this was 1987 and our first marriage, there were no other impediments. The only reason there was no priest is because we didn’t comply with the requirements.

    The question of Catholic charities that work in a generally secular areas like education and nutrition assistance is more of an issue. That said, other than adoption I’m not sure how the gay issue would even arise. I’m sure Catholic Charities doesn’t restrict its disaster assistance only to people who comply with Church teaching on sex.

    • Chris W

      You are right stating Catholic charities doesn’t restrict assistance, but it is not just for disasters. It is for all charities. “other than adoption I’m not sure how the gay issue would even arise”
      Picture this, current and on-going disputes over gay marriage and Catholic teaching have been and are an issue in San Francisco. Teachers in Catholic institutions have been required to comply with and teach Catholic teaching. (how dare they!)
      Now that will be legally defined as “discriminatory and prejudiced”. After all, if gay marriage is a right, then that right surely extends to teachers at Catholic institutions. The law suits will begin if they have not already started.
      How long will it be before it is criminal?

  • John Proffitt

    I would guess that if the state see that it can increase its revenue streams by taxing religious institutions, all of the other non-profits will soon be taxed as well. Partly from the increasing greed of the states and federal government for the revenue, and partly because to only tax the religious non-profits would also be illegal under the Constitution mandate for equal treatment.

  • Lycanthropic Lenny

    Sounds like a threat. I’ll call your bluff and say pull the tax-exempt status. Not only should you have lost your tax-exempt status for operating a systematic pedophile ring, your doors should have been chained shut. We’ve moved on from that? That’s in that past? Right. Because the emotional scars of being raped have fully healed and the trauma suffered by the victims has long been forgotten. You can pat all each other on the back and congratulate yourselves for having the market cornered on benevolence all you like, but it still doesn’t remove that fact that your actions, including your charity, are all a means of social control. You may dismiss me as a “troll” as you like, but that is incorrect. I sincerely believe the things I say. I will tell you how I see you, however, and that is as a fossil that refuses to accept it’s dead.

    • moon1234

      Ever notice most of the “boys” attacked in the church are between the ages of 13 and 17? Pedophilia is defined as under the age of 12. I will let you guess what the inclinations of the “abusers” really are!

      • Lark62

        Actually, they got all ages and both genders.

    • Chris W

      It happened. We are coping with the outfall and instituting numerous training and means to help prevent it in the future. Question, teachers, and many other professions have a much higherstatistical rate of these predators targeting and abusing kids. Why is the only outcry against one of the statistically smallest groups?

  • SpiritOnParole

    All countries deal with growing pains, it will be worth it to lay to rest the choke hold of the holier-than-thou religious groups who think the world can’t survive without them. We may go through tough times while replacing those charities, but ultimately they WILL be replaced and things will be less polarized imo.

  • Mandy Vonnie-Buehlander

    I am appalled by the tenor of this essay. “People have no idea how much our nation depends on the Church. Well, they’re about to find out.” Are you (is your Church) threatening the community? Does this attitude seem consistent with Christ’s teachings? It doesn’t to this reader; it seems antithetical to them.

    • lizzysimplymagic

      Kinda shows what the priority is when they start handwringing over money right off the bat, huh?

    • Lark62

      I read “I’m gonna take my ball and go home. Then you’ll be sorry.” And pictured a six year old stomping off the playground, secretly hoping the other kids will beg him to come back. Meanwhile, the other kids sigh with relief, glad to be done with unending sky is falling tantrums.

  • virago

    I am Catholic born, bred and wed; sadly, I had been married at least 2 years before I truly understood sacramental marriage. Thank you Lord for my husband, who did understand and did not give up on me because I didn’t.

    And there it is! Teaching our children the deeper meaning of love and marriage and God’s plan for us.
    If this whole thing (civilization in the USA) doesn’t go over a cliff, it wont be because those of us who are boomers didn’t try!

  • msb29

    The Catholic Church, or any church for that matter, is not tax-exempt *because* it is “good for the community” or provides various charitable services. The suspension of charitable acts would not entail a loss of tax-exempt status. Its not a 501c(3), or (4) or anything else. It’s a religion, and since the power to tax is the power to destroy, any direct taxation of a religion would violate the free exercise clause. Tax-exempt status has nothing to do with acceptance of direct government funding towards the aforementioned charitable services. If the State deems the charitable services to be discriminatory, it is entirely within its rights to eliminate that funding, and a great many innocent people would be harmed as a result. But that is not the same as taxing the collection plate.

  • lizzysimplymagic

    Has the Catholic Church been forced by the state to ordain a female priest yet? Because women supposedly have had equal rights for awhile now, and I don’t see you freaking out that the state is going to make you treat women like equals anytime soon. You can continue to push the “being gay is unnatural and wrong” narrative all you like at church, you just can’t make anyone outside your group listen anymore. Atheists, Buddhists, Pagans, Jews, Christians, etc., will just continue to NOT get married at your place… Only now more so. And gay Catholics will do what everyone does- the best they can, under the circumstances. Only now the state won’t be the main hinderance to loving partnership, the church will. Might effect the image of the church some, but since the only REAL issue is where the money ends up, who cares if people don’t think the church can claim the moral high ground?

    • KarenJo12

      The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination by sex, yet 51 years later every single person with any authority at all in the Catholic church is still male. It would be nice if people remember that while thinking about marriage equality.

  • radiofreerome

    Indeed the Catholic Church will suffer. She will suffer because she can no longer treat gay people as Untouchables as She has for most of Her existence. She started burning us to death in the third century and murdered us through most of Her history. You could call it a “death penalty” but that isn’t really accurate, Holy Mother Church’s children in Venice burned us to death to propitiate their “God” who would punish His children for not sacrificing us by destroying Venice. It was no less human sacrifice than Mayan child sacrifice to avert drought. As extreme approaches become less tenable, She seeks to marginalize us from cradle to grave by demanding the right to oppose our treatment as peers in education, military service, housing, employment, medical care, etc. She doesn’t kill gays directly anymore, She just teaches them from earliest awareness that they are destined to live and die alone and that the desire for anything more is worthy of eternal torture. This has a certain Borgia-inspired elegance in that it leads young gays into despair and suicide thus ensuring damnation as well as death.

  • David W

    I have to disagree with the claim that Churches should get “out of the business of offering civil marriages.” It would give the impression to the world that the state gives the “real” marriage and we just have a separate ceremony. We need to fight to defend what was ours in the first place, not surrender the field.

    • Marriage was a contract establishing kinship and heirs centuries before such unions were ever blessed on the steps of the church. This whole “marriage is from God” claim is belied by history.

      • David W

        Not even remotely true. Sure, marriage exists in non-Christian societies (and who denied it?) but that fact does not deny the Christian teaching of marriage was in existence as long as Christianity existed.

        • Calling something untrue doesn’t make it so. The catholic understanding of sacramental marriage didn’t arrive until after Augustine.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          How can we tell if the teaching is false?

  • I agree that the RCC does good in the world, but I think you overestimate that good. For example, some Catholic adoption agencies have closed up shop when they were told government funding is dependant on placing children with both opposite sex and same sex parents.

    In that case, 1) the church was not committed to the service they provided; they didn’t think it was important enough to continue a self-funded operation and 2) the charity was actually coming from the government who found a different, fairer provider for the same service.

  • lizzysimplymagic

    The real problem? The only hinderance to loving couples consenting to share each other’s lives is the church… And that’s not really much of a hinderance, just embarrassing. Kind of have to be on the defensive now, because so much has been invested in the antigay narrative that change would be admitting to wrong – and the church isn’t allowed to be wrong. How frightening that must be! It’s a real shame that a human institution denies its God-given right to learn from mistakes, by denying that mistakes are made at all. The church lost the opportunity to lead the way for the cause of justice and mercy yet again – but individual Catholics are still going to stand up, follow Christ and their conscience, and do the right thing, just as they did with segregation, voting rights for women, and hosts of other causes. Thank God for that!

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      I thank a cultural black marker to a ton of Bible verses but also a cultural highlighter to passages about commanding love (even if I see commanding love as an oxymoron).

  • Mike

    things are going to get very weird in america.

  • radiofreerome

    Simcha’s argument is simply this that the Catholic Church is Too Big To Fail so that it must be allowed to abuse the rights of lesbians and gays with impunity. This means She can fire us for refusing to live and die alone, She can expell gay minors from publicly funded charter schools merely for how they were born (the Louisiana Council of Catholic bishops endorsed a bill, SB217, to do precisely this), She can deny us all the rights afforded to American Catholics under the Civil rights act of 1964, and She can claim victimhood if anyone challenges Her.

  • I am not in favor of SCOTUS’ decision or SSM. Yes you are right there wil be various impacts that will grow over the years. If we have to wean ourselves of government funding that may not be the worse thing. It was great to be able to collaborate with the federal and state governments via Catholic Charities, but if that collaboration goes away and those entities have to survive without government contracts so be it, it will also free us from certain constraints. What worries me really is the hospitals because catholic hospitals give Catholic medical professionals a place top work in which they can practice medicine according to the principles of the Catholic Faith. If we lose them we may find it harder to enter certain specialties if not all medical practice. That would be a true loss.

  • Elizabeth K.

    One of my atheist Facebook friends once asked where he could fin a “non-Jesus related” organization he could donate some stuff to. He got crickets as a reply. That should have told him and his other friends something, maybe made them pause, but my guess is that people think that Catholics have somehow monopolized all of those great giving opportunities and have forced the secularists out. If only we could close them down, they think, and we could have neutral, secular charities! yes! And they could be started by. . .someone other than me, I’m busy! It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

    • Adam King

      Google “secular charities.” You might learn something.

  • “I don’t believe that priests and ministers will be prosecuted – jailed, fined, or strung up in the public square – for refusing to officiate at gay marriages. ”

    I am certain that they will. The taxes and financial destruction will come first, but we will not avoid martyrdom.

    • guadalupelavaca

      One thing for sure, no one will go to jail. This ruling is not a criminal law. And the constitution doesn’t actually apply to individuals. For it to be a criminal offense the state would have to pass a criminal statute saying it would be illegal to refuse to perform the sacrament of marriage. I don’t see that happening. The Church already has certain restrictions against gays teaching in their schools, and the courts have not interfered. In my professional opinion I really think this will be a non issue for the Catholic Church, or any clergy.

      • Non-discrimination laws are already on the books in all 50 states, it would be a simple matter to extend them to Churches now that there is no first amendment protection against it.

        • catfink

          Huh? In which case did a court rule that the First Amendment does not protect the right of churches to choose who they will marry?

          • The one in Idaho.

          • catfink

            What “one in Idaho?” Give us the name of this alleged case.

          • Chris W

            Another simple google search yields some 64,000 results.

          • catfink

            Then give us a LINK to this alleged case, or at the very least a CITATION to the case. It’s not my job to trawl the internet looking for it. In which case did a court rule that the First Amendment does not protect the right of churches to choose who they will marry? If you really think it exists, produce it.

          • Korou

            http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2014/10/20/3581733/idaho-marriage-chapel-adf/
            As might be expected, the story is baseless.
            Turns out the complaining party is a for-profit business. Therefore it has an obligation to act as a business, and does not get a freedom of religion pass.

        • guadalupelavaca

          What happened to the first amendment?

          • It just got reduced wildly to “no religious freedom outside of the sanctuary”.

    • catfink

      I am certain that they will.

      Based on what? Interracial marriage has been a constitutional right for half a century, but no church has ever been “jailed, fined, or strung up in the public square” for refusing to perform an interracial marriage. Divorce has also been legal for decades, but no church has ever been subject to any legal penalties for refusing to perform a marriage of a divorced person to a new spouse. With respect to religious ceremonies (marriage, baptism, funerals, confirmation, or whatever else it may be) churches are free to discriminate in whatever way they choose — whether on the basis of age, sex, race, or anything else. Nothing in Friday’s ruling changes that.

      • Chris W

        But it does change, the solicitor general in the oral arguments admitted that refusal could lead to punitive loss of tax exempt status. Not to mention the law suits that will follow for discriminating against gay teachers in Catholic Schools, and positions in other Catholic organizations.

        • catfink

          the solicitor general in the oral arguments admitted
          that refusal could lead to punitive loss of tax exempt status.

          If you think this, I’m pretty sure you misunderstood what he said. Do you have an actual quote, or a link to a transcript of his oral argument? In any case, loss of tax-exempt status is not “prosecution,” let alone “jailed, fined, or strung up in the public square.” You need to get over your absurd persecution complex.

          • Chris W

            I never said a word about “jailed, fined or strung up in the public square” As for the cite? a simple google search will yield about 30,000 results. When asked this specific question, the solicitor general responded, “General Verrilli: You know, ­­I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is –it is going to be an issue.” Persecution comes in many forms and not necessarily restricted to criminal laws. It is no way absurd to consider the words as a looming persecution. The solicitor general in essence said, “If you don’t think as we think, then this could happen.”

          • catfink

            I never said a word about “jailed, fined or strung up in the public square”

            But Theodore Seeber did, and that’s the (absurd) claim that started this exchange. Do you agree with him?

            Your quote contains nothing to support your claim about tax-exempt status. It refers to an unidentified “issue.” You need to quote the full exchange, including the preceding question, for us to see what specific legal matter the two men are talking about.

          • Chris W

            No, it is up to you to refute. It is plainly and readily available.

          • catfink

            Hilarious. You claim something exists, without providing a shred of evidence to support your claim, and then insist that it’s my job to “refute” your unsubstantiated claim.

            You seriously expect this kind of nonsense is going to get you anywhere, do you?

          • Chris W

            It is an exercise in futility I choose not to do. Anything I would provide would be: (fill in the blank) therefore unacceptable.

            The point is, it is right there in the oral arguments, it has been widely reported, but you choose not to even seek what is evident.

          • catfink

            The point is, it is right there in the oral arguments,

            You haven’t shown even that anyone made the claim in oral argument. And even if someone had done that, an oral argument to the court is not a court ruling. So your claim that Friday’s ruling changes the law on the right of churches to decide who to marry would be complete and utter nonsense even if your claim about what was said during oral argument were true.

          • Chris W

            So the solicitor general in oral arguments before the Supreme Court stating tax exempt status for Churches is an issue that they will need to look at is not something for Churches to be concerned about?
            Quit putting words in my mouth, I said this is something that could happen as a result, I never said this changes current tax exempt status. By quoting the solicitor general of the united states, I said it is a definite concern.
            And do you really doubt that law suits for discrimination will not follow the decision?

          • catfink

            So the solicitor general in oral arguments before the Supreme Court stating tax exempt status for Churches is an issue that they will need to look at is not something for Churches to be concerned about?

            For the umpteenth time, you haven’t shown that the solicitor general said any such thing. All you’ve offered is a fragment of a response to a question in which an unidentified person refers to an unidentified “issue.”

            Quit putting words in my mouth, I said this is something that could happen as a result, I never said this changes current tax exempt status.

            Yes, you did. I wrote, “nothing in Friday’s ruling changes” the law regarding the right of churches to choose who to marry, and in direct response to that statement, you wrote “But it does change.”

          • Chris W

            No, again quit putting your words in my mouth. I did not say “But it does change.” There was no period ending the thought. I said “But it does change,” with a comma and continued the thought. One widely reported in numerous outlets.

      • Based on the fact that it is already happening in Canada and Idaho. BTW, the Mormons were fined and jailed over interracial marriage. The reason that the Annulment process exists in the Catholic Church, and is so over-used in the United States, is to avoid losing tax exempt status over divorce.

        • catfink

          Please cite the case in Idaho in which a priest or minister was “jailed, fined, or strung up in the public square – for refusing to officiate at gay marriages.”

          • catfink

            As I suspected, your story says nothing about anyone even being fined, let alone “jailed” or “strung up in the public square.” All it says is that the owners of a private wedding chapel claimed that “city officials” told them they were “required to conduct gay marriages under a non-discrimination ordinance.” The story also states that the wedding chapel in question is a for-profit business, not a church, meaning that it is subject to non-discrimination laws, just like other commercial businesses.

          • Under Obergefell, all churches are for profit businesses open to public accommodation; the protections left for religious liberty are now non-existent, thus every church falls under such public accommodation laws nationwide.

            If you think for one second that you have any First Amendment protections left, all they have to do is point out you’re able to eat off of your for profit business to remove 501c(3) protections.

            There’s also this recent fun addition:
            http://law.justia.com/cases/oregon/tax-court-magistrate-division/2015/tc-md-140316c.html

          • catfink

            Under Obergefell, all churches are for profit businesses open to public accommodation

            More nonsense. The ruling says no such thing.

          • Read the dissenting opinions.

          • catfink

            I have. None of the opinions state that “all churches are for profit businesses open to public accommodation.” You just made up that piece of nonsense out of thin air.

          • Both Roberts and Thomas dissents reference this in talking about tax status. Once 501(c)3 status is lost, of course churches become public accommodation businesses, under the same rules as any other public accommodation for profit business.

            But I can understand the wishful thinking that it were not so.

          • catfink

            Both Roberts and Thomas dissents reference this in talking about tax status.

            No they don’t. Neither of their dissents say that “all churches are for profit businesses open to public accommodation” or anything remotely like it.

          • They both say that churches will lose their tax exempt status under this ruling. Do you understand the implication of that under what constitutes a non-profit vs a for-profit business under our law?

          • catfink

            They both say that churches will lose their tax exempt status under this ruling.

            Well, make up your mind. You just claimed they said “all churches are for profit businesses open to public accommodation.” Which is it? And where did they say it? Quote them.

          • The two statements are equivalent to anybody who understands what a for profit public accommodation business is (hint, under US Tax Code, it has zero to do with whether you are actually able to make a profit or not).

          • catfink

            The two statements are equivalent to anybody who understands what a for profit public accommodation business is

            More nonsense. Registered charities have tax-exempt status, but they are not “for profit businesses.” You just don’t know what you’re talking about.

            Still waiting for those quotes where Roberts and Thomas allegedly said that “all churches are for profit businesses open to public accommodation.”

          • Since the 1950s- only registered charities are considered not-for-profit businesses.

            Non-registered charities are considered for profit businesses.

            Roberts and Thomas BOTH agree that this ruling means that churches will lose their registered status, and a non-registered charity is a for profit business.

            What part of that chain of reasoning are you not following?

          • catfink

            Since the 1950s- only registered charities are considered not-for-profit businesses.

            You just made the nonsensical claim that “tax-exempt” is equivalent to “for profit business.” It isn’t. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

            Roberts and Thomas BOTH agree that this ruling means that churches will lose their registered status, and a non-registered charity is a for profit business.

            Still waiting for those quotes where Roberts and Thomas allegedly said that “all churches are for profit businesses open to public accommodation.”

          • No, I made the claim that a LACK of tax exemption is a for profit business. Since you can’t read English, why should I take the time to quote anything to you?

          • catfink

            Your claim is nonsensical either way.

            Still waiting for the slightest shred of evidence to support your ludicrous assertion that “priests and ministers will be prosecuted – jailed, fined, or strung up in the public square – for refusing to officiate at gay marriages.”

            Still waiting for those quotes where Roberts and Thomas allegedly said that “all churches are for profit businesses open to public accommodation.”

          • Korou

            Sorry for butting in earlier. I really should read to the end of comment threads, but sometimes they get so long.

  • AnneG

    All these atheist posters are really funny if not totally blind.
    We’ve being trying to destroy the Church for 2000 years, there is no way they can destroy it over this argument.
    Besides, the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. Persecution makes Her stronger.
    I just hope I have a smidge of the courage of the Libyan martyrs.

    • Korou

      You’ll never have to find out because nobody is actually trying to destroy the Catholic Church.
      Certainly as an atheist I believe that Catholic teachings are nonsense, but I’m quite happy for you to have freedom to believe whatever you like, and would see an attack on your religious liberties as an attack on freedom itself.
      The way I would like to see the Catholic Church “destroyed” is for it’s members to change their minds and decide that they don’t believe in it any more. That’s unlikely to happen, though, at least in the near future.

      While we’re not trying to destroy the Church we do want to destroy the Church’s totalitarian (that is, wanting total control over thoughts and actions) over society. And we did. We won hundreds of years ago. We got what we wanted – societies in which people are free to believe whichever religion they wish, or none, and in which religions have no control over the government. And as a consequence, exactly how many religious wars have we had?

  • guadalupelavaca

    I am a constitutional lawyer and a daily communicant. The Church is very important to me. After the ruling I questioned whether priests will be required to perform the sacrament of marriage on a gay couple. My best guess is that they probably won’t.

    The reason is that this ruling really applies to the state. It says that a state cannot deny a marriage license to a gay couple. A gay couple can still get married, but what they are really being denied is the sacrament of marriage, not a legal marriage.

    I think it would be huge stretch to say that a sacrament is synonymous to a civil marriage.

  • SaintMike

    The only thing I want from “The Church” is to be left alone

    • guadalupelavaca

      Are they bothering you?

      • Chris W

        The fact that the Church exists at all seems to bother many, and oh, let us wrap ourselves in the banner of tolerance while decrying the existence of the Church.

        • Lookingup73

          I don’t know that he was decrying the existence of the Church. He said he would want to be left alone. Many feel the impact of the church who are not even Catholic and that is a problem.

  • responder111

    The whole country takes Catholic Charities (and all other charity from the CC) for granted because they assume these services are being given by the “Government”. Catholic Charities will have to get out of the business of “helping everyone” and devote their service to only “church members”. I couldn’t be happier. Catholics have gotten nothing but vile spittle in our faces from the GLTS cabal, the liberal media cabal, and liberal hollywood cabal.

    Worse than those three gangs are the millions of “blind liberals” who follow them, who will be the very people who are cut off from the Catholic Charities services. I’m not proud of it, but I am happy that there will finally be “spiritual justice.” The “poor” who the liberals are allegedly so concerned about (although I notice they live far, far away from their neighborhoods in gated communities), will now only be able to look to the “nanny state” for all the millions of dollars worth of services they received from the Church/Catholic Charities.

    The poor liberals will get “their just desserts”. And don’t think the three gangs mentioned above are going to lose one minute’s sleep over it.

  • robc64

    Taxing churches is just another way for the secular government to expand their power and reach. The guv wants a monopoly on providing for the general welfare of the people. Won’t let our good church get in the nanny state’s way!

    • guadalupelavaca

      It won’t happen. 60 million Catholics is a huge voting base. 6 Justices are Catholic. We have a large influence in this country. Bob Jones Univ. lost theirs because they have no influence, and they were discriminating against blacks, not gays.

      • Cathy J

        Kennedy and Sotomayor? Both voted with the majority, Catholic or no (mostly, no.)

  • jmjriz

    Simcha, when I read this and see the accompanying graphic I deeply lament the missed opportunities for the remnant (and that’s who we now are) to act in
    Truth and Charity through sustained public witness. The rainbow is essential to their victory. Once you hear Gilbert Baker (the flag’s creator) describe the link to Genesis and the blood of Jesus, you see the source of his ‘inspiration.’ (There is a video on this that can be accessed through a Google Search on: The Real Crime? Rainbow)

    So we continue using this rainbow to give them identify without stressing its original covenant and the ultimate connection to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Heaven. We must not give away this symbol.

    I profoundly regret that I failed to make a real U.S. cotton fibered living flag to wave in freedom and establish the objective rallying point.

    Mary has the victory, but we have a pivotal role to play in this battle to save souls.

    I will send links to anyone who responds.

    God Bless America!

  • wineinthewater

    “But the truth is, churches are tax exempt because they are good for the community. ”

    I don’t think this is true. Not all churches are good for the community, but all churches should be tax exempt. The reason churches are tax exempt is that taxation of religious activities is incompatible with religious liberty. To tax religious activities is to infringe on the free exercise of religion. For this reason, opposition to gay marriage should never be a threat to churches.

    However, this won’t protect our religious charities (although there’s an argument to be made that for Catholics, our charity work is an exercise of our religion). Those *are* granted tax exempt status because they do societal good.

    But we should make sure that we differentiate. Our churches are not tax exempt because they are charitable, they are tax exempt because they are churches. The latter will be a lot harder to challenge than the former.

  • Anon

    I actually think the opposite is going to happen. The Catholic bishops are going to get a lesson in how irrelevant they are.

    The Catholic university I work for already offers benefits to same sex partners and safe space diversity training to faculty and staff, with nary a peep from our bishop. I’m going to take a crazy guess that most people who work for Catholic Charities and various other social justice organizations are fine with non-discrimination against gay couples either in hiring or benefits, or among those they assist.

    If organizations lose their tax exempt statues because of decrees from chancery offices that they discriminate, those people – the social workers, administrators, etc – will just quit and re-organize independently. Or go to work for one of the many secular or mainline Protestant charitable organizations out there.

    The number of Catholic laity and lay employees who will have the bishops’ back on this is very, very small, and they tend to be concentrated in seminaries and catechetical offices, not charitable or social justice organizations.

    I don’t think any church should be forced to marry anyone they don’t want to marry, or hire anyone to teach their faith they don’t want teaching it, or minister who they don’t want ministering. And no one I know in the gay or progressive community care about that either. The constitution and recent SCOTUS decisions such as Hosanna-Tabor support that that won’t be a problem for Churches. Those fanning fears that conservative Christian churches are going to be “persecuted” are just media demagogues who make a living getting website hits and profiting off the insecurities of their readers and listeners.

    But a Church can’t form organizations to do work that is deeply intertwined with the secular world, hiring and serving secular populations, such as a hospital, university, or social work agency, claim a tax exemption (ahem, taxpayer subsidy) for it, and then discriminate. Hiring a gay person to do a secular job and having to share an office with them or providing their partner with benefits does not impinge on anyone’s free exercise of religion. One doesn’t get to extend their free exercise into the lives of others, and the “free exercise” of religion in the US has long been limited if it infringes on the common good or the rights of others – you cannot enter into plural marriages with 13 year olds or discriminate based on race, things people have long claimed their “religious freedom” obligates them to.

    • wineinthewater

      “ahem, taxpayer subsidy”

      I think this is a big part of the problem. Tax exempt status is not a taxpayer subsidy. Taxation isn’t the default condition, non-taxation is. We do not owe the government or society anything for refraining from using the destructive power of taxation on us any more than the abused wife owes her husband for not hitting her. Taxation is a (normative) necessity for funding the necessary functions of government. American jurisprudence already recognizes the destructive power of taxation (“the power to tax is the power to destroy”). In many ways, it is a necessary evil, which means that it should be applied in a targeted (although just) manner, not in a blanket manner.

      The tax-exempt status of churches recognizes that the destructive power of taxation is incompatible with the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. The tax exempt status of charitable organizations is a recognition that it is unwise to apply the destructive power of taxation to an organization that exists for the sole purpose of benefiting society. Neither is a subsidy because taxation is not a universal obligation, it is not the default condition, it is the necessary evil that exists for the good of society.

      • catfink

        I think this is a big part of the problem. Tax exempt status is not a taxpayer subsidy.

        Of course it is. They’re getting the benefits of public goods and services without contributing to the cost of them. For charities, this may be justified, because charities are performing a public service for disadvantaged people. But for private religious activities, there is no basis for tax-exempt status. It’s a scam. I think people are increasingly coming to see this. The days of tax-exempt status for religious organizations are numbered.

        • wineinthewater

          The *church* isn’t getting those benefits, the people are, and those people already paid for them. You’re essentially saying that religious people should have to pay for public services twice.

          • catfink

            The *church* isn’t getting those benefits,

            Of course the church is getting the benefits. The tax exemption on church property, for example, means the church is getting the public benefits that are funded through property taxes without paying anything for those benefits. Everyone else has to pay higher property taxes because the church is exempted from those taxes. It’s a complete scam.

          • Lookingup73

            You might be right. My Church and school growing up was on a 50 acre lot in Northern Virginia (for perspective, 1/2 acre plots of land in that area went for $300K in 2003). There were soccer fields (only for the school use, not the community around the school). The school I went to was not too expensive. But the monsignor had a great way for parents to save money – pay your tuition through the weekly envelopes. That way you got a tax deduction! The Church and school got a new blacktop every 2 years, the school was well maintained, the Church put in new statues every year and a grotto one year, and the Church bought the monsignor a cadillac the year the bishop said that the Churches in the dioceses needed to share their wealth around with the other Churches (the bishop took $11 million from our parish). I never ever saw how the people got benefits (ethically – yeah – they got the tax break for their tuition but that was immoral). I definitely saw how the church got the benefits.

            How are the people paying “twice” for public services? lol

  • Anon

    Also, this ignores that the least religious countries in the world also tend to be those that do the best job of taking care of their least fortunate. Where would you rather live if you were poor, Scandinavia or Sub-Saharan Africa? Massachusettes or Mississippi?

    Yes, that is because government does much of the work in those places. Maybe government should do more of the work in the US. As a taxpayer, I find it appalling that the government gives public, taxpayer money to religious organizations to do charitable work rather than working to form effective and efficient government agencies and subsidiaries, that are accountable to all the laws of the land and the taxpayers who fund them.

    We need better public services, not more funding going to unaccountable private ones. Societies that embrace quality, well funded government and infrastructure are almost always better places to live than those that don’t.

  • Diane Griego

    The Catholic Church and the church as a whole and their silence on the issue have helped bring this evil upon us.

  • Lookingup73

    If they don’t discriminate they won’t have to worry. It is sad that the Church’s mission has become to defend discrimination at all costs!

    One correction – you wrote: “if they are found to discriminate against people in gay (and other non monogamous, non hetero) unions.” – There is no equivalence between gay unions and “non monogamous unions” – good sarcasm but unnecessary. Obviously gay unions are and will be just as monogamous as hetero unions.