Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stop moping around!





If you are like me, you've been disheartened by the vote to legalize gay "marriage" in New York.

But tonight I read Thomas Peters' excellent reminder that we Catholics aren't getting nor reporting the full picture. We tend to follow the "mainstream" liberal media's reporting habits, and the media spend far more time touting the few gay "marriage" successes, and not much time discussing the much broader support for true marriage.

For example, did you know that two blue states, Maryland and Rhode Island, shot down gay "marriage" bills recently, thanks to the Democrats? I confess that I didn't! Yes, those and other victories for marriage have been taking place all around us, and we have allowed the defeat in New York to discourage us.

But stop and think about it: We are talking about New York! Remember that New York City is the epicenter of the Culture of Death in America: It was recently reported that a full 41% of NYC's unborn children are aborted. Should we be shocked that that gay "marriage" would eventually come to this place?

New York has dark days ahead if it stays on this path, but most states are not this far gone.

We Catholics need to stay strong ("Be not afraid!" as Blessed John Paul II so often told us), and we must have the courage to fight for traditional marriage in the public square, as Pope Benedict XVI has exhorted us:

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable….
His list includes:
Recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role.  (2006 speech to European politicians)

It is clearly part of our job as Catholics to bring back the understanding that rights are based on natural law (self-evident, inalienable rights, with which we are endowed by our Creator), and to beat back the idea of a "right" as "something you really, really want, and it would be mean to deny it".

And from here on in, I will be much more aware of the media's propensity to give "extra attention" to gay "marriage" victories while downplaying its defeats.

I hope you will too, so that we all have the fortitude to stay in the game.

+++++++

On a personal note, I am beseeching prayers for a friend, the mother of five small children, who has recently been diagnosed with stage 3B Hodgkin's lymphoma. If you could send up a prayer for her healing and her family's comfort, right now, as you are thinking of it, I would so deeply appreciate it.





135 comments:

  1. Leila, so very true. Thank you for the reminder. The victory is already won, but we must not get disheartened in the battle.

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  2. I read this and your "Reversion" story and so much of what you write rings loud bells in my heart and mind!
    You're right and I'll be coming back to this blog over and over again. In fact, I'm going to link you from my blog.
    God bless you!
    Roxanna

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  3. I didn't know that about those other states...now, that's encouraging especially seeing as I was disappointed (although not shocked) hearing about NY.

    I'm sorry to hear about your friend-I will keep her and her family in my prayers.

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  4. I've recently read several articles on the protection of the family unit and have come to the realization (which I'm sure is not a new revelation!) that the family and extended family are the original and natural "social services" that many people now want our government to provide. It is not surprising that if we as a society do not protect and prioritize family, that eventually we need to offer a huge wealth of social aid to replace the natural structure and protection of the family. Low cost housing, elder care, child care, and myriad other social services become necessary as a result of the breakdown of the family. Anyway, that's just what I've been pondering recently. :-)

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  5. I didn't know about the other states either! Another thing I didn't know was how many of my "Catholic" friends on facebook supported gay marriage! Ugh! Is it just me or is it a trend to support it without clearly thinking through the repercussions? The statistics and research that has been done is quite shocking. I was especially disturbed by the studies that have been done on children who are adopted by gay couples. Very sad. Did you read Archbishop Dolan's response? Amen! P.S. Prayers for your friend and her family.

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  6. HEre in Canada we didnot hear about Maryland nor Rhode island either!?!?!?! BUT I did read that Bishop Timothy Doland of NYC did put up a really good fight against the gay marriage!!
    TheresaEH in Alberta

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  7. You can imagine the celebration at Prides around the nation this weekend.

    Coincidentally, my boyfriend and I heard of the victory in NY as we were celebrating our faux civil union. He was extremely excited, and with reason. New York is one of *those* states. It's where progress, whether you like it or not, tends to start before it spreads.

    Also, I despise the connection between abortion rates and legalization of gay marriage.

    Gay marriage in the law will not destroy the American family. This is thinking of the like from the 1950's and the Red Scare, where the gay community was also seen as a threat to American civilization.

    Perhaps someone could lay out the timeline for what the destruction of the American family would look like, and why the American family is what is touted instead of just "the family". I have a hard time believed civil and legal protection of same-sex unions could be such a destructive force, but I suppose I could be convinced otherwise.

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  8. It's probably the first and only time I've been proud of the state I live in (MD) since moving here!

    So sorry to hear about your friend. She's in my prayers.

    Zach, read Monica's comment. I think she addressed your question before you even asked it!

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  9. Quite a divisive comment thread he's got going there. Nothing like politics on this topic to bring out the heavy artillery. Eech.

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  10. Zach, to be honest, the question of gay marriage has always been such a sensitive one, as Charity and compassion are Christian virtues, and it seems on first glance that opposition to gay marriage meets neither of these criteria. I do believe that is a matter of "first glance" though, and deeper probing can reveal why gay marriage is harmful to marriage, the institution, as it has been known for the past.... 2000 years or so.

    I hope you will read this article. I particularly like it because I think it approaches the question from a point of view that does not necessarily have to be religious. http://www.catholicvote.org/discuss/index.php?p=18467

    The most important point of that article is this- What is the point of marriage?

    Do you see a reason why, if marriage becomes simply "an institution that enshrines human love" as discussed in the article, we remove any logical barrier to polygamist marriage or incestuous marriage? Is that ok with you?

    Where does this leave children, who undeniably benefit THE MOST from heterosexual marriages (as demonstrated in study after study)- if we remove every legal distinction between marriage and gay, polygamist, and incestuous partnerships?

    Marriage is not a right, for heterosexuals or anyone else. We all face a list of restrictions dealing with age, marital status, family bloodlines,etc in order to receive the state's approval to marry.

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  11. Also, I don't think Leila was trying to claim that gay marriage causes abortions, or something like that. Simply that there is a trend that when the traditional family structure is not held sacred, abortion and gay marriage follow as consequences.

    It is also worth mentioning, lest you think we are acting "holier than thou" that hetero divorce rates are also incredibly destructive to the family unit as a basis for society. Many of the women here have "sacrificed" the option of no-fault divorce to preserve the family structure of society, and would argue that no fault divorce is a law similarly damaging to a family based society as a law that allows gay marriage. I offer this just to give some perspective, not to derail the conversation onto divorce.

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  12. Zach,

    I'm curious to know what is your definition of marriage? What does that word mean to you?

    I cannot address all your questions here, but you did ask how it was going to lead to the destruction of society. Let's talk about that. What will happen if gay marriage is legalized everywhere? Now you will have the choice to marry a man or a woman or even both during your lifetime. It's your "right." Think ahead to another twenty years, what is the next piece that will be pushed in this marriage equality piece? We already see pologamy popping up trying to get social approval through TLC's show Sister Wives. So imagine if we can't say marriage is just for a man and a woman, then how can we say it is just for a man and a man, or a man and a woman or a woman and a woman? We'd then have a big push to let men marry lots of women as it is their right, and vice versa. Great, so now imagine a marriage application: your choices are male/male, male/female, male/male, and any combination. So if a husband has a wife and wants another, he can do so. If a wife decides to marry another husband and have three, that's ok too. It's their "right." So now we can marry whomever we want. Trust me when I say this: someone will want to marry their pet. I promise you this will happen. They will decide they are in love with Fido and want to marry him. So then we have to legalize that too. Where is the line? Where will we draw the line?

    Further, marriage was set up for children. Period. I am not ashamed to say that a child NEEDS a mother AND a father and when someone chooses to exclude one of those from the child's life, they are doing a grave injustice to their child(ren). Women cannot do it all. We just cannot. Men cannot either. We are designed to help one another. We have greatly disordered our world by trying to create a world where one sex can suddenly fill both gender roles, be both rolemodels and do everything raising a child. I'm not saying sometimes you are forced to raise a child alone, like in the case of a spouse dying or being terribly abusive to where you need to leave. I am just pointing out that children need both parents. And, two men or two women cannot provide the stability and support that a child needs from being raise by a mother and a father.

    There are many studies done on what happens to children when they are rasied by same sex parents. It is not good. It is a disordered ideal giving way to another disordered ideal.

    I grow very weary of others thinking only of themselves. That's why we have abortion: because we are selfish and don't want to think of our children. At the same time, we want to be free to marry whomever. Can you imagine what will happen in thirty more years when a woman could have been married multiple times to both men and women? Disordered chaos. And society cannot thrive on disordered chaos.

    Meghan
    (Blogger is not allowing me to sign in!)

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  13. I have to agree with Grace in my Heart - I was shocked to see how many of my Catholic friends were excited about the passage in NY! It was more disheartening for me to see that than the actual passage itself, I think...

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  14. Zach, you know I love you. But the Culture of Death includes both abortion and gay "marriage". Not the same animal, but fruits of the same tree (mixed metaphor? Sorry.)

    Zach, I need a definition of marriage from you. A concrete one. Then, I can show you what the problem is.

    GIMH and Leisl, that is the worst part of all. It's because they truly believe that marriage is about "committing to someone you love", with no concept of the actual meaning or purpose of marriage. How sad is that?? Our marriage prep here is getting very indepth now, making sure that each couple understands what marriage is.

    You all should try to get out there an teach it! It really is up to us.

    And yes, the statement by the NY bishops was very good.

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  15. Zach -

    I encourage you to read this article from the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. It is written from a secular perspective, not a religious one. Like abortion, same-sex marriage is not a religious issue.

    The abstract:

    In the article, we argue that as a moral reality, marriage is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other of the type that is naturally fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together, and renewed by acts that constitute the behavioral part of the process of reproduction. We further argue that there are decisive principled as well as prudential reasons for the state to enshrine this understanding of marriage in its positive law, and to resist the call to recognize as marriages the sexual unions of same-sex partners.

    Besides making this positive argument for our position and raising several objections to the view that same-sex unions should be recognized, we address what we consider the strongest philosophical objections to our view of the nature of marriage, as well as more pragmatic concerns about the point or consequences of implementing it as a policy.

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  16. http://gerardnadal.com/2011/06/28/bishop-dimarzio-responds-to-new-yorks-politicians-on-gay-marriage-has-the-slumbering-giant-of-the-episcopacy-been-awakened/

    This great article (above) includes a good and strong statement against Cuomo and the legislators by NY bishop DiMarzio:


    Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have deconstructed the single most important institution in human history. Republicans and Democrats alike succumbed to powerful political elites and have passed legislation that will undermine our families and as a consequence, our society.

    With this vote, Governor Cuomo has opened a new front in the culture wars that are tearing at the fabric of our nation. At a time when so many New Yorkers are struggling to stay in their homes and find jobs, we should be working together to solve these problems. However, the politicians have curried favor with wealthy donors who are proponents of a divisive agenda in order to advance their own careers and futures.

    What is needed in our state is leadership and not political gamesmanship.

    In light of these disturbing developments and in protest for this decision, I have asked all Catholic schools to refuse any distinction or honors bestowed upon them this year by the governor or any member of the legislature who voted to support this legislation. Furthermore, I have asked all pastors and principals to not invite any state legislator to speak or be present at any parish or school celebration.

    The above request is intended as a protest of the corrupt political process in New York State. More than half of all New Yorkers oppose this legislation. Yet, the governor and the state legislature have demonized people of faith, whether they be Muslims, Jews, or Christians, and identified them as bigots and prejudiced, and voted in favor of same-sex “marriage.” It is mystifying that this bill would be passed on the last day of an extended session under the cover of darkness.

    This issue has been framed as upholding marriage equality. This is not the case since one of the principal purposes of marriage is to bring new life into the world. This cannot happen in same-sex marriage. It is not a civil rights issue, but rather a human rights issue upholding the age-old understanding of marriage. Our political leaders do not believe their own rhetoric. If they did, how in good conscience could they carve out any exemption for institutions that would be proponents of bigotry and prejudice?

    Republicans and Democrats equally share responsibility for this ruinous legislation and we as Catholics should hold all accountable for their actions.


    I adore courage. This is a courageous bishop. Now, the excommunication of Cuomo and the other complicit Catholics must commence (well, in my dreams). Not so much to warn them of the danger to their souls (as if they care), but to protect the Eucharist and to address the issue of scandal.

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  17. I have a gay friend who will be doing a guest post in coming weeks, by the way. There are many gay folks who do not see gay "marriage" as a "right". (Marriage is a privilege anyway, not a right.)

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  18. I'm sorry, I can't participate in this thread. I've heard every argument, and I'm well aware that we both know neither side will likely change their mind, and I know that's within the idea of the blog. Not to change minds, but to educate. Part of the reason I need to abstain is I realize I can't convince anyone here that the slippery slope argument is a bad one, or that gay marriage is pragmatic.

    I'm on doctor's orders to avoid stress. Hopefully I can be back in a few days because I really do enjoy conversations here. I hope, in the meantime, you'll consider seeing a documentary like 8: The Mormon Proposition, or something like it. It has it's good parts and it's flaws (I think there are bigger issues than marriage equality for the gay community, and many people make it seem like this would be a final frontier), but I think it puts some decent perspective on it. In the meantime, I'll read over the articles you provided.

    Also, I'm still unsure why if marriage is only for the babies, we allow infertile couples to get legally married. Yes, yes, they have the machinery, but they can't reproduce anyway.

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  19. Zach, I definitely don't want to stress you. I understand your exit from the discussion, no worries.

    I'm still unsure why if marriage is only for the babies, we allow infertile couples to get legally married. Yes, yes, they have the machinery, but they can't reproduce anyway.

    It's not only for the babies, but that is an inherent purpose/meaning of sexual intercourse. Gay sex cannot even accomplish the act of sexual intercourse in the first place. Sex is a privilege of marriage, and even if a husband and wife are infertile, their union is still inherently ordered toward procreation.

    Anyway, God bless…. I hope you know that you are welcome here anytime.

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  20. Zach, by the way, remember that you might not convince the regulars, but you'd be surprised at the lurkers who are reading, and might be on the fence. Not trying to lure you back, because believe me, I understand how stressful these talks can be, and they can distract from real life and real duties. Thanks, and hope to see you on another thread!

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  21. I have been going back and forth in my mind on how we have brought this on ourselves for decades now. I have a sister who just got married and has decided she doesn't want any kids. Her reason? She's too selfish. That actually is her reason and she's not ashamed to say it. We have allowed birth control in and made it the norm and we have the audacity to stand up only when 2 men decide they want to get "married" too. I am not in favor of gay marriage, but I blame myself. When my sister made a comment at the dinner table the other night she joked that she heard a comment from some comedian about gay marriage. He said something like, "if the religious right doesn't want gay marriage then they should quit having gay children." I continued eating and did not say a word because I did not want to start an argument at my parent's dinner table. Jesus knew he would divide households and he was not afraid and that's why he made a difference. But many Christians have taken over their own fertility and decided exactly IF when where and how many children they will have. It is actually to the point where children who are "unplanned" are seen as worth less or disposable. (I personally think it's more rewarding to just make love to my spouse and see what God does with it).

    I just think we've helped bring this upon ourselves by first making marriage irrelevant--Another costly side effect of birth control.

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  22. Manda, I couldn't agree more. The evil of contraception continues to spread and do damage to our culture.

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  23. I’m with Zach. No one is going to explain to me how gay marriage is the end to marriage as we know it. It seems idiotic to me. My major frustration with the whole topic is that the religious community will stand up and damn a person for their love and fight back against gay marriage but I haven’t seen this sort of passion directed towards divorce and infidelity, the actual culprit in the deterioration of marriage.
    When the erosion of marriage is placed on the shoulders of the gay community I have to ask why they are always the target. Within the Catholic Church gay people are not supported. This determination to make them outsiders hasn’t improved Catholic statistics. So explain why in a community where gay marriage doesn’t exist and won’t, there are abortion rates of 31.3% and divorce rates of 21%? Is that the fault of gay marriage? It is not.
    My basis in supporting gay marriage is this: Marriage in America is about a piece of paper. Marriage in a church has also become about a piece of paper. In that way, America has no control over my perception of my marriage, and the outcome of gay marriage isn’t going to deteriorate my family values. Family values to me, include the family and friends that I love.
    This like so many Catholic (or religious) arguments that because sinners are supported by government other people’s principals are going to deteriorate make no sense to me. I feel strong in my faith. I’m not going to get an abortion because my homosexual friend just had a civil union ceremony (which I attended). Where is the connection there? My son isn’t going to grow up not understanding the importance of his faith because my friends joined in a civil union. My son isn’t going to grow up and marry his cousin, or his dog either. My acceptance of a friend’s civil union has no basis in the principals that I teach my son, other than the fact that I will support him regardless of his own personal sins.
    That is what society does. They fear the sin of another and then decide to rally behind it, claiming this one sin is worse than any of our own. God is the only one capable of making that distinction and judging it. Maybe God wants homosexual people to live a life of abstinence, but maybe they are not hearing that. Maybe God has a plan for homosexual couples to foster children without homes, as infertile couples refuse to hear that calling and get invetrofertilization. Or maybe homosexuals are truly sinning. I don’t have the right to judge because I myself commit sins over and over again. And until I’m sin free I have no right to judge the sexual sins of the homosexual.
    If we believe that marriage is the joining of two people by God, and God doesn’t support gay marriage, than they are not really married are they?

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  24. I'm from MD and I'm really happy that my Archbishop and my local parish priest stood up to protect marriage!

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  25. Question of the Feast of St. Peter:

    Is the Church Holy?

    Is there a divine guidance by the Holy Spirit that goes "beyond" immediate politics and gazes at the eternal?

    If you label yourself a Roman Catholic, I hope the answer is yes to both questions.

    Before we start talking about our own "opinions" on Marriage, a Holy Sacrament instituted by Christ at the Wedding of Cana, lets look at the wisdom our Holy Mother Church has said on the issue.

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  26. Mellysue- Marriage in the Church is a sacrament, not a mere piece of paper.

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  27. Actually, no-fault divorce and women in the workforce are the reasons marriage has weakened. Don't go blaming teh gayz when traditional family-oriented marriage has been dead for a long time now.

    If we want to get down to brass tacks as to what marriage was in the days of yore, we women would not be ALLOWED to have jobs outside of the home and family. The husband promised to provide for his family by working and the woman promised to see to his "needs" and raise his children. That is traditional marriage. Any of you ladies on this forum who have employment or refuse your husband when he "needs" you are breaking traditional vows.

    Furthermore, if you wish to have marriage be a promise between two people to bear a Christian family, you will have to dissolve all the marriages across America that do not fit the bill, including Manda's selfish sister-in-law.

    Yeah, not going to happen.

    The problem is people get married and duck and run when the going gets tough. Why? Because we emphasize "happiness" as a perpetual state to be in, instead of an emotion that comes and goes. Oftentimes pop culture tells us that if we're not "happy" then something is dreadfully wrong and we need to change our lives to be happy.

    This may be good if someone is going down the wrong path, but oftentimes it screws people up when the right path simply has a few bumps.

    Truth is NO ONE, NO PATH is happiness all the way and you are much rewarded later on when you stick it out with someone. I agree that kids are best raised in a two-parent household, but I believe in monogamy for families, not necessarily heterosexuality.

    Just my 2 cents.

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  28. Melly Sue,

    If marriage is "just about a piece of paper" (is that the definition? I'm still trying to get a definition), then you are okay if the state recognizes my marriage to my daughter? Or my husband's marriage to her? Or a child's marriage to a child?

    Or, does marriage actually have a definition, a purpose, a meaning? Can you tell me what that is?

    Marriage is not simply a religious thing. It's a an institution which spans all time and all cultures, all religions and even no religion. We are not insisting that everyone believe in the Immaculate Conception. If we were, your points would be valid.

    I hope you can see what I mean.

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  29. Anon, the Church would totally agree that no-fault divorce was a massive catastrophe to the stability of marriage, and especially to women and children. And before that, the acceptance of contraception distorted the meaning of marriage.

    The vows I took are "of yore", by the way, but they were identical to my husband's vows. I don't remember the vow to not work, or the vow to "meet his needs" every day in whatever way he wanted? I'm missing something…

    Also, where is the definition of marriage? I keep asking. Zach said on an earlier thread that he had never considered the question! Isn't that a problem? We don't even know what we are fighting for or against, if we don't even define marriage!

    Can you give me a definition of marriage?

    Also, anon, if you are going to stay in the discussion, please give yourself a name.

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  30. I am very very pro-gay marriage. But I understand the catholics view of marriage.

    I think that the law makers of New York have done the bill well. No clergy member will be forced to marry a gay couple. But remember, there are plenty that do. So how about letting the ones that do want to marry gay couples be the ones to marry gay couples.

    Also, the NY senate also voted not to have gay marriage in 2009 by several votes, and yet, they have it now. I think that many states will have similar journeys, but it is my hope that in a decade, a bill similar to the one just passed will be national.

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  31. Yes, Anon. Sorry. But I don't think there are any doctrines out there which state the wife is to stay home and give her husband what he needs anytime he needs it (whatever you're implying there I don't like it, we are to be mutually self-giving in love--that is what love is). My vows were to love and honor and be faithful to my husband, to raise children in the faith, if possible, in sickness and in health for better or worse. We make sacrifices according to our families needs...and my families needs make it so that right now my husband and I both need to work. One of us is always home with the kids but someday that might not be so. If my husband got laid off tomorrow or I broke my back our situation would change. If it does change, that doesn't mean we've thrown our vows out the window...it means we're continuing to compromise for the sake of our marriage and family.

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  32. Chelsea, what good do you see coming from a national law redefining marriage to include homosexual marriage? And do you think if 2 brothers want to marry they should be able to? Why or why not?

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  33. Chelsea:

    (1) I would add the caveat YET. Don't worry, that's coming too. And it certainly won't stop gay rights activists from suing anyway, just to financially drain said clergy with onerous legal fees.

    Also, there is no exemption for private businesses. For example, if a Church organization such as the Knights of Columbus refuse to rent out a reception hall for a same-sex "marriage," they can be sued. This law doesn't protect their rights. Nor does it protect the conscience rights of Catholic florists, photographers, etc. who refuse to provide their services for same-sex "marriages".

    (2) One problem. In this case, the vote was bought.

    But the donors in the room — the billionaire Paul Singer, whose son is gay, joined by the hedge fund managers Cliff Asness and Daniel Loeb — had the influence and the money to insulate nervous senators from conservative backlash if they supported the marriage measure. And they were inclined to see the issue as one of personal freedom, consistent with their more libertarian views.

    Within days, the wealthy Republicans sent back word: They were on board. Each of them cut six-figure checks to the lobbying campaign that eventually totaled more than $1 million.

    Steve Cohen, the No. 2 in Mr. Cuomo’s office and a participant in the meeting, began to see a path to victory, telling a colleague, “This might actually happen.”


    "Democracy" at work, I guess. The pro-gay marriage couldn't get their way through a vote of the senate, so they had to buy the vote.

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  34. Oy! Leila.....I think I'm moping more now after reading your post!.....especially since I live in NY, where you've pointed out that "New York City is the epicenter of the Culture of Death in America"....definitely moping more. You better find me a house in AZ to relocate ;)

    Mixed fruits metaphor made me laugh out loud...almost as much as marrying your pets!.....now that could be a new TLC primetime special "Married to your Pets"......

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  35. Chelsea, what is the definition of marriage?

    Thanks!

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  36. My husband and I have been trying to figure out the answer to this question, and I bet someone here can enlighten us! :)

    What about civil unions? Can we morally support civil unions as an alternative to gay marriage?

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  37. Opal, I think that may be an issue of prudential judgement, where Catholics are free to hold different opinions. But someone else may know more than I.

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  38. Firstly, the reason I think that there should be a national bill legalizing gay marriage, is that I think that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry. No matter where they live.

    About the bother thing. Do you think that the people trying to get gay rights are trying to get siblings marrying right, does that even exist?

    And about there being only a few successes, I know of several. Plus how do we know they are less successful then heterosexual couples, there is a 50% divorce rate for heterosexual couples.

    Bills on both sides have been brought by lobbyist, you cannot deny there are powerful, and wealthy, conservative republicans.

    I define marriage as two consenting adults whom are making a commitment. To me, this does not mean sexual. But two people who can be a team. There are plenty who get married in love, but get divorced because they cannot live/work together.

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  39. Insinuating that I would support the marriage of a child to an adult would be the same as stating that a Catholic parish member supports sexual abuse by priests. The conclusion you came to is not rational.

    My personal sentiment about marriage is that it is a bond between two consenting people supported by faith for all eternity, to further develop family. My "family" includes the parents that gave birth to me, siblings, children, the friends that seem to be my "soul" sisters, and the friends that support my goals in life.

    My sentiment would mean that a widower that gets remarried would be a polygamist in heaven. If I'm going to spend eternity in heaven with the people I love I don't want two husbands there, but we are not fighting about the right of a widowed woman to remarry.

    Children get married. My grandmother married at 13, my parents at 16. This is allowed by law. Incest is a crime in current day, as is the abuse of a minor - my support of gay marriage doesn't mean I will one day support the sexual abuse of children. If you wanted to marry your daughter there would be a level of mental abuse which is illegal as well.

    Depending on the religion, polygamy is allowed. My understanding of faith doesn't have to match with others. While I don't support polygamy, I won't refuse anyone the right to interpret their religion the way they see it and marry multiple people as long as they are consenting adults entering the marriage completely free from pressure.

    I feel in my heart that Catholicism is the right religion for me. If someone feels in their heart and soul that the Mormon faith is right for them and then interpret their faith's teaching to support polygamy I don't have the right to tell them they are wrong.

    God created us all. And we have interpreted His will in many different ways. As humans we do not have the intellect required to understand God. If I knew I was supposed to be Catholic than I wouldn't have faith. But with my faith, and being human, there is a lot of room for error. Regardless of how Holy I feel the Church is, I'm reminded that even the Church makes mistakes in trusting perverted people with the care of our children, and misguiding 21% of couples to the vocation of marriage. This doesn't mean our Church isn't Holy, it means that we must remember that it is fallible because humans are behind the operations.

    I don't know the biblical story when God stopped having humans record his word. Too many years past, too many interpretations of the bible exist, but the one thing I do know is that God changed his mind between the Old Testament and the New Testament. I have no way of knowing if God has changed his mind again but didn't tell us about it or we were so caught up with the "crazies" that hear from God to acknowledge that God has tried to direct us again. I will state again that it is not my right to judge the relationship of two woman, two men, or one man and four woman - that's God's job. And until God storms out of the skies telling us that we have that right, I will continue to support the right of people to engage in the same activity that I do - the hope for a family (in whatever form they see it) and the legal authority to provide for them. God did not give any of us the authority to judge anyone's love.

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  40. MellySue, You said the following in quotes and my reply is below those:

    “I feel in my heart that Catholicism is the right religion for me. If someone feels in their heart and soul that the Mormon faith is right for them and then interpret their faith's teaching to support polygamy I don't have the right to tell them they are wrong. “

    Why wouldn’t you discuss Truth with them as revealed through the Church? Assuming you’re right and have the fullness of the faith in Catholicism, isn’t part of your calling by baptism and confirmation to go out into the world and spread the gospel? How can everyone claim to have one solid Truth? That isn’t what Catholicism teaches, by the way. The Catholic Church teaches that She is indeed possessor of the full deposit of faith from Christ on down the line to today. We have to be lovingly responsible to help people at least consider this.

    “God created us all. And we have interpreted His will in many different ways. “

    Doesn’t make our Faith mistaken in where she stands on Faith and Morals, which is all she teaches, actually. You won’t find Her being as pretentious as you’re perhaps making Her sound.


    “As humans we do not have the intellect required to understand God. If I knew I was supposed to be Catholic than I wouldn't have faith.”
    ? If you’re intellect shows you that you ought to be Catholic, why wouldn’t you embrace that? Faith and Reason = they are friends in the Church.

    “ But with my faith, and being human, there is a lot of room for error. Regardless of how Holy I feel the Church is, I'm reminded that even the Church makes mistakes in trusting perverted people with the care of our children, and misguiding 21% of couples to the vocation of marriage. This doesn't mean our Church isn't Holy, it means that we must remember that it is fallible because humans are behind the operations.”

    You’re confusing unholy acts of unholy people with Holy and preserved doctrinal truths. The Church is NOT fallible on doctrine; made of sinners, yes, fallible on teaching, no way.

    “I don't know the biblical story when God stopped having humans record his word. Too many years past, too many interpretations of the bible exist, but the one thing I do know is that God changed his mind between the Old Testament and the New Testament. “

    Egregious opinion. No he never changed his mind. He fulfilled the OT in the NT.

    “ I have no way of knowing if God has changed his mind again but didn't tell us about it or we were so caught up with the "crazies" that hear from God to acknowledge that God has tried to direct us again.”

    He never has, never will. Unchanging and unboundless in Truth, Love, Mercy and Justice.

    “God did not give any of us the authority to judge anyone's love.”

    No one has said God doesn’t love gays or other sinners.

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  41. Correction:

    ? If your intellect shows you that you ought to be Catholic, why wouldn’t you embrace that? Faith and Reason = they are friends in the Church.

    typo-hyper

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  42. Melly Sue, you said:
    "My sentiment would mean that a widower that gets remarried would be a polygamist in heaven. If I'm going to spend eternity in heaven with the people I love I don't want two husbands there, but we are not fighting about the right of a widowed woman to remarry."

    This question was asked by the pharisees to Jesus and his answer was that in Heaven people neither marry or have the need to marry---marriage is a pre-cursor to our union with God in Heaven.

    Also, under your definition of marriage, and Chelsea's definition of marriage, there is nothing stopping 2 brothers or 2 sisters or a child and his/her father from marrying...As long as they are in love and want to live happily ever after...

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  43. "I have been going back and forth in my mind on how we have brought this on ourselves for decades now."

    Absolutely. We mentally redefined marriage decades ago and now are fighting the final nail in the coffin. If we lose this battle, we lose all hope for society.

    No-fault divorce
    Contraception
    Casual sex
    Prevalence of abortion

    All of these weakened marriage to its current state.

    Three great quotes from leaders in our Church who understand the implications of losing the battle of marriage:

    Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI stated in regards to same-sex marriage, "What's at risk is the future of society."

    Cardinal Arinze (the head of liturgy in Rome) claimed, "If we lose marriage, society will collapse."

    And our very own Archbishop Chaput of Denver warned us, "Although abortion is the greatest evil of our time, the greatest and most eminent threat is same-sex marriage."

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  44. There are plenty of people wanting Gay Marriage, few that want siblings to marry. I think that the whole sibling thing would not really happen.

    There are not usually strict guidelines on anything, but should I make my definition more strict? OK than. Marriage is between sober, consenting, human, non-related adults that are making a commitment to each other.

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  45. Chelsea, why do you put so many restrictions on marriage?

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  46. The reason I put so many, was that my short and sweet "two people making a commitment" seems to be not enough. Honestly. I think that it is looser then some might think.

    I whould list out why I choose those restrictions, but I think that they are all obvious.

    I think I know where this is going...

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  47. "There are plenty of people wanting Gay Marriage, few that want siblings to marry. I think that the whole sibling thing would not really happen. "

    So if there are plenty of people wanting incestual marriages down the road will you support that, too? Why do you think the "whole sibling thing" would not happen? Isn't it the logical next step in "2 consenting adults who are in love"?

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  48. But why can't they be related? I am not talking about incest mind you. What about two sisters, unmarried or widowed who live together, support one another and share domestic responsibilities? They want to be the one to direct care for the other in times of illness, inherit when the other dies etc. Should it matter that they don't have a sexual relationship? What about two friends who aren't gay but want to live together as friends with all the benefits of marriage? Should they be denied the ability to do so? Is romance a requirement and if so what constitutes romance? Is hugging romantic or are we talking about something more? Who decides?

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  49. Also, Chelsea, this couple is all for the sanction of incestuous relationships. Why do you wish to deny them the ability to marry, given that they are two consenting adults who wish to make a lifelong commitment, and are raising a child together?

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  50. Also, what about monogamy? It seems to me that would be a requirement for "committed" in any relationship.

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  51. Melly Sue, I only have a moment. Your thoughts are all over the place, and I think you are confused about Catholicism. That's not a dig, as if you read my reversion story above, you will see that we were all confused. We have been poorly taught our faith.

    If you have patience, I want to use your entire comment for a post of its own. I will address every point. But I'm going on vacation for a week, and so it won't be for at least a couple of weeks. Please check back here and one day it will be there, with my responses to your points!

    Thanks so much!

    Chelsea, I'll get back to you too, tonight?

    Thanks to all the Catholics who have stepped up to field the comments when I can't get to it! You guys rock!

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  52. If over 50% of the population were to think that siblings should get married. I whould of course have another look as to why. But the reason I whould not be OK with sibling getting married, is because of the proven affects of incest. It has been seen that children of gay couples turn out fine.

    And about monogamy, *looks for place to hide* o dear. Looks like my slight leave out has been caught.

    Firlty, I am completely against cheating. I find it deplorable that someone whould do that. If you do not want you spouse to know, don't do it.

    But, I honestly do not find polygamy something to be illegal. I think that no one should be forced, but if the adults were consenting adults, that understood that monogamy is OK also. I whould be OK with it. I whould not want to be in a marriage with more than one other person, but who am I to say that it should not happen?

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  53. Chelsea, Well I'm not trying to catch you in anything, I am trying to understand where the line is for this because I am not understanding why some think one is OK and not the other. I am against cheating too regardless of the relationship.

    For me this debate isn't about anyone's private behavior. Nor should it be. It's about what the social and cultural ramifications are for the public recognition of same sex marriage. What baffles me is the continuing cry of "There aren't any!" There ARE and we have to look at that.

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  54. There have been changes, as there should be. Gay students are hopefully being bullied less, and are having higher self esteem.

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  55. And also, Michelle, I know that you are not trying to catch me in anything. I meant that I know that polygamy is probably not all that popular to liberal, or conservative people.

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  56. While I don't agree, I will say that your comments about polygamy are at least consistent with your stance on same sex marriage. But again what about other unions? Must a sexual relationship be a requirement?

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  57. What do you mean consistent. What on earth do polygamy and gay marriage have to do with each other, wait, don't answer that.

    I am not for everyone just running, and getting married. I am for only certain situations.

    I do not think a sexual relationship is required. Someone with AIDS might choose to abstain, not that I whould tell anyone to.

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  58. OK so certain situations. But based on...what? I am REALLY trying to understand what the criteria is here and it would seem to me that based on what you wrote you WOULD support two non-gay friends marrying? Or am I misunderstanding?

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  59. Chelsea, there are many studies showing that the children of gay couples do NOT turn out find. Check out Dawn Stefanowicz's site, for example. She has reams of evidence to the contrary.

    Do you believe that truth is determined by majority vote?

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  60. Dawn Stefanowicz is kind of a bad example. Take away the fact that he was gay. There whould still be a problem, since there were affairs and sexual abuse. And there are plenty of straight men whom unforchantly molest kids, even their own.

    I am talking about gay adults raising a child in a home with love and support, as parents. Like from this CNN article:

    http://articles.cnn.com/2009-06-28/living/gayby_1_same-sex-couples-lesbian-parents/4?_s=PM:LIVING

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  61. I agree with Chelsea here, Dawn Stefanowicz is not a good example. The intro to her book talks about a abusive childhood and a father with multiple partners. This type of behavior happens in heterosexual relationships as well.

    Thank you Chelsea for the link that the article, I specifically like:
    "When you grow up with Lesbian mothers, you can't get your ears pierced to rebel," he says. "I became a Republican."

    Today, Levey sees his parents' choice not as an expression of rebellion, but as a desire for something that's actually a conservative virtue -- a loving family.

    "I believe in family values, but family is about taking care of your children and respecting one another," he says. "It doesn't matter what your sexual orientation is."

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  62. Chelsea and MellySue, you both misunderstand. Dawn Stefanowicz has many links to scientific studies on her site that make the argument that being raised in homosexual household will damage a child's view of normal, healthy heterosexual relationships, as well as make them unable to form healthy relationships, or confuse them about their own sexuality.

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  63. That is what I thought Melly Sue. I honestly felt really bad that she had to go though that, I whould have hoped that her father never abused her, and stuck to one partner. But a heterosexual man could have done the same thing.

    After some looking, to find a site by a person with gay parents, Families Like Mine. She talks of how the problem was not that her parents were gay, but of how the media and general public was the problem.

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  64. I'm not caught up with the comments and may never be (yikes!), but here is an excellent post, by our own Lauren, about marriage and what it means to society. Read it with an open mind and really think about why we humans design our societies around marriage in the first place:

    http://psalm34-3.blogspot.com/2010/06/marriage-and-society.html

    Remember, rights are not something that we "really, really, really want". Marriage is not a "right" anyway, and it has never fit any of the definitions that gay "marriage" advocates are proposing.

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  65. Um, the word "OBEY" - yes, they took it out in the 30's sometime, but the intention was there. YES, of course the man is supposed to be loving toward his wife, but traditionally we women are supposed to acquiesce to wherever he sees fit to take the family. We did not have a voice to say "I'm going to work" or "No we're not loading up the wagon and going out west." The husband led the family. Do your husbands run your family? Or have you modernized to an equal partnership?

    Marriage has been around since prehistory. Marriage as a sacrament has been around since shortly after the inception of the Catholic Church. Marriage for love........... not until the later Middle Ages. Before that, (and long after) we ladies were property. Deal with it, it is our history. Just how traditional do we want to get here? Marriage used to mean two people committing a union to procreate and remain together, now it's just a union of two people to remain together. Marriage was never strictly a church institution, you know that, right?

    Who can legally get married now? Any of age, non-related male and female. They can get married and choose not to have children. They can get married and contracept. They can get married and divorced a month later. They can get married on a drunk bender in Vegas.

    What does the government grant them? A tax break. Ownership, property and executive rights. Right to make decisions in the event the spouse is ill, injured or dead. The right to be next to their hospital bed 24/7.

    Where was all your moral outrage at this? Why are you not annulling marriages that do not procreate? If I don't have kids by choice, I shouldn't be allowed to marry my husband according to you, yet I do (and I did.) Same-sex couples are no different within the modern context of marriage.

    Lauren - Really? The only choice we get is "Blessings from God" "Extra hands on the farm" or "economic liabilities" BUZZZZZ. Bull. Gee, thanks for "opening my eyes" to complete nonsense from some nonsense website yet again, Leila.

    I will mention this one more time because you are all blinded to the obvious. Kids are suffering because day care is raising them. Women decided to go to work. We live in a dual income society. THAT is what is going wrong right now (& see my notes about happiness above)

    I want women to work, too, but I understand that it is a problem. I like how you all scoff and ignore that & blame contraception instead.

    over & out.
    2cents

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  66. Kids are suffering because day care is raising them.

    I assume, then, that you are also opposed to public education?

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  67. 2cents, I must say you are a little bit sarcastic and condescending. We don't roll like that here. We try to be respectful. Anyway, if you can ditch the condescension, let's talk.

    Marriage used to mean two people committing a union to procreate and remain together

    Thank you! Perfect. You understand natural law. The particulars of a Church sacrament are not so important in this discussion of gay "marriage" as is the natural law understanding of marriage. So, we agree?

    Anyway, I try to defer to my husband in the big matters. Ultimately, yes, there should be a "head" of a family, just like any human organization (in the literal sense of the word) has a head. What is so awful about that? Does it mean I'm a slave, and that he is my master? Ummm, no. And the Church has never said such a thing. Don't try to make it appear so. The Church is very broad-minded about "roles"… have you read anything about "women's genius" that JPII wrote?

    Do I think modern feminism's debasing of the roles of wife and mother, and the fact of having women in the workforce in droves has hurt marriage and family life on the macro scale? Yes I do! Does that mean that women should never or can never work? Of course not! But my goodness, you have a lot of suppositions about what people here think, and what the Church teaches, and yet not a whole lot of facts on either.

    Anyway, I'm still just trying to catch up, so sorry if others have brought this stuff up.

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  68. Why are you not annulling marriages that do not procreate?

    Apparently you are unaware that the Church does not consider it a valid marriage if both spouses come to the altar with the express intention never to have children or be open to life. Yes, that would be grounds for annulment.

    The Church is nothing if not consistent, and yet you seem to imply that she is not that.

    Give credit where credit is due. The Church is VERY consistent.

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  69. 2cents:

    Lauren - Really? The only choice we get is "Blessings from God" "Extra hands on the farm" or "economic liabilities" BUZZZZZ. Bull. Gee, thanks for "opening my eyes" to complete nonsense from some nonsense website yet again, Leila.

    The more I think of it, you are a rude, seemingly bitter person. I don't technically ban people here (and I've only asked two people to leave, in over a year), but if you cannot find your manners quick, you will be asked to refrain from contributing to the discussion. Any old person can hurl insults, and it says more about you than it does about me or Lauren.

    Blessings for a peaceful heart.

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  70. Leila - it doesn't matter at all where the church stands or what marriage used to be. I never brought natural law into this discussion.

    It matters what the states recognize as marriage. The states ONLY require two, consenting, non-related people of the opposite sex. There is NO prerequisite for family. There is NO prerequisite for contraception choices. There is NO requirement for sexual monogamy, either, actually.

    So, unless marriage must truly become a privilege for only people who promise to raise a faithful family together, gays should legally be allowed to get married. My unfruitful marriage should be invalid by the government otherwise. But it's not - it's only invalid by your church, which is why I never bothered with it.

    And go ahead and ban me - I wasn't being sarcastic at all. Marriage has been around since before your church. The link you provided wasn't sound.I may be annoyed by all of your abilities to cherry-pick what is traditional, but that's it.

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  71. Marriage has been around since before your church.

    Yes, of course…the understanding of marriage (natural law, whether you like it or not) has always been around. And it has always involved sex and sex has always been about procreation.

    Do you think marriage is inherently about sex? Can gay people have sexual intercourse? If not, how can they have marriage in the first place? Unless you want to say marriage is not inherently connected to sexual intercourse (forget procreation for a moment).

    Is that what you want to say?

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  72. Sometimes this site makes me nervous. I consider myself a traditional Catholic and find myself on the same side as you regarding issues, but somewhere up there in the comments someone was almost taking perverse pleasure at the thought of having Andrew Cuomo excommunicated and that's where I have to separate myself. Excommunication is severe, as it should be, but we should never talk about it in such flippant terms, sounding so gleeful about it, as though if it happened it would make your life better. Pray for people that they will open their eyes to truth, rather than hoping they'll be excommuncated. Mean spiritedness was never Christ's way and it shouldn't be ours. There is a thread of absolute hatred for others that sometimes comes across in this blog sometimes.

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  73. http://gerardnadal.com/2011/06/27/bishops-dallas-corapi-cuomo-and-the-eucharist-the-ties-that-bind/

    Anonymous, you disagree with this article? That's okay, you don't have to agree. But to think that anyone like Cuomo is scared of excommunication is silly. Excommunication, by the way, is a severe MERCY. It is to show a soul that they are in spiritual danger. It is a great mercy to do so. And, if the person who leads an entire culture astray doesn't care (as I don't think Cuomo does), then it's a message to the rest of the Church as to how seriously we take not only marriage and virtue, but also how seriously we take the Eucharist.

    I don't see how that is such a bad thing. And if excommunication is not warranted here, when would it be? And do you think that Cuomo has not already been prayed for?

    You do understand what giving scandal means?

    Blessings to you, and I hope you aren't so nervous to be here… we are pretty regular folk who want everyone -- everyone to make it to Heaven.

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  74. There is a thread of absolute hatred for others that sometimes comes across in this blog sometimes.

    emphasis mine

    You know, this is really offensive. I can see why you won't leave your name. Have the courage to come out of the shadows when you accuse me (us?) of being a hater.

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  75. leila- usually, marriage has a lot to do with a monogamous sexual union. But, i would not stand in the way of a paraplegic getting married. Nor do i concern myself with knocking on everyone's doors to make sure they still have the spark.

    Again, my position is that nothing harms families more than neither parent around to raise them.

    2cents

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  76. Anonymous, prayer for their soul and for their eyes to open is the most important thing that we can do for them; we all know that. However, excommunication is medicinal, meaning it is meant to correct and bring someone back into the Truth. It isn't viewed as a punishment. Excommunication in and of itself isn't mean spirited, nor is the "hope" that someone is excommunicated. It is actually quite charitable to want someone to come to the understanding that they are not in right standing with the Church, because it in communicating such, it can prompt them to make the changes needed for the sake of their salvation.

    Not to mention, a concern for the souls of those who are led into scandal by the actions of others.

    We desire the salvation of all souls; that is the most important thing! Excommunication is a tool that can help people realize their error and return to righteousness.

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  77. 2cents, are you opposed to public education?

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  78. And when I say that prayer is the most important thing that *we* can do for them, I mean, we as the lay faithful. The Church as an institution however, can do more for them (like excommunication, which as Leila posted, is a mercy).

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  79. Nor do i concern myself with knocking on everyone's doors to make sure they still have the spark.

    Well, that's a relief, cuz neither does the Church. :)

    As for consummation: Even the secular state will annul a marriage for non-consummation.

    Marriage presupposes sexual intercourse is possible.

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  80. Again, my position is that nothing harms families more than neither parent around to raise them.

    Do you presuppose that they should have a married mother and father to begin with? To me, and I think stats show, that is the biggest indicator of well-being all the way around.

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  81. There is NO prerequisite for family. There is NO prerequisite for contraception choices. There is NO requirement for sexual monogamy, either, actually.

    None of it was stated, because it was always generally understood that marriage was about sexual monogamy and family. A given.

    Lately? Not so much.

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  82. Chelsea, your definition of marriage would allow for my daughter and I to get married. Is that what marriage is about?

    I guess I want to press you: What is the PURPOSE of marriage? The state has a vested interest in it. So, why? What is its purpose in society?

    Also, interesting about polygamy. I actually see that as much closer to an understanding of true marriage than gay marriage is. At least polygamists are having natural sex, a union ordered to procreation. Now, I'm against both polygamy and homosexuality, but homosexuals are not even capable of having intercourse. Even the secular state understands that a non-conusmmated union (no intercourse) is grounds for secular annulment. If marriage is not about sex in some intrinsic way, then why would the gov't have that understanding?

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  83. it doesn't matter at all where the church stands or what marriage used to be.

    This reminds me of Michelle's statement earlier that she had no idea why it mattered that this nation was founded on Judeo-Christian values. Oy, vey. If we don't know our foundations, and why our nation is what it is, then we should not be shocked when that nation declines and goes away.

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  84. Wow, I am just gonna leave it at this: great post Leila and thanks for doing what you do even when many people make it difficult. You are a rockstar!

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  85. Leila,

    I'm praying for your friend with stage 3 lymphoma now.

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  86. Oh JoAnna, I was trying to ignore you, but I know you're just itching to "make a point" - school is a place where your children go to learn from 8AM until 2:15PM. It is not a place where kids stay all day until their folks come around 6PM to pick them up, feed them dinner and get them into bed before collapsing into an exhausted heap. BIG DIFFERENCE. Do teachers raise our kids? No. Their peers influence them more than the teachers do.

    Leila: " If marriage is not about sex in some intrinsic way, then why would the gov't have that understanding?"

    Good question.

    Again, I ask, who can get married? Does the govt turn down the male paraplegic because he cannot consummate a marriage? I actually don't know that. Some people have married for convenience & either never had sex or maybe did once a long time ago. They can get married, right? It doesn't matter because the govt hasn't been letting it matter. If the govt doesn't reject marriages that cannot consummate or yield fruit, it cannot reject same-sex marriage.

    Your church can, but as they say, the horse has been out of the barn for a long time. You all should have been morally outraged a long time ago. Now it's a little too late to be drawing lines in the sand according to who must have sex. You say the church isn't concerned over it's members sex lives, but it is.

    2cents

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  87. Aw, 2cents, don't you worry, the Church and the truth of marriage will stand long after you and I, and even America, are long gone. Truth does not change or die, even if no one believes in anymore. But how sad for the people that are lost and misled along the way….

    Of course the state does not check to see if each marriage is consummated. There is an assumption of that. Should a couple come to the state and reveal that there has been no sex, the state can annul. For gays, no consummation is ever physically possible and it doesn't take a medical check to understand that. But you already know that….

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  88. You say the church isn't concerned over it's members sex lives, but it is.

    Be clear, 2cents: The Church is very concerned over the truth and meaning of marriage and human sexuality and the salvation of souls. Does it police the bedrooms of individuals? C'mon, you are better than that… Don't imply something false just to try to make your point.

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  89. Tried to post this yesterday but it was deleted.
    The following from Melly Sue needs to be addressed...
    "Insinuating that I would support the marriage of a child to an adult would be the same as stating that a Catholic parish member supports sexual abuse by priests. The conclusion you came to is not rational."

    Actually, it is your conclusions that are irrational.
    1. Nobody was insinuating anything about you personally, they were just pointing out the error of defining marriage as just "two people who love each other". However, if you find this possibility repulsive then maybe you need to re-think your definition of marriage. There are plenty of us who are against "same-sex" marriages and just a short 20 years ago thought there was no way it would ever happen....sound familiar to your argument?

    2. Your comparison to the priest scandal is completely irrational. There is NO comparison. Catholics agree it was horribly wrong. We are not marching in the streest trying to justify, legalize it and promote it. I really do not understand your reasoning behind this statement.

    3. Usually it is non-Catholics that bring up the priest scandal to embarrass or shut Catholics up. However, as a Catholic, I never was raised to believe our human leaders were perfect...only our divine One! I can separate the wrongdoings of human Catholic leaders from the my love of my Church. Just as I can separate the wrongdoings of our political leaders from the love of my country and our constitution.

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  90. Jan, well said! Thank you for those points of clarity.

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  91. 2cents,

    So your argument is that those few hours a day when kids aren't in public school make the difference between happy homes and neglected children? What about weekends and holidays?

    I have 3 kids, all in public school or daycare (plus one on the way). I challenge you to come to my home and judge for yourself if my children are neglected, abused, or otherwise maladjusted.

    Let me ask you another question. Do you understand the concept of quality versus quantity?

    Do you honestly believe that the mother who sits at home on the couch all day watching TV and drinking alcohol while her kids do whatever without supervision, is a superior parent to the one who works full-time and lavishes love and attention to her kids when they are together? Really?

    Quality, not quantity. I pick my kids up from daycare at 5:30pm. We go home, and eat supper together at the table while we talk about our day. After supper I play with them, or we watch a movie together, or they "help" me with laundry or other chores. My husband and I put them to bed together, and our bedtime routine consists of a story and family prayers.

    Are my kids neglected and maladjusted?

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  92. Melly Sue, on second thought, I won't do a whole post on your comments, as the folks here have addressed them well. I will say that you should read up a bit on your Catholic faith. There is so much to know! And it does all make sense. It's okay to say "we have the fullness of truth" (which the Church does), if Christ (who never lies) says that His Church would stand, and teach revealed Truth, to the end of time. It's His Church, His truth! Nothing exclusive or arrogant there, because all are invited. If we didn't know where Truth could be found, well how would we know the things of salvation? How would we know if we got it right? God protected us by sending the Holy Spirit to protect and guide the Truth, through His Church. It seems to good to be true, but it's true.

    Read here for more info on what you might not yet understand:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/09/catholics-you-must-understand-this.html

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/04/catholicism-is-objective-protestantism.html

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/10/pilate-said-to-him-what-is-truth.html

    Remember Melly Sue: The salient difference between Protestants and Catholics is obedience to the Pope on faith and morals. It's not because the pope is sinless (he is a sinner like all of us!), it's because he cannot teach error in doctrinal issues (thanks to the Holy Spirit, who guides the Church). And, that fact is actually knowable by use of reason, so it's not a "blind faith"… not in the least. Many of us have thought our way into the Church, not based on feelings at all.

    Blessings!

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  93. JoAnna- I'll come over to your house and let you know how well-adjusted your children are after you go to the home of a homosexual couple who is raising children and pass judgment on their family. Oh, you've already deemed homosexuals unfit to raise children without stepping foot into their homes, that's right.

    2cents

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  94. 2cents, it's weird to me that you judge (harshly) a married couple raising their children well and being responsible for them,and yet you still can't tell me why we should accept two people engaging in genital play as "married"? And you are okay with a child growing up believing that sex has nothing to do with the institution of marriage (though it's never been otherwise), and believing that it's good, right, and ordered to have "two daddies" or "two mommies".

    Sorry, does not compute.

    I hope you will answer my last comment to you, by the way.

    What is your background, anyway? Why so angry?

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  95. 2cents,

    Perhaps you should do some social science research, as I have, on the negative effects on children growing up on same-sex households. This article, for example.

    You've already judged working mothers unfit to raise their children without stepping into their homes. Pssst, your hypocrisy is showing.

    What about lesbian working mothers? Do you think the fact that they are lesbians magically compensates for working outside the home?

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  96. I never said working mothers are bad. I said two parents out of the household is doing plenty of damage to families. I never said working mothers were unfit to raise children. I noted the trend of everyone in the workforce correlates to their children slipping through the cracks. Just because you can make it work doesn't mean it's a good thing for society as a whole. It breaks down communal relationships and puts the home last.

    I never said two married heterosexual people were unfit to raise kids. Nor did I judge anyone harshly at all - again ALL I did was note other threats to family health. YOU both got offended and took it as judgment. Jo Anna is taking a bit of what I said and running with it to assume I think lesbians are better mothers. Not true.

    2Cents

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  97. 2cents, and yet you still ignore my comments at 9:55, 9:58 and 1:21. Let's have a conversation.

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  98. I never said working mothers are bad. I said two parents out of the household is doing plenty of damage to families.

    So... you don't think that "doing damage to families" is "bad"? Huh?

    Can you back up your negative views of working mothers with actual facts, 2cents? Social science studies, for example?

    What about work-at-home mothers; for example, those who run daycares out of their homes? Are they "doing damage to the family," too?

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  99. 2cents:
    I can honestly say that I have never felt like I slipped though the cracks. I have hearing loss, so especially in the past, I have obviously needed quite a bit of attention. I was having to go to audiologists several times a year, and was dealing with teachers who needed to figure out how to teach me. And with being my own stubborn self, I had a few periods of hiding my hearing aids, and the dog was eating them.

    I also have a sister with Rett Syndrome, and a brother whom was adopted at an older age.

    My parents also both have had full times jobs for my whole life, and have their own business (separately). Many days I had a driver drive me home, and it was a nanny that was there. Yet I have never felt like I slipped through the cracks. In fact, I often feel like I get far to much attention! They make use of when they are around.

    I do not think it is the working mothers, but the parents themselves.

    Also, I have done research myself, JoAnna. And the article I read say that the kids turn out fine. And that the problem is not the parents, but the homophobia The kids are all right.

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  100. Whoa, that was long, I think I just get annoyed when I get told that I turned out all wrong, just because both of my parents work.

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  101. Leila,

    Hi, it's me, Ann Marie. I'm the anon. person who you asked to come out of the dark. Okay, so I'll give my name but I'm not going to give my address or anything like that;) I hope that is okay. I admit that what I read from the Bishop was simply what you had highlighted, so I may be wrong, but I don't see anywhere that he says Cuomo should be excomm. so the articel was not what I had a problem with. I agreed with the Bishop.(I promise I will look at the entire thing when I have more time.) It was you who called for the commencement of excomm. and you then you said "in my dreams." Sometimes the internet can leave a person feeling something not intended and when I read that "in my dreams" thing it left me with a bad taste in my mouth. You say excomm. is meant to show mercy but your comment seemed to lack that. I don't mean to attack you, I am simply telling you how I took it. After that you said you doubted those people cared about the state of their souls. Again, how do we know how they feel? Cuomo may feel like a total fraud or he may feel terrific about himself - I have no way of knowing. It felt like you were mocking. (I'm sorry. The internet can sometimes be misleading in the way things come across.) I do know sometimes I have acted in very, VERY, sinful ways and I'm sure someone who saw me acting like that would have thought I didn't care about my soul. In fact, it was during those bad times that I worried most about my soul, I just didn't know how to stop my behavior and was too weak to stop it. It was through loving conversation that I began to see the errors of my ways. Being the kind of person I am (arrogant), if someone had taken the approach of boldly telling me how wrong I was, I may have dug my heels in further and been an even bigger fool. I don't know if I am making sense. In regards to the hatred that I talked about. People on both sides of the issues say cruel things on here and sometimes when I read the comments I get really nervous. Maybe I should have used the a word that was so offensive. People can be aggressive and it comes across as contempt. When I say people, I mean people on both sides of the fence. One last point. If the authority of the Church calls for Cuomo or anyone else's excommunication I would respect that, but as lay people I don't know if we're supposed to do that.

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  102. My above comment was full of errors as I didn't preview it. I meant to say maybe I should have used a word that was NOT to offensive. There were other mistakes but that one was glaring.

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  103. Chelsea - I never said you turned out wrong. I never said you slipped through the cracks. I don't know you. I never said JoAnna was a bad mom. I said if we were going to get down to brass tacks about influences that disrupted traditional family life - women going to work and the dual-income society is a biggie. It shouldn't offend you just because your parents worked, and your and your siblings' disabilities are irrelevant.

    You and JoAnna's children are just fine, I am sure. But overall it has weakened the traditional roles of the family.

    I said I was for equality & women in the workforce, but there are bugs to work out.

    Leila, I am having a conversation. It's just not going where you'd like it.

    So to answer - again - marriage used to mean two people who promise to have monogamous sex together and raise their children in one family unit until death.

    Marriage now means a partnership between two people to take care of one another and be responsible for each other.

    The state cannot inform a paraplegic his marriage is invalid because he cannot have intercourse. The state gives marriage licenses freely to people who have no intention of having children. Whether heterosexual sex is involved or not makes no difference. When people get married MONOGAMY is usually presumed, but some people swing. Does the state invalidate their marriage? I would wager they could walk up to the clerk and say "we're swingers who want to get married!" And they would get a license. THEREFORE, sex does not matter to the state insomuch as anyone can get a license and their certificate is valid until they die or divorce. If the state has no sexual or procreative requirements, it doesn't matter what you think is natural. If you are basing marriage only on hetero sex and children (usual, but not exclusive), then other people's marriages would have to become illegal too.

    Sexuality is broader than penis in vagina. It is the usual way, and it results in offspring but other people engage in sex in other ways. What I would teach kids if I had them is not that sex is for marriage, but that marriage is for commitment.


    2cents

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  104. 2cents, excellent, thank you. You have at least been very clear that for you, marriage means "commitment" and involves "two people taking care of one another".

    This would include me marrying my daughter. It would include two old widows (best friends! Platonic!) marrying each other. It would mean anything that fits your definition, correct? So, in meaning everything marriage means nothing. So you have defined marriage out of existence (at least on the level of the state).

    So, is that healthy for society, this inclusion of any two people who want to "commit" in some or another way? What is the vested interest in the state for this? Why have it at all if it now means nothing, since it means anything?

    I'm fine that that is your new definition of marriage, but everyone else needs to be clear that that is what it now means. (Not in truth, but in the spirit of the age.)

    By the way, the state cannot assume a paraplegic cannot consummate. The state has no way of "checking". Nor would they. The most the state would need to know is that one man and one woman, who are not married to others already, are asking to marry. But to bring it outside of the realm of one man and one woman (who are presumed to have sex) is to negate the very meaning of marriage. You're a smart person. You totally get that.

    Now, just be honest in your dealings with others and make sure you tell them that now marriage has nothing to do with sex, and nothing to do with children and only has to do with a "commitment" of any two adults to "care for one another" (men/women/friends/lovers/parents/adult children/).

    But it would have been more honest to give it a whole different name entirely since it's a whole different animal now, don't you think?

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  105. Hi Ann Marie! I appreciate your thoughts, and for a private citizen, I don’t disagree. However, I’ve been watching this play out in the public sphere for two decades: We have had an ongoing scandal in the nation with “Catholic” politicians who defy the Church and the bishops with impunity. Ted Kennedy (and other Kennedys), Joe Biden, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Cuomo and his father, etc. Every one of these politicians knows exactly what the Church teaches, they know very well (because of private and public skirmishes and chastisements with and by the bishops) that they are in defiance of their own Faith. They get away with it, over and over and over again. And over and over and over again, the faithful are scandalized and betrayed. NOT on the level of individual sin, but on the level of public policy, of changing the culture itself (usually by voting for pro-abortion measures and now pro- gay “marriage” measures). The only reason that all these (pretty much exclusively) Democrat Catholics go ahead with their Culture of Death agenda, is because they know there will be no repercussions. My goodness, Nancy Pelosi calls herself a devout Catholic, and she has been publicly called out by the Bishops for misleading the public on Church teaching regarding abortion, and the Pope himself refused the woman a photo op at the Vatican and lectured her about where she was going astray! Did she change her ways? Nope, of course not. These politicians do not care. Trust me, they do not. In fact, they often trash the Church openly.

    If these were private citizens? Sure, keep the admonitions quiet, or just let God take care of it. But these politicians are misleading average Catholics. The average Catholic sees these guys walk up to Communion every week (or so) and receive the sacraments as if there were no issue. That makes it easier for the average Catholic to think it must b okay to vote for gay marriage or abortion, because these Catholic politicians do it, and it’s not a big deal.

    It’s time to show both the politicians (whom I truly believe do not care, but that’s irrelevant) and the public that voting for the Culture of Death is not something a Catholic can do! It is a scandal to the world, frankly, and a cause of immense confusion.

    So yes, in my dreams, I wish that the public officials who claim Catholicism but play Judas with a smile would be publicly excommunicated. Yes, I do. I hope, of course, for nothing less than their return to the fold, and to the Heart of Jesus. Maybe, hope against hope, an excommunication would be a shock to their spiritual system. At the least, it would stop the scandal of the “Catholic” politician for the rest of the faithful.

    A last thought: I say things straight and I don’t mince words. I am like a man that way. I don’t worry so much about “feelings” when I write, although I never want to be rude. I think that a lot of it is personality? Many people are sensitive to things being worded bluntly, and while I understand that, I have to be me and I have to keep it real.

    Thanks, and I hope you write again! (And, a pseudonym is fine, I just need to keep people straight. I don’t need real names.)

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  106. PS: Ann Marie, this is the link which speaks of excommunication. Please check it out. It is very short but makes a good point:

    http://gerardnadal.com/2011/06/27/bishops-dallas-corapi-cuomo-and-the-eucharist-the-ties-that-bind/

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  107. Sexuality is broader than penis in vagina.

    Yes, sexuality is, but sexual intercourse isn't.

    Sexual intercourse is about a penis in a vagina. Gay people can play with each others genitals, but they cannot have sex. Biology is discriminatory that way.

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  108. Ann Marie here
    I do respect that you speak exactly what you think, no mincing words. And yes, it does remind me of the way a man communicates. My husband is blunt and sometimes I like it and sometimes I tell him to pipe down, although I suppose I say it in less kind terms than that if you were asking him. I will read the article that you linked to. I feel like I can see the point you are making, but then I keep thinking "what would Jesus do." Judas was at the Last Supper and Jesus knew full well what Judas was planning on doing and still he allowed him to stay. I can't help it - my mind works like that. I'm not trying to be a wise guy. Do you see what I mean though? I know excommunication is not final if the person repents and shows remorse and I understand what you are saying about it perhaps getting people to turn around but what if it only sends someone running further away.
    Ann Marie

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  109. Ann Marie, I understand what you are saying, but remember, this is about public scandal. It's about a witness to the world. If Judas and his ilk were out there preaching heresy for decades on end, and saying that they were good Catholics just to get votes, then I think he would have been refused Communion. In fact, I don't believe Judas even stayed for the Last Supper. He had the "decency" to leave, if you will. And in the early Church? These politicians would be out of Communion so fast their heads would spin! Remember, these are savvy politicos, not confused Catholics. They know what is going on, and they understand what they are doing. About a zillion articles and discussions have been had on this subject, and constituent letters, and Catholic media calling for their ouster, etc., etc. If this isn't the time to excommunicate someone, then when would be?

    If it sends someone further away? How much further away can they get then voting to shred millions of unborn babies in their mothers' wombs, and changing the entire understanding of marriage, and exalting sodomy as a virtue? I don't know how much farther away they could go? Maybe they would have the integrity to not call themselves Catholics anymore? Integrity would be a step in the right direction. They've been told so much that they are in serious error that at this point, they clearly know they should not be presenting themselves for Communion anyway. Heck, I know teens in my parish who know enough not to go to Communion when they have sinned gravely. That I can respect.

    Anyway, rambling now. :) Sorry. :)

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  110. “God did not give any of us the authority to judge anyone's love.”

    I just wanted to address this. Actually, as Catholics we can call behavior sin (such as homosexual behavior, etc) but we cannot judge the state of someone's soul. We can pray pray pray for a conversion of heart for them that we may or may not see. This is what God only sees. And actually through our own prayers, our own hearts become changed, all good stuff.

    Also, the definition of love from the Catechism is wanting good for another person. And really, that is salvation. As a Catholic, I am called to preach the Gospel and the Truth and sometimes to our secular society that can seem like "judging." But really it is not.

    One last thought, I invite all (especially Catholics) to check out the Courage apostolate website http://www.couragerc.org/, it is an apostolate of the Catholic Church that helps Catholics live out the teachings of the Church on Chastity for those with same sex attraction (and also help for those with family members). Fr. Harvey's books are also very wonderful.

    And just my two cents, I think that materialism (a manifistation of the sin of pride) is the basis of why our society is becoming a society of "whatever you want is fine." What would our society be like if there was way more humility and less pride? For one, there would be more true love.

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  111. E, you are so right about materialism. It threatens to take us so far away from God, and the core of who we are. In nations where they wonder where their next meal is coming from, they don't sit around worried about gay rights, and they don't have the luxury of debating all this on a blog. When all the "things" and "I want more"s are stripped away, the soul is right there with God, face to face. There is a reason that the poor have such a deep relationship with God.

    Even Mother Teresa, who loved and cared for the poorest of the poor, declared that the spiritual poverty of the wealthy west was a much worse poverty, and much more alienating and lonely, than the physical poverty of the Third World.

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  112. Yes, and also our lack of reverence for God. For when we know and live that God is God and I am not, than everything is more ordered. For if we all had reverence, then we wouldn't want to do anything to harm our relationship with Him. But, I guess that is pride, wanting to follow our own foolish desires and not God. I am also not saying that I don't have a ton of pride, because I sure do, but confession really helps me to try to keep it in check.

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  113. E, that is so important and I hadn't thought about reverence! We are so lacking in any kind of reverence in our culture. Everything is base and coarse, and we have no sense of the sacred. Thank God for Holy Mass and Adoration… AND confession!!!

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  114. To be clear, these people you talk about are not people I support politically. Just had to say that. You asked if now wasn't a good time to excommunicate them then when would be and I guess for me it all comes down to the fact that I'm a lay person so I guess I just don't feel comfortable saying when. Maybe I'm a wimp. What can I say :) Like I said, I would support whatever the authority says on this. I did read the article you linked to. I think you better articulated your points. Just my opinion. The best I can do is talk to my kids about these things and let them see me not going up to receive when I feel I should not, and believe me,there are weeks my children have seen me sit in the pew instead of taking the Eucharist. A friend once remarked that I was scandalizing my kids by doing this. I was kind of shocked by her statement. My kids learn their faith first at home and all I can do is show them how absolutely serious I am about approaching Communion. If I have done something extremely hurtful to separate myself from God and can't get to reconciliation I won't go up and receive. Hopefully as my kids grow they will learn to also be respectful because they see me being mindful. And that's all I feel I can do now - just deal with my little corner of the world.
    Ann Marie

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  115. Could someone delve deeper in too the concept of no fault divorce. I assume this means the couple doesn't have to site a reason for divorcing? I imagine you are not okay with this? May I ask what you want to replace it with? Do you think a couple should have to prove in front of someone that they have to get divorced? Doesn't that seem like it could foster abuse?

    Personally if someone told me they didn't want to be married to me anymore and it was because they didn't find me attractive or didn't find me interesting anymore or a fairly superficial reason I would still want to divorce them. I wouldn't want to stay married to someone who didn't want to marry me.do you think others think differently?


    Also a question about the definition of sex. If it is only for a penis and a vagina. Do you think we should call oral sex and anal sex something else. I know a few catholic girls who would only do oral and anal because these things weren't sex. The rest of all rolled our eyes. My mother and I also got in a fight in high school she contested that oral sex was not sex, like most high schoolers I disagreed

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  116. I would first like to say that I prayed for months about whether or not I could support my friend’s gay marriage. My heart was freer and happier at their marriage ceremony than it has been at some of the heterosexual marriage ceremonies that I have attended. So you can judge my prayers and answer to God if you’d like, but I got a green flag and not just because I’m a liberal and decided for myself that I didn’t care what God thought. Despite my friend’s sexual life, the two woman are great souls. They have a positive outlook on life. They are currently caring for their nieces while their parents are serving in Iraq. They teach the blind and the deaf. So despite their sexual relationship I think they are terrific people and they should have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples. I also think that the two sisters I know that are in their 60’s should have the same rights as married couples and receive the tax breaks that exist for married couples.

    Maybe the issue here isn’t whether or not homosexual couples can get married. Maybe it would be best for the state to stop acknowledging marriage all together. From the states point of view, they don’t actually care if a husband and wife are having sex. They don’t care if there is adultery or if the husband and wife are simply closeted gay folk trying to fit in. The states only concern is blood lines, and that is hardly the only relevant information needed for any form of marriage that is being discussed her on this thread. All states really care about is the paper between the people, in which case they should only issue civil unions. Marriage should be for a church to decide, then the state would merely be offering tax breaks, health insurance coverage, and end of life benefits to those legally bound to benefit from the civil union. Children and adults already have these benefits, animals can’t get these benefits, and the individual churches can decide who they want to allow to be “married.” Laws will still be in place to prevent incest. And then all huge leaps from homosexual marriage to bestiality will be gone.

    After that we can stop spending money on the issue and churches can decide for themselves. Catholic Churches won’t perform gay marriage ceremonies, Pagan churches will perform handfastings which are only a bond for one year, and Unitarian Universalists will perform marriages for all. Then the religious communities can fight over who is right, say that Unitarian Universalism doesn’t have the authority and stake claim to being the only people who are able to communicate clearly with God. Then we can focus on the fact that this nation was formed on the ideals of personal freedom, free from persecution regardless of one’s own religious beliefs.

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  117. For the record Cuomo excommunicated himself. A bishop publicly declaring his excommunication would just be like am official announcement. The priests know better but I'm sure Cuomo, if he attends Mass attends it somewhere that is accepting of sacrilege. Maybe not, but I'm sure it would be all over the news if his pastor did refuse him communion.

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  118. Marriage should be a religious term only. The federal and state government should never use the term in legislation or any sort of legal definition. Give the word back, strip all legal rights tied to marriage as null and void and then grandfather everyone (both straight and gay couples) in the current system over to civil unions, which would then offer all of the same legal benefits previously guaranteed by marriage. Then everyone would have equal rights under civil unions and marriage would stay in the church where it belongs. The church would be free to define marriage who they want without infringing on the rights of gay couples to receive the same legal benefits that married couples currently do. it seems like a no brainer and makes both parties happy.

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  119. Actaully, the facts are that men and women were designed for each other, not man/man or woman/woman. Man and woman complement each other.When we go away from that, is when homosexual relationships become self centered, which is the essence of what that sexual relationship is, it doesn't seek to satisfy the other, just the self. This is not an appropriate situation to raise children, in a self serving relationship.

    SSM is not a civil right. These rights would be the right not to be discriminated against for jobs, places to live, etc.

    Here is a quote from the Vatican document on SSM that explains this position way better than I could:

    "From the legal order

    9. Because married couples ensure the succession of generations and are therefore eminently within the public interest, civil law grants them institutional recognition. Homosexual unions, on the other hand, do not need specific attention from the legal standpoint since they do not exercise this function for the common good.

    Nor is the argument valid according to which legal recognition of homosexual unions is necessary to avoid situations in which cohabiting homosexual persons, simply because they live together, might be deprived of real recognition of their rights as persons and citizens. In reality, they can always make use of the provisions of law – like all citizens from the standpoint of their private autonomy – to protect their rights in matters of common interest. It would be gravely unjust to sacrifice the common good and just laws on the family in order to protect personal goods that can and must be guaranteed in ways that do not harm the body of society.(17)"

    You can read the entire document here:
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20030731_homosexual-unions_en.html

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  120. the vatican does not determine American civil rights nor should it. And my proposition is not arguing for SSM, it is arguing for SSCU and OSCU. You can limit what you want for marriage but I agree with the poster above, the US should stop recognizing marriage altogether and instead recognize civil unions. then you can stop complaining and you can take your word back.

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  121. "9. Because married couples ensure the succession of generations and are therefore eminently within the public interest, civil law grants them institutional recognition. Homosexual unions, on the other hand, do not need specific attention from the legal standpoint since they do not exercise this function for the common good."

    Not buying it. Married couples in America are surely not doing any favors for the "common good" that gay couples aren't. #9 is a complete and utter joke of a position. It is also a lame excuse to justify legalized discrimination imho. Even if we did believe in this fantasy term "common good" (subjective as hell btw) I think 2 parents who commit to each other in raising a kid yet arent legally recognized as married are doing more for the "common good" than a married straight couple that gets divorced with young children. In return, they do deserve the same legal rights and recognition. But, still I don't believe the legal benefits of marriage are granted as some form of reward for this added "common good", i view it as more of a relief/welfare to help couples cope with the stress of raising a family. How generous of our government.

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  122. Downtown you're right the Vatican doesn't and shouldn't determine civil rights.in this country however that doesn't mean what they say about what should or shouldn't be a civil right is wrong. Nor does.it mean we can't appeal to.the Vatican's reasoning on this issue.

    Truth is everywhere, some people have more.of it than others. -ga

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  123. I would have to argue that if we followed Vatican direction, heterosexual couples, married by the state but without the ability to have children, and those unwilling to adopt should not receive any of the legal benefits of marriage - since they don't ensure the succession of generations either.

    I'm completely drawing a blank as to how we can over generalize the homosexual couple, stating that they all engage in selfish sexual relations when we are not over generalizing that heterosexual couples engage in selfish sexual relations as well. I'm assuming the reason for this "selfish" label is due in large part to their inability to give of their reproductive capabilities, but that would mean any marriage using condoms and birth control should not be legally recognized due to their selfishness. But heterosexual marriages that use pornography and strip clubs are about selfishness and we don't deny them marriages either.

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  124. Since marriage is between one man and one woman, the term is taken and, therefore, I am all for renaming these other unions. I still will not agree with them, but at least you will not be fighting for something that is semantically impossible.

    If your unions do not imply a sexual relationship then we already have terms for those...friendship, roommate and family.

    If these unions are sexual relationships then what combinations of ages, genders and numbers of individuals will our government have to accept? Who gets to decide this and if it is not based on morality or natural order then on what grounds can we limit anything?

    I would like a specific, non-defensive and non-evasive response.

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  125. Very good question, Jan. I will try my best to answer it with a specific, non-defensive and non-evasive response.

    The government should not be in people's sex lives, so it does not make since to define a civil union in sexual terms. It's really the least common denominator. Q: Who are the people most in need of tax relief/benefits? A: American families. Q: Who raises the children in a family and if they have no children who WOULD raise them? A: Parents/Guardians

    And there you have my answer. I don't care if you make sweet love to a wolf or your first cousin because we already have rules that make that illegal. I'm interested in answering the much more important question, how can we take care of American families by providing tax relief? How can we make sure America's parents aren't double taxed when trying to raise children? How can we make sure that American couples who choose to live as one aren't penalized for combining their resources and worth?

    The answer? Get rid of marriage and give them all civil unions.

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  126. Yes, those that contracept are also self serving, however, their act can be ordered towards procreation and unification, and homosexual behavior cannot.

    I choose to follow the Church's teachings, one because they are true and two because they have 2000 years of tradition behind them and my own ideals do not.

    I also know for myself when a Church teaching struck a cord with me, I had to inform my conscience and pray more. Once I removed the tree trunks from my own eyes, I could see with a lot more clarity. (But I also still have a lot of tree trunks to remove.)

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  127. Downtowner,
    Thank you for your response, but you did not answer my question as you said you would. You actually more or less deflected it.

    Marriage is not just another "entitlement program" and I completely disagree that this argument boils down to the almighty dollar! It would be a lot easier to just change the tax code than re-define marriage if that was truly the primary concern.

    I would like to point out the irony with your "we already have laws that cover that" argument? We also have laws against same-sex unions...but they are happening. So you cannot dismiss questions regarding other sexual behaviors based on the fact that laws exist.

    Back to my original question. Ten years from now when the "Make sweet love to your wolf group" (as you so eloquently put it) wants to justify, promote and legalize their behavior...on what grounds, if any, would you stop it? Are you fine with the behavior/s (please consider the other sexual behaviors previously listed when Leila has asked this same question), or are you against it? If you are against it/them, then what basis would you use to restrict or forbid it?

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  128. Jan, thank you for your thoughtful reply. I will attempt to lay out some truth the way I see it.

    Marriage IS just another entitlement program and boils down to the almighty dollar as it exists in America today. That statement could not be any more correct. Since marriage in its traditional form as you see it has been so deflowered I do not see why you are so against renaming the legal version civil unions, and returning the word marriage back to its religious community, where it can represent exactly what the church wants it to represent. Since civil rights for gays is not going away this would be the preferable method for religious America to retreat from the battle with their dignity intact.

    Also, you seem to be STUCK on the wolf/daughter argument. When you can show me some statistics showing a massive demographic that actually holds these beliefs than I will begin to care. Otherwise, lets focus on the TWO main demographic groups with financial supporters, lobbyists, and MILLIONS of Americans on their side. To be clear, I'm referring to heterosexual and homosexual couples--not wolves.

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  129. Downtowner,
    Thank you for your thoughtful reply. However, you seem to either frequently misunderstand or misquote me. I am all in favor of renaming these unions...as I already stated marriage is between a man and a woman, so homosexual unions have to be named something else. So on that we at least agree. However, we obviously will not ever agree on the meaning of marriage.

    Please remember that YOU are the one who brought up the wolves...I never mentioned any beastiality at all. So, if anybody is stuck on this concept it is you.

    So, since you still just avoid the question I am going to tell you why I care. We have many laws that are based on decency, morality and natural order. If we cannot make rules based on these principles, then we have to be prepared to reverse our pornography, prostitution, nudity, polygamy, interfamilial marriage and other similar laws. Are you going to argue that there are not large demographic groups representing these views? Would you care if these all became legal?

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  130. Jan, I still fail to see the connection between homosexual unions and pornography, prostitution, nudity, polygamy, interfamilial marriage, and other similar laws. You may as well throw in stealing, rape, torture, lying, murder and abortion, to your list of laws that have to be reversed just because gays are tying the knot.

    Your position seems to be that homosexual unions threatens every single law we have in America that acts to preserve fundamental moral decencies. I just don't see that same connection, and I think that you and others with your opinion are severely over reacting on this argument.

    Keep in mind one last thing: heterosexual couples, not gay couples, have gay children. That's natural order. One day you may find yourself with a child who loves someone of the same sex. Now, when your child reaches the age that it comes time to address them directly about their developing behavior, does the wolf argument STILL seem like a completely rational and compassionate option that they are sure to understand?

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  131. Downtowner,

    The specific laws I chose are sexual, usually involve consenting adults and do not have an obvious victim. Thus, these laws that are based on social norms, decency and morality. Therefore, these are other laws that some people could argue are also not anybody's business and should be or could be repealed. I did not list stealing, rape and the others on your list because they (hopefully) could not ever be legalized as there is an obvious violation of another person (well, except abortion which does have an obvious victim yet is somehow legal, but that is a completely different argument.)

    As to my own child being gay,your wolf scenario would never even cross my mind. I love my children. I am Catholic and I have been raised to be able to make moral judgments of behaviors, but have always been taught to not judge or condemn the person. Obviously if it is my own child, the loving part would be easy. However, it would not change my opinion about the morality of same-sex relationships and, my child, having been raised by me would already know that. They have already seen it throughout their lives...a parent that loves them ALWAYS but also teaches them right from wrong even when it is painful to both of us. So if they were in a same sex relationship, they would already know that I disagree, but they would never doubt that I love them.

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  132. Jan, I'm just catching up. Excellent questions and clarity! Thank you!


    Downtowner, I find your logic flawed in many areas, but let me at least clear up this. You said:

    Keep in mind one last thing: heterosexual couples, not gay couples, have gay children. That's natural order.

    Heterosexual couples also have blind children. Nothing immoral about that fact, but you would never call blindness something that is ordered. You would see it as a disorder.

    Heterosexual couples also have children born without limbs. Nothing immoral about people without limbs (although the left is fine with aborting them), but you wouldn't see limblessness as something ordered. You would see it as a disorder.

    In the same way, the desire to have sex with one's own sex is a disordered desire. It is not natural order. Just because something occurs in nature does not equate to "natural order."

    Also, there are farms in Washington state where men do go and pay to have sex with animals. What if they demand their rights? And what of the NAMBLA types who are demanding their right to have "sweet love" with teens and kids? They say they were born that way.

    I hear over and over again that "there aren't large percentages of the population" who want pedophilia or bestiality legalized. But that begs the question that no one wants to answer: There was a time very recently, when no one wanted gay "marriage" legalized either. And no one ever mentions the fact that there are several respected academics and even the APA who have either endorsed or come close to endorsing pedophilia as an ordered desire.

    Melly Sue, I will just broadly explain to you that sex between men and women (whether it produces an actual child or not) is ordered toward procreation. Same sex couples cannot even have sexual intercourse.

    College student: Oral and anal sex is certainly some serious sexual activity, but it is not sexual intercourse. There is no marital union, no physical joining of persons wholly and completely, without sexual intercourse (penis penetrating a vagina). That is how the two become "one flesh". There is no consummation of a marriage when people play around the edges, so to speak. All that is is genital stimulation and mutual masturbation. Not consummation. And even the state understands that non-consummation of a marriage is grounds for a civil annulment.

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