Saturday, August 4, 2012

Progressives, when is your progress complete?

"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive."  -- C.S. Lewis

Progressives, this post is for you. I have a question for you that is real and weighty I hope you can answer with clarity, so that I can understand what it means to be a progressive today. None of these are trick questions; they are asked sincerely.

The label "progressive" was chosen purposefully, I am sure. It is meant to convey that you are forward-thinking people, making progress in society.

Progress is defined as "advancement, or movement toward a goal", so I ask…

In the realm of sexuality (since that's the pivot point of the current culture wars), toward what final goal are you advancing?

If there is no specific goal, then where are you going? Are you simply wandering? And if you are wandering, do you wander indefinitely? How do you know when your progression has ended, or do you believe that it never ends and never should end?

But going back to the definition of "progress": If you believe there is a goal and you progress to it, do you then stop there?

And if you stop at the goal, what of the others, those who keep moving on past the goal, progressing to the next place? Aren't they then the true progressives, the ones who boldly break the taboos and dismantle societal constructs? And won't you be seen as hindering progress, and repressing or oppressing those moving forward (maybe even seen as a hater)? Or will it be bad to be a "progressive" then, and will you switch to proudly wearing the label of "conservative"?

Let's get more specific.

I think it's fair to say that when it comes to sex, progressives champion the right of consenting adults to use their sexuality in any way they desire. In the past that meant working to end the stigma of contraception, masturbation, divorce, pre-marital sex, and human abortion, and today it means the normalization or mainstreaming of pornography, hook-ups, group sex, homosexual acts and most recently gay "marriage".

So, what next? When all these things are acceptable and enshrined, where do the progressives go? Who will the progressives be?

I would offer that we all already know, but when I dare to bring it up, I am shouted down. "How could you equate homosexuality with pedophilia or bestiality??!!" (I do not equate them.) "I don't see great hordes of people clamoring for those things to be accepted!!" (Neither did anyone used to clamor for the acceptance of pornography, fornication, or homosexual "marriage".)

I do know that respectable progressive psychologists, academics, and activists have been quietly working to destigmitize pedophilia and lower ages of consent, and I do know that the respectable, beloved progressive, Princeton professor Peter Singer, sees nothing wrong with certain occasions of bestiality.

These are forerunners of progressive thought in our culture. Distasteful now, but as we continue to "morally progress", it's just a matter of time before these ideas gain greater acceptance.

For the progressives reading who are disgusted by such ideas, what are your natural "stops"? Can there be any? As far as I can tell, you deny the natural law (i.e., the universal moral law that can be known by the light of reason). You don't believe in natural boundaries for sex, nor the concept of "order" and "disorder" in morality. So, where are the brakes? What are your principles for dismissing these other uber-progressives out of hand?

Because they're right behind you, out-progressing you as we speak.

Thanks for any answers you are able to provide.



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354 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Chantal, I hadn't seen the first two; they sure do tend to strengthen my points. Every progressive on this blog has pooh-poohed the contention that this stuff will be normalized eventually. They have never said why they are so sure it won't be.

    (The third article I had linked in the post. Really left me speechless when I first read it, although not exactly surprised.)

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  3. Anyway, these are the disturbing links, in addition to the ones in the original post:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15197450

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Dolphin-man-Malcolm-Brenner-follow-up-QA/tabid/1072/articleID/227046/Default.aspx

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  4. "trusting our pleasures..."
    What a mess.

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  5. So glad to see you bringing this up Leila, and hoping to read some responses that aren't just knee-jerk and angry. Because these questions are real, and I want to know, as you do, if "progress" is somehow a value in itself, or if there's a utopian vision and what it looks like.

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  6. Sorry Leila, I deleted my comment when I realized that you had read the 3rd link. Glad the other two links served you. In fact simply typing zoophilia brings up alot of stuff.
    Glad to have you back. I missed you.

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  7. "Because these questions are real, and I want to know, as you do, if "progress" is somehow a value in itself, or if there's a utopian vision and what it looks like."

    Gosh, ElizabethK, you said that a lot better than I did! :)

    Chantal, it is that!

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  8. A few years ago I read an article regarding people who have BIID disorder. The language strikes me as so similar to the gays rights movement.

    Here is an article

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,520811,00.html

    Here is WIKI

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_integrity_identity_disorder

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  9. Chantal, oh my gosh!! That is unreal! Whoa....

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  10. GREAT questions, love how you ask them so sincerely. Will check back for answers (I'm not a progressive, so I can't help ya out there..)

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  11. Leila
    As is usually the case, your questions directed at progressives are so full of incorrect premises that it's not possible to answer them (like the old "when did you stop beating your wife?" question) without walking into a trap. I don't mean that sarcastically, it's my genuine experience of your blog.

    I will say that "the normalization or mainstreaming of pornography, hook-ups, group sex" do not seem like progress to me and are not things that I work toward. I assume you see these things as natural consequences of "progressive" logic but I don't agree with you. And I'm an active progressive so I should know.

    And there are weirdos in every crowd and progressives, like conservatives, come in many variations.

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  12. Johanne, then let me ask you: Where is your "stop"?

    You think that pornography is bad? That is awesome, truly. And casual sex is wrong? I am glad to hear it. No joke, that is wonderful. But you are not as progressive, then, as some of your progressive peers. What makes the folks who think that hook-ups are okay "weirdos", in your opinion?

    Where is the line, when you do you stop being the progressive in all of this?

    Thanks!

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  13. Sorry, one more thing. You make it sound like the questions I asked were traps or circular. But they were linear. Straightforward. See, if someone asked me where a Christian is progressing to, I would say Truth, Goodness, Beauty. Then, when we find it, we stop. Truth of human sexuality means sex is between a man and a woman, as designed, and is a privilege of marriage. There is a "stop", and that's it. It's pure and knowable. I want to know where progressives are progressing to…. Is there an end? A goal?

    Again, I am just looking for direct answers to direct questions. Which of my questions, specifically, was akin to "When did you stop beating your wife"? Which one?

    Thanks!

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  14. Johanne

    We are who we were. You cannot get away from the fact that progressive ideology has its origins in Hegel, and even more importantly, its popularization in the disciples of Marx. A certain man named Antonio Gramsci has had a profound influence on American society through his writings. Writings that you, as a progressive, may not have read, but writings that the popularizers of cultural marxism, and those who brought "progressive ideology" to the US in the early 20th century certainly read.

    One of his positions was that for marxism, (or the ideology founded in this belief of a qualitative social dialectic) to succeed, it absolutely needed to assault and tear down traditional values. The Catholic Church by its very nature prodcues a powerful culture, such that once you've been inculcated with its principles, you can never shake its affects on your thinking or habits. At least not without an intense concious effort. He identified Catholicism in particular as the enemy of the progressive. He identified that the way to destroy Catholicism's affects was to create a culture that would acidic to a Catholic's moral sense, but appealing to our animal nature.

    So, you have the normalization of homosexuality. TV shows where men are idiots, except the homosexual, and women are the source of all practicality. The only exception to this are the Nietzscheian American, i.e. Jason Bourne.

    You have the creaters and writers of the show "Friends" admitting that they wrote their show not to imitate the way society was, but to help in tearing down traditional notions of behavior. What traditional notions of behavior? Womanly women, manly men, and the importance and value of the family as the cornerstone of any well-functioning society.

    I am in NC right now, and my wife is in TN. I went out to a bar with two fellow Marine Officers, and we were talking about St. Augustine as we smoked our british made briar pipes, and drank our Pennsylvania beers. At one point in the evening I had to go to the head. A man walked in, said, "Hey man, how you doing." "Doing well." Then he said, "Man, this is the life." I asked, "Oh yeah?" He said, "Yeah, man, this is it, drinking, getting fucked up, this is it." I didn't respond. I dried my hands and walked out.

    While there will always be that element in any and every society, you can find it in history, and you will find it in the future, our times are particularly different. There is a real "failure to launch" problem with young men in our society. More prevalent than in the past. According to one study, 72% of adults in 1960 were married, 51% now. A connection? Maybe maybe not.

    Gramsci knew that in order to create a progressive society, you have to destroy the msot traditional culture, and the most traditional institutions. Catholic culture, the institution of the family. He knew that if you let these survive, then naturally you would have young men grow up, commit some trasgressions, but return to the home that bred them. When you destroy that home, there is nothing to return to, you can only go forward. The nasty side effect is that he majority refuse to go any further than the distance between the bar and the bed.

    While there may be some small-scale cultures that didn't possess a sense of the family like we do, and they lived relatively securely through a long period of time, I challenge you to find a civilization as grand as ours that was able to do away with the family, and survive.

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  15. Finally, "progressivism" leads to racism. If you really understand the roots and thus logical end of your belief. Racism against black? No, not necessarily. But prejudice and racism against those who have not progressed. Who are unevolved. Who are still clinging to old, out-dated beliefs. Progressivism, the ideology, stretches back and finds its origings in Enlightenment thinkers like Condorcet. It has been around a long time. No other ideology has resulted in more murder. 250-500k in the Vendee, mass genocide in the late 1700s on the heels of the terrible French Revolution. WWI and the millions killed there. National Socialism, and the millions of jews, thousands of Christians, and thousands of invalids killed, all because they were inferior. Russia, 30 million+ murdered at the hand of Stalin. The United States, 50+ million murdered by abortion. China, untold millions murdered by abortion.

    Destroy good traditions because of some imperfections, and you do it with a mentality that forgets a God, forgets objective moral standards, and you get death and destruction. History proves this point.

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  16. Additionally, you can bring up atrocities during the crusades, or injustices during the inquisition. A) According to your philosophy, I figured we had progressed past that a millenia later, but Stalin, Hitler, Planned Parenthood, Communist chian, really make it seem like we've just slid into something worse, B) The crusades were a result of centuries of agression on the part of muslims. Remember, Christ never led an Army. Mohammed did. Christ never is recorded as having married an 8 year old, and then having sex with her when she was 12. Mohammed did. Christ is not recorded as having beheaded thousands of people in a single day. Mohammed is (doubtful that he actually did it, but that's what's recorded in the Muslim's Hadith.). C) The inquisition performed capital punishment against almost no one. It was the Spanish states that prosecuted traitors who falsley converted in order to achieve positions in the Spanish civil government. The inquisition just outed them as liars first. There are some exceptions, but the preoponderence of the inquisition was as I described. You can forget Spain had just been under oppressive domination for some centuries and had just thrown off the shackles, and so was probably a little concerned about subtrefuge on the part of the enemy she just kicked out.

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  17. Um, what Joseph said!

    (Man, I wish I had had the benefit of a classical education.)

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  18. Make that two of us wishing we'd had a classical education.

    So, progressives, what do you think of this?

    Bill Would Allow A Child to Have More Than Two Parents
    http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/02/4604048/california-bill-would-allow-a.html

    Where does this end?

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  19. Bravo Leila! A great post and so many good questions. Someone on Facebook posted something similar to this post and I was thinking about it today. I hope there are some people that can answer your questions and how they plan to "move forward." Isn't that O's new slogan? Didn't the Communists also use this slogan? Hmmmm...interesting.

    @ Joe - Excellent comments! Loved your last comment the best! I am so tired of some people bringing up the Crusades and the Inquisition to "prove" how "ruthless" the Catholic Church was or is in history. Most of these spewers just vomit illogical reason and hate. They never have a solid argument. Furthermore, most of them have no clue that Blessed John Paul apologized for the sins of the Church during his papacy. When you do tell them that, they go on the hate rampage even more so. It will be interesting to see the comments on here.

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  20. "Destroy good traditions because of some imperfections, and you do it with a mentality that forgets a God, forgets objective moral standards, and you get death and destruction. History proves this point."

    Joseph, this reminds me very much of a woman who often joins the Bubble, known as College Student. I recall her making comments about the current status of women being better than what our grandmothers and generations previous to theirs had. I never had a chance to ask her to indicate how she knew it was so bad for our grandmothers, or why she thought the current situation for women was better. As I recall, she did feel it was better in spite of the fact that she acknowledged that her friends were often very unhappy. Contrary to the way she sees the world, I look at my 17 year old daughter and all that she is up against, and I am sorry for her and her friends. What a tough world for girls to grow up in.

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  21. So "progressives" think pedophilia is an outrage and we're not headed in that direction, yet our society is giving attention and credence to people such as Lindsay Ashford:
    http://evil-unveiled.com/Lindsay_Ashford.

    He is an eloquent speaker: http://youtu.be/9ryCkk8387U
    and people buy into his beliefs. If you listen to him, he acts like he's talking about something as simple as having an unusual disease that people don't understand. BUT THIS MAN BELIEVES HE SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE SEX WITH GIRLS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 7 AND 11.

    I happen to have a bit on an "insiders" view on this man. I grew up with him. I was there the day he came home to his adoptive family. I spent many childhood hours playing with him, but witnessed a very disturbed little boy. His babysitter from toddler age until he was adopted (age 5) had regular sex with him. He was an angry (violent) little boy,abandoned by his mother, put into a rigid home. He actually longed for the babysitter and her attention. As a teenager, he was uncomfortable with girls his age. He despised his adoptive family. And now, this is what's become of him. Listening to the You Tube video will make your skin crawl. Yet people listen to him. They think he has something important to say. They don't know that he is a destroyed person; broken. His views as so very skewed, but because of his eloquence, they are listening. They are considering what he has to say...

    All in the name of being Progressive...

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  22. GFNY, Tom and Sharon, thank you! You will love my next series, where I interview Kevin Vost, former longtime atheist, mensa member, philosopher, psychologist, who really nails so much of this. Gosh, it's sooooo important. Sharon, I hope college student responds. (She is CS now, and just commented yesterday on the last post.)

    DD, oh my goodness. I have not yet checked your links, but really I have no words. How sad, how horrifying. And yes, people will listen to these people who have "important" things to say, all in the name of being open-minded and "progressive". It's baffling, to put it mildly.

    Johanne, one more thought for you. You said that there are many "weirdos" in the progressive movement, just like anywhere. The problem is, your "weirdos" are not ignored, disgraced or discredited. They have bios like this:

    Peter Albert David Singer AC (born 6 July 1946) is an Australian Jewish moral philosopher. He is currently the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and a Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne. He specialises in applied ethics and approaches ethical issues from a secular, preference utilitarian perspective. He is known in particular for his book, Animal Liberation (1975), a canonical text in animal rights/liberation theory.

    On two occasions Singer served as chair of the philosophy department at Monash University, where he founded its Centre for Human Bioethics. In 1996 he stood unsuccessfully as a Greens candidate for the Australian Senate. In 2004 he was recognised as the Australian Humanist of the Year by the Council of Australian Humanist Societies, and in June 2012 was named a Companion of the Order of Australia for his services to philosophy and bioethics. He serves on the Advisory Board of Incentives for Global Health, the NGO formed to develop the Health Impact Fund proposal. He was voted one of Australia's ten most influential public intellectuals in 2006.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Singer

    How do you explain this in light of your "weirdos" statement? Seems like this man is respected, loved, honored, feted, and his thoughts are given great deference.

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  23. @ tomperna.org, you'd be wise to read the previous post and comments wherein it was established that in fact the definition of "hate" for conservative Catholics is unique. This kind of 'irrational' speech you describe regarding the Inquisition and Crusades is in fact, not hateful but merely an expression of a different opinion.

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    1. Thanks for the sarcasm! Just par for the course.

      Please know history accurately. I would suggest also taking an Epistemology course. Just because you have an "opinion" does not mean it's an informed opinion. So many people nowadays (and this includes Catholics, Progressives, etc) think they have informed opinions but many do not. An informed opinion means that you have knowledge of the subject you are giving your opinion on. If you came up to me and said that the book Moby Dick sucked as I was reading it, but then tell me you have never read it - well then your opinion is uninformed and means nothing to me. Learn history from the primary sources, not from authors trying to rewrite history to fit their own agenda. Good day Miss G.

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  24. Miss G, I cannot tell you how refreshing it would be if you actually engaged in rational dialogue (much like Michelle and Johanne) and not constant, non-productive sarcasm.

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  25. Morning ladies,

    On progressivism: Striving towards progress doesn’t necessarily mean
    Pushing more envelopes and dismantling traditional structure. But it does mean questioning these things. Asking a question about the legitimacy of zoophilia could be considered progressive. Automatically accepting zoophila because it is new and challenges the status quo, not progressive.

    On to your questions

    What keeps us from changing the laws about age of consent and zoophillia? The same thing that keeps us from changing all laws, the house and the senate.

    What keeps public opinion from accepting things we today view as taboo?

    Nothing (duh)

    Though you already know these answers, I imagine they still disturb you and that sort of disturbs me.

    I am quite certain we can trace every ‘familial ill’ gay rights, pre-marital sex, divorce, neglected children, single motherhood, back to women’s rights. When women had no rights there were clear gender roles. Women NEEDED men for protection, shelter, and social recognition. Divorce was unappealing because women would be destitute. Financially empowering women has been awful for families, women not forced to stay at home neglect their children who grow up without structure. Working women expect household/child-rearing chores to be split between spouses. In this arrangement women are deprived of a provider, men are deprived of a caregiver and without structured roles, each sees the other sex as superfluous and interchangeable, another reason same sex relationships are on the rise.

    Someone predicted this would happen, sure enough, and we didn’t listen. I for one am glad. The first reason being that the slippery slope is a logical fallacy, the second being that just because we take things too far doesn’t mean the initial push was incorrect.

    ~CS

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  26. CS, I don't think those were the questions I asked? Did someone else ask them? Sorry, maybe I am confused….

    And, is that definition of progressivism yours? Where did you get that?

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  27. On to specific issues (many of which I found while looking at lifesitenews)

    Allowing children to have more than 2 legal parents.

    In favor. We honestly think stepfathers shouldn’t be able to take their stepchildren out of school for doctors apt or sign a permission slip?

    Surrogacy

    Also makes sense. How funny that the people of life site news think its exploitation for women have a baby for thousands of dollars when it endangers to health but doing it FOR FREE and giving the baby away, not exploitation. Ridiculous.

    Artificial wombs.

    In favor. The fact that pro-life people are against this does pretty good lipservice to the notion that they don’t want to save babies but control women’s bodies.

    Gay-marriage
    Pretty indifferent. Sure why not.

    Lowering age of consent.
    • Agree with lowering it a few years. As a relatively recent teenager I can say 14-15-16 year olds can absolutely consent to sex. I had quite a few friends who lied about their age and initiated sex with college boys. When the boys would want to break up they would threaten to tell their parents or the cops and have the boys arrested. It is ridiculous to me that this would be considered rape.


    ~ CS

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  28. While your answers are interesting and incredibly disturbing, CS, I sill wonder if you actually want to try to answer the questions asked in the post? Thanks!

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  29. CS -

    A slippery slope argument is not always a fallacy. A slippery slope fallacy is an argument that says adopting one policy or taking one action will lead to a series of other policies or actions also being taken, without showing a causal connection between the advocated policy and the consequent policies. - source, emphasis mine

    As Leila has very clearly shown the connection between the sexual revolution, a "loosening" of sexual morals and standards, and the enroaching normalization of pedophilia and zoophilia, et al, then her slippery slope argument is valid.

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  30. Leila, good article!

    I think one of the defining characteristics of today's culture is that we don't know where we're going. Christianity (and specially Catholicism) has an absolute goal and destiny for the human journey. Secularism is really pointless and without end goal in mind.

    How many times have you heard that we should focus on the journey, not on the destination? It's a maxim of the culture we live in. Google "YOLO" when you get a chance.

    The problem is that if you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. Not only that, in this context you can't say that my road is better than yours, or that there's one right road.

    It's the dictatorship of relativism, which I'm sure you're familiar with.

    Today's culture has both feet firmly planted in mid air. Nobody knows where they are going and as a result we focus on enjoying the journey while it lasts.

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  31. Oh, and I'm Cesar Abeid, btw :)

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  32. (Oops, replied to CS above as part of the thread option. Reposting per Leila's commenting request below.)

    Bold emphasis mine:

    Ellen Pontac, a Davis gay-rights activist, said she and her wife, Shelly Bailes, each had two children when they began their relationship 38 years ago. She understands how someone can function as a child's parent but accrue no legal rights. Government should accommodate changing times, she said.

    "I just think that people should be able to create their own lives," she said.

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/02/4604048/california-bill-would-allow-a.html#storylink=cpy

    CS, this law is about much more than just someone's legal right to sign a permission slip.

    Read the comment above by a proponent. Where does this government accommodation of "changing times" and enabling "people should be able to create their own lives" thinking end? Because in the process of "creating their own lives," parents are impacting and affecting the lives of their children, too, NOT only "their own lives."

    So if bio straight/homosexual mom or dad marries/divorces and/or lives with multiple partners, shouldn't those partners all get a slice of authority over bio mom and dad's children? What happens to the rights of the stepfather/mother #1, who raised the child for 8 years, when stepfather/mother #2 comes along? Who gets bumped for the #3 position? Bio dad, bio mom, step #1 or step #2? Throw in some more partners for some real fun.

    Oh, I know! Instead of limiting the judge's right to extend rights to a #3 position, let's extend the rights to everyone bio Mom and Dad ends up "loving" for a one-night stand or even a bit longer. Because it's all about "love," right?

    And the child loses. "What's best for the child" is only a smokescreen for such idiocy as proposed above. It's meant to accommodate - and encourage - a complete lack of stability and structure for parents, or as Ms. Pontac put it, "People [being] able to create their own lives."

    Don't think that the Sac Bee chose a partner in a lesbian couple of 38 years at random. It was done to give the illusion that homosexual couples are more stable than straight couples are. In homosexual couples I've seen, they are no more stable than straight couples in longevity.

    Don't you see where this is going? Don't you see the harm in building laws about emotion, especially the emotion of the day? There's zero foundation, zero stability built on the rolling changes of personal desire.

    For the record, this potential bill could apply (if it were to spread nationwide) to a situation in my own family, and I am still against it.

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  33. Here's the bold emphasis that was lost in the cut-and-paste:

    Ellen Pontac, a Davis gay-rights activist, said she and her wife, Shelly Bailes, each had two children when they began their relationship 38 years ago. She understands how someone can function as a child's parent but accrue no legal rights. Government should accommodate changing times, she said.

    "I just think that people should be able to create their own lives," she said.

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  34. Wow. Thank you, The Girl from New York! GREAT response!

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  35. Cesar, GFNY, great points!

    While I still wait for any progressive to actually answer the questions that were posed, I want to make one comment on CS's faulty analogy between adoption and surrogacy.

    Adoption is about restoring something to a child that has been lost (namely, a mother and father). Adoption is a restoration.

    Surrogacy is child-as-commodity. It's pre-planned; it's not about restoring what is lost to a child.

    Completely different animals.

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  36. Miss Gwen, all that information that Joseph gave about the history of the Progressive movement… do you have any comment on that? Or does any other progressive want to comment on the substance of that? Thanks!

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  37. When it comes to an end, I feel that there is none in sight anyway, too early to be talking about an end. In fact, I don't think that there has really ever been an "end" for any group. There will always be imperfections. Always trying to be better does not seems all so bad.


    In specifics:

    Gay marriage needs to be allowed everywhere and the stigma needs to be removed. There is a long way to this. Even interracial marriges have a bit of a stigma still, and that's been legal everywhere for a while now. But when it comes to interracial marriges, you don't see anyone still fighting for that. We all understand that's been gotten.

    Women still make less than men. I think there are other issues, but the rest are subjective. It has been proven women make less then men.

    Here is the problem with pedophilia and bestiality, They cannot consent.


    I agree that once upon a time, gay marriage was never thought to happen. I did not live then, but from what I have read, that seemed to be the general belief.

    However, children can't consent, animals cannot consent.

    I really believe it is apples and oranges here. So one thing does not naturally lead to another.

    Grown adults, what ever their sexual orientation can consent.

    Authough I think 14 is a bit young, I do know 14 year olds who consent.

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  38. When it comes to an end, I feel that there is none in sight anyway, too early to be talking about an end. In fact, I don't think that there has really ever been an "end" for any group. There will always be imperfections. Always trying to be better does not seems all so bad.

    Chelsea, there is absolutely an "end" with Christians. The end is Truth, Goodness, Beauty. And doctrine and the moral law are defined. As for the secular, trying to be "better" doesn't mean anything, unless you define what is "good". See, with the secular, there is no "goal" that I can see, or that can be defined.

    I'll save the "women makes less than men" argument for another day (though clearly there are reasons why, and it has much more to do with women's desire for flexibility on hours, more desire to be home with family at times, than with discrimination). If you want some facts on that, I can send articles for you to evaluate.

    The "once upon a time" when gay marriage was unthinkable was about a decade or less ago. Or, about one second ago, if you are talking about the history of mankind. It really is a brand spanking new social experiment that we have unleashed, and the fruits won't be evident for a generation or more. But any redefinition of and watering down of the family, depriving children of mothers and fathers by design, will always be at the sacrifice of the children.

    As for consent: Many folks would say, "Yes children and animals can consent." And your answer to that would be?

    What do you think of the lowering of ages of consent in "progressive" nations throughout the world? How does 12 sound to you? Where will it stop, and what would that stop be?

    And, if you are arguing that consent is the sole criterion of the good (are you?) then are you saying that any sexual thing that two adults consent to is moral?

    And, are you sure about that?

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  39. Again, to be very clear, this is the crux of it. You said, Chelsea:

    Always trying to be better does not seems all so bad.

    How can one move to "better" when one cannot define the good?

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  40. "Authough I think 14 is a bit young, I do know 14 year olds who consent" Do you realize you've just negated your argument for pedophilia? Are you saying that the simple ability to say, "Yes" is all you need for consent to be understood, legitimate and worthy of support? That's your litmus test? Why bother limiting the age of consent at 14 years?

    If you manipulate the age of consent to under 18 and downward (the age will keep dropping, I promise you that), then voila! There's no crime being committed here. You're ridding the world of pedophilia by manipulating legislation.

    Plus, think of the profit that birth control companies can make - wow, a whole untapped market of under 18 year olds! (Sadly, not completely untapped present day - but there's always room for increasing profits!)

    You hear "progressives" cry about Big Oil, Big Tobacco and such, but never about Big Birth Control which has harmful health implications (but never mind reading the small print that comes with those pills - those side effects and deaths will happen to other people, not you, never you), not to mention environmental implications. I wonder why the mainstream media doesn't report such things?

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  41. Girl from NY, that is exactly right. And this: "You're ridding the world of pedophilia by manipulating legislation." Positive law (instead of natural law) is this: What is legal is moral. Talk about legislating morality, ha ha.

    And your discussion of the Pill's harm to women is so true! We talked about that here, and if you look down in the comments, even Miss Gwen recounts the serious medical harm that two of her friends experienced because of the Pill:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/02/sad-reminder-that-pill-was-never.html

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  42. And again, I have to repeat:

    Progress is defined as "advancement, or movement toward a goal", so I ask…

    What is the goal?

    And if there is no goal (which a couple of you have implied), then what is the "progressive" definition of progress?

    And does no one have any comment on Joseph's recounting of the origins of the progressive movement? Do you dispute the history?

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  43. Ugh, did it again. Reposting:

    -My SIL's cousin's wife died from complications from the Pill; she was in her 20s.

    -A friend's sister (early 30s, I think) has breast cancer, which my friend said that doctors believe came from her being on high-hormone birth control pills prescribed to "treat" her endometriosis.* She has undergone a double mastectomy.

    -Another friend was also on the pill for "treatment" of her endometriosis. The endo became so bad and debilitating that she was not only unlikely to conceive, but also unlikely to be able to carry to term any child conceived. So, she had a hysterectomy.

    The tragedy of this friend, indirectly related to the pill, but related to the pro-abort mentality (under the same "progressive" umbrella) is that she had two abortions years ago, suffered terribly from regret and grief, and, thanks to the endo (which was truly not "treated" by the pill) was never able to conceive after the abortions. One of the greatest sorrows in her life is never having children. (To clarify, I mean children on this earth.)

    Further, her siblings never had children, for reasons I won't disclose for the sake of anonymity. The two babies aborted were the only two chances in that family for grandchildren/nieces/nephews. So much for that family "progressing" into the next generation. Instead, thanks to the results of progressive thought, that family is progressing to its end.

    And we move closer to the abyss.

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  44. Girl from New York, that is tragic! Of course, many progressives (those of the Zero Population Growth wing) would say that it's a good thing that that family tree has died. Overpopulation and all.

    Sigh.

    And, I am sorry about my commenting rules, LOL! It's really for my own sanity, to be able to find the latest comments more easily. :)

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  45. Progressives, what have you to say in response to these last comments? I'm dying to know!

    DD

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  46. Leila, I am not a "progressive", though I used to strongly identify with that title. However, for me, it was always "progressive" when it came to liberal fiscial policies, rather than sexual ones per se. Truth be told, I was pro-choice and pro-contraception, but I hadn't thought a whole lot about the other issues you raise. I was pro-choice and pro-contraception because I was a good little liberal, but I was most interested in the fiscial issues and promoting a more socialist-style society.
    Perhaps some of the people, like Johanne, commenting above, might consider themselves "progressive" because of other liberal policies they agree with, and they just accept the sexual stuff without thinking a whole lot about it. Obviously this wouldn't apply to many, many progressives, but I think the distinction would apply to some. Just a thought.

    I am enjoying all the comments on this post!

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  47. Chelsea please read the articles about zoophilia. The article is not judgemental and simply presents these people and their views. These people truly believe that the animals have at times initiated the sexual play and enjoyed it. They talk about making the animal feel good and happy.

    I've seen dogs wanting to hump my legs and sniff below, but I don't allow them. They are acting out of instinct. I am more than an animal and I can choose not to act and to understand that there are limits between us. But, zoos are presenting these behaviors as "consent" on behalf of the animals.

    On the surface, with secular society's understanding regarding sexuality (in that it is only about good feelings and consent), zoophilia should be accepted if the animal is not harmed. I'm sure zoo's have proof that the animal is happy and feeling good, thus giving their consent.

    Please keep this article for future reference because in the next 5 years, you will see more and more interviews with "zoos" and pedophiles presented in a positive light. Eventually people will think it makes sense and their ideas are logical, thus in the name of tolerating those with different sexual attractions, it will be accepted. I personally think that once homosexuals get their way, 20-30 years from now, bestiality and pedophilia will be where we are now with homosexuality.

    Please also read the article and BiiD and explain to me how that disorder is different than those who have had sex reassignment surgery. The only difference is really the body parts. Last night I was reading a blog about such a person and he makes that exact point. (In fact, he had sex surgery to be a woman)

    We are not over exaggerating, we are just observing where these ideas on sexual liberation heading.

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  48. Just going to throw this out there for the Catholics, the youngest a woman is allowed to marry according to canon law is 14, and for men it is 16. You can't take the age of consent laws in the United States and define pedophilia by them. You have to look at pedophilia as an attraction to prepubescent children.

    Semper.

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  49. Excellent point, Joseph! And, at 14, the girl would have to have consent of parents, too, if I remember correctly? The assumption is that she is past puberty (obviously, many 14 year olds have married throughout history, and even today in different cultures). The consent is to marry, by the way, and then have marital relations with her husband within the sacrament of matrimony. It is not consent to have simply have sex, if anyone is confused.

    Planned Parenthood International's call for children's "sexual rights" goes way below the age of 14, and is all about pleasure, "free love", and experimentation, including whatever level of promiscuity the child wishes. With no thought of marriage being the correct context for sex, by the way. Not ever.

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  50. Chelsea, the Princeton professor, Peter Singer, who is the bioethics chair there, says in the article I linked that animals surely can consent in some cases. You should read his article. How do you respond? Is the much-lauded, much respected Princeton professor, the darling of leftist academia, to be contradicted by a teen? ;)

    You know I'm teasing you. But you get my point? We've got big wigs in the progressive movement saying that you are wrong. How do you answer them? And have you read their works enough to be sure that you actually do disagree with their evidence?

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  51. I do have a question about Joseph's original comments. I have read before that a Marxist goal is to tear down societal structures, especially the family. Joseph, can you give me quote for that? I tried to find a source before but didn't have enough information for Google to find anything for me. Also, could you tell me why you think Gramsci would want to see those structures torn down? Was it because he wanted to live an evil life himself and wanted as many people as possible available to join him? Is there something intrinsic to Marxism that requires people to live lives of misery in order for Marxism to prevail? (I say lives of misery because we can already see how much children suffer from the breakdown of the family. Anyone who wants the family destroyed must also want to see the misery that follows.)

    Also, I hate to display my ignorance, but could you give me a quick and very easily understood explanation of the difference between Marxism and Communism? Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto but the two are not the same, isn't that right? The reason I want to understand it better is because I had one niece mention that she was writing a paper in college explaining why Communism is actually a good idea, but that it just wasn't correctly practiced by Lenin and Stalin. Then I read a comment by a college professor who said that he comes across more and more students who say the same thing, and that these students admit that they have not read the Communist Manifesto. Shortly after that, another niece made a similar comment, that Communism just had not been correctly applied. The second niece did read the Manifesto, the first niece had not but had had lectures about it in college. Incidentally (or not!) both nieces attended Jesuit colleges. I hope Joseph gets a chance to address these questions.

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  52. CS, you have a paragraph above that starts out:

    "I am quite certain we can trace every ‘familial ill’ gay rights, pre-marital sex, divorce, neglected children, single motherhood, back to women’s rights."

    I take it that this sentence and the paragraph that follows is written facetiously, am I correct? I have to admit, that doesn't work for me in helping me to know what you yourself think. Could you be clearer on that? What was so awful about being a woman in, say, your grandmother's time, that makes being a 14 year old sex object a more desireable situation in our own? I am not quoting you as saying it is good to be a 14 year old sex object, I am just stating that as an expression of what it is like to be a 14 year old girl in 2012. There is enormous pressure on young girls to accept their status as sex objects and to pretend they actually like being seen that way.

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  53. Cesar said, "The problem is that if you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there."

    Another very big problem is that if you don't know where you are going, the road you're on might be leading you to a really, really bad place.

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  54. Sharon, your questions are excellent and I will attempt an answer myself....but first, I'll respond to Joseph.

    #1) I am very curious, what books did you read that connected the dots for you between Hegel, Gramsci, Progressivsim, American TV shows and random events in the male bathroom stall at a bar? And I say all this in a completely respectful manner.

    #2) During Gramsci's lifetime, Italy was not a united country as we know it today; most of the population did not speak one language and there was huge disparity between the peasantry and the very wealthy. The Catholic Church of course had a strong presence in Italy and Gramsci acknowledges the high caliber and contributions of Catholic intellectuals in his writings.

    #3) Gramsci's popularity to academia stems directly from his formulation of the concept "hegemony" and his sophisticated analysis of the socio-economic climate of Italy and its peasant class and what needed to happen to improve life for everyone.

    #4) Gramsci did critique the Catholic Church but his argument was not about destroying family or traditions; Gramsci was concerned with how awareness is raised within communities-how activism begins at a root level with leaders who are able to see that the socio-economic conditions around them are part of larger processes and social structures that can in fact be changed for the benefit of society. I really don't think it's accurate to say that Gramsci did not recognize the importance of religion or the Catholic Church for Italy's citizens.

    #4) Colonialism as a system of power and hierarchy has been the main force behind using progress as a tool for promoting racism. Progress was one of the main motives colonial powers have used to legitimize their control and presence in other countries/cultures.

    #5) As for American TV shows, I believe the example you gave of "Friends" challenging the status quo of society can be used as an example of countering "hegemony" or the structures in place that attempt to normalize aspects of society to the detriment of some and the benefit of others. In the case of sexuality though, there are women who are more practically minded and there are men who are of a more sensitive nature and without being homosexual.

    Okay, better post this and breath before I begin again...

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  55. Sharon, one way to think about the difference between communism and Marxism is this: Marxism is the theory and communism has been an application of that theory.

    So one line of inquiry is if communism has been the only application of Marxism and it's pretty much failed, what are other possibilities? Can Marxism be applied in a more beneficial manner?

    Even Gramsci was horrified and disgusted with Trotsky's use of Marxist theory applied to government.

    hope that helps

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  56. I really like the discussion here, and I hope Joseph comes back with his response! So fascinating. I am learning a lot, so I just like to sit back and soak it in when the subject turns to history or science, etc.

    But in the meantime, does any progressive want to tackle the actual questions in the original post?

    Also, Miss Gwen, what do you think about the fact that Peter Singer has been greatly honored by the progressives in this nation, knowing full well his views on killing infants and sex with animals? He is not considered a freak or weirdo, and he is not marginalized, obviously. What does that say about what it means to be progressive? How do you feel about the fact that he is so honored and lauded and admired? What do you think they are admiring about him?

    Thanks!

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  57. I am just responding the Leila first, I will read the rest in a second

    When I talked about the age of consent, I was thinking of young couples. When there is a situation where one is in a position of power, then it is inappropriate. A 40 year old and a 14 year old is inappropriate. A 15 year old and a 14 year old is young, but there is usaly no power play.

    I think someone else said that there are a few weirdos in each group. Well, I agree.

    Some pro-life people terrorize. Now, before someone says, not everyone! you are right, not everyone. And I doubt the movement to bomb health centers will become a big trend that every pro-lifer will agree with. At least I hope not.

    Same with bestiality. Yes, there will be people that do crazy stuff on my lovely little side. And I will disagree with them. Most will. Politics is often a mob rule in the US. If most do not agree, it will not be legal.

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  58. Chelsea, but you are missing a big point, here. I will ask you the same thing that I asked Gwen:

    What do you think about the fact that Peter Singer has been greatly honored by the progressives in this nation, knowing full well his views on killing infants and sex with animals? He is not considered a freak or weirdo, and he is not marginalized, obviously. What does that say about what it means to be progressive? How do you feel about the fact that he is so honored and lauded and admired? What do you think they are admiring about him?

    If you are unsure that the progressives in America love him, then please look at his accolades:

    Peter Albert David Singer AC (born 6 July 1946) is an Australian Jewish moral philosopher. He is currently the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and a Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne. He specialises in applied ethics and approaches ethical issues from a secular, preference utilitarian perspective. He is known in particular for his book, Animal Liberation (1975), a canonical text in animal rights/liberation theory.

    On two occasions Singer served as chair of the philosophy department at Monash University, where he founded its Centre for Human Bioethics. In 1996 he stood unsuccessfully as a Greens candidate for the Australian Senate. In 2004 he was recognised as the Australian Humanist of the Year by the Council of Australian Humanist Societies, and in June 2012 was named a Companion of the Order of Australia for his services to philosophy and bioethics. He serves on the Advisory Board of Incentives for Global Health, the NGO formed to develop the Health Impact Fund proposal. He was voted one of Australia's ten most influential public intellectuals in 2006.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Singer


    Clearly, no "pro-life bombers" are being honored by conservative academics and given coveted chairs at Ivy League universities. How do you account for this?

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    1. I should have said, he is renowned, feted, honored and loved around the world. By progressives. Why?

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  59. Miss G, thank you for the explanation. Would it be correct to say that socialism is another application of Marxism?

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  60. Have not yet read the thread. Starting with the initial question :-)

    IMO the question is flawed from this perspective: Progressive and Conservatives are really bad labels that do not have any objective meaning. At best, they are references to some outside standard position. And in truth, there are hundreds of issues that one could choose to label themselves as (or be labeled as) and frankly, people usually only feel strongly about a subset of those issues.

    Then we start trying to further define - fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, etc. ad nauseum.

    I doubt most people really care about the etymology of progressive vs conservative. We also use Left and Right which have no real practical built in definition, nor do Democrat and Republicans. They are just labels.

    And no two Progressives will have the same definition for their beliefs on every single issue. It just seems to be a human thing to categorize and label, it is how our brains work. Heck you can even see it in the Bible when Man was charged with naming everything :-p (Gen 2:19-20)

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  61. Nicholas, fair enough, you don't like labels or words to describe groups of people. But for the rest of us, they help us understand. Will every progressive think alike? Of course not. That's why I am asking the general question, and not asking every progressive what their opinion is on this issue or that issue. I am taking the cue from their own label -- "progressive". They use it, and it means something to them. C.S. Lewis is on to something (did you read the first quote?), and I want to know what "progress" in matters of sexuality means to the progressives on this blog.

    So, while I can understand and defend the term "conservative" (i.e., we are trying to "conserve" the values and traditions that have held us in good stead), I am asking progressives to discuss what "progressive" means in their world.

    And still to this moment, I have not gotten anyone to answer the questions on the original post.

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  62. While this is a very interesting discussion into history and politics, I haven't seen much of it really relevant to the question :-p I will go out on a limb (without evidence sadly) and say most people are perfectly happy to label themselves as progressive or conservative, or label others as such, without any historical context, knowledge of Hegel or other philosophers, etc. :-p

    Leila's questions also seem to assume that people have an agenda or goal that goes beyond the immediate, which is rarely the case :-)

    Progressives who favor gay marriage mostly do so not for some deep seated philosophical desire, but because they buy into the argument that a marriage license has no more significance than a fishing license, and that it is a civil rights issue. We wouldn't deny gay people a fishing license, so why deny them a marriage license?

    The truth IMO is the exact opposite of this thread. People adopt labels to make things /appear/ to be simpler and less complex, NOT for the purpose of embracing really complex and subtle philosophical positions.

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  63. Nicholas, by the way, I can very clearly understand the distinction between "fiscal conservative" and "social conservative". Not complicated. That's why we use words and distinctions in the first place.

    In this post, I am specifically asking about sexual progressives, by the way. I hope that was clear.

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  64. There are no real answers :-P

    People pick Progressive because that is what is in vogue.

    Liberal Environmentalists make the same jab... "Why aren't Conservatives with us on our stated goal of conserving the environment? This is the very definition of conservation!"

    Progressives will have a stated goal, not a desire to "progress" for its own sake. So if their goal is gay marriage, it doesn't go past that.

    No more than "Conservatives" would have a desire to stop all progress and stay exactly where we are now.

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  65. Well I am not a sexual progressive, so I can't speak directly to that issue. If I had to guess I'd still say they don't think about it, they generally speaking go by the old "if no one is harmed, why not? adage.

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  66. Nicholas, you might be very interested in my next series of posts, in which a former atheist goes into some detail about the philosophical underpinnings of atheism, including a critique of modern atheists, who have virtually no philosophical training. I, of course, disagree with you that ideas are incredibly complicated. As I've said before, it's sinful people (us) who obscure simple principles, and make moral issues seem so "deep" and "complex".

    You are definitely right that the average modern man sees only what is right in front of him, and lives in the immediate, with no thought-out agenda (or connection to the traditions of the past). That is why we are so impoverished, on so many crucial levels.

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  67. Agreed, I did gloss over that your post was mostly directed at sexual progressives since the title in much bigger font just said progressive :-)

    I would think that true "sexual progressives" are a pretty small minority among progressives, but I really can't say for sure.

    I do not necessarily believe that ideas themselves are complicated, I was just saying that there are LOTS of ideas that fall under the general umbrella of "Progressive" (again, I wasn't catching you were narrowing the field to sexual progressives.)

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  68. Nicholas, I think somewhere along the line, you are missing the point. I am not talking about "conserving the environment". I am talking about philosophically. Not talking about the material world. If you look at progressive environmentalists, they are all about equating man and nature, even elevating nature above man. That is very much a progressive mindset.

    If you speak of the regular old way that "conservationist" used to be used, then yes, Catholics very much are concerned with conserving the environment (being good stewards). But again, not talking about the material world. I'm talking about morality, and philosophy. I think we can all say that Catholics are "progressive" when it comes to seeking holiness, for example.

    I'm afraid you are making things WAY more complicated than they are. I assume most folks understood my original questions, and I assume that they didn't think I was talking about the some great debate (as if there is one!) about littering or pollution.

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    1. No, you are :-p I already admitted like 3 posts ago that I misread your initial post as being "progressives" as a whole and not just "sexual progressives" and thus you are responding to positions I already ceded :-p

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  69. I would think that true "sexual progressives" are a pretty small minority among progressives, but I really can't say for sure.

    I utterly disagree! I think most social progressives are very much for gay marriage, for example. My goodness, the Democratic Party just added it to the Platform, and they said it was "non-controversial"!

    This is not a small minority. Not at all. It used to be, of course, but that is the point. They are progressing….

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    1. Meaning, gay "marriage" used to be controversial, even among Democrats and liberals (and progressives), but not today. That is the very point.

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  70. While you were admitting it "3 posts ago", I was still crafting my comments, which crossed in the mail with your postings, so to speak. Cut me some slack, I can't type that fast!

    Also, you said this after your admission:

    I would think that true "sexual progressives" are a pretty small minority among progressives, but I really can't say for sure.

    I corrected you, with reference to the Democratic Party's new Platform addition.

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  71. Ah! See, terms again! I wasn't counting Gay Marriage advocates as "sexual progressives" and here is why:

    To me, "sexual progressives" are about sexuality issues - the people who are OK with "open relationships," multiple-partner polyamory proponents, etc.

    And lots of people who are for gay marriage are for it because they have bought into the position I outlined above where I said

    "Progressives who favor gay marriage mostly do so not for some deep seated philosophical desire, but because they buy into the argument that a marriage license has no more significance than a fishing license, and that it is a civil rights issue. We wouldn't deny gay people a fishing license, so why deny them a marriage license?"

    And my joke about conservative/environment was only to say you are doing a disservice to try and equate the progressive political position with the definition of "progressive." Once a word becomes a political/social label it takes on a different meaning than the dictionary gives it.

    But fine, if for this discussion you want to label all pro-gay marriage people as sexual progressives, then sure, there are a lot of them. But I am not sure the label is very useful at that point.

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  72. I wasn't counting Gay Marriage advocates as "sexual progressives"

    Honestly, I just don't know what to say to this.

    If the advocates of enshrining and elevating homosexual unions to marital status do not fall under the umbrella of "sexual progressives", then no one does.

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  73. And let's pretend that homosexual "marriage" is not about progressive sexual "rights" for a moment. Your argument still strikes me as weak… You say that there are not many "sexual progressives" (pushing for pedophilia, bestiality, etc.) as if that is some kind of argument for something. But I addressed that argument in the original post:

    I think it's fair to say that when it comes to sex, progressives champion the right of consenting adults to use their sexuality in any way they desire. In the past that meant working to end the stigma of contraception, masturbation, divorce, pre-marital sex, and human abortion, and today it means the normalization or mainstreaming of pornography, hook-ups, group sex, homosexual acts and most recently gay "marriage".

    So, what next? When all these things are acceptable and enshrined, where do the progressives go? Who will the progressives be?

    I would offer that we all already know, but when I dare to bring it up, I am shouted down. "How could you equate homosexuality with pedophilia or bestiality??!!" (I do not equate them.) "I don't see great hordes of people clamoring for those things to be accepted!!" (Neither did anyone used to clamor for the acceptance of pornography, fornication, or homosexual "marriage".)

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  74. I don't think we are actually in disagreement, but I don't think we're on the same page either. I am unsure what kind of answer you would accept.

    I do not believe, nor see any evidence that people who are for gay marriage are even thinking about any logical progression from that point. Even if we were stipulate for sake of discussion that one would in fact lead to the other, they just aren't thinking about or caring about that.

    Yes, let's say the sexual progressives "win" (whatever that might mean) and the new norm gets shifted significantly along the continuum, then quite possible the new "sexual progressives" could be people advocating for legal recognition of pedophilia or whatever horrible things you can come up with. Surely there are people today who want those things.

    I guess I am just not seeing what your expectation is here? That if you show progressives what lays down the path, they'd stop? I doubt that. If you told civil rights advocates in the 50s or whatever that once they had pushed their progressive agenda of racial equality through, two generations later progressives would be pushing a pro-homosexual agenda... They either would deny that could ever happen, or they would not particularly be worried about 50 or 60 years down the road assuming there was plenty of time to change course.

    And no, I am NOT attempting to equate race and sexuality, it is just the first "progressive" position that jumped to mind.

    So, I don't think I am really disagreeing with you, except insofar as I think your argument will be largely lost on progressives.

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  75. Oh, by the way when you say

    "If the advocates of enshrining and elevating homosexual unions to marital status do not fall under the umbrella of "sexual progressives", then no one does."

    I believe the disconnect is that they do NOT see it as "enshrining and elevating marital status," it is effectively a repudiation of the same. When I said they see a marriage license like a fishing license I wasn't using hyperbole.

    It isn't that they want to "enshrine" homosexual marriage, as in elevate it to a sacramental level. They want to reduce marriage to be nothing more than a legal agreement.

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  76. Nicholas, I don't have any expectation that progressives will "stop" if they see what's coming. I do want them to clarify their thought for us. To answer the questions and maybe even get some insight themselves.

    I believe that many individual progressives find pedophilia and bestiality distasteful. Many will never go past the point of accepting the previous list of taboos. But they will ultimately be seen as the conservatives (even oppressors) to the next generation of sexual progressives, who are already on the move (do you not see what I wrote about Peter Singer, or the other links provided?).

    As much as they'd like, there is no way to put the brakes on when one is outside the realm of believing in an objective truth or a moral law. The new progressives will take the torch, using the same arguments, and will keep going, even if some (eventually) graying progressives wish it could have stopped at homosexuality and fornication, abortion and porn. Bummer for them, it's not going to stop.

    I don't strive for anything here but clarity of thought. Showing where ideas lead (not where individual people decide to go). It's philosophical. It's just logical thought. We look at the ideas or the philosophy underlying a movement or a group. We examine, we reason. It's a beautiful thing. Ultimately, there is either Truth or there is no truth. We look and see where those sides lead. For the side who seeks Truth, the end or the "stop" is where Truth is. We can define the Good. The other side has a harder time identifying the Good. They don't have a place to rest. There are no fixed points.

    I am glad you don't equate the civil rights movement with the gay rights movement. Because, like the abolitionist movement, the civil rights movement was very much religious in nature. The gay rights movement? No one could confuse that with a religious movement! In fact, I like how Joe Heschmeyer put it: The turn towards atheism frequently coincides with a turn towards the sexual sins.

    As for equating a marriage license to a fishing license, I have no doubt that that may be the case for those who think that marriage is nothing more than a ticket to some really cool government benefits. But then, we've always said that the understanding of marriage has now been so watered down, so emptied of any meaning (secular or otherwise) that we are in deep doo-doo. Considering that marriage is and always has been the fundamental cell of human society, we should be worried. But when one is "progressive", such age-old, universal understandings are just one more disposable societal construct to cast away in the "immediate" (as you pointed out), on a whim.

    Very dire consequences for society, which we cannot begin to fathom in this early stage of redefining marriage, but hey, social experimentation is what the social progressives are all about, no? Throwing off the old shackles. They are getting to it, in a big way. And yet the Church, of course, will outlast them all, because God never changes, and the moral law stands.

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  77. So, I don't think I am really disagreeing with you, except insofar as I think your argument will be largely lost on progressives.

    This seems to come up a lot. Remember, the point of this blog is to help teach Catholics. That is my primary aim here. If a progressive (or someone on the fence) can end up seeing the problems inherent in secular principles, that's just icing on the cake, but I don't expect it. That's not the point of this dialogue.

    More info here:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/p/purpose-of-my-blog.html

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  78. It isn't that they want to "enshrine" homosexual marriage, as in elevate it to a sacramental level. They want to reduce marriage to be nothing more than a legal agreement.

    I have to be honest, I agree with this statement right here. I also agree with someone, I don't remember who, who stated above that most progressives simply just don't THINK about where their progress will move toward.

    I give the example of my parents. When Rick Santorum was running for candidacy, my mother (a staunch democrat) was talking to me on the phone and (I kid you not) stated, "That Rick Santorum, I mean he's crazy, I mean he's Catholic and he homeschools his children. This was just all kinds of awkward, since I am Catholic and I homeschool my children. But then she said exasperatedly (note, I had not said anything except "so do we mom" to the above comment), "He thinks that the only families there are, are made up of a mother, father, and children."

    In the same conversation she lamented that 2 of her sister's children are still living with their mother (at the ages of 42 and 41) with children they had out of wedlock, one of them doesn't know who the father of her child is. One my aunts, other daughter's is living with her "has-warrants-out-for-his-arrest" boyfriend, who is the father of her youngest two children, but her oldest 2 children have a different father (we don't know where he is). And she says, "I'm so glad you and your sister aren't like them."

    Well you can't have it both ways. Either you put stock in the Traditional Family, or you accept that my aunt's (completely dysfunctional, crazy) family is equally as valid, and it shouldn't matter, let alone be a relief, that "we didn't turn out that way." Or rather, "we did it the right way." [by getting married first and I know who the father of my children are]

    I give this as an example, that I simply don't think most progressives think beyond the sound bites that someone is being made to feel bad about their choices. You know what?!?!?! If you slept with too many guys that you don't know who the father of your child is, YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD and ASHAMED! And then get over it, and work on the issues that led to it happening in the first place so it doesn't happen again.
    We shouldn't be trying to make them feel better about their choices so they don't feel bad. They're supposed to feel bad, when we make a mistake we should feel guilt and remorse, and THEN we move on in a way that doesn't elicit guilt and shame. The problem with society, and the progressives is that they have eliminated guilt and shame. So now we just keep "moving on" to the next thing, eliminating the guilt and shame in the process.

    Guilt and Shame can be a good thing, when it makes you realize that you need to change your behavior in order to be a better person!

    Sorry for the rant! :)

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  79. Bethany, great, great points, and it reminded me immediately of this quote that I've used before, from Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.:

    The Church is intolerant in principle because she believes; she is tolerant in practice because she loves. The enemies of the Church are tolerant in principle because they do not believe; they are intolerant in practice because they do not love.

    And your mom…. oh my goodness, talk about confused! That is very muddled thinking. Sigh.

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  80. Hi, Leila. Glad you're back. First, a quick hit:

    “Chelsea, the Princeton professor, Peter Singer, who is the bioethics chair there, says in the article I linked that animals surely can consent in some cases.”

    As soon as Peter Singer enters into a binding contract with a moose or a squirrel, I’ll take that argument seriously. Until then, he’s talking out of his ear.

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  81. More seriously, I’m not sure if I’m eligible to answer these questions. Am I a progressive? I definitely support gay marriage—but the rest of your post makes me less sure.

    For example: I don’t care about the name “progressive” or about taboo-breaking for its own sake. My ends are the same as yours: the true, the good, and the beautiful. I support gay marriage because it’s good, not because, “Hey, man, do whatever you feel!”

    In other words, I don’t have a problem with the language of morality, with calling something right or wrong. So if somebody wants to use the banner of “progressivism” to promote something immoral—like child rape--then they’re not on my side and I’ll say so. If that makes me “conservative,” I don’t care.

    Regarding Joseph and Gramsci, I think it’s a mistake to see gay marriage as an attempt to tear down an institution. Support for gay marriage is surging not because we’re all a bunch of degenerates who hate marriage (or, as Joseph suggests, because we’ve all been duped by elite leftist degenerates who hate marriage); instead, it’s surging because we all recognize the value of marriage and want to see it extended to a worthy group of people. It’s Edmund Burke, not Gramsci. It’s a pro-marriage position, not a radical, anti-institutional one, and that’s the biggest reason it has gained traction so quickly.

    So Nicholas missteps, too, when he says “they do NOT see it as ‘enshrining and elevating marital status,’ it is effectively a repudiation of the same.” I’m all about enshrining marriage.

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  82. As soon as Peter Singer enters into a binding contract with a moose or a squirrel, I’ll take that argument seriously. Until then, he’s talking out of his ear.

    You utterly miss the point. This man is an honored academic. He is not dismissed out-of-hand as a loon. That is the point. You think he's talking out his ear, they give him a chair at Princeton.

    Of course progressives would use the language of "good", but they have no point of reference for that word. What is Good? You have decided that gay "marriage" is "good". What is your point of reference for that? Your own thoughts and feelings? Because it's not Christianity or any major world religion, nor does it have any basis in the natural law (even atheist regimes do not acknowledge gay "marriage").

    Here's a post that is relevant, as I know you identify as a Christian:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2012/06/sorry-youre-not-allowed-to-do-that.html

    There is not one shred of support in the history or teaching of Christianity that would allow you to call gay "marriage" good. It's the opposite of the Christian position, which has always and everywhere held that homosexual acts (and all sexual sins) are, in fact, sins.

    Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil. Says God.

    For 2,000 years, if there is one thing that has been taught clearly by the Christian Church, it's that homosexual acts are gravely sinful.

    You just can't get around it by saying, "But I think it's really good."

    Sorry, you're not allowed to do that. It's not in your power or authority to change or define the moral law.

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  83. Hi, again, Leila! I just wanted to answer your questions, because you asked. I'm not going to get into a theological argument today.

    Regarding Peter Singer, I think you're overestimating his reputation. I could be wrong, and if Gwen or anyone else wants to correct me, that's fine. But I've never heard his name mentioned in all my years of grad school, except on websites like this one. The fact that he holds a named chair and has won some honors doesn't mean much. You could say the same thing about Robert P. George, after all. Are his views part of the academic mainstream?

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  84. Miss G,

    I'll get back to you shortly. I don't have consistent access to the internet. I'm at a two week course away from home, and I didn't bring a lap top to use on the hotel's wifi. So I have to use the library, which has limited availability depending on the amount of people in line.

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  85. "Support for gay marriage is surging not because we’re all a bunch of degenerates who hate marriage (or, as Joseph suggests, because we’ve all been duped by elite leftist degenerates who hate marriage); instead, it’s surging because we all recognize the value of marriage and want to see it extended to a worthy group of people."

    Really, Frank? You think that our society recognizes the value of marriage, and that is why people support gay marriage? Where is the evidence in 2012 that we live in a society that recognizes the value of marriage? Would you say that sex before marriage proves that we value marriage, and that living together proves the same, since they show a desire to "try before you buy"? Even though couples who cohabit have a higher divorce rate than couples who don't? And even though in previous generations when there was some sense that virginity on your marriage day would actually be beneficial to the strength of your marriage, and those couples actually did stay married? (Sorry, I keep trying to rewrite that but can't make it come out right. I hope you know what I mean.)

    See, if gays value marriage, really, then I would expect them to fight for stronger marriage laws, for a rollback of no-fault divorce that has wreaked havoc on the value placed on marriage. I would expect them to encourage each other to strive for chastity before marriage. I would expect their marriages to last longer than, say, the marriage of the first gay couple to get married in Massachusetts, who separated two years after they got married. But I'm not seeing any of that. Are you?

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  86. Nicholas, I think you are right in that most progressives have not taken the time to ask what the results of their activism might be. I think you are wrong in that I get the feeling that you think they don't care and never will care. That means that discussion with them is useless, and I don't agree. You never know when what you say will stick with a person, and I think you should have more hope in that regard.

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  87. instead, it’s surging because we all recognize the value of marriage and want to see it extended to a worthy group of people.

    The problem with this, Frank, is that the value of marriage is inherent in meeting the two main criteria that defines marriage:

    Indissolubility
    and
    The inherent natural potential to reproduce

    These two criteria are what make marriage so valued, because those couples who meet these criteria have a relationship that is unique as compared to every other type of relationship. It is that uniqueness that is valued!

    If you eliminate the 2nd criterion then you've (royal you) opened up many (I'd argue any other) other relationships (not simply same-sex unions) to seek out marriage - mainly because once that criterion disappears then all other lesser criteria (that is based on that one criterion) is null and void, and therefore arbitrary and would be true discrimination.

    By eliminating that 2nd criterion you (still royal you) are devaluing (perhaps unintentionally) marriage.

    The sad thing is, though, (and why we fight so hard in the public square to get across this meeting) it doesn't really matter, aside from governmental legalities and the souls of those who are mislead.

    The truth of the matter is, it doesn't matter WHAT you (royal) call it or what name you use. The indissoluble relationship between two heterosexuals (which by definition meets the 2nd criterion above) will ALWAYS be inherently different and unique as compared to their homosexual "counterparts". They cannot be equal, physically or otherwise, no matter how many laws try to make it equal, and no matter how many people think so.

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  88. You could say the same thing about Robert P. George, after all. Are his views part of the academic mainstream?

    Ahhh, I absolutely love Robby George!! Amazing. My teen daughter went to a program at Princeton this summer and I was thrilled when I learned that he led her seminar on natural law. Mainstream? No… but much beloved by the religious conservatives and devout Catholics of this nation! Gosh, I'm practically a groupie. :)

    I never claimed Singer was mainstream, did I? I apologize if you got that from anything I said.

    Progressives are not, by definition, mainstream. They are cutting edge, bursting past the old taboos. That's what makes them progressive, no? Again, I am just not sure to where they're progressing.

    As to theology -- thankfully, Christianity is defined by neither you nor me. :)

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  89. One more thought, Frank. There is a young progressive on this blog (whom I like very much, personally) who couldn't dismiss out-of-hand Singer's views on killing born infants. See, she is progressive enough to admit that until she reads his work, she cannot say for sure that he is wrong about infanticide.

    People like me (yes, I'm an old fogey, at 45) and maybe even you, would be able to say that killing born infants (even up to 3 months after birth as Singer proposes) is wrong, period. We would not even have to investigate his arguments! The newer generation of secularists, though…. they are open to any and all ideas, including infant killing and yes, children's sex rights and the right to have sex with animals. (Not saying any progressives on this blog would agree to investigate those last two!! But I hope you get my point.)

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  90. Sharon and Bethany, excellent points! Thank you.

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  91. And the point is, without having a clear goal or intent, the current generation of progressives becomes the next generation of mainstream ideologues.

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  92. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  93. Leila,

    If I didn’t answer your question I know what your question is. Progressivism isn’t like Catholicism with rules of conduct it’s a grass roots movement, it will (like everything else) go as far as whoever happens to champion it at the time feels inclined to go.

    People don’t prescribe to progressivism, they prescribe to ideals they believe in which may or not fall under the umbrella term of ‘progressive’ at the time.

    ~CS

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  94. “It isn't that they want to "enshrine" homosexual marriage, as in elevate it to a sacramental level. They want to reduce marriage to be nothing more than a legal agreement.”

    I don’t even know how to address this. Aren’t we talking about legal marriage and only legal marriage? Liberals don’t care at all if churches perform the marriages we only care that the government recognizes them. You are correct that the gays want is ‘nothing more’ than the legal agreement because there are no rights, privileges, recognition, nor legal existence of ‘sacramental’ marriage.

    “The problem with this, Frank, is that the value of marriage is inherent in meeting the two main criteria that defines marriage: indissolubility 
and The inherent natural potential to reproduce”

    Legal marriages are not indissoluble, they get legally dissolved all the time

    You make an excellent care for why gay people shouldn’t have sacramental marriages, but not legal marriages.

    ~CS

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  95. Thanks CS, but I have heard many progressives call themselves progressive. Social progressives prefer that name to "liberal" (which is fine with me, since they have utterly perverted the definition of liberal -- I consider myself a classical liberal).

    Again, the root of the word "progressive" is "progress". And "progress" implies a journey toward a goal. What you are saying is that progressives just keep going and pushing, with no goal in mind except the going and the pushing.

    I harken back to ElizabethK's comment:

    So glad to see you bringing this up Leila, and hoping to read some responses that aren't just knee-jerk and angry. Because these questions are real, and I want to know, as you do, if "progress" is somehow a value in itself, or if there's a utopian vision and what it looks like.

    CS, in your opinion, then, there is no utopian vision in the end? You believe that "progress" (with no goal) is a value in itself?

    Can you see where that might lead to chaos and confusion on a grand scale?

    By the way, I am not sure that the progressive movement is a "grass roots movement"…. have you studied its origins?

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  96. Legal marriages are not indissoluble, they get legally dissolved all the time

    CS, no-fault divorce came with Ronald Reagan in the '60s. In my lifetime. That was a watering down and a weakening of civil marriage, not an inherent part of it. Again, you are so young that you don't realize how "new" is the idea that marriage is dissolved at will.

    History, and marriage, goes much further back than 40 years….

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  97. "Legal marriages are not indissoluble, they get legally dissolved all the time"

    Leila's right, up until recently, the idea of marriage is that it was supposed to be permanent. That was the idea - the permanence was important to the state because of the stability it gave to society, which makes the government's job easier. Yes, legal marriages are dissolved all the time, now, and it does make a joke of sorts of the whole institution, even of gay marriages. It's all supposed to be about commitment, but everyone knows that it's a "commitment" with a fairly easy out. Which means it's not really a commitment at all.

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  98. Legal marriages are not indissoluble, they get legally dissolved all the time

    Just because they can/do, doesn't mean they should, nor does it mean that indissolubility is not a criterion for marriage. It means that the state gives couples the benefit of the doubt, and unfortunately couples don't give a flying rats patootie about it(pardon my French) and choose to ignore what that means. What a joke no-fault divorce has been.

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  99. Leila's right, up until recently, the idea of marriage is that it was supposed to be permanent. That was the idea - the permanence was important to the state because of the stability it gave to society, which makes the government's job easier.

    Yes, and further it's because permanence is important (imperative!) to the children who are the fruit of the marriage. It's about the children, and society has a vested interest in making sure to support marriage for that reason. Throughout history, that is the reason. We all know that children do best when raised in a stable family, by their married and committed mom and dad.

    Marriage is the permanent (and "one flesh") union of husband and wife (sex is the privilege of marriage and should not be undertaken outside of it). Commitment comes first, then sex, all because sex produces children who need a mom and dad to raise them (shockingly still true).

    The meaning of marriage is as true today as it ever was, even though modern liberals want to deny it (with crazy results -- read the all too common thought process of Bethany's mom, to watch the confusion painfully play out).

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  100. Bethany:

    Here’s a link to the marriage statutes of Leila’s home state, Arizona—which constitutionally forbids gay marriage: http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/25/00101.htm&Title=25&DocType=ARS

    Notice that under Revised Statute 25.101b first cousins under 65 are allowed to marry only if they can prove to a judge that one of the cousins is unable to reproduce. If they’re over 65, they’re presumed infertile, so they don’t have to get a doctor’s note. (Several other states have similar laws)

    In other words, a class of heterosexuals is allowed to marry only if they can prove they CAN’T have kids.

    Does this bother you at all? Do you think it’s logical to say that a couple meets your second criterion (“inherent natural potential to reproduce”) if they have to prove that they have NO potential to reproduce? If, in order to get married, you (royal you) have to go to the doctor to prove you can’t make a baby, does it make sense to simultaneously claim that marriage depends on the ability to make a baby?

    I know that your argument hinges on the idea that male/female couples are “ordered” towards procreation—thus the word “inherent” in your criterion. But don’t you find that logic a little… tortured?

    Don’t you think it’s better to recognize that marriage has purposes besides procreation? Isn’t that just common sense?

    After all, if a couple of sweet seventy-year-olds get married in your church, do you think, “Oh, they’ll be great parents?” Or do you think their marriage has a different purpose?

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  101. Hi, Sharon.

    Thanks for the opportunity to clarify. I think the turn towards marriage among gay rights activists is a turn in a positive direction in our culture, one that goes along with 1) decreasing teen sex rates (http://dailycaller.com/2011/10/14/teen-sex-rates-giving-it-up-keeps-going-down/) and 2) dropping divorce rates, especially among the college-educated in liberal states (the demographic most likely to support gay marriage). As this slate article points out, “support for gay marriage and robust heterosexual marriages are likely to coexist in the same geographic spaces” (http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2012/05/does_gay_marriage_affect_marriage_or_divorce_rates_.html).

    Correlation doesn’t prove causation, of course, and I think we have a ways to go before we can say we truly value marriage as a culture.

    For the rest, forgive me for arguing via link and anecdote.

    Encouragement towards chastity before marriage? Here you go: http://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php

    Gays married longer than two years? Off the top of my head: Ellen Degeneres ( 4 years); Dan Savage (7 years); Andrew Sullivan (5 years). And, fwiw, I’m friends with several couples that are married or engaged and have been together as long or longer. Anecdotal? Yeah, but so was your argument.

    Best,
    Frank

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  102. Leila,

    That’s really cool that your daughter got to learn natural law from Robert George. By the way, did you ever read the series I posted here by Rob Tisinai addressing George’s gay marriage arguments?

    Like I said, I’m glad you’re back blogging.

    Best,
    Frank

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  103. The statistic you cite about dropping divorce rates is misleading, because it fails to mention that marriage rates are plummeting drastically. It is the drop in marriage rates that has caused the corresponding drop in divorce rates, not some sudden re-discovery of the sanctity of marriage thanks to gay relationships - and given that some of the very first gay couples to "marry" are now divorcing, it doesn't seem that gay relationships are more stable as a result of marriage.

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  104. Frank, I only wish I had the time! Sorry, no, I didn't, but I hope it was helpful to others who did. You know, the case for heterosexual marriage (redundant) is not simply a matter of liking Robby George's arguments. Robby George is simply expounding upon the moral law, which is God-given . I address different folks on this blog based on where they are coming from. You identify as Christian, so I will address you as a Christian.

    There is no hint, anywhere, at any time, ever, either Biblically or in Christian Tradition, that marriage is anything other than heterosexual in nature. Not anywhere. Not ever. Not once. Never.

    There is a requirement for marriage, and it's called the conjugal act (normal sexual intercourse). Assuming two people are free to marry, the conjugal act is required to "seal the deal". The conjugal act, the renewal of the covenant, is "consummation". Gay people cannot fulfill the requirement of marriage, as they are unable to perform the conjugal act (we've been over that part I think). Their bodies were not designed to complete that act. It's self-evident, actually.

    There is no requirement (never had been) that a couple be fertile to validly marry. Only that they complete the marital act, which of course is ordered toward procreation. God opens and closes the womb, as the Bible says. I promise you, two grooms will never have their wombs opened, and two lesbians will never create life through their sexual acts.

    BTW, even a state law which requires first cousins to wait till old age (natural infertility) to marry does not negate the requirement [or interfere with the ability] to complete the conjugal act. And again, fertility is not a requirement of marriage, never has been.

    Again, I am just going by what you said your religious beliefs are, and addressing you as a Christian. From one Christian to another: If Christian teaching on homosexuality is suddenly reversable after 2,000 years of unbroken, unequivocal teaching, then which Christian teaching is safe? How can we be sure that any Christian teaching is true, if that falsehood and evil about marriage was taught for so long, to so many, from the time of Christ to the present day?

    And, honest question, where do you or anyone get the authority to reverse that Christian teaching (to get it right for the rest of us, including the successors of the Apostles)?

    Seems to me like Christianity is all up for grabs then, no?

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  105. “Again, the root of the word "progressive" is "progress". And "progress" implies a journey toward a goal. What you are saying is that progressives just keep going and pushing, with no goal in mind except the going and the pushing.”

    Didn’t I address this when I said: “People don’t prescribe to progressivism, they prescribe to ideals they believe in which may or not fall under the umbrella term of ‘progressive’ at the time.”

    Nowhere did I say progressives push boundaries for the hell of it. Only that all people including progressives strive to make society the best it can be. It is likely an ongoing process that will require us to tackle challenges we are unaware of. No one can say what exactly those challenges will be.

    There is no liberal bible, only individuals who champion causes that they feel benefit society. They retire when their causes get resolved or learn about other closely related causes that resonate with them. If you want to ask people when they will individually stop advancing their own personal cause, or having opinions on sexual matters, you’d have to ask them because to your point I don’t see that ending anytime soon.

    ~CS

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  106. Again, CS, I appreciate that individual progressives are highly subjective when it comes to their "truths". But yes, some people do subscribe to "progressivism". And yes, the movement does have an origin. And yes, there are social and sexual progressives.

    I do agree with you that for the progressive, no one (including the progressive himself) can know where things are going or where it will end. For example, a few years ago (and certainly as a young man), Obama never thought that gay "marriage" was moral, nor desirable. Suddenly, he "evolved" on that issue, and progressed a step forward.

    Just as today, the folks on this blog, many of whom are young, cannot imagine a day when the zoophiles or other sexual orientations will build their case boldly for their own sexual rights, and slowly the "open-minded" among us will hear. And maybe someday, after the desensitization and appeals to "compassion" (which have accompanied the collapse of every other sexual taboo), we will hear the young folks on this blog, many years from now, championing those progressive causes as well.

    Clearly, in the progressive view, we simply cannot know what might come next, or where it will end.

    That we can agree on!

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  107. I’m generally pretty indifferent to gay marriage until I read stuff like this and then I just have to sympathize with the gays…

    When we talk about marriage we can only ever talk about civil marriage. No one gay cares about sacramental marriage. The state has no right to care about sacramental marriages. We are not taking about if people can marry in church we are talking about if they can marry in city hall, if lesbians can visit each other in the hospital.

    “Just because they can/do, doesn't mean they should, nor does it mean that indissolubility is not a criterion for marriage’

    No that’s exactly what it means. Marriage is not about what people should do, legalities are about what is minimally requires of someone under force of law. The definition of marriage has ALREADY changed because marriage is not indissoluble in the United States of America. Its just not, Kim K has dissolved it twice. We cannot ignore de-facto legal marriage when arguing about legal marriage.

    Also, I am pretty sure if I had a hysterectomy or had a sex change and had a male penis but no sperm I could still marry a women even though procreation would be impossible. Also pretty sure that if I had a malformed vagina and couldn’t consummate, my marriage would be voidable, not void so I could still get married, my spouse could just petition to annul it. The marriage would be valid though.

    There is no legal standing to forbid gay marriage on the basis of these claims.

    ~CS

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  108. CS, you said, "all people including progressives strive to make society the best it can be." How do progressives define best and how do you (universal you) know what is best from society? Are children considered part of society? What do you think is best for children?

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  109. CS, why would the state have any vested interest in supporting the union of two people (of whatever configuration) in order to give them legal benefits? (Remember, marriage has been around eons longer than states have been giving out legal benefits and/or the right to visit folks in the hospital).

    But I do think you have answered the question from the OP, and that is that there is no specific "goal" toward which sexual progressives are advancing, and they will just keep progressing on that front indefinitely, no one being sure where it might lead.

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  110. I’m generally pretty indifferent to gay marriage until I read stuff like this and then I just have to sympathize with the gays…

    Wait, do you base your moral principles and philosophy on how you "feel", or on your sympathies? Do you see any danger in basing your truths on your emotions? Or, am I reading you wrong?

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  111. A reader who is not able to post from her phone sent me these links, CS, to show you that, contrary to what you've said, indeed the homosexual agenda includes forcing Christians to host gay "marriages" in churches. What do you think about that?

    http://godfatherpolitics.com/3139/courts-say-christian-church-not-allowed-to-practice-christianity/

    And even worse: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/denmark/9317447/Gay-Danish-couples-win-right-to-marry-in-church.html

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  112. Frank,

    Since you quoted me I figured I'd respond. Perhaps I was slightly cynical when you quoted me as:

    "So Nicholas missteps, too, when he says “they do NOT see it as ‘enshrining and elevating marital status,’ it is effectively a repudiation of the same.” I’m all about enshrining marriage."

    But I was just being realistic. I am sure most people have at least some hope of the fairytale, enduring marriage, but realistically everyone knows that marriages fail and the stigma is gone.

    However, your later statements show that we probably agree in fact, it is just my terminology you reject. We live in a world where even if we outwardly embrace the polite fiction that marriage is sacred, and get all teary-eyed over the pomp and circumstance of a royal wedding (Will and Kate for real, Kim Kardashian for the watered down American version) secular society has long since abandoned the idea of indissoluable marriage /where the marriage is more important than the couple entering it./

    For secular society, marriage is simply an public sign of romantic and legal attachment, intended as permanent, yet that can be dissolved at will.

    So when I say they don't want to "enshrine and elevate it" I mean they don't want to go back to the idea that marriage is a sacrament, that it is an institution unto itself, that not everyone might qualify, and that it is more important than a legal contract.

    Of course, that is just my opinion. But I think that applies to quite a few people. It is a natural consequence of moving away from religion, whether wholly by rejecting it and becoming agnostic or atheist, or in part by maybe keeping the lipservice as simple tradition.

    I don't see how you can say you are for "enshrining" marriage when you accept it as a non-religious legal status that can be entered by anyone and dissolved at will.

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  113. JoAnna:

    The statistic I’m using is divorce rate/1000 married women. Marriage rates are factored in. (http://www.familyfacts.org/charts/120/the-divorce-rate-is-declining-but-still-high)

    Also, it’s misleading to say that marriage rates are declining without acknowledging that’s largely because people are waiting longer to get married. (http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/23/wedding-bells-still-chime/)

    And marriages that start later are less likely to end in divorce, so that’s probably a good thing.

    “given that some of the very first gay couples to “marry” are now divorcing, it doesn’t seem that gay relationships are more stable as a result of marriage.”

    You know that the first clause in that sentence doesn’t prove the second one, right?

    Best,
    Frank

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  114. Leila:

    I take it by your answer that you still haven’t read the Rob Tisinai posts. It’s not about “liking” or disliking George’s arguments. It’s a reasoned examination, point-by-point, of the entire secular argument against gay marriage. I’m linking it again. The series starts here: http://wakingupnow.com/blog/reply-to-george-ii-dont-get-ahead-of-yourself

    “We’ve been over that part I think”

    We have, and you’ve admitted that the conjugal act is not a requirement for marriage, even in the Catholic tradition. So we’re left with the logic that you think marriage requires the ability to do something that’s not even a requirement for marriage.

    I’ve got to sign off now and go to work. Have a great day, y’all!

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  115. Nicholas, thanks for the food for thought. I'll try to get back on here at some point to continue the conversation.

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  116. Does this bother you at all? Do you think it’s logical to say that a couple meets your second criterion (“inherent natural potential to reproduce”) if they have to prove that they have NO potential to reproduce? If, in order to get married, you (royal you) have to go to the doctor to prove you can’t make a baby, does it make sense to simultaneously claim that marriage depends on the ability to make a baby?

    In a word. YES! In actuality I am mortified by it. But, the truth is, because they are male and female, the potential (even if the reality due to age, infertility, or yes, even sterilization, is different) to create children still exists. The federal government declared the tomato a vegetable, but it's actually a fruit. The federal government also declared ketchup counted as a vegetable - um... yeah... no. If the state decided that one day it should throw out the first amendment and declare everyone in the country Atheists, that won't make me an atheist either.

    It's about the state recognizing unions as marriages that are NOT marriages. The problem is, that if the state is going to recognize unions, not based on the traditional definition of marriage then it needs, nay, MUST recognize ALL unions (or even lack of unions). If the criteria to get legally married is based upon arbitrary
    I know that your argument hinges on the idea that male/female couples are “ordered” towards procreation—thus the word “inherent” in your criterion. But don’t you find that logic a little… tortured?

    Um.... That's biology. 1 male and 1 female are necessary for reproduction. So no, I don't find it tortured, I find it... natural... biological.

    Don’t you think it’s better to recognize that marriage has purposes besides procreation? Isn’t that just common sense?

    We're not talking about the purposes that lie within a marriage, we're talking about what separates a marital union from ALL other unions. Marriage, as far as the legalities go, is about recognizing that relationship which is uniquely designed to naturally give rise to stable families, which leads to stable communities, and stable societies.

    After all, if a couple of sweet seventy-year-olds get married in your church, do you think, “Oh, they’ll be great parents?” Or do you think their marriage has a different purpose?

    Again, it's NOT about the purpose of marriage, it's about the definition of marriage. Those are two different things.

    You know, this may be getting to the heart of the differences in the arguments. Same-sex advocates are looking solely at the purpose lying within a marriage, we are looking at WHY that relationship is considered a marriage in the first-place. If you can only claim it's a marriage because of subjective arbitrary purposes that are linked to married relationships, then you've run into a circular argument, "They're married because they fulfill the purpose of marriage, but they fulfill the purpose of marriage because their married."
    That makes no sense! And it isn't a valid definition.

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  117. No College Student, I am afraid you are mistaken. Simply because the government declares something, in law or otherwise doesn't make it true. It might make it legal, but Truth and Legality are, as evidenced Not the same thing. The problem is They're supposed to be.

    So we've managed to change and alter the laws so much that now, legally there is no reason to NOT allow gays to marry, except none of those other changes should have taken place to begin with.

    As I stated before, just because the government declared the tomato a vegetable, doesn't make it so. The tomato, as a biological plant, meets the definition of fruit.

    This is exactly why the government should not and cannot be rooted in the subjective whims of relativism. If nothing else it confuses people to believe that they're rights come from God.

    So tell me this.... those of you believe they're should be legal gay marriage and who claim that gays don't want Sacramental marriage... First, wouldn't legal gay marriage simply be "civil unions" and why isn't that term acceptable, WHY use the term marriage at all, if all we're referring to is "legal marriage". Secondly, would it be okay then, for Catholic adoption agencies who require NOT just legal marriage, but sacramental marriage for the purposes of adoption. Since the legalities are the "bare minimum" for people to follow, wouldn't an adoption agency, a photographer, a baker, a whomever, go above the minimum and restrict their services/adoption services/other to those who have gone above simply legal marriage but have attained sacramental marriage?

    Surely you agree that people should be allowed to be more discerning and can require more than just the bare minimum in order to receive services. This is done all the time in child care facilities where the bare minimum is often 1 field trip per month for the kids, but many centers find a way to do MORE than that to set themselves apart from other centers.

    This is what it is all about. A heterosexual couple in an indissoluble relationship is set apart from all other relationships, it is inherently different. It should be recognized as a good, because it provides a stable unit for rearing the next generation, the continuing of society. (This doesn't mean that other relationships cannot also be recognized as good, it means that this one is recognized for it's uniqueness) Simply having the law say that this other couple over here is "equal" doesn't make it so. It might make them equal in the eyes of the law, but not having in criterion other than arbitrary ones (not rooted in natural law/biology) that's when you have REAL discrimination. And once you weed out all the arbitrary discriminatory criterion what you're left with is anyone and everyone can be married simply by applying for a marriage license,

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    1. It should read... "it confuse people to believe they're rights don't come from God, but by the whims of the person in charge."

      Sorry

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  118. Hi Frank,

    You linked to a couple of articles (thanks) but they do not address the reality that the divorce rate in the US remains at 50%. I will point out that that stat means that the number of divorces in a given year approximately equals half the number of marriages in the same year. It does not mean that half the people who are married got divorced, which I am pointing out not so much for your benefit but because it drives me nuts to hear people misuse that statistic :). Maybe something I would want to see is a survey that shows that those who believe in gay marriage also believe that marriage is permanent and want to see the institution of marriage legally strengthened. I don't think you will that opinion expressed in our society. If you do know of any research that would suggest I'm wrong, I'd would appreciate seeing it.

    I thought the article about premarital chastity for gays was interesting as far as it being a a point of view I had not seen expressed. The author read, though, the way so many Protestants do. He questions the Catholic teaching on contraception, literally asking question after question, but he must think that asking the question proves the Church is wrong. If he really wants an answer to his questions, he could easily find that information on the Internet. At the very least, he could allow comments on his article so that readers could address his question. I also find his argument on the sinfulness of homosexuality weak. He says that St. Paul calls homosexuality shameful Apparently St. Paul also calls long hair unnatural. Hmm.. I guess St. Paul didn't have a Sacred Heart picture hanging in his living room or he might not have said that. Obviously I know we don't know how long Jesus wore his hair. I don't think, though, that comments on hair length can be considered on a par with very clear, direct comments on homosexual behavior.

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  119. Sorry, that would be "I don't hink you will find that opinion", and I meant to say that the author's article reads the way so many Protestant articles do.

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  120. Oh, but Frank, we talked about the details of Josephite marriages before, remember? The fact that the couple is abstinent to begin with does not mean they will end that way. First, a true Josephite marriage requires permission from the bishop for the exemption of sex, because sex is the "seal" and sign of the sacrament, so such a marriage is an extraordinary thing, undertaken for spiritual reasons. And a Josephite marriage is still 100% heterosexual; when/if the couple decides to consummate, they have the ability to do so.

    Also, think of a regular couple who gets married and that night the bride falls seriously ill. The couple may not be able to consummate, perhaps for weeks, but yet they are still validly married. It is not necessary that the consummation comes immediately, only that it is possible (man/woman are biologically like lock/key; sex is possible). If a non-consummating couple were to go on indefinitely, that is fine and would not point to marriage invalidity, until one of the spouses objects. Then, because the marriage was never consummated (civil marriage or otherwise), it can be declared null by civil and/or religious authorities. But if neither spouse objects to the (indefinite) abstention, then there is no problem with the validity of that marriage. The point is, consummation is possible, even in the rare religious Josephite marriage.

    Also, please remember this: In a marriage like I described above, there could be no "foreplay" during those periods of abstention, because sexual foreplay is illicit if it was always intended to stop short of full intercourse. So, you could not have a couple in a Josephite marriage, for example, who engage in "everything but intercourse". Even for a regularly married couple, this is sinful. Foreplay is just that…. FOREplay. Before the act of consummation.

    Which means...

    If a gay couple wants to live together "like" a Josephite marriage, they can…. it would be called friendship.

    But for them to spend their entire "marriage" engaged only in foreplay (which is the most that a gay couple could do), there is no category of "marriage" that circumstance fits in. Not for heterosexuals, nor for homosexuals.

    Now, we have talked a lot about secular marriage, but as a Christian, you have not addressed my questions regarding Christian truth and teaching.

    Hey, if you were an atheist, and if there truly were no God, then what the heck…. let everyone have sex with everyone, in any configuration possible and let's call it whatever we want and then redefine it at will, forever. That actually makes sense in an atheistic world. But you are a Christian, so hopefully you will engage me on that level. We Christians acknowledge truth and a moral law (and a Lawgiver) after all. :)

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    1. So this is somewhat off topic, and if that is not ok than feel free to ignore :) But Leila, you seem very well versed in Church law, so I am wondering what is church teaching regarding intersex people? That is for a person who has ambiguous genitalia, how does the Church decide if they can marry? and what gender they can marry?
      November

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    2. November, I am going to put my reply down at the bottom of the comments. Please check there. :)

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  121. Oh my goodness, someone is trying to argue that hair length is part of the moral law? Um, St. Paul's personal opinion on hair length is not part of the moral law, nor has it ever been, but the grave sinfulness of the misuse of human sexuality sure is.

    I have an opinion on hair length, too, and no one who defies me on that is sinning, ha ha! Unless I were the Pope or a bishop and I made it a part of Canon Law or a rule in my diocese (discipline, not doctrine; discipline can and does change). But I am pretty darn sure that there is not, nor has there ever been any Church law on hair length, ha ha! The same cannot of course be said for the teaching on homosexuality, which has been taught always and everywhere for twenty centuries, as part of the Deposit of Faith, God's unchanging truth.

    Frank, or others, if you would like to understand the difference between discipline and doctrine, I wrote about it, here:

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

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  122. Leila, Frank linked to an article in which a Christian writer compared St. Paul's words in Romans 1:18-31 with his words in
    I Corinthians 11:14.

    Frank, did you read those verses? I read the one in Corinthians before responding, but I didn't read the passage in Romans. Wish I had. Frank, the passage in Romans relates so completely to the times we're living in! It is so obviously not only about praying to idols! It is about a people who have chosen to deny God, and about the consequences that God allows for their hardened hearts. It is about God saying, "Ok, you want to be that way? Be that way. The results are not going to be good." And the passage goes on to describe societies that people knew in St. Paul's time, but also the very society we are living in now. Anyone who denies that St. Paul is condemning homosexuality in those verses is someone who is refusing to acknowledge what is right in front of his face, just as those same people in verses 19-21 are refusing to acknowledge the very obvious gifts God has given us just by creating the world. The person who wrote that article saying that homosexuality is not condemned in the Bible, only extra-marital sex, is way off base.

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  123. Leila, I had thought that a marriage was only considered complete when the couple did have sex. I did not know that the marriage could be considered valid before that time. Is it only the intention never to consummate, absent a special dispensation, that could make the marriage invalid?

    We could point out, too, that the Catholic Church does not allow a couple to be married if it is known that either one cannot perform the sex act. If a man, for instance, is impotent, then the couple cannot have a Catholic marriage. Before anyone asks, impotence after the marriage is consummated does not invalidate the marriage. But a couple cannot go into the marriage knowing that intercourse is physically impossible.

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  124. Sharon, I am not sure about the intention never to consummate absent a dispensation. If they truly intend never to consummate, come what may (even, as St. Terese's parents had happen, when their spiritual director told them they should), then I think they should just stay friends! I am not an expert on Josephite marriage, but I know that the requirements for marriage are there (as you said, there has to be a physical ability to consummate at the time of the wedding).

    You said, I had thought that a marriage was only considered complete when the couple did have sex. I did not know that the marriage could be considered valid before that time

    When the priest says, "husband and wife" at the wedding ceremony, he means it. :) The consummation does not happen till later, thank goodness, ha ha. But they are validly married, yes. The assumption is that they will consummate, but no one checks, ha ha. It is a married couple who walks back up the aisle after the wedding ceremony.

    In all this discussion, the point should not be lost that (as Bethany says), there is a uniqueness about the relationship between man and woman, and two dudes cannot have what they have, ever. Marriage is heterosexual in nature.

    By the way, for anyone who is really interested in the Biblical understanding of heterosexual marriage and Jesus' teachings (isn't it crazy that we are even having this discussion?), here is a good article by a Protestant on the matter:

    http://www.robgagnon.net/articles/homosexChristianPostRespToJefferson.pdf

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  125. November, I really don't know the answer to that, but I am going to hazard a guess that it would be whichever sex characteristics are dominant. And, the ability to marry would, again, depend on the ability to complete the marital act.

    I will try to see if I can find anything definitive!

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  126. Leila and Bethany,

    “Wait, do you base your moral principles and philosophy on how you "feel", or on your sympathies? Do you see any danger in basing your truths on your emotions? Or, am I reading you wrong?”

    First, considering I wouldn’t label gay marriage as moral or not moral that is inapplicable.

    My opinion on gay marriage is relatively ambivalent until I hear conservatives start talking about it and I realize logically there isn’t much of a reason to deny it. Bethany did a lovely job summing it up when she said

    “So we've managed to change and alter the laws so much that now, legally there is no reason to NOT allow gays to marry, except none of those other changes should have taken place to begin with.”

    THANK YOU Bethany. Please stop talking about what marriage has always meant, doesn’t matter. What criteria should be applied to marriage, which isn’t actually applied to marriage, it also doesn’t matter. Your argument (royal you) falls apart when you say things like legal marriage isn’t real marriage WHEN PEOPLE ARE ONLY ASKING FOR LEGAL MARRIAGE not whatever ‘real marriage is.’ The government issued counterfeit is fine so long as legal rights come with it, rights by your own omission we have no right to deny them. If you want to change the definition of marriage back to le ole definition of marriage, do it, but I’ll have agree with Leila for once that widespread contraception, sterilization, and no fault divorce changed marriage and changed heterosexuality in that there are no meaningful differences between our unions and the gays’ and until you change it back, you have no claim to make.


    ~CS

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  127. Leila,

    “A reader who is not able to post from her phone sent me these links, CS, to show you that, contrary to what you've said, indeed the homosexual agenda includes forcing Christians to host gay "marriages" in churches. What do you think about that?”

    I don’t think churches should have to host gay marriages


    Bethany,

    You said “So tell me this.... those of you believe they're should be legal gay marriage and who claim that gays don't want Sacramental marriage... First, wouldn't legal gay marriage simply be "civil unions" and why isn't that term acceptable”

    Bethany it seems like you are comfortable with gay people having civil unions? Does that mean you are comfortable with civil unions having identical privileges as marriage? Adopting children to civil unions? When teaching abstinence in schools, teaching students to wait until marriage or civil union to have sex. Treating marriage and civil union as identical goods? Always mentioning them in tandem. Because I imagine you don’t want civil unions treated as marriage, which should answer your question as to why gay people don’t want them.


    ~CS

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  128. First, considering I wouldn’t label gay marriage as moral or not moral that is inapplicable.

    Once again, CS (previously known to readers as "college student"), you have rendered me speechless. Not a moral issue, okey-doke.

    And of course, the links provided above at August 6, 11:20PM make quick dispatch of your statement:

    "PEOPLE ARE ONLY ASKING FOR LEGAL MARRIAGE"

    Um, statement utterly negated by the newest push for total submission and compliance, forcing churches to host gay "weddings".

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  129. I don’t think churches should have to host gay marriages

    CS, this is good to hear. I am glad this is your opinion. What are you doing to help make sure that my (and everyone's) religious freedoms and civil liberties are protected in this area?

    Because the progressives will not stop at civil "marriage", as you know. They are progressives and progress they will.

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  130. CS,

    I'm the one who couldn't post last night about the churches hosting gay "weddings." I wasn't asking your opinion on whether or not you think churches should be forced to host them. I was asking how you reconcile the fact that they ARE, in fact, being forced to (via courts and legislation), with your claim that that's not what gays are truly after with the push to redefine marriage. Would like your thoughts.

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  131. Back to this one more time

    “Wait, do you base your moral principles and philosophy on how you "feel", or on your sympathies? Do you see any danger in basing your truths on your emotions? Or, am I reading you wrong?”

    I thought of you today Leila. I work at a large corporation of about 70k people and we have a LBBT resource group apparently. I was pursuing it today when a man wrote in a completely unsolicited story about his gay wedding in New York.

    This phrase stuck out to me “We decided to go for it and have him (the wedding officiant) dress in drag. He was already 6’4’’ without heels, so in heels it was a sight to be seen.

    Listen, I think it’s tacky as hell to have a drag queen administer your wedding. It makes me think your marriage is a complete joke. I also find it inappropriate that you find your weird story work appropriate,

    I also went to a wedding in about 4th grade. Actually I didn’t know it was a wedding. It was a friend of a friend’s massive Halloween party. All of a sudden the host and hostess appeared and the Halloween party turned into a surprise wedding. It was a second marriage so both parties had children, the bride was dressed in a black witches costume and the officiant was dressed as the devil. Their elementary school children didn’t know they were getting married until they did.

    I also feel its in pretty bad taste to wear a black wedding gown, have the devil marry you and not tell your kids they are going to have a new family but my feelings have no bearing in a discussion both whether or not these couples can legally marry. Nor should they.

    ~

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  132. CS, the discussion isn't really about our preference against tacky weddings, as tacky weddings surely can be as valid as they are unfortunate. It's about the inherent nature of marriage itself (i.e., that marriage is intrinsically heterosexual).

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  133. Nicole,

    “I was asking how you reconcile the fact that they ARE, in fact, being forced to (via courts and legislation), with your claim that that's not what gays are truly after with the push to redefine marriage. Would like your thoughts.”

    First I said gays were trying to redefine marriage, just only legally. But to answer the meat of your question I would need to know what percentage of gay ppl wants that or if just a few instances were getting the most attention.

    It was my interpretation that gay people wouldn’t want Christian charities to discriminate against adopting to homosexual couples, but I don’t see much merit in their argument that individual clergymen should have to marry them in certain churches. Pretty sure I couldn’t be married in a catholic church because I am not catholic so I don’t see the discrimination
    ~CS

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  134. But to answer the meat of your question I would need to know what percentage of gay ppl wants that or if just a few instances were getting the most attention.

    CS, it doesn't matter "what percentage" of gay people want that! The momentum (the "progress") is in that direction! One of the most "progressive" nations on earth, the Netherlands, just required all churches to submit! An entire nation. This nation does not have those "numbers" yet, but don't you see that that's a huge part of what this post is about? No one was clamoring for gay "marriage" at all just a few years ago!

    Don't you understand?

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  135. CS,

    Not sure how a "percentage" would mean anything. Like Leila said earlier, Progressives aren't necessarily mainstream. They're not necessarily the majority. All it takes is one gay couple to sue a Christian or Catholic church and win (a la Denmark) to eradicate our religious freedom.

    You're right...you couldn't get married in a Catholic church. But there are gay Catholics and it's not difficult for me to foresee them suing to get "married" in their Church.

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  136. Doh! Leila we keep overlapping!!

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  137. Bethany it seems like you are comfortable with gay people having civil unions? Does that mean you are comfortable with civil unions having identical privileges as marriage? Adopting children to civil unions? When teaching abstinence in schools, teaching students to wait until marriage or civil union to have sex. Treating marriage and civil union as identical goods? Always mentioning them in tandem. Because I imagine you don’t want civil unions treated as marriage, which should answer your question as to why gay people don’t want them.

    Heterosexual marriages and homosexual unions (whether civil or not) are NOT the same thing. And should not be recognized as such. It's lying to the homosexual couple that their relationship in any way reflects that which is inherently contained in the heterosexual marriage. So no, I'm not comfortable with having homosexual civil unions having the same recognition as marriage, because they're NOT marriage. As far as privileges go, once again, all the privileges that are benefited to married couples, 1. is done to encourage the most efficient and effective stable family unit that creates a stable society and 2. can be achieved through other legal ends - heaven forbid it be harder to do. Well that is the real privilege of marriage, they don't have to work at receiving these privileges, they just have to work hard at making their marriage successful.

    What I seem to hear you saying is that since marriage has already been denegrated to the degree it has been, then let's go ahead and finish it off.

    Tell me college student, if the federal government suddenly declared that on every third Thursday of the month is was not illegal to lie on the witness stand (as long as the "lie" doesn't hurt anyone else) would it still be okay to do it. My guess is, you would say yes. Because you apparently only do and don't do whatever arbitrary rules are set up by whomever is in control.

    The difference is I wouldn't lie on a witness stand whether it was legal or not, because lying is wrong NOT because the federal government says it's wrong, but because IT'S WRONG - it's an objective Truth, it simply is! The government is supposed to be protecting the natural rights of its citizens, not making up new rights that go against the natural rights of its citizens.

    but my feelings have no bearing in a discussion both whether or not these couples can legally marry. Nor should they.

    You're right, your feelings are NOT something to base legalities on. But ask yourself, WHY do you feel that all of that was in bad taste. WHY does it bother you that the first couple seemed to make their "marriage" a complete joke?

    It's the WHY's that can lead you to the Truth and the Truth is what you do base legalities on! The problem is when legalities are not based on the Truth and people ignore the Truth and pretty soon, your above "feelings" of bad taste and mockery of marriages have dissipated into not simply toleration but acceptance of both of these situations as if they are equal to the Truth.

    But the Truth never changes!

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  138. CS may not realize that the left does not impose its agenda by the will of the people. After all, every single gay "marriage" law that has been passed has been either by the legislatures or the courts, not by referendum. Every single time a state has let the people vote directly for gay "marriage" (thirty states, now?) the people have said NO.

    CS may not realize that legal abortion happened the same way. The nation was NOT pro-"choice" when Roe v. Wade came down like a hammer, shocking everyone. It was accomplished by judicial activism, and the nation was stunned. Slowly, some have been desensitized (and frankly, a huge chunk of any populace is wishy-washy, following whichever way the wind blows), but there is still a huge unrest over that decision, some 40 years later (with the pro-life side gaining much ground, and being younger than ever). Shows you that the people did NOT want this. But yet, we have it.

    Nicole is right. Lawsuits are the only way the left can advance these contentious issues. And they often win, because the courts have a lot of leftists sitting on the benches.

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  139. Leila

    Brown vs the Board of Education was a decision made by the courts against racial segregation. The populace would NEVER have voted for equal access at the time. That is often how civil rights move forward—in the courts—because judges are SUPPOSED to be more forward thinking and better able to apply the law than the general population (though they're not always.) Remember what happened in Little Rock? That was the courts forcing it's will on the populace and thank god that happened. Sometimes it has to. Or the Civil Rights act of 1964. Sometimes progress happens like that.

    People were THRILLED when Roe vs Wade happened. Not everyone, maybe, but I believe the vast majority were. I think the "pro-life" movement is getting younger because young people can no longer remember what it was like before Roe v Wade.

    And there are a lot of conservatives sitting on the bench. Just look at SCOTUS.

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  140. Johanne, of course some people were thrilled when Roe came down. A very small minority. I have talked to more than one person who was around when that happened, and it was not met with rejoicing. Abortion was not something the country was split about. Abortion was seen as a very bad thing back in the day, believe it or not. Do you have one shred of evidence that the "vast majority" of Americans were THRILLED that Roe came down? Anything?

    The reason young folks are pro-life is twofold: 1) It's hard to deny the humanity of the unborn now that we have the ultrasound, and 2) the younger generation understands that 1/3 of their peers have been exterminated. They are missing.

    By the way, the butchery to women certainly has not gone away with legal abortion. Have you read the news lately? The latest death of a young women at the hands of Planned Parenthood is still fresh in my mind. What was it, last week? God rest her soul, the soul of her unborn baby, and the toddler she left behind.

    But backing up a bit: You, like the others, seem to keep confusing the concepts of "being" and "doing". And between "rights" and "privileges".

    The courts should not legislate. They are to interpret. The Constitution protects our natural rights, which were given to us by our Creator. It is not designed to simply make up "rights". And as there is no "right" to marry, nor a right to redefine marriage out of existence, the activist courts are way, way out of their bounds. But, again, that is what progressives do. They keep going, straight off a cliff.

    And again, the big difference between the civil rights movement of the '60s and the gay "rights" movement of today (or the abortion "rights") movement, is that the former (like abolition) was moved forward by Christians. It was a religious movement. Inherent human dignity was at stake, as we are made in the image and likeness of God.

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  141. A little while ago I was thinking about the whole issue and I realized that since marriage is a sacrament, it is a Church thing. I would prefer that no rights are given to unions and they leave the word marriage out of it. Courts don't regulate Baptisms and so if they no longer understand what marriage is they shouldn't regulate it.
    However, I have to double check, but it seems that there is a document from the Vatican that encourages society to respect and uphold the unique role of Marriage. It is not good for society and for children to treat homosexual relationship as equals. I don't think NO society has really treated them as equal since homosexuals relationship don't produce children. Not even the Romans. I do need to do more research on the perspective of early civilizations regarding homosexual relationship. If I remember correctly, marriage, which produces children, was treated differently than homosexual attractions.

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  142. Chantal, you are right that no society has ever treated homosexuality the same as marriage, not ever. Marriage is not just a religious issue, it's a natural law issue. Even atheists regimes (which do not ascribe to Christian doctrine at all!), treat marriage in the same way other societies have throughout history, and all other religions: As male/female (obviously, always), for the stability of society because of the children who come from such unions. There is no gay marriage in atheist countries, and that alone should give pause to anyone who thinks this is some sort of religious doctrine only, and not an issue of natural law.

    More on natural law (which is the universal moral law, knowable through human reason), here:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/06/if-you-read-only-one-book-this-year.html

    Here is another helpful post on the meaning of marriage, without relying on religious beliefs:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/11/most-important-question-in-gay-marriage.html

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  143. I, for one, could die a happy woman if gay activists would simply stop claiming that they "just want the same rights as everyone else!"

    Look, gays do have the same rights in regard to mariage as straights: we can each marry one non-related, adult person of the opposite sex. Last time I checked, you aren't screened for homosexuality when you get a marriage license.

    Anything else is asking for a special right.

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  144. Erin, it's a great point and you are exactly right.

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  145. Bethany,

    It seems we are talking in circles.

    “Heterosexual marriages and homosexual unions (whether civil or not) are NOT the same thing”

    Yes exactly, which is why gay people don’t want them and why they didn’t see civil unions as an acceptable alternative.

    “What I seem to hear you saying is that since marriage has already been denigrated to the degree it has been, then let's go ahead and finish it off. 

Tell me college student, if the federal government suddenly declared that on every third Thursday of the month is was not illegal to lie on the witness stand (as long as the "lie" doesn't hurt anyone else) would it still be okay to do it.”

    No Hunny, no. I am saying we can’t have different legal standards for different people. If the federal gov declared you could lie every Thursday of the month then it couldn’t prosecute people for lying every third Thursday of the month. We as a society couldn’t pick a certain group of people like The gays and point them out and complain that they were taking advantage of our loosened perjury standards WHEN WE ARE ALL TAKING ADVANTAGE OF IT. The one and only thing to do would be to change the law so that no one could ever lie on the stand. The wrong thing to do would be to prosecute people for adhering to the standards we watered down ourselves.


    ~CS

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  146. So we need to stop pretending that we can’t let gay people get married because the legal standards for marriage are insolubility and procreation because they just aren’t. Not for heteros at least

    Then you fall back on the ‘gay people cant get married because by definition marriage Is only for straights’, which is more of a statement than an argument. I mean If I am right and you are wrong because by definition I am right and you are wrong there’s really no place for us to go.

    In a world where we can allow intersexes, transgenders, those who have no capacity to reproduce or even have sex (these ppl do exist) or those who can divorce an hour later I really don’t get how we can keep the gays out of it.

    ~CS

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  147. As to the first comment, CS,

    I *think* you are saying that if we have already legally injured and devalued marriage, then we should hold all subsequent marriage laws to that same low standard so that all legalities about devaluing marriage are equally bad and injurious and watered down?

    This is where progress means making a U-turn (see quote up top).

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  148. CS, You are right about this…. I wrote this earlier in a post:


    Contraception and Homosexual "Marriage"

    In July 1997, Philip Lawler wrote an excellent article about homosexuality in The Catholic World Report, which I've saved to this day. In it, Lawler quotes homosexual activist Andrew Sullivan* from his book, Virtually Normal:

    "The heterosexuality of marriage is intrinsic only if it is understood to be intrinsically procreative; but [with the acceptance of contraception] that definition has long ago been abandoned by Western society."

    The response from Lawler, a faithful Catholic:

    "If Sullivan's premise is correct, then his logic is inexorable. If [sex] is robbed of its distinctive quality -- its fecundity -- then there is no rational explanation for a public policy that restricts that franchise to heterosexuals."

    They are right. If a culture accepts the marriage act stripped of its essence and purpose, with willfully sterilized sex now the norm within marriage, then that culture will be hard pressed to find a philosophical leg to stand on when traditional marriage needs defending. Pro-contraception Christians are in a particularly hard spot.

    The redefining of marriage began with society's acceptance of contraception, and both gay activists and the Catholic Church know it.


    ----

    Again, the way to make progress here is to make a U-turn. Otherwise, the next step is not just that sex is not inherently procreative (a lie, but contraception makes us believe it), but that it's just for fun, too. And fun can be had by all sorts of combinations of people and ages and creatures. Thus, the progress you see on the sexual rights front (as addressed in the original post).

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  149. “CS, it doesn't matter "what percentage" of gay people want that! The momentum (the "progress") is in that direction!”

    Leila,
    I confess I didn’t click on the links but I don’t doubt that some people are suing churches. Granted while I think its ridiculous, the fact that a minority of people is suing churches isn’t much of a reason to give up the gay rights fight al together.

    Bethany said

    “But ask yourself, WHY do you feel that all of that was in bad taste. WHY does it bother you that the first couple seemed to make their "marriage" a complete joke?

    The point is I feel much worse about watching a couple being married by the DEVIL (the straight couple) than a drag queen (the gay couple) and I find it a little disturbing that you would find the gay couple more derelict


    ~CS

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  150. “I *think* you are saying that if we have already legally injured and devalued marriage, then we should hold all subsequent marriage laws to that same low standard so that all legalities about devaluing marriage are equally bad and injurious and watered down?”

    Yes Leila that is precisely what I am saying. So when the right starts making big legal pushes to get rid of no fault divorce and contraception, then I will listen to their position on gay marriage. Of course because people in red states loose their virginity younger and divorce at a slightly higher rate than us libs.. I aint holding my breath for that one.

    ~CS

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  151. I'm sorry, CS, but are you really saying that this is how you morally reason: If we lower the legal standard [for men who beat their girlfriends], we should also lower the legal standard for [people who beat their dogs and children], simply because we've let men get away with beating their girlfriends? Is this liberal logic? What am I missing here?

    By the way, I am a Catholic, not "the right". My moral principles are consistent. The Church is against no-fault divorce and contraception, and gay marriage. The moral law is always consistent, and I don't have to live with any tortured logic, or in a moral universe that makes no sense. You can feel free to hold your breath with faithful Catholics, because our truths don't contradict and undermine each other. So you wouldn't be holding your breath for long… in fact, not at all.

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  152. I confess I didn’t click on the links but I don’t doubt that some people are suing churches.

    Then you missed that an entire European NATION (a progressive one!) has forced churches, by law, to host and perform gay marriage in their sacred spaces.

    Seems noteworthy, and relevant to the road ahead for other progressive nations.

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  153. Alright, first of all. I would love to get rid of no-fault divorce. Stupidest thing, EVER!

    Yes exactly, which is why gay people don’t want them and why they didn’t see civil unions as an acceptable alternative.

    You're not really saying that because heterosexual marriages and homosexual unions are different, we should use the law to declare them equal, even though they're not, are you? I don't know about anyone else but I don't want a LIE enshrined in law.


    No Hunny, no. I am saying we can’t have different legal standards for different people. If the federal gov declared you could lie every Thursday of the month then it couldn’t prosecute people for lying every third Thursday of the month. We as a society couldn’t pick a certain group of people like The gays and point them out and complain that they were taking advantage of our loosened perjury standards WHEN WE ARE ALL TAKING ADVANTAGE OF IT. The one and only thing to do would be to change the law so that no one could ever lie on the stand. The wrong thing to do would be to prosecute people for adhering to the standards we watered down ourselves.


    They do have the same rights. They can take advantage of marriage, they just have to play by the same rules as everyone else! It's a myth that heteros ability to marry is founded upon whom they love or whom they want to marry. If this were true I'd be Mrs. Chris O'Donnell *swoon*. NO where in the little questions when applying for a marriage certificate to they ask, "Do you love each other?"

    Giving people the benefit of the doubt is what has to be done. You can't come back to someone after 80 years of being in a relationship and say, "Well you're union was indissoluble so now you're married." But I'd be totally for people, who seek out divorce for anything less than abuse (and I'd consider serial infidelity abuse), to be required to pay back all the tax breaks and various other financial privileges that they took advantage of while married. I'm all for it, sign me up!

    And, even regardless of the presence of contraception (though I'd be thrilled if the world would come to recognize this evil) a man and a woman still consummate a marriage when involved in the conjugal act. And procreation, however hard they may try to thwart it, can and often does take place.

    So. I'm sorry, I disagree. In fact I find this idea completely ridiculous. We should NEVER be holding laws to low standards. It is unfortunate that some have been (Can we say Roe V. Wade?) But continuing to lower the standards will eventually lead to laws being ignored/removed entirely - this is called anarchy.

    The point is I feel much worse about watching a couple being married by the DEVIL (the straight couple) than a drag queen (the gay couple) and I find it a little disturbing that you would find the gay couple more derelict

    I didn't say I find one more derelict than the other. I simply asked you why you found problems with either one of them, whatever the degree that one may be over the other is irrelevant. You found both of them to some degree disturbing, the question is WHY? If melted down to the bare bones of it, you probably find them both disturbing for pretty much the same reason, they were mocking the institution of marriage. But that would imply there is something there that shouldn't be mocked. What is that and why shouldn't it be mocked, and if it isn't okay (i.e. is disturbing) to be mocked now, then will it be okay to be mocked in the future and why? These are the questions that will, God-willing, will lead you to the Truth.


    To be honest, College Student, it seems, if I carried your comments to their logical conclusion, that you would rather see NO legal marriage but everyone simply reap the benefits that are currently associated with marriage. They'd just have to file paperwork. That way everyone is equal, 'cause no one would be legally considered married.

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  154. In other words, if everyone isn't legally declared equal then the law is discriminating.

    The problem with this is that what is legal is constantly changing because ultimately, if it's not based on an objective truth, those laws are made by whomever has the most "gold" and the most/biggest guns.

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  155. OK, it's been a long time since I dropped in. Here goes:

    First, I'd ask that you do not make the mistake of homogenizing the progressive or atheist bloc by saying general things about them. I felt it in the post and saw it repeatedly in the comments. Some fellow said some nonsense about how the logical conclusion of progression is racism. What nonsense.

    First, I think to identify as a progressive is to identify yourself as someone fighting for legal privileges and rights that don't have a lot of precedent. I'm a scientist, and so I'm going to compare my political views to my scientific outlook, very familiar to that of Kuhns.

    That is, science is progressive in a sense, but it is not goal based. Sure, some people will say the goal in science is to know the universe, to describe it and predict its physical laws perfectly, but that's ambiguous and we aren't sure that's even possible. Instead, we can (and in my view, should) look at science as a building up venture. There are a set of things we know, and we build from there. Our "goal" is to expand our knowledge, but we don't define that.

    For progressives, I'm not sure there is an end goal, but we continue to fight for a better world. I don't know about bestiality or abortion or a lot of things, but I know that a stepping stone to a better world includes legal recognition of same sex unions. If you want me to address bestiality, then I will. And it's simple, and I know you've heard it. Animals simply cannot give consent, and if they can, we can't understand it (and therefore, we assume no consent). There are a lot of other arguments, but that one is the most simple.

    I think if you do try to define a clear goal for "progression", a slippery slope situation may arise.
    -Zach

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  156. Hi Zach, great to have you back! Did you read the links from the folks who are using the gay rights movement as their model for zoophile acceptance? They feel as if they refute your objections, and they want you on their side. And without an objective moral law, who can say who's right or wrong? Do you see how that it problematic?

    Remember, the left is elevating people like Peter Singer, not shunning him.

    Also, I have to disagree about "goals" in science. Yes, you may not know what the goal is, but I'm guessing it's to get to the Truth of science. For example, you may not know about something that exists out there, or how it works, but not in dispute is the fact that, even before you "find" it, it already does exist, outside of any opinion we may have about it. Objective truth. Hopefully, scientists are working toward the discovery of, and conformity to, that truth. That is how the moral law works, too. It exists, and is fixed; it's completely impervious to human opinion. We conform our moral lives to this universal moral law, just like we conform our material lives to the laws of science (I don't run off a cliff, because of the truth of the law of gravity; so some people hope that the law of gravity is not true and then run off a cliff? Yes, but truth will win every time, because truth does not conform to any individual's whims, wishes and wants, even deeply held wants.)

    I was thinking today… you know, none of this is personal. I don't have any problem loving and caring for gay people. I love them, and you know I have always felt very maternal towards you, Zach, and would welcome you into my home any moment, with a huge hug and a lot of warmth and excitement to meet you. It's not personal. I want your happiness, but not just your temporal happiness.

    I also want to preserve the intrinsic meaning of marriage. That does not make us enemies, that makes us people who have different ideas and goals for what is best for mankind and human societies. I think all men and all societies are benefited by preserving marriage as it has always been known, for the purposes that it has always served.

    That's why all this talk of "hate" (saying that I hate people because I am for natural marriage), is so disturbing. Truly disturbing. I know you have not said that here, Zach, and I hope on that point we can agree. This is not personal, this is about seeking truth and serving it.

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  157. Zach, how do progressives define "a better world" if there is no end goal? How is it better to have legal recognition of same sex unions? While it may seem better to the individuals, what about society at large? I understand the strong sense of affection and how in the moment, being able to marry whomever you want might appear desirous. What about the long-term effects of legal recognition of same sex unions and the larger picture? Like Leila said, those of us in support of traditional marriage are fighting for your eternal happiness, not just your temporary happiness. It is the exact opposite of hate. If we were truly hateful, then we would allow people to give into their every desire and do whatever the want; we would just let them suffer the consequences. But, no. We love and care for each person so much that we want what is truly best for them, which is for each person to find the Truth that is Jesus Christ. Only in Him can you find your complete happiness and fulfillment.

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  158. It's a good point, about "better". Zach, how can we know what "better" means if we can't define the Good? And, the zoophiles think -- they truly BELIEVE -- they are pressing on towards a better world, too. So does every "movement", some of which we can all agree are very evil, right? Who doesn't believe their ideas will make a better world?

    Again, if you can't define the Good, how can you speak of "better"?

    Good is something. It has meaning. A fixed meaning. We move towards that. We don't just "progress" according to our own feelings.

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  159. Hi, Leila! I’m back in town for the day, but I’m heading out again tomorrow morning. And our daughter is with grandma & grandpa, so my wife and I are off on a date night this evening. In short, I don’t have a lot of time to respond.

    BUT. We have to clarify this Denmark thing.

    Denmark has a state church, a church whose highest legislative authority is parliament. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Denmark#Separation_of_church_and_state)

    That’s the only church being forced to perform gay marriages. The Telegraph is wrong when they say that gays can get married in any church in the country.

    Denmark has no separation of church and state—we do. Their situation has nothing to do with ours.

    Best,
    Frank

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  160. Hi Frank! Have a great date night!

    And just to add a bit more clarity about where things are progressing on the "state forcing churches" front, I'm pretty sure Kansas is not in Denmark:

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/proposed-ordinance-would-force-churches-to-host-gay-weddings/

    What is considered today, will be implemented tomorrow, if the left has its way. It's begun here, too.
    Denmark is simply on the cutting edge, and clearly, their style of government does not mean it won't happen here.

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  161. That is, science is progressive in a sense, but it is not goal based. Sure, some people will say the goal in science is to know the universe, to describe it and predict its physical laws perfectly, but that's ambiguous and we aren't sure that's even possible. Instead, we can (and in my view, should) look at science as a building up venture. There are a set of things we know, and we build from there. Our "goal" is to expand our knowledge, but we don't define that.

    Erm... Science in terms of progress is irrelevant in terms of sexual progressiveness, as per Leila's post.

    Science is about moving from specifics to universals, and doesn't claim (if it's honest science) to give a complete volume of The World that explains Everything.

    Science changes, as do the various models, as new information alters everything contained within that particular scientific field. Science never knows when it has reached an end; all it can do is observe. Science, doesn't need to "define" a goal because science's only goal is to observe.

    Just wanted to make that very clear. Not really relevant to the pertinent question, per se.

    For progressives, I'm not sure there is an end goal, but we continue to fight for a better world.

    For whom? A few, a handful? This reinforces Leila's point.

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  162. When I was talking with my husband about this post, he commented that the end goal of most progressives is a "utopia". Which is absolutely absurd. Utopia can never really exist. Like communism and socialism, it may look like a good concept on paper, but when you add the human element into it, it fails... miserably. A world without suffering (utopia) is an impossibility, which is why progressives always seem to be progressing toward something without ever actually reaching the goal. They're progressing toward an impossibility. (This might qualify as a new definition of insanity)

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  163. Nubby: Well, science's only goal is not just to observe (I think that's a pretty naive thing to say, and I'm sort of surprised to hear you say that). It's to understand, and more importantly, to be able to predict.

    I want to clarify my point. Your claim about science being about moving from specifics to universals is your opinion, and not necesarilly a fact. It's your preference for a philosophy of science. I am also not saying that *this* is how science is, but in general how I view it.

    While the goal of science is "Truth", that's elusive and not helpful. So when we go into the lab, we look at what we have, and we BUILD onto that by experimentation. This is, in general, a popular view of basic science. Thomas Kuhn wrote The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, which is a pretty short and extremely thought provoking work that largely pioneered this view.

    The progress of science is irrelevant to "sexual progress", whatever that means. But I was making an analogy. And I wasn't talking about scientific progress, but political progress. We look at where we are. We see where there are problems, and we build policy to help change those problems. In my identification as a "progressive", I view this as looking at viewpoints, policies, and opinions that are traditional and hurt people.

    A better world: for everyone. I'm not here to argue gay marriage over and over again. But to succinctly state it, gay couples exist. They will always exist. They will always be raising children. When you deny them certain legal rights and privileges, you are giving all of these people undue hardships. I don't think me having a gay marriage will affect your life.

    Leila: Some on the left love Peter Singer. Some don't. He's not their ring leader (I've stop identifying with the left). Just out of curiosity, have you considered reading Sam Harris' Moral Landscape? I know you aren't a fan of people giving you book suggestions all the time, but if you're interested in a very short read that proposes a unique secular view of morality, I highly suggest this.

    I'm not going to address arguments concerning bestiality. Anyone fighting for a cause will compare their cause to others. If they choose to compare theirs to the fight for equality for LGBT citizens, I could care less. I may be willing to consider reading one argument from their side--could you pick one sample. I admittedly did not read many of the comments previous to this.

    It's nice that you are all concerned about my eternal happiness, but you can't make legal policy based on that.

    A question to answer you question about objective morality: how do doctors prescribe prescriptions and give suggestions without there existing an objective definition of health? What's healthy for one person is deadly for another. This is not a relativists position--i can speak about one thing being objectively healthy for one person, and it might only be true for them. For example, splashing acid in someone's eyes for wanting education cannot be objectively moral for anyone because we know it will certainly lower their quality of life, and it would likely lower the quality of life of everyone in a society that condones that! In this way, we can say there is no objective and universal definition of health, but we can talk about health objectively.

    I said a lot. Sorry.

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  164. "(H)ow do doctors prescribe prescriptions and give suggestions without there existing an objective definition of health? What's healthy for one person is deadly for another."

    Do you mean, a treatment that is healthy for one person is deadly for another?

    Obviously there is an objective definition of health, or there is no point in treating a person. A body that functions as the human body is designed to function is healthy. It is unhealthy in so far as it deviates from that design, and the aim of treatment is to bring it to, or back to, its proper functioning. It's not as if the proper functioning of the body cannot be known.

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  165. But to succinctly state it, gay couples exist. They will always exist. They will always be raising children.

    Yes, but because they cannot make children on their own, ever, they have to "get" the children in some way that violates the right of a child to be born to his own mother and father. Just because more and more people are doing something does not mean we accomodate with laws that make it easier to do. If we are a society that believes children have the right to their mom and dad, then we don't act as if it doesn't matter at all.

    Gay "marriage" does harm society, just as no fault divorce has, just as fornication has, just as abortion has, just as many other things have. It doesn't mean I'm going to just go with it. I will stand for what is best for society and for children (they do have rights), not just what is going to make some folks feel good.

    Sharon, exactly right: Health is the body functioning as it should. If an organ or body part functions properly, we call that "health". Zach, don't overthink it. It's not complicated.

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  166. http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2009-08-20/news/those-who-practice-bestiality-say-they-re-part-of-the-next-gay-rights-movement/

    Zach, if you read the above, you will have some of the zoophiles' arguments. I can't read the book you recommend, but if you want to link me to an article, I will read it.

    Not all those on the left like Singer, it's true. But that does not negate the fact that he is a progressive, and that he is highly honored, not shunned. Someone gave him a chair at one of the nation's most prestigious universities. How does this happen if he is not admired and respected? I am glad that you dismiss him, I am. But his logic is hard to argue, even if his premise is wrong.

    Even Michelle said she would not dismiss his infanticide beliefs out of hand, until she read them carefully. That's a bit scary. But, Michelle is progressive, and she is being true to that mindset: No goal, but open to anything so long as it keeps pushing to the next step (whatever that is).

    I think you are someone who would agree with C.S. Lewis' quote at the top, wouldn't you? I know you are not completely on the side of the left, and progressives.

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  167. Hi Leila, welcome back I hope you enjoyed your break. I got halfway through the comments then remembered I was at work so forgive me if I repeat what anyone else has said (I doubt it!) or if this view has been roundly beaten:

    I may not be a strict 'progressive' in US terms, but I think I am on these topics.

    Harm. It's all about harm and force (coercion, undue influence etc.) If people are capable of giving fully informed consent, and what they are consenting to does not (or can be reasonably expected not to) harm others, then it is frankly none of anyone else's business and certainly not the business of the state.

    With regards to your specific questions:
    The goal is complete when all adults are treated equally under law and the law doesn't get involved in any activities of informed, consenting adults where there is no probability of harm to non-adults or non-consenting people.
    Anyone trying to move past this point is actively engaged in promoting harm and that should be unconscionable to everyone (else). It would be against almost any definition of progress to actively promote harm so it seems that this is an appropriate end point. Any movement from there would, by most definitions, appear to be regress (if I can use that term).

    Sex: Do what you want with whomever and whatever you want as long as there is no harm and there is consent.

    Age Of Consent/pedophilia: There should be a legal limit (perhaps with ranges e.g. a 16yo can legally sleep with a 14 yo but a 40yo cannot) but not necessarily an unconditional guilty verdict - the accused should be able to mount a defence which could include a 'no harm, mutual consent' where if it can be shown that even though outside of the strict legal bounds that both parties were fully consenting and that there was and is no harm involved. Thus a jury gets to make this decision with the benefit of experts in the court and if it can be categorically shown that there was no harm then the law protects children under age X but allows those who mature quicker to not be unfairly discriminated against by the general rule. Incidentally, if you don't believe the AOC should be informed by the best scientific knowledge of harm, then how do you propose we do choose an age? It certainly ain't in the bible, and can't be found by natural law...

    Incest: As long as it is clear there is no coercion involved, then it's no-one else's business - as long as it complies with the AOC above.

    Bestiality: Should be under the same laws as prevention of cruelty to animals, i.e. if it is clear that there is no harm to the animal then the fact the human considers it 'sex' or special is not important to anyone else. It would require strong evidence that there was no harm since the animal cannot consent and neither can it tell if it was harmed. (However, it may be shown that attraction to animals is a psychological condition which may be susceptible to treatment - NOT a parallel to SSA!)

    Pornography: As long as none of the models were coerced or in any way tricked or non-consensual then it is none of anyone's business.

    Necrophilia (you never asked, but I'm going there anyway): It's an inanimate object! It should be covered by property rights, i.e. if the 'owners' (most likely the family of the deceased) allow it then it's not the business of the state unless/until it becomes a public health issue.

    NB. It should be noted that I am disgusted by many/most of the acts above (as well as male homosexuality) but that doesn't mean I wish to impose my gut reaction on the population by means of the force of the state. The state shouldn't be getting involved unless there's harm. However, should you feel sufficiently strongly about any of the above then you can make it socially unacceptable by shunning people who engage in activities you don't approve of.

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  168. Leila, regarding the Kansas story, you are comparing apples to oranges.

    The Denmark situation is a protestant State Church, such that the State Laws govern the Church, and therefore gay marriage = church marriage.

    In the case of the Kansas bill, you are talking about public rental space, not religious participation. If a church rents out its hall for Bingo or Birthday parties, to me that is tantamount to saying that this space is NOT reserved solely for religious purposes, and then you do wade into gray areas involving discrimination.

    If the answer is a church cannot rent out its property for NON-religious purposes AND still claim its right to discriminate on theological grounds, I do not see that as an onerous compromise.

    But that of course would only be an issue if the law passes.

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  169. Nubby: Well, science's only goal is not just to observe (I think that's a pretty naive thing to say, and I'm sort of surprised to hear you say that). It's to understand, and more importantly, to be able to predict.

    Understanding and predicting are contingent upon variables of an observable condition, yes? That is the point, no need to feel surprised. The reason science serves, is because it establishes modern models that aid in observation.

    Your claim about science being about moving from specifics to universals is your opinion

    No. Not even close. Science is inductive. There's only one way to begin a scientific undertaking, and that is to go about it inductively, starts with particular details, build up toward a universal understanding. Science absolutely can discover limits to our world.

    To the rest of it ... what Leila said.

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  170. Leila, regarding the Kansas story, you are comparing apples to oranges.

    Nicholas, it's not apples to oranges if the goal of the progressive is to lead us to the same place on this. And you know it is.

    American progressives may have to take a more circuitous route, but they are trying to arrive at the same point. Not all of them would try to push that yet, maybe not even a majority, but they will get bolder and find more support as they file more lawsuits and don't get immediately laughed out of town.

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  171. March Hare, thank you!! That is a refreshing answer to me, as it makes more sense to me, considering an atheistic worldview, than the other answers have. (Remember, I find Singer quite logical, ignoring his faulty premise.)

    Harm. That's a sticking point. Who defines harm? See, for example, Obama is forcing Catholics (coercing them) to pay for other people's birth control. For a Catholic, that very act (paying for someone else's birth control) is formal cooperation in sin that we believe can have the repercussion that we go to hell for eternity. We call that the gravest of harm! It's unconscionable. But, Obama gets to do this, and we risk hell. So, who defines harm?

    Consent: Are you saying that consent is the sole criterion of the good? So, this is good, below? Because both parties consented:

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-man-who-ate-his-lover/

    If consent is not the sole criterion of the good, then what else is? Maybe you can answer: How can we know what is "better" unless we can define the Good?

    By the way, there are times that consent has nothing at all to do with the good, much less be its sole criterion, as I am sure you'd agree. My son did not consent at all to this:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2012/03/mystery-of-suffering-and-personal-story.html

    You said: However, it may be shown that attraction to animals is a psychological condition which may be susceptible to treatment - NOT a parallel to SSA!

    As you know, the APA used to say the exact same thing about SSA, until the APA "progressed" to a more enlightened position. Do you really think that everything will stop where it is, and no more progression will occur in the field of pyschology? The APA already published an article that suggested there was no problem with attraction to children, but had to retract it under pressure. Someday, though….

    You are absolutely right that ages of consent have to be arbitrary to a point. I agree. But the problem is that the progressives want to keep on lowering and lowering them, to the point where even pre-pubescent kids will one day have sexual "rights" and will not be bound by parents' rules or an unenlightened state. Again, read the IPPF document for their vision. Very progressive.

    Animals: Wait… killing them certainly harms them (and we can eat them by the billions, after their slaughter). We don't need their consent to kill them, or even to use them in servitude, right? So, why would we need their consent to have sexual contact with them? Not seeing where that should be an issue at all.

    I may have missed something, but kids clamoring for breakfast. Like I said, at least you make some sense to me, coming as you do from an atheist worldview. Thanks!

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  172. "If an organ or body part functions properly, we call that "health". "

    I'm not overthinking it. But, I friends with doctors. I'm friends with med students. I do research udner the purview of the medical school. This is something that is simply thought a lot about.

    There is no objective, universal definition of health. We do not say, "A healthy person, at age X, gets exactly this much sleep, eats this list of foods, has these exact levels of calcium, B12, etc, etc, etc"

    No, to be healthy is to be a few things. There are many ways for a person to be healthy. Speaking in terms of health, different lifestyles work for different people. Speaking in terms of morality, it might be "healthy" for me to be in a same sex relationship, since I'm gay and all. It wouldn't be healthy for someone who has no same-sex attraction. It might be healthy for you to have steak and potatoes with milk at dinner, but steak makes me nauseous and i'm lactose intolerant. I have to eat ~6000 calories a day due to a fast metabolism, and that much food would cause other people to become overweight.

    Sam Harris' TED talk on morality is a fair summary of the book: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj9oB4zpHww

    On children--it sounds right to me that kids have a right to their biological parents. I haven't read a lot on this. But parents tend to dump their kids off at the side sometimes, don't they? It's been made plenty clear to me that same-sex parent pairs make able parents.

    Nubby, I'm not going to argue with you about science. The way we practice science generally is that, but Science isn't a fact. It's a human invention, and we choose to practice it certain ways. I don't think we should be so naive as to think everyone has done science the same way.

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  173. Leila,

    While that may be, the solution to Kansas is straightforward: Either do not rent space to the general public, limit it only to Church members, OR only rent it for religious purposes.

    If they are going to keep trying, just close the loopholes. It isn't like anything can be done to stop them from trying. Even if you passed a Constitutional Amendment that defines marriage and further outlines freedom of religious expression, they would still be working to overturn said Amendment.

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  174. While that may be, the solution to Kansas is straightforward: Either do not rent space to the general public, limit it only to Church members, OR only rent it for religious purposes.

    How about another option: I can use my property as I see fit, in line with my deeply held religious beliefs, and the gov't cannot coerce me to use it to facilitate sin, wherein I risk my own soul for eternity.

    How about freedom of religion? That might be the better option than the ridiculous options above. What have we become?? None of this was an issue before, and frankly no one cared if a church did not rent for things that were sinful, but could still rent to the general public! This is absolute Twilight Zone we are in.

    Can you imagine…. "No, Church X, you may not rent your hall to the Ladies' Garden Club (non-religious, with non-church members) unless you also agree to rent it to the S&M club as well. And if you disagree, we won't allow you to rent out your own space to anyone at all. Sorry."

    Who thinks like this? How have we gotten to this point?

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  175. Zach, I am from a very medical family. Dad a surgeon, uncle a surgeon, uncle a pharmacist, mom a nurse, son in pre-med, etc.

    We are not discussing diets. There is a lot of subjectivism and leeway to what is a healthy diet. It can even change from culture to culture. However, I am pretty sure there is a standard to what is a healthy heart, or a healthy kidney, for example.

    Again, when you bring up dietary habits, you are talking healthy vs. unhealthy behaviors. I am talking objective health of objective parts. States of being.

    When we identify an unhealthy heart, we take steps to fix it (restore it to health). It's a restoration to right order. (That is why sicknesses are called disorders, even though Michelle said she's never heard of things referred to as ordered or disordered.)

    The moral law has order and disorder, just as the natural world does.

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  176. On children--it sounds right to me that kids have a right to their biological parents. I haven't read a lot on this. But parents tend to dump their kids off at the side sometimes, don't they? It's been made plenty clear to me that same-sex parent pairs make able parents.

    Yes, there are horrible things that parents do to their children. Not all, but some. Which is why adoption is a restoration of what is lost to a child. A mom and a dad.

    How do homosexual couples get their children?

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    1. "...it sounds right to me that kids have a right to their biological parents."

      Zach, you have no idea how good it is to hear you say this. This is the teaching of the Church. You and I are not that far apart on many things. I really think you need to be back in the Church one day. ;)

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  177. Leila,

    "How about freedom of religion? That might be the better option than the ridiculous options above. What have we become?? None of this was an issue before, and frankly no one cared if a church did not rent for things that were sinful, but could still rent to the general public! This is absolute Twilight Zone we are in."

    We live in a world where the secular government doesn't believe in sin. Your "solution" would be nice, but clearly "leave us alone" isn't working.

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  178. but Science isn't a fact. It's a human invention, and we choose to practice it certain ways.

    Lordy. Did you really mean this?
    1) Science isn't a fact? Yet, you'd claim the same about religion. You follow one non-fact over another non-fact. Logical holes abound.
    2) You assert science isn't a fact, what does that even mean? Because it's ever-evolving and is practiced in various methodologies within disciplines, doesn't make it an illusion.
    When we weigh atomic mass, we're truly weighing atomic mass. It's a fact.
    3) I believe what you meant to say, and what an honest answer would be, is that science is limited to the observable, even as it evolves, even as theories evolve, even as data evolve. However, this doesn't relegate science to a non-fact. That's not even respectful of the field.

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  179. We live in a world where the secular government doesn't believe in sin. Your "solution" would be nice, but clearly "leave us alone" isn't working.

    Well, "leave us alone" was actually the reason the nation was founded. I think it worked fine until recently. So, we go back to the C.S. Lewis quote. Time for a U-turn!

    Also, if the secular government does not believe in sin, then let all the prisoners out of jail. If sin does not exist, then no one can do wrong, and no one is culpable for his or her actions.

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  180. How timely that I just clicked to this news story!

    The Vatican has warned of threats of “unprecedented gravity” to religious freedom in the United States, according to The Vatican News Service.

    In a message to the 130th Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus, Pope Benedict XVI, in a message signed by the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, spoke of “the responsibility of each new generation to preserve, defend and advance” the ideals of religious freedom. The Pope pointed to “concerted efforts” being made to “redefine and restrict the exercise of the right to religious freedom.”

    The Knights of Columbus have long been at the forefront of the fight for religious liberty.

    The message read in part:

    The theme of this year’s Supreme Convention – Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land – evokes not only the great biblical ideals of freedom and justice which shaped the founding of the United States of America, but also the responsibility of each new generation to preserve, defend and advance those great ideals in its own day. At a time when concerted efforts are being made to redefine and restrict the exercise of the right to religious freedom, the Knights of Columbus have worked tirelessly to help the Catholic community recognize and respond to the unprecedented gravity of these new threats to the Church’s liberty and public moral witness. By defending the right of all religious believers, as individual citizens and in their institutions, to work responsibly in shaping a democratic society inspired by their deepest beliefs, values and aspirations, your Order has proudly lived up to the high religious and patriotic principles which inspired its founding.

    The challenges of the present moment are in fact yet another reminder of the decisive importance of the Catholic laity for the advancement of the Church’s mission in today’s rapidly changing social context.


    emphasis mine. Vive la papa!!!

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    1. (Sorry if that last was a combo of French and Spanish??)

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  181. Leila, lots to mention but I have to go so let me just do a factual one first of all as it encroaches on economics(which may even put Catholic minds at rest...):

    "Obama is forcing Catholics (coercing them) to pay for other people's birth control."

    In reality, providing birth control (even including abortion) is cheaper than providing healthcare throughout pregnancy. I agree Obama is forcing people to do something, which is kinda in his and Congress' purview (J. Roberts said it was effectively a tax), but people who use birth control are the ones subsidising those not using it!

    Plus, if you're so morally offended about some of your insurance potentially going towards abortion then you should also stop paying taxes because that goes towards bombs that kill innocents abroad - if it actually is your soul you are worried about...

    But more later, on the actual topic, I promise.

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  182. Wrong, March Hare. First of all, there is a difference between my paying someone a salary (or even taxes) and the individual goes off and buys porn, for example. I am not culpable at all for how someone spends their income. Much different is this: the government tells me that I must give money directly to a store, with the purpose of supplying my employees with porn from that store (in fact, that is where the money is directed: to free porn).

    If you can't get the distinction, let me try again.

    If my son goes to buy his own porn, that's his issue, not mine. If I give a store money with the directive that they are to supply my son with free porn, that is my issue. I am culpable at that point.

    VERY serious and important moral distinctions, March Hare.

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  183. So, sorry, no informed Catholic consciences are put to rest. Thanks anyway.

    Also:

    In reality, providing birth control (even including abortion) is cheaper than providing healthcare throughout pregnancy.

    Hmmmm, well, in reality, putting a bullet through the head of all old people is also cheaper than providing real health care. After all, a bullet is much cheaper than providing the elderly with expensive care when they are going to die soon anyway…

    (That's assuming your premise about birth control is correct, a premise I do not accept.)

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  184. J. Roberts said it was effectively a tax

    He said that about Obamacare, not the HHS mandate, which is still in the courts.

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