Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Learn your Faith, find your courage

As much as I regret that the lead up to Holy Week is being overshadowed by the incessant drumbeat of gay "marriage", that's how Providence would have it.

I just want to encourage all of you to find your voice. If you don't know your Faith well enough, learn your Faith. If you don't have courage to stand up or speak up, find your courage. Yes, it's scary, but our love for Christ is tested in the crucible, not in the comforts of life and the acceptance of men. We are Catholics. We should not care to be on the "right side of history", but rather on the right side of Truth.

Here is an excellent resource on how to engage the culture from Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco who was interviewed by USA Today:




AP

How I wish I had the eloquence and intelligence of this kind and thoughtful man of God.

Back soon, with (appropriately) some thoughts on the Cross, from the Venerable Fulton Sheen.




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358 comments:

  1. Its really frustrated to watch as my "Catholic" cousins change their profile pictures on facebook to "marriage equality" symbols. Sigh. Everyone is so confused.

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  2. It's like I just got smacked in the face with eloquence and charity. If only I could explain the Church's position like he does! I'm glad we have men like Cordileone speaking the truth so well.

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  3. WOW! Just wow! So well said.

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  4. Today I decided to "come out" on Facebook against gay marriage. Although no one has directly called me a hateful bigot yet, I'm clearly ticking a lot of people off (I used to be the president of our "queer student" association in college, so I imagine I'm surprising a few people). I am trying to remain respectful but it's frankly embarassing to look at the mirror of who I was only three years ago. Gee, did I really sound so petty? (And I'm not even using theological arguments! It's all about the natural law up in here. Not that the natural law is incompatible with Catholic theology, of course, but oh MAN does it annoy people that they can't just tell me to quit with my religious nuttiness. Although some of them have tried that regardless.)

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  6. mcbabyadventures, I love hearing of "conversions" that go in your direction. The press makes it seem like no one ever goes from supporting gay 'marriage' to not supporting it, but I've seen it time and again. Thanks for being that witness!

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  7. Yes, I agree with you and I have the passion to fight.

    I need it spelled out for me. The truth is in me but the brain power to fight is not. I can uh-huh it all day long, but the eloquence that you or Joann have is beyond me.

    I need if gay marriage supporter says this-you say that because we know the argument is round about anyway like the abortion argument.

    I need to take a speech and debate class on how to defend your beliefs. ;) I need it on cd to listen to over and over.

    Make sense?

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  8. Sew, makes perfect sense! Here is another resource you can get on a kindle or in a booklet (read about it here):

    http://catholicstand.com/getting-the-marriage-conversation-right/

    It has great tips such as:

    "[Don't] say children 'need' a mother and a father, but instead, focus on the fact that every child has a mother and father, and that they have a fundamental human right to know and, as far as possible, to be cared for by their mother and father. This takes the argument from opinion to fact."

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  9. Don't feel discouraged even if you cannot be some eloquent spokesman for natural marriage. Simply being bold enough to say that you do not agree with redefining marriage is quite something in this culture. :) And if someone is truly open to hearing more about why (and not just picking a fight), then you can refer them to articles, books, or have them email me or JoAnna. ;)

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  10. Just to add on to Sew's remark (I know you've already addressed it, just want to voice my own thoughts!)I also am not an eloquent speaker, as you know. :-) It's not even being eloquent that I care about, it's just trying to not get boxed into a corner and then feel like I've somehow betrayed my faith by not being able to adequately defend it. What you and JoAnna and Stacy and many others who comment on this blog have is a gift that I and so many other readers don't. What comes naturally to you is a lot of work for me. I have picked up many "how to" debate books and I just cannot absorb what it's saying.

    But it's like you said: for those of us who struggle in this area but have just as much passion as those who have the words to express it, we can still defend our faith by simply saying, "I know what I believe! Don't challenge me on it!" (This is what I say to Jehovah Witnesses.) I will say it to those who persist in trying to box me in a corner, and to anyone else who wants to prove to me that what I believe is false. I may not always have the words and I can't go running to my book to look up an answer, but the fire inside us is the Holy Spirit and sometimes it is enough to say, "I know what I believe!" I realize to many readers this answer may not seem like much, but for me, it's enough. I say it with all the passion and strength inside me, and hopefully those who hear me say it will believe it too.

    There are many great Saints out there like St.Thomas More and St.Dominic who left us with great thoughts and wisdom, but there are also the other saints who were called to "speak" what they believed through their actions, such as St.Maria Goretti, whose last words were simply, "No! It is a sin!" and this alone spoke of the value of virginity. There is also St.Lawrence, St.Lucy, St.Philomena, who died for what they believed in. Not much is recorded in their words, but it's their actions to defend their faith that has made them saints. Even if it's just a few words to defend our Lord, as long as it's the best that we can do, it's enough.

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  11. @Becky: Thanks for that. I got piled on via Facebook today and it was exhausting. By the end I had to walk away because I knew I couldn't handle being charitable towards people I thought were friends but insinuated some really cruel things about me and my marriage and even my having children. Perhaps they see that as a victory, because I've shut up...for now. (But I'm still praying!)

    @Leila IIRC you had some Facebook reporting/suspension issues. I haven't had any kind of notice sent to me but FB has frozen on me, some of my posts have disappeared, and changing computers hasn't helped. It could be the site having issues but no one else seems to have issues. Did you receive any kind of notice or official lockout? I am not a conspiracy type but this is seriously weird.

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  12. Needed this. And I need to get off Facebook. Seeing all my well-meaning friends post all their pro-gay "marriage" crap is seriously depressing. Are we doomed???

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  13. I feel like I wouldn't mind voicing my stance on facebook (not like anyone there has any doubt - they know I'm a flaming Papist) except...I have family on there that I'm just starting to repair my relationship with. My conversion to Catholicism left a huge rift in my family that is just now beginning to heal - I know posting something, however thoughtful or eloquent, would in all likelihood throw us two or three steps back.
    Is it cowardice for me to refrain? I hope not.

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  14. I think the definition of marriage is simply the one that people believe in. Most people believe it's about romantic love; therefore that is its definition in modern-day society.

    Unless our laws specifically establish why marriage exists, and the reasoning matches up with anti-gay marriage rhetoric, I don't see any reason why marriage laws shouldn't change to match public opinion.

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  15. These are great points! Martha, absolutely, you should try not to damage the very tender bonds of charity that are growing between you and your family. It is not cowardice to prudently preserve those bonds. It is clear that you are in a better position to judge this than anyone else.

    Mcbaby, someone may have reported you, or it could be that there is a glitch. I haven't had many problems today, and no facebook warnings of "violation of community standards", ha ha. I know, it can be disconcerting!!

    Becky, you are absolutely correct about the fact that not everyone is called to debate these issues! In fact, there are people who should not enter into a big debate if they cannot do it well, because the other side is very good at framing this debate as mean vs. nice. Everyone has (and usually knows) their gifts. Some folks who could learn the basics and at least present that do not have the courage to do so, or have not been encouraged to do so. I encourage them now. However, you are 100% correct that even the strong witness of "I know what I believe!" is very powerful. Or even an admission, "I cannot debate well, and you might annihilate me with your debating skills, so I'm not going to go there. But if you truly are open-minded about learning the arguments of the other side, I am happy to provide you with resources of those who can answer each of your points." (You will find that most won't take you up on that offer, but some will! Either way, if it happens to be spoken in front of onlookers or online where there are lurkers, you will have made an impression for the good, and even piqued others' interest as well.) The most important thing is to teach your children well, using the best prepared materials you can, and teach them to be holy and obedient to Holy Mother Church, who will not steer them wrong.

    Nicole, well, is America doomed? Who knows? But God never said that America would save us. So, if it goes, then it was meant to go. We were made for this time, and God wants us here, as salt and light. And yes, he wants us in the crucible, to become sanctified. Are we doomed as Catholics? No way. We know who we are, who we belong to, and where we are going. Truth is truth, no matter the spirit of the age. I keep thinking of the three most recent popes, all of whom lived under oppressive, murderous regimes to the degree that we Americans cannot imagine (and for JPII and Benedict, this horror came after living in pleasantness and freedom before that; not sure of Argentina's history).

    We will be just fine. God is in control. He's not going to allow anything that is not for the greater good. But he did promise it would be mighty painful. Personally, I am way to addicted to freedom, comfort, pleasantness. Bummer for me…. ha ha.

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  16. Chris, if marriage is about romantic love, then why is "love" not a requirement for any marriage? It's not on any license, and no government official ever asks that. And it would also mean that those who no longer feel romantic love are no longer married, but that's not true. So, there has to be something more to the essence of marriage than a feeling.

    One other problem: The romantic love version of marriage is focused on the adults, when marriage is and always has been an institution built around the stability of children, and the right of a child to have and know his mother and father. To move from child-protection model to adult-wants model is a huge paradigm shift that hurts the children most. They are forgotten in this selfish, adult-centered shift.

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  17. "Chris, if marriage is about romantic love, then why is 'love' not a requirement for any marriage?"

    In our society, people wouldn't marry if they didn't love each other (or at least think they did). That doesn't mean that love is always a component of marriage in other cultures, or that it was in the past. But it is in 21st century America.

    "And it would also mean that those who no longer feel romantic love are no longer married, but that's not true."

    Marriage offers legal recognition to a type of relationship in which romantic love can exist. You don't legally need to have kids to get married, but that doesn't seem to stop the Catholic argument that they are the point of marriage!

    "The romantic love version of marriage is focused on the adults, when marriage is and always has been an institution built around the stability of children, and the right of a child to have and know his mother and father."

    But some couples give up their children for adoption. Not every kid gets to know his or her birth parents. If we can honor a straight couple who raise adopted children together, we can honor a gay couple who do the same.

    "To move from child-protection model to adult-wants model is a huge paradigm shift that hurts the children most. They are forgotten in this selfish, adult-centered shift."

    Gay marriage doesn't take anybody's children away. While it's possible that gay parents might not be as good for children as straight parents, two parents are statistically much better than one, yet single parenting is perfectly legal--and I wouldn't try to make any laws against it.

    Also, again, I don't think anybody's marriage laws state the reasoning against gay marriage that I see presented here. So thinking that it's the legal point of marriage is kind of a stretch.

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  18. Chris, I am confused by some of your points, so let's start with the basics: What is marriage? We have to define our terms or we aren't even talking about the same thing.

    Anyone in America can get married without being in love, so that is my point; "being in love" is not essential to getting married, never has been, even in America today.

    Also, marriage is not about "honoring" anyone, gay or straight. It's about the fact that every child has a mother and a father, and that child has a right to know them and be raised by them if possible. Adoption happens when something has gone wrong, and adoption is a restoration of what has been lost to a child. We don't start, purposely, by manufacturing children to be motherless or fatherless. How do gay folks get children? Is it right?

    There is a unique relationship between a man and a woman that cannot be duplicated in any other relationship. The world has understood this from the beginning of time. It is not like other relationships, because the union of man and woman rightly produces new human beings, offspring. They rightly belong with their mother and their father. This union is different from any other thing.

    And, did you read the archbishop's interview? What did you think?

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  19. "How do gay folks get children? Is it right?"

    A gay couple, or anyone else adopting, has to go through a rigorous application process that they themselves initiate. So most of the gay people who do end up with kids are the ones who really want them and are willing to care for them deeply.

    We can agree that it's best for a child's parents to care for them, but realistically that's not always going to happen. Nobody's "manufacturing children to be motherless or fatherless."

    "And, did you read the archbishop's interview? What did you think?"

    Yes, I read it. It was a well thought-out case against gay marriage. However, he began with the idea that the point of marriage is what the Catholic Church believes it is. If there's no *legal* basis for thinking this, then the argument falls apart.

    As I asked before, do any of our laws express any sort of reasoning behind what marriage is? I don't think they do. In a purely legalistic sense, marriage seems to be whatever the heck we as a country want it to be, and right now the majority of Americans believe that gay marriage is acceptable. You guys believe marriage is about having children, other people believe it's about love, and as far as I know neither idea has any firm *legal* basis.

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  20. But Chris, marriage cannot just be based on a "legal" definition, since it is an institution that is pre-political. It has been around, heterosexual in nature, since the beginning of human society. Marriage is intrinsically heterosexual, no matter how many times the other incidentals have changed from society to society. If a marriage is no longer the union of man and woman ordered toward the procreation of children, if it is defined to mean something intrinsically different, then it is no longer
    marriage, but something else.

    If I have a chair and I get enough people to call it a clock, does it really become a clock, or is it still, in essence a chair?

    And yes, homosexual couples "manufacture" children to be motherless and fatherless all the time. Gay men hire surrogates to carry their children, and lesbians go to sperm banks or ask friends to father children for them. All the time. Hundreds of thousands of children are made this way, to be without a father or mother, on purpose.

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  21. "So most of the gay people who do end up with kids are the ones who really want them and are willing to care for them deeply."

    This could be very true, and yet it has nothing to do with the definition of marriage.

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  22. If everyone calls a chair a clock, then the word for a chair is in fact "clock." It still doesn't tell time though.

    Marriage is a social contract in which two people commit to one another and establish responsibilities to one another, and to any children they have. Beyond that, it seems to change between cultures.

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  23. Yes, but everyone doesn't call gay unions "marriage" and they never have. If the world ever decides to completely co-opt the word "marriage" to mean any sexual or even non-sexual couplings of any gender, then we'd need to find a new name for that thing we used to call "marriage", which would no longer have a name. We are talking about something that has a specific, intrinsic nature, and so the word needs to be understood to mean that thing and not something else.

    Words have to mean something (that is their function) and we all have to understand the meaning in order to communicate. In a world where chairs suddenly are called clocks by some, after millennia of being called chairs, we are going to have massive confusion, especially if the thing in question is the foundational unit of human society.

    "Marriage is a social contract in which two people commit to one another and establish responsibilities to one another, and to any children they have. Beyond that, it seems to change between cultures."

    You left out something intrinsic to the definition: The "two people committing" have always been male/female. Even in polygamy, the pairings are male/female. The heterosexuality of marriage is a given. It's heterosexual of its very nature. That is one intrinsic aspect that has never changed between cultures.

    What is needed is a new name for a new thing.

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  24. You're right in a sense, Leila, about the word "marriage." The problem is that the word refers to many many different things and that's why this gay marriage argument goes round and round. Legal marriage is not the same as a spiritual union or a social contract or anything that has anything to do with children. No one has to pass a fertility test to have children. Your understanding of the institution of "marriage" may be completely different from what someone else means by the term "marriage." I think a new word would be a fine thing as long as the legality was equal. then people could call their relationships whatever they wanted. As I understand it, the catholic church does not recognize a "marriage" where one of the people has been divorced in the past. But those couples DO have a legal marriage license. So, are they "married" or not?

    Also, the point you make about surrogacy is not a gay issue. I don't know the statistics but I believe sperm banks and surrogates are used far more often by straight couples than by gay. At least the people I've known that have used "alternative means of conception" (don't know what else to call it) have mostly been straight and legally married.

    And many gay couples raise children that belong to one or the other from a former heterosexual marriage.

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  25. Johanne, I understand your points, but you did not address the one point here that is relevant: Of all the incidentals of marriage, and all the changes in custom, be they pre-political, civil or religious, marriage has never been known to be anything but heterosexual in nature. The denial of the intrinsic heterosexuality of marriage is the point at which marriage ceases to be marriage, in its essence. Looking at biology alone, same-sex couples cannot consummate a marriage. They cannot physically complete the marital act.

    In the case of divorced (but not annulled) and civilly remarried couple, the Church would recognize that a civil marriage has occurred (which is different from Matrimony). The Church would not recognize any "civil gay marriage" at all, because in no way can the word "marriage" apply to two men or two women.

    As far as surrogacy and straight couples, you are absolutely right. And the Church condemns such reproductive techniques for heterosexual couples as well. Every child deserves to be the result of an act of martial love and born to his mother and father. To purposely create children outside of the marital embrace, and including a third party to aid in the conception, is a violation of the rights of the child. It goes against the dignity of the human person. Children are not commodities to be made and (often) discarded. The further indignity to a child manufactured by a gay couple is that not only is the child not created by an act of union between his mom and dad, but he or she is created, purposely, to be motherless or fatherless.

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  26. The "two people committing" have always been male/female. Even in polygamy, the pairings are male/female. The heterosexuality of marriage is a given. It's heterosexual of its very nature. That is one intrinsic aspect that has never changed between cultures.

    What is needed is a new name for a new thing.


    Exactly to the above.
    And to this:
    If I have a chair and I get enough people to call it a clock, does it really become a clock, or is it still, in essence a chair?

    When marriage starts to mean "anything", it means "nothing".
    People caught up in redefining the word marriage need to think it through: as marriage goes, so goes society. Society will change, marriage won't. That's the key ingredient that seems to be missing in the thought process I'm hearing on this "equality of marriage" topic whenever I hear the other side's arguments.

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  27. Saw this last night: http://on-this-rock.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-mark-of-beast.html

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  28. Hi, Leila! I knew there would be some good talk on your site today.

    Can I push you a bit on the divorce thing? Your answer to Johanne raises more questions. You said:

    "In the case of divorced (but not annulled) and civilly remarried couple, the Church would recognize that a civil marriage has occurred (which is different from Matrimony). The Church would not recognize any 'civil gay marriage' at all, because in no way can the word 'marriage' apply to two men or two women."

    If a man divorces his wife and "marries" another woman, the Catholic Church has a word for that: adultery.

    Am I wrong about that?

    Calling adultery “marriage” seems to me just as impossible (to you) as recognizing gay marriage. Isn't it also a definitional problem? There’s no way the word “marriage” can apply to adultery, right? So why is the Catholic Church willing to accept a *civil* definition of marriage that includes adultery, but not willing to accept one that includes gay couples?

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  29. So would you be all right with civil unions, then? That would be a new name for a new thing.

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  30. I would be alright with civil unions. The word, "marriage", "Matrimony" (meaning MOTHER) is already taken. It was taken long before we got here, so why do we get to redefine it? Why is out country's population ok with redefining words? To me, that's like building your house on shifting sand.

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  31. So all I have to say to you is"I know what I believe!" and that will end all arguments?

    I know Wikipedia is not always the most reliable source, but a quick read shows that marriage has not always necessarily meant what you say it has Leila. And some evidence can be found that indeed it was not always heterosexual.

    But lets ask you all, and please answer simply and honestly.
    Would you support the legal recognition of two men or two women that was equal in all aspects of what you consider marriage to be?

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  32. Manda you do realize the "gay marriage" fight is not just in this country?

    So Manda would your definition of civil union be completely equal to marriage? Could heterosexuals also enter into these civil unions?

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  33. Marriage in the Catholic Church, also called matrimony, is a "covenant by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring. [It] has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptised.".[1] Matrimony, from the Latin mater, "mother," and monium, "-mony" (status) is the creation of the status of mother.[2] In the Roman Rite, it is ordinarily celebrated in a Nuptial Mass.-Wikipedia

    I don't know why/how the legal definition would recognize two men or two women being equal in all aspects to that. If you mean legal protections like hospital visits, insurance, etc...I believe every state already has those protections granted for same sex couples? Correct me if/where I am wrong.

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  34. Yes, Alan, I realize other countries are also being secularized...I am not sure I know why you ask?

    My main concern with "gay marriage" is that the law will infringe on the Church's freedom of religion, will ban educating children on the teachings of the Church as to what a marriage is as it will become discrimination or hate speech, will be challenged in the courts to provide the SACRAMENT of "Marriage" to same-sex couples, thus eliminating it's very meaning and will further isolate those whose beliefs do not line up with the culture, but who choose to follow unchanging teachings and not fall into the relativism/secularization (which, to me, is the religion of the Left) to the point of persecution and maybe arrest.

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  35. Hi Frank! Danya's coming over to help me redo my TV room, whoot! So, I'm rushed but wanted to at least throw one thought out before I come back later:

    Even adulterers who are in civil marriages can find their way to regularization and valid and/or sacramental marriage. But two men? Impossible to ever into a marriage. Ontologically impossible. By its very nature, it cannot be. In the same way that by its very nature a finger cannot be an eye. Again, what is the nature of marriage? Define it. Thanks!

    Back soon, to talk to Alan as well. Thanks for patience!



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  36. Manda, I bring up gay marriage not only being in the USA because you did. You said this country redefining marriage, and that simply is not the case.

    I understand what the catholic churches definition of marriage is. To that I say so? I am no longer catholic. The USA of is not governed by the catholic church. So that definition may be lacking in the argument against gay marriage.

    For us we are not looking to eliminate the meaning of marriage. If anything we hold the sanctity of marriage in high regard. We will create families. Some will be strong, others weak, just like all families. Not sure how that is redefining a word.

    No not all states protect the rights of visitation, inheritance and so forth.

    So your main concern is the infringement of the churches rights, which are your rights. I don't think anyone is looking to force the church (any church) to teach anything that is against their beliefs. I will fight with you to keep it that way. Your Sunday schools can still teach what they will, you can still tell your child it is wrong in the eyes of god. Your churches should not be forced to have homosexual weddings. I didn't realize any of those were included in current legislation or arguments.

    I will argue that it is indeed discrimination to teach that homosexuals are somehow less for loving who we do. You say you love the gay but hate the sin, but in essence your words disprove that. Hate speech, now don't you think saying we are going to burn in hell for loving is kind of hateful?

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  37. Leila you are aware that marriage is not a natural thing, but rather has always been a man made concept? Can we at least agree on that?

    An eye cannot be a finger and a finger cannot be an eye. This is true. That is the way we are made. It's natural. Marriage, well marriage is just not natural. I know I don't have to define the word natural do I?

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  38. The man made/natural dichotomy is a false one. Marriage is in fact, broadly speaking, a cultural universal. This makes it pretty natural, just like languageand other constructs that exist in every human society.

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  39. Unless you think language, morality, and social norms are "unnatural" as we'll. just because something is constructed does not make it "unnatural."

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  40. I live in the East Bay and Archbishop Cordileone was Bishop of my diocese of Oakland before being appointed Archbishop of San Francisco. He is such an eloquent speaker and such a peaceful man. I see him at walk for life West Coast every year. He is the chairman of the USCCB subcommittee for the promotion and defense of marriage. I love this quote from Archbishop Cordileone “Most of all, let us each become an ambassador for the beauty, adventure, and truth of marriage as it was designed from the beginning. Marriage indeed is unique for a reason”. http://www.marriageuniqueforareason.org/

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  41. Alan,

    The fact is that no matter how much you want to get married and have kids, those kids will never be 100% biologically yours and your husbands, no matter how hard you try. Those CHILDREN will have one mother and one father, and those children have the inherent right to know and be raised by their biological mother and father. It is one thing to adopt a child in need or foster a child who is in a desperate situation, but to purposefully design and seek out situations of children to be born and raised into families lacking their biological parents is wrong. Think of the children! *I feel like this needs to be said. I KNOW you are a kind soul with a good heart and that you and your partner would do everything in your power to give any children the best life you possibly could give them.* But those children will always feel that emptiness, that feeling that they are somehow incomplete or unloved...because there is something inside of us that wants our mom and dad that we came from.

    On the issue of respecting my religion: From what you stated above , you will fight along with me that my Church's freedom of religion is respected. But then you accused me and the Church of hate speech. Sorry, not feeling good about those odds, especially considering that in Canada Catholic schools are under fire and are being punished for hate speech, just for teaching in line with the Church's views on marriage. And Alan, can you show me which part is hate speech? Just because one thing is not the same (=) as another does not make it less, it just makes it different.

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  42. Leila,

    Interesting! I did not know about regularization. So, the Church goes back and issues a decree of nullity for the first marriage in that case, right?

    If that’s the process, then it makes my point: regularization isn’t turning adultery into a marriage, which is also an ontological impossibility; it just erases the adultery.

    But actually it doesn’t matter whether or not an adulterous union can become a true marriage: the point is, adultery is categorically *not* a marriage, and you’re still willing to call it one in certain contexts.

    "Again, what is the nature of marriage? Define it." We've done this before but, sure, I'll get back into it in a bit. I've got to run for right now, though.

    Good luck with your TV room!

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  43. Chris
    the ability to speak is natural (for most of us) the language we speak is not.
    morality and social norms have changed continually since time began.
    and eye being an eye and a finger being a finger has never changed (except of course in the fact that different languages have different words for them)

    so in this concept there is a difference between natural and unnatural.

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  44. Marriage, well marriage is just not natural. I know I don't have to define the word natural do I?

    Work of mercy today - to instruct:
    Marriage IS a natural concept that received a spiritual blessing well after it existed. Even in the Church, the man and woman administer that sacrament to each other, the priest only witnesses it. He blesses the rings and blesses the couple so that there is a spiritual element to that commitment. Marriage itself is as ancient as the Babylonians, it became a social institution for the good of society.

    Further, benefits of married life are not "rights". Americans all have the same rights. Benefits are given because children are expected from a marriage and society supports that.

    Further, we don't sacrifice what's best for kids just so we can get bennies. Marriage isn't about adults' rights. It's about kids' rights.

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  45. Manda, like it or not I have a husband, so I don't want to be married, I am.


    You state
    "It is one thing to adopt a child in need or foster a child who is in a desperate situation, but to purposefully design and seek out situations of children to be born and raised into families lacking their biological parents is wrong. Think of the children!

    Wrong in your opinion. Wouldn't all children waiting to be adopted be in need? Plus the child is not necessarily missing their biological parents. At least one would always be in their lives. The other may or may not be. golly just like adoptions, or blended families.

    "*I feel like this needs to be said. I KNOW you are a kind soul with a good heart and that you and your partner (husband or spouse) would do everything in your power to give any children the best life you possibly could give them.* But those children will always feel that emptiness, that feeling that they are somehow incomplete or unloved...because there is something inside of us that wants our mom and dad that we came from.

    Again, this is your opinion. And each child is different. We all know that there are many biological parents that should not be allowed to raise children. How many children hate one or both of their parents with legitimate reasons? If your mom beats you would you really miss them?

    "On the issue of respecting my religion: From what you stated above , you will fight along with me that my Church's freedom of religion is respected. But then you accused me and the Church of hate speech. Sorry, not feeling good about those odds, especially considering that in Canada Catholic schools are under fire and are being punished for hate speech, just for teaching in line with the Church's views on marriage. And Alan, can you show me which part is hate speech?"

    disordered
    burning in hell
    deviant lifestyle
    death style (or whatever it is I have seen here so many times.
    And then there is being told I don't know what love really is. I mean Manda really look deep in what you read here and show me where there really is love?

    All hate speech. Sure you temper it with we love the sinner but we hate the sin, but c'mon for crying out loud. That is not even well hidden hate. And think how so many here react when called a bigot?

    "Just because one thing is not the same (=) as another does not make it less, it just makes it different."

    Unless it does make it less.
    So if I read this correctly then me and my husbands relationship although different than yours with your husband is not less than yours?

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  46. Nubby

    Marriage is NOT natural. Simply isn't.
    Sure it's been around a long time. Sure it's changed a lot over that time.

    I have been waiting for the benefits v rights argument. What basis do you have to deny homosexuals the benefits of marriage then? No heterosexual marriage is guaranteed or required to have children, but yet they still receive the legally protected benefits of marriage.

    Yes children should be protected. We just have different views on what that means.

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  47. Alan, how many adults do you know who lived in a home with only one parent either due to divorce, death, or abandonment? I can't think of a single one that I know who has not talked about what they feel that they missed or the negative impact it had on their lives materially and psychologically, even those who had exceptional step-parents. To intentionally create a child into this type of situation is selfish.

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  48. When did anyone on this blog ever say anyone was burning in hell???
    PLEASE SHOW ME BECAUSE YOU CAN'T. It would go against Church teaching as the Church teaches that we cannot state whether ANYONE is in hell.
    "Deviant", when I was in college in the first decade of this century, meant, "against the norm". That was the term for it in my sociology class, and homosexuality was an example of a deviant sexual lifestyle. Is that hate speech now?
    "Disordered" means, from the Church's point of view, "Not ordered toward"...life, God, family,...so yes, we do say that homosexual lifestyles are "not ordered toward" or disordered...if that is hate speech then we're in big trouble and should prepare ourselves for some serious persecutions down the road.
    You ask me if your relationship is less than mine is with my husbands...do you think that it is?

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  49. Alan, What benefits are you referring to, exactly?

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  50. Marriage is NOT natural. Simply isn't.

    False. Question: If it's not natural (ie, men and women naturally decided to live in exclusive commitments among cultures) then what is it?
    Marriage had such social implications and importance that law was created to uphold this for the good of society. Mesopotamian law came about to distinguish it as as an institution back in the mid 1750's BC.

    Sure it's been around a long time. Sure it's changed a lot over that time.
    And...never once was it about the rights of adults. It was always supported by law for the good of society, and for the good of the children.

    I have been waiting for the benefits v rights argument. What basis do you have to deny homosexuals the benefits of marriage then? No heterosexual marriage is guaranteed or required to have children, but yet they still receive the legally protected benefits of marriage.

    This has been hashed out repeatedly. A heterosexual marriage, whether the couple actively plans on having children, is set up as such that children will be the result of the marriage. Society benefits from this and society protects this.

    Yes children should be protected. We just have different views on what that means.

    Yes, tell me how purposefully denying a child of a mother or father is just another 'view' of protecting them? And how is it protecting the child if you deny them the right to miss a mother or father? And further, to poo-poo the child's emotions when they grieve what they never had (mother or father)? How is deprivation of a parent sold as a good thing?

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  51. Barbara, homosexual marriages would have two parents.
    Now how many people have you spoken with who were raised in two parent (biological non divorced parents) homes that have horrible stories to tell?
    My mom got sick and died when I was young. Yes her death shaped me. Not in a bad way. Of course it shapes you. All of our upbringing does.

    Having children is selfish. Sorry it is. You do it because you want to. Sure it's done out of love (wait as it would be in a two parent homosexual home) but there is no difference in eithers selfish desire to have a child.

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  52. Manda, perhaps I have not been told I will burn in hell here, but you have to acknowledge that many christians (including catholic's) think that.

    You know the power words have.
    So you can define all the words you want. You should know they can (and often are) used hatefully.

    Now what about the death style comment? I note you avoided that one? Why?

    And asking if I think my marriage is less than yours is simply a cop out. Please answer the question.

    But to answer you, no I don't think my marriage is less than yours. I think it's the same, but different.

    as for benefits, we've been there before. You can look them up.

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  53. Martha, I feel exactly the same way. I am not only the only Catholic in my family, I'm the only person who isn't a religion-hating atheist. And my aunt is an outspoken lesbian who was actually pictured in some of the news photos taken outside the Supreme Court protesting for gay marriage. I feel like a massive coward for not wanting to post something to defend marriage, and yet I know that my family are perfectly aware of my views on the subject, so I wonder if it is going to change anyone's mind on the subject, or just deepen the rift in my family.

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  54. Alan,

    It is my understanding that all 50 states have protections extended for situations such as same sex couples. Am I wrong? Can you show me where?
    As for the death style comment, I didn't address it because I don't know what you're talking about.
    I believe I am living a sacramental, covenant marriage between my husband, God, and myself. Do I think your relationship is less? Yes. But probably not for the reason you think I do. I believe in the supernatural power of the sacrament.

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  55. "Marriage is NOT natural. Simply isn't.

    False. Question: If it's not natural (ie, men and women naturally decided to live in exclusive commitments among cultures) then what is it?"

    Man made. No where in nature does it occur. Actually our basic instinct is indeed to procreate (except the notable exceptions ie homosexuals, and heck even some of us want to procreate) with as many partners as possible. Society says that is bad, but unless you have slept with only one person then you don't really have a horse in that race.

    "Marriage had such social implications and importance that law was created to uphold this for the good of society. Mesopotamian law came about to distinguish it as as an institution back in the mid 1750's BC."

    And our definition of marriage is not meant to change that.

    "Sure it's been around a long time. Sure it's changed a lot over that time.
    And...never once was it about the rights of adults. It was always supported by law for the good of society, and for the good of the children."

    You've been around a long time if you can say this definitively.

    "I have been waiting for the benefits v rights argument. What basis do you have to deny homosexuals the benefits of marriage then? No heterosexual marriage is guaranteed or required to have children, but yet they still receive the legally protected benefits of marriage.

    This has been hashed out repeatedly. A heterosexual marriage, whether the couple actively plans on having children, is set up as such that children will be the result of the marriage. Society benefits from this and society protects this."

    Yup it has be hashed out. Still has no bearing. Society can indeed benefit by the strengthening of committed couples, to themselves and each other. But you can't answer why heterosexuals who plan on not having children should still be allowed to marry, especially as marriage is to protect the rights of children.

    "Yes children should be protected. We just have different views on what that means.

    Yes, tell me how purposefully denying a child of a mother or father is just another 'view' of protecting them? And how is it protecting the child if you deny them the right to miss a mother or father? And further, to poo-poo the child's emotions when they grieve what they never had (mother or father)? How is deprivation of a parent sold as a good thing?'

    Children are owed love. But yet that is not a prerequisite to have them. Parents should protect their children. But any foolish couple with a vagina and a penis can create a baby. That in and of itself does nothing to protect a child. Do you take classes? Pass a test? Need a license? Nope, zip zero nada.
    If a child never knew its mother would it miss her? Would it miss having one? What if the mother died and the father remarried before the child had memories of the mother, was never told the new woman was not it's mother. Would that child know?

    You have no idea how a child raised by two parents of the same sex will turn out, what they will miss. They may or may not know the other biological parent.

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  56. BTW, Alan, I do not know that many Christians (Catholic) think you will burn in hell. You see, in order for something to be a sin, you need both knowledge and intent. You have to know you are sinning and you have to do it anyway. To him whom much has been given, much will be expected. Now, you say you used to be Catholic. Having been born a cradle Catholic, I know this doesn't mean much in the catechesis dept. I went to lukewarm Catholic schools and never knew the basics of the faith or understood the "why" behind them...so, I don't know how your judgment is going to go. I do know that His mercy endures forever. He knows your heart. As far as other denominations of Christianity go, I'm sorry...but I can't hit them over the head with their bibles and tell them God loves everyone and wills all to be saved because as far as they are concerned I will burn in hell for being Catholic.

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  57. Manda, can you show me where you got the information that in all 50 states gay unions are protected? Legally? Without extra costs and the use of lawyers and legal documents?

    I have looked and I can't find anything that states that they are protected. I know part of Obamacare was attempting to get that, but I don't see where it happened.

    I'll bite though. Why do you think my relationship is less?

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  58. I've seen death style mentioned here (I suppose it could have been Stacy's blog as well or instead of, but am fairly certain Leila has used the phraseology. If not I apologize. I have no intent of looking through all he blogs to find it)
    I remember having a discussion here about homosexuals dying 20 years earlier than their heterosexual counterpart. And I am fairly certain that is when it was used on the gays (but I think it also includes abortion and contraception)

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  59. Alan, because through the sacraments we receive special graces from God. I believe in the supernatural power of the sacraments and I have been witness to them. I also believe that any time we seek to follow God's will and we seek to follow after Truth, we have life and we have it more abundantly. That's a promise from Jesus that I look to and have realized.
    These are my personal beliefs and I don't expect you to buy into it. I didn't even buy into it in the beginning of my own marriage. Only when I hit bottom and started searching, asking, praying, pleading, breaking, and finally healing did I experience things that changed my life and my world view.

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  60. Manda, I understand why you think what you think.
    You are right that I don't buy into them.
    Sorry you had to hit bottom. I'm sure it was rough for you.

    I too believe that I am following gods will for me. So we aren't so far apart on that one. However I don't think your relationship less than mine. That I think is what makes me the most sad about this.

    Those are my personal views. Wish there was a way to make them work together.

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  61. Man made. No where in nature does it occur.
    1) "Nowhere in nature does it occur" is your only definition of "natural"? Realize that in saying marriage is not "natural" that you are therefore assigning it to be "supernatural".

    2) "Natural", in our conversation here, means 'not prodded by outside influence, freely arising from'. Ancient cultures wanted this exclusivity of marriage, the loyalty, the devotion, the beauty of lifelong commitment. The benefits were seen in the culture, and therefore, gave what was natural gave rise to societal.

    But you can't answer why heterosexuals who plan on not having children should still be allowed to marry, especially as marriage is to protect the rights of children.

    1) False. Answer: Even if the heterosexual couple doesn't plan on having kids, the marriage is set up to support that, should children arise. Married people who find themselves pregnant will most likely keep their child and raise it, even though that child was unplanned. The protection is already in the marriage. The child benefits from parents saying "til death do us part, I will be here to love my spouse and raise any children, should we conceive.".

    2) Where's the stats on life expectancy of gay marriages? Right here. The average "commitment" of gays in a relationship is about 18 months. On average. It's not necessarily about permanence, you can have that without mandating a change in society. You can say "I'm committed, I'll never break up/divorce". Fine. Be committed without mandating a definition change.

    It's about changing the meaning of a word so that there is validation there. That's what the argument is. It's not about validating or loving or being nice. It's about leaving an institution the way it's always been finding a new word for another "union".

    2) To your question, whether or not kids are planned, the marriage exists for the life of the couple and their offspring, whether planned or not. It affords the child the right to know its parents, to be raised by both a mother and father.

    And thus we come to:

    Children are owed love.
    And the million dollar question: How is it loving to purposefully deprive a child of knowing its mother or father?
    By your own admission, "children are owed love", then explain how it is loving to purposefully design a plan for a child's life whereby they have ZERO right to both parents? Explain how you are doing the "loving" thing toward that child? Is it really loving to all involved in that family? Or is it about the parents getting 'what they want', despite the heart of the child?

    If a child never knew its mother would it miss her? Would it miss having one? What if the mother died and the father remarried before the child had memories of the mother, was never told the new woman was not it's mother. Would that child know?

    To posit that there are missing or rotten heterosexual marriages, rotten heterosexual spouses, parents that die and remarry, any other cloudy examples, etc, doesn't further your argument in terms of marriage, its design, what it upholds, and why. I can point to gay relationships that are lousy and nasty, too. It holds no bearing on the argument or the marriage definition argument. It just points to the fact that you are calling something "loving" that is clearly lacking love from the beginning. How is it loving to create a LACK for a child? By design, desire, and man made choice?

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  62. I see I've missed a lot here, and I don't have time to read now. I've been answering the comments on my piece at another site today, oh my.

    Thanks to everyone for keeping it going and I hope to be back by tonight. Off to do Stations of the Cross. Boy do I need it. Keeping my eyes on the Crucifix. Back soon…. hugs to all!

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  63. "Marriage is NOT natural. Simply isn't."

    This is still a terrible argument. By your logic, the only natural things humans do are eating, sex, and pooping. CULTURE IS NATURAL. ALL OF IT. That doesn't mean every culture is the same, that doesn't mean every culture is equally right or wrong, but our societies and their customs are completely natural, regardless of your views on them and their history.

    If culture is unnatural, there are many animals besides humans capable of "unnatural" behavior.

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  64. Nubby,

    I agree with you that marriage is natural, in the Aristotelian/Thomistic sense that it leads to human flourishing and is good for society. But I think it’s a mistake to assume that that flourishing and goodness is only (or necessarily) tied to procreation.

    I know this has been hashed through a million times, but stick with me and let’s talk about octogenarians.

    Of course one can make arguments to explain how marriage can be “about” procreation while still admitting elderly couples, but those arguments are always going to be 1) weak (everyone knows that a pair of 80-year-olds is not getting married to produce kids) and 2) insulting, because they suggest that those couples are free riders on the institution of marriage. Take this recent argument from Brandon Vogt (look at point #6):

    http://www.osv.com/tabid/7621/itemid/10339/Rebuttals-to-arguments-for-samesex-marriage.aspx

    He writes that “[Elderly marriages] are so rare its [sic] simply not worth the effort to restrict them.” Seriously! He wrote that! I bet some ninety-year-old somewhere wants to box his ears.

    A much better (more realistic and more Christian) explanation for why we encourage elderly and infertile couples to marry is that those marriages are good (for the couple and for society) on their own merits. But that means that marriage is good for reasons apart from procreation.

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  65. One more thing:

    “The average ‘commitment’ of gays in a relationship is about 18 months. On average.”

    Did you post a link for that? If so, I didn't see it, but I'd love to know where you got that stat. Right off the bat, it’s suspicious to me that you used the term “relationship” and not “union” or “marriage.”

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  66. "But that means that marriage is good for reasons apart from procreation"

    Popping in quickly. Of course marriage is good for reasons apart from procreation. But it is still inherently heterosexual. How do the gay folks consummate that "one flesh" union needed for marriage? Where is their conjugal act?

    "regularization isn’t turning adultery into a marriage, which is also an ontological impossibility; it just erases the adultery"

    No. Two folks who can have conjugal sex can physically confect a marriage. Adulterers are not married when they are in adultery, but they are "marriage material", i.e., they are capable of contracting a marriage, which gay folks never, ever are. Again, it's ontologically impossible for gay folks to marry. They don't meet the basic requirements for marriage, which is male/female, capable of consummating.

    Also, the Church, until she is asked to look into it, assumes that couples who say they are married are married. It could be that they are, for all we know. But that's a discussion about annulments, which is another topic. One thing that does not need a tribunal to discover is that a union between two dudes is not a "marriage". It needs another name, since it's another thing entirely.

    And, I would love to talk to you as a Christian, Frank. You have not let yet me ask you things as a Christian. Let me know when you are ready. As a Christian, your worldview should be that of Christ, correct? He is the Truth, your Truth and mine. Let's talk as Christians.

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  67. But I think it’s a mistake to assume that that flourishing and goodness is only (or necessarily) tied to procreation.

    Flourishing is most definitely tied to procreation.

    I see no problem w/ Brandon V's point. How many 80 yr olds do you see wanting to get married?

    And, yes, marriage is certainly good for reasons apart from procreation. It's also a heterosexual institution, historically. Gays can have an imitation of marriage, but it's not marriage by definition. That term does not apply.

    Why devil's advocate? Thought you were Christian?

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  68. Hi, Leila. I know you’re busy, so don’t feel any rush to answer—in fact, I’m going to bed early tonight and I’ll be pretty busy tomorrow.

    “Of course marriage is good for reasons apart from procreation. But it is still inherently heterosexual.”

    Can you connect these two sentences for me? If the ability to procreate isn’t necessary for a given marriage to be good for society, why is marriage necessarily heterosexual?

    “How do the gay folks consummate that ‘one flesh’ union needed for marriage?”

    As we’ve discussed, penis-in-vagina sex is not “needed for marriage,” even in the Catholic Church. Again, help me make the connection: if marriage doesn’t require penis-in-vagina sex, why does it require the ability to perform penis-and-vagina sex?

    “Adulterers are not married when they are in adultery, but they are ‘marriage material.’”

    You’re still missing the point: adultery is not marriage. Period. Ontologically. It doesn’t matter if the people involved are marriage material. You can’t call adultery “marriage.” Here’s an analogy: if I were to start calling myself “Doctor” and signing my name “Frank, PhD” before I defend my dissertation, you could justly accuse me of trying to redefine the term PhD (or just call me a liar). It doesn’t matter that I’m (hopefully) PhD material—the fact is, right now I’m not a PhD, I’m something else (a graduate student).

    “Also, the Church, until she is asked to look into it, assumes that couples who say they are married are married. It could be that they are, for all we know.”

    This is a little different than where we started. You wrote: “In the case of divorced (but not annulled) and civilly remarried couple, the Church would recognize that a civil marriage has occurred (which is different from Matrimony).” It seems to me that, in that quote, you were saying that the Church can know a couple is living in adultery but still call that couple “married.” Is that not what you were saying?

    “You have not let me ask you things as a Christian.”

    Look, my faith is a lot less certain than yours seems, and I think you’re going to get a lot of “I don’t know” from me. But, okay, I can get past that. Ask away.

    Do you still want me to define marriage for you? Like I said, we have done that before.

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  69. Hi, Nubby. I saw your post after I had typed my response to Leila. It might address some of your questions. If not I'll be back soon.

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  70. Thanks for posting the interview, Leila it was very thought-provoking and helpful. Anyone else having this conversation lately:

    Friend: How can you possibly be against equality? Allowing gay people to get married DOES NOT infringe on your religion. No one is excepting or wanting to force the Church's to preform marriages if they don't want to.

    Me: I know you believe no one wants to force the Church to perform same-sex marriages but you have to understand my hesitation. I remember people assuring me no one would force a Catholic to preform an abortion.

    Now, that's not how history has played out. Many doctors and others have found themselves in legal hot water for refusing to abort or hand out birth control. Right now, there is a law in place that will force the Catholic Church and Catholic business owners to pay for birth control which we consider intrinsically evil. Where are all our friends who assured us they would never allow the law to force us to violate our conscience? Why should we believe this issue will be any different?

    Friend: "crickets chirp"

    I can see in their eyes what they don't want to say and often don't want to admit to themselves. They don't think Catholics have the right to say no.

    A few have suggested Catholics can say "no" so long as they say no just as individuals. We don't apparently have the right to say no as a boss, a hospital, a charity or even as a taxpayer. Somehow and someway we are suppose to stop being Catholic when we are in those roles.

    It amazes me because for a brief moment I can see in their eyes "That they think these issues are more important than my right to practice my religion." They don't say it because freedom of religion is so ingrained in American identity and culture, no one wants to appear intolerant of religion.

    What in the world is going to happen when people decide to admit to themselves they don't care about religious freedom and drop the pretense? And how do you argue against that?

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  71. Nubby, you seem to be giving me a difficult time because of my definition of natural (as some others might be as well) but this is the first time I have seen your definition of natural. Where does your definition come from?


    What is the relevance of how many 80 year olds want to marry. Fact is they are not barred from marrying, even though lets be honest, it has been stated here that marriage is to protect children and their rights, heterosexuals who marry and are not planning on having children are due the protections of marriage just in case they have children, but goodness when is the last time you heard of a pregnant 80 year old. So that boils your argument down to essentially marriage is between a man and a woman.

    But this comment from you shows why there is no reason to continue discussion with you.
    "And, yes, marriage is certainly good for reasons apart from procreation. It's also a heterosexual institution, historically. Gays can have an imitation of marriage, but it's not marriage by definition. That term does not apply."








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  72. Chris
    Then what is your definition of natural?
    I'm intrigued how different cultures can all be natural. I think natural is being used as a substitute for traditional, but they really are not.

    And fyi to me and so many other the argument that "my religion" does not allow it is kind of a silly argument if I am not of your religion.

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  73. off to spend a few days away with my husband and to mourn the loss of a best friend. So if it appears that I am ignoring questions rest assured it is because I am not at a computer.

    Suffice to say we yet again disagree on this. My point is not to get you to change your minds, but rather to see that not all agree and the reasons why.

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  74. Terribly sorry about your friend. I will answer your question about my definition of natural as best I can.

    Natural = something that exists in nature.

    Humans and our culture exist in nature.

    To prove that something is unnatural you'd have to prove it isn't found in nature. And to prove that a human custom isn't found in nature, you'd have to convince me that we somehow are not a part of nature (which is clearly wrong).

    All human ideas, even contradictory ones, are natural.

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  75. Sorry, I am still not caught up and have not read all the comments. Frank, yes, please define marriage for me. What is it. (What is intrinsic to it; how does it differ from all other unions?) Take the longview of human history on this.

    Actually, the ability to consummate a marriage is a condition of marriage in the Church. Indeed.

    It seems to me that, in that quote, you were saying that the Church can know a couple is living in adultery but still call that couple “married.” Is that not what you were saying?

    Yes, the Church can say that they are civilly married. In fact, until a particular couple comes to the Church asking for an investigation of a marriage (whether the couple is Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist or anything), the Church assumes a valid marriage. So, there is never an assumption of adultery until the couple presents themselves to the Church. The marriage is presumed to be valid on its face. What would never be valid on its face is two men who claim to be "married", since that is an ontological impossibility.

    Can you connect these two sentences for me? If the ability to procreate isn’t necessary for a given marriage to be good for society, why is marriage necessarily heterosexual?

    Because fertility is not required for marriage (never has been), only the ability to complete the marital act. Sometimes, due to defect, disease or age (effects of the fallen world), children do not come from acts which are by their nature ordered toward procreation. (Of course, many couples deemed infertile later do conceive… as the Bible says, "God opens and closes the womb". The creation of children is ultimately in His hands. But the act that makes children is the principle act of marriage; it's what separates marriage from friendship.)

    I hate to be so blunt here, and please forgive me, but if you are a Christian, can you find any justification either in Tradition or Scripture (any part of Revelation) that would imply a sodomy-based "marriage"?

    When the Lord speaks of the two (male-female) becoming "one flesh" in marriage, would you agree that means the conjugal act (yes, penis-vagina)?

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  76. StarfireKK, your comment is brilliant! And chilling! Yes, you nailed it. That is the perfect question to ask. And yes, they really do not care about our religious liberty. They just do not. They don't fully want to admit it, as you've said.

    Remember this?

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2012/04/listen-up-they-dont-care-about-your.html

    It's so sad that we have utterly cast aside an understanding of why this nation was founded. We have not educated our citizens, and it may be too late.

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  77. Alan, my condolences on the loss of your friend.

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  78. Chris,
    Thank you for your condolences.

    Now I understand a little more what you are trying to say. But if our culture is our nature you may have to define culture. As there are so many different cultures I am not understanding how they come from nature.
    Example. Are you saying christianity is natural?
    In some countries they eat dog. In the USA we do not. Which of these is natural?
    See I'm still thinking that culture is tradition, not natural.

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  79. Leila, thank you for the condolences. Rough times for certain right now dealing with it.

    But in a strange way that I fear those here wont see, my beliefs keep me going and staying strong.

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  80. But Leila, can you tell us why this nation was founded?
    I ask because you mention that we have "cast it aside", but I wonder who has indeed cast it aside.

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  81. Alan, an elderly or infertile couple getting married does not change the definition of marriage because between a man and a woman in PRINCIPLE, procreation is always possible. For a man and a man, its not only incidentally impossible, its impossible in PRINCIPLE. If you say, "that's a marriage" you have changed its definition in such a way that it becomes irrelevant since the only reason it has existed as a matter of law and governance was to regulate from a social point of view, the obligations and responsibilities attendant upon procreation.

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  82. Alan,
    I can't speak for Leila but the "Great Experiment" was one of self-governance, American Exceptionalism. The idea that we could care for ourselves and govern ourselves without the government ruling over us like a dictator or monarchy...the idea that we could start as a peasant and work our tail off until we become a millionaire. The American Dream has been realized by so many, and yet it has been cast aside. The Left has been brainwashing our children into believing that the government is going to take care of us, and that corporations are evil, and that the American Dream is unrealized after all. We are becoming like Europe...and an elite few will rule over us and tell us how much soda or candy or healthcare we can have until we die.

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  83. The elderly couple, should they wish to adopt, would have a mother and father in place.

    How is intentional deprivation of a parent loving?

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  84. Manda,
    Sorry but it still falls flat on me. We know two 80 year olds are not going to create a child. And it has been said here marriage is to protect children. So there is no point for that marriage. Same for those who don't want children. They can make it impossible to have children, yet you don't deem that a reason for them not to get married. So for you marriage is a penis and a vagina. Not being crass, just stating a "fact" as I see it.

    Not sure what you are referring to as the "Great Experiment"? Are you saying this country was founded on the American Dream? Because that is what I asked Leila about.

    As for the left brainwashing your children, well isn't it your responsibility to raise your children to understand things? If you did your job right then they should not be brainwashed.

    And thanks for pointing out the extreme in the candy and soda. Is your problem with Obamacare that all should be provided with health care, or just the parts you don't like. B

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  85. Nubby the elderly couple adopting just further proves the point that all you think marriage is is a vagina and a penis.

    Certainly adopting a child to elderly is not in the best interest of said child. I mean c'mon we certainly know life expectancy today.

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  86. and Nubby
    do you not understand how a single parent can love a child? How a two parent household, regardless of the sex of those persons, can love a child?
    You claim you love your children. Would you love them any
    less if your husband was not around? Would you make them feel less loved?
    You are so hung up on how the child was created or who it's parents are that I fear you aren't focusing on the child, but really more your own agenda. (which of course we all do, but I've yet to see a convincing argument against gay marriage)

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  87. I've always struggled a bit, from a natural law and national interest perspective, to argue why an elderly couple should be allowed to marry, if marriage is about family and the child having a stable home, ideally with his or her own mother and father. I want to emphasize that it is blindingly obvious to me that marriage is about family/children (as a principle), even if some cannot conceive, at least temporarily.

    It then occurred to me earlier today that historically, it would have been exceedingly rare for elderly folks to even consider marriage - either they didn't live to an age where conception was to be ruled out for practical reasons, or it wouldn't occur to them to marry if there were not to be children. Tax benefits for families are, I assume, a fairly recent innovation (although I clearly see why they are in the national interest, if they are to alleviate the financial burden on young families).

    Today, life spans are longer, and we do have tax benefits for families, and marriage usually occurs for romantic reasons (at least in the West), so the practice of elderly folks getting married became more ingrained. I am sure though it was considered odd, at least back then, and that sort of makes sense.

    It also occurred to me that a grandparent may have to take care of grandchildren on a permanent basis, for a variety of reasons. If their spouse has died, and they wished to remarry, that would then still model a male/female family for the children, although it is no doubt less optimal than if the children had their own parents being able to raise them. I do believe that such a situation is inherently more stable and beneficial for the child than a married same-sex couple raising them, for reasons pointed out at length by Leila in previous posts. Studies also clearly show (I do not have them at my fingertips, so you can choose to dismiss that if you wish) that married, heterosexual parents (even if not the biological parents of the child) raise healthier, more self-confident and well-adjusted children than same-sex couples or single parents. We are statistically speaking, not individual cases.

    Am I off in my thoughts?

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  88. Alan, I think contradictory things can be natural.

    If Christianity is false it is a natural expression of human thoughts and beliefs. If it is true it is supernatural, which is still not quite the same as unnatural.

    I really do not regard anything as unnatural. I just think that's a rather useless term.

    Eating dog is wrong in my opinion, but still not unnatural.

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  89. That doesn't mean I think arguments from tradition are good ones though, I'm still very much on your side about marriage.

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  90. I can't even begin to go into all of my problems with Obamacare, but soon they will be obvious to everyone.

    Eric Holder recently stated in the case of a German family who fled to the United States to home-school that there is no fundamental right for parents to home-school their children. The left wants to be the main influence and educational tool of my children. I do take responsibility for teaching my kids right from wrong, truth from error, and I point out to them what is happening to our current society. But, you telling me, as you advocate for what they are doing, and as you advocate for changing the very definition of the oldest institution in the world, to take responsibility for their upbringing, seems similar to if you were throwing chains around my neck, arms, and legs, and telling me to keep on running.

    As far as the elderly couple marrying after childbearing years for companionship, they can still conjugate their marriage and be joined together in that unitive and procreative act, and their union does not change the definition of marriage. Saying that marriage can be understood, in principle, apart from procreation, changes it's definition in such a way that you destroy the necessity of the institution. When you start changing the definition of marriage in this way you are acting as if the institution has no basis independent of your own arbitrary will.

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  91. Alan, marriage is certainly about much more than a vagina and penis, but a vagina and penis are certainly required for marriage, yes.

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  92. I've read about half the replies, so I may be repeating someone here, but I really do not believe this debate is about the granting of equal rights. If it was, the same goals could be fought for under the term 'civil union', and hardly any of these objections would be raised.

    This is about trying to force a social acceptance of gay unions. This is about trying to reshape my beliefs and my childrens' beliefs. Words - especially one like Marriage - are powerful tools. This is about the word and the perceptions that go with - not the "rights".

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  93. It's not about degrees of love, Alan. Discard the crisis situations and the feel good idea of how love varies. Assume love is equal across the board. That's reasonable. We all love each other. Fine.

    What is the ideal situation to bring a child into? A lack from the onset is ... Fill in the blank.

    Answer please, yet again, how is designed deprivation of a parent, from the outset of building a family, a "good" and utmost loving thing?

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  94. Gay marriage? Sure, no worries! Most natural thing in the world! Just look at the birds and the bees around you! Witness the seamless, interchangeable roles of the lion and the lioness, the tiger and the tigress, the cock and the hen. Why, only today on the bus I peeped (sorry!), totally enthralled, as this newborn baby suckled at his male mother's hairy breast!

    Bah, HUMBUG! At least some of us haven't lost our marbles (so to speak) yet. No amount of "lurv" or surreal social engineering will change a man into a mom or a woman into a dad. Try asking the kids for starters. Whether you sickos find it inconvenient or not, they have rights too - rights like access to the distinct formative childhood influences of a real male and a real female parent. And if marriage (and family)isn't essentially about (real) moms, and (real) dads, and kids, can some genius (likely with a government school degree) try brainwashing - whoops, "re-educating" - me as to what it precisely is? And also, just as importantly, what it isn't - with reasons therefor? By the way, since when did a government anywhere, any time in history, start legislating with "lurv" as the basis for an institution of society?

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  95. Leila & Nubby, I haven't forgotten this thread and want to chime back in. But I don't have time right now and will be with family all weekend. So I'll stop back Monday--I hope you'll still be interested in conversation then.

    Francis, the man on the bus could have been a member of the Aka tribe: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2005/jun/15/childrensservices.familyandrelationships

    Or it could have been this guy:
    http://classic-web.archive.org/web/20040612183349/http:/www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_700634.html

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  96. Frank, no worries!

    Francis, I agree that the rights of children to be born to their mom and dad are so far in the back seat we can't even see them. This movement is all about the adults and their wants.

    Case in point. Hidden amongst all the "congratulations, isn't this wonderful!" comments on the following article, you will find two young women, themselves the product of gay households, at least one the result of anonymous donor sperm, and they cautiously say that they do not approve of the situation they were put in. You'll see the self-righteous folks immediately, condescendingly scold these two brave girls for giving their experiences voice, and daring to say that this sort of thing just might not be fair or good for children:

    http://celebritybabies.people.com/2013/03/27/jenna-wolfe-stephanie-gosk-expecting-daughter/

    And of course there is this, from a secular journal:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2010/06/the_spermdonor_kids_are_not_really_all_right.html

    But this movement, unlike marriage itself, was never about the children.

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  97. @ Frank:

    Talk about clutching at straws (an exception to the rule: the tragic aberration of primitive Aka pygmies suckling their young on male nipples that can produce no actual, life giving nourishment whatsoever for a child) in a desperate attempt to rationalize the framing of bizarre laws in a developed society in the 21st century! Even animals know the absurdity of males suckling, and yes, it is quite possible that the IQ of the average Aka pygmy is less than even the intelligence of some animals!

    For goodness' sake we're considering here the health, welfare and psychological stability of the most vital asset of any species - their young! What's stopping pollsters (even if they're to be appointed by the well financed LGBT lobby) from asking the young (and even the old) in our society the simplest of questions: whether they'd like their biological parents to be supplanted, without their consent, by a "male mom" or a "female dad"? Or whether they'd have liked to have been suckled as a child by a grunting but lurving Aka man? What do you reckon the overwhelming majority of responses would be? I teach a class of 9 year olds. Perhaps I could ask them if you like, and report back to you.

    If this is your best shot, I'll pass - along with everyone else in a world gone sex mad, who has some soberly functioning brain cells left in their heads, and an authentic sense of justice for all, powerless children included, in their hearts.

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  98. Frank, it appears that the members of the Aka tribe still marry heterosexually (not that there is any other way), and that their children have both a mother and a father.

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  99. Francis:

    "If this is your best shot..."

    It was a quip, dude. Have a good Easter. I'll be back Monday.

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  100. Frank:

    Oh! :)

    You too, mate, have a good Easter. Just got back from the Vigil Mass with a wonderful rendition of the Exsultet (I think the young cantor was a professional soprano) and the Liturgy of Initiation which always moves me - although I confess to having toyed with the idea at times of curbing the exuberance of beaming new Catholics with a dry, "Welcome to the Cross, friend!" :)

    Wishing the firm Hope of Eternal Bliss to all on this blog. Alleluia!

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  101. Frank:

    Oh! :) The same to you mate, have a good Easter!

    Just got back from the Vigil Mass, with a wonderful rendition of the Exsultet (seemed to me the young cantor was a professional soprano) and the Liturgy of Initiation, which always moves me - although I confess to having toyed with the idea at times of curbing the exuberance of new Catholics with a dry "Welcome to the Cross, friend!" :)

    The firm Hope of Eternal Bliss to all on this blog. Alleluia!

    P.S. An added incentive to get to heaven is that there are no marriages there, of any sort - be it of the heterosexual, homosexual, joyful, or the nag-nag-nag variety! :)

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  102. "do you not understand how a single parent can love a child? How a two parent household, regardless of the sex of those persons, can love a child?
    You claim you love your children. Would you love them any
    less if your husband was not around? Would you make them feel less loved?
    You are so hung up on how the child was created or who it's parents are that I fear you aren't focusing on the child, but really more your own agenda. (which of course we all do, but I've yet to see a convincing argument against gay marriage)"

    Alan, a single parent can love a child. A gay parent can love a child. But they cannot make up for the missing parent or missing gender! I am a single mother. You bet I love my children. But I know that they suffer for the lack of a father in our household. I think it would be ridiculously foolish, and callous, for me to pretend otherwise. I really have to turn that back on you and say that those who pretend otherwise are the ones that have an agenda. In fact, it is obvious that they are motivated by an agenda. You really do seem like a good guy (and my condolences also to you on the loss of your friend.) I remember you from earlier Bubble discussions and I prayed for you at our beautiful basilica when you came to mind recently. But the fact that you are a good guy is a reason why I am kind of shocked when the subject of children comes up, because I honestly think you are lacking in your concern for them.

    You have indicated in the past that you are not terribly concerned with how the children of gays come into existence, so it's not just about adopting unfortunately parentless children. We are talking, besides those orphans, about children who will never know their biological parents - and children who are being raised by adults who don't even know who both the biological parents are as in the case of anonymous sperm or egg donors, children who are offspring of people who have no idea that they exist, don't even know if, when, or how many offspring of theirs have been conceived. I was very surprised to read recently that sperm banks don't screen people who purchase the sperm, so is is not true that couples who use those banks to intentionally create children are well-vetted as parents. The sad truth is, we have no idea what some people might be doing with that sperm. (Obviously the sperm bank issue would not have to come into play if you wanted to create a biological child of your own, and a straight person or couple could use a sperm bank, too, but I am pointing out that gay couples do not necessarily have to be vetted (I need a better word but can't think of it) to "obtain" children the way strictly adoptive couples do. This is an example, I know, of how straight couples have messed things up and set the ball rolling as far as the creation of life outside of marriage or even outside of sex. In fact, I realize that straight couples do carry the burden of guilt for starting that ball rolling in all matters that relate to the destruction of the family and the harm that our society is causing children today, including the harm caused by sperm banks and embryo creation/destruction in a lab. But changing the definition of marriage only serves to codify yet another situation that is detrimental to the basic unit of society in general (the family) and to children in particular. It does not improve things. It only continues to make it worse. Our society, unfortunately, is showing itself to be very adept at making things worse.

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  103. Sharon:

    How lovely to hear from you: "I am a single mother. You bet I love my children. But I know that they suffer for the lack of a father in our household. A gay parent can love a child. But they cannot make up for the missing parent or missing gender!"

    Truth has such a serene, clear, down to earth, unmistakeable and undeniable ring to it, doesn't it?

    My mother is alive, but my father died years ago. Looking back at my time with both of them I so appreciate the complementarity of those two individuals, each with their own distinct gender: and therefore, in broad terms, the manliness and muscularity of my father and the tenderness and softness of my mother, and how, at different moments in my life, through all its ups and downs, I so relied on, and learned different things from, each of them. My father not only looked and dressed totally differently from my mother (obviously - he being male, and she female), he talked, acted, reacted, moved, spoke, felt and even smelled different from her, and vice versa. And for the life of me I wouldn't trade either of them for a clone or anatomical duplicate of the other. Billions of people around the globe would most surely repeat this same testimony - except billions of people aren't even being asked the simple question. It remains one of the (many) proverbial elephant(s) in the room as far as this ridiculous debate goes.

    What a travesty of justice - in fact, what a violation of basic human rights - it is going to be for innocent, unknowing and powerless children to be thrust into bizarre artificial "families" in which effeminate men play mothers and butch women play-act as fathers (and play at other bizarre things in between). That is why your honesty regarding your (natural) limitations as a would-be female father is so refreshing.

    One would imagine that it'd be blindingly obvious to all and sundry that men and women, despite some commonalities, naturally and biologically differ from each other in a plethora of ways - physically / anatomically / psychologically / emotionally) and that these differences - repeat, differences - actually serve, by and large, and as a rule, to complement each other, for the overall balance of a family unit and, importantly, for the benefit and comfort of offspring. But no, the exception now makes (breaks) the rule. For now the darkness clouding the minds of folks is so deep it'd seem that even the majority of folks can't spot the difference between your you-know-what and mine - and the reasons therefor.

    Only something extraordinarily malevolent could have led entire societies to this point of callous and brazen denial of the rights (lives, even) of their children, indeed to the point of those societies' ultimate disintegration, once their most basic institutions of natural marriage and family have been adequately falsified and undermined. Little wonder then, that this whole wretched abomination is increasingly sought to be whitewashed by its devious proponents with veneers of (disordered) "love", "acceptance", "tolerance", "conscience" and, wait for it, "justice" ("equality")! Talk about the unthinking and the deluded, and the gutless, perverted, two bit politicians who they elect, doing mental contortions (and attempting to force everyone else by the strong arm of the law to do the same) in their wicked efforts to justify the unjustifiable and the suicidal!

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  104. Hey, everyone. Checking back in with some responses.

    Nubby:

    “Flourishing is most definitely tied to procreation.” & “And, yes, marriage is certainly good for reasons apart from procreation.”

    Okay, this is probably my fault, but I think we need to be more precise with our language because, to me, these two sentences contradict each other. When I say “good” I mean “leads to human flourishing” and when I say “apart” I mean “not tied to.” I think elderly marriages are good for reasons that have nothing to do with the fact that other men and women can produce babies.

    “I see no problem w/ Brandon V’s point.”

    Vogt is basically saying that infertile and elderly marriages are worthless to society, but it’s just too much trouble to prevent them. That doesn’t bother you?

    “How many 80 yr olds do you see wanting to get married?”

    My great-grandmother got married in her 70s to a man in his 80s. But the numbers don’t matter—I would celebrate those marriages even they were as rare as snow leopards. Because they’re good.

    “Why the devil’s advocate? I thought you were Christian?”

    It took me a long time to realize this, but my support for gay marriage comes from my Christianity.

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  105. Leila
    (Old Business):

    “Actually, the ability to consummate a marriage is a condition of marriage in the Church.”

    Right, but consummation is not a requirement for marriage. So I’m asking why you need the ability. I know the rule, I’m asking for the reason behind it.

    “Yes, the Church can say that they are civilly married. In fact, until a particular couple comes to the Church asking for an investigation…the Church assumes a valid marriage.”

    Okay, these two sentences say different things. In the first, you’re saying that the Church can positively know that a couple is not married, but will still call them married. In the second, you’re saying the Church just assumes every couple that calls themselves “married” is, in fact, married. Do you see the difference?

    “Again, what is the nature of marriage? Define it. Thanks!”

    In our conversation with Lauren and her husband, on his guest post here, I wrote: Legally, marriage is two individuals’ public commitment to build a life together. It forms a family from non-related individuals… Personally, I also believe marriage is a loving, exclusive sexual relationship, but the state can’t enforce that.

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  106. Leila
    (New Business, pt. 1):

    “When the Lord speaks of the two (male-female) becoming ‘one flesh’ in marriage, would you agree that means the conjugal act (yes, penis-vagina)?”

    I don’t think the Lord was excluding the Holy Family from marriage when he said that, so I don’t think we can take it that as a literal insistence that every married couple must have penis-vagina sex.

    “…can you find any justification either in Tradition or Scripture (any part of Revelation) that would imply a sodomy-based ‘marriage’?

    Start with the way Jesus tells us to understand the law, particularly as revealed in Matthew 12 and Mark 2. In those chapters, the disciples pick grain on the Sabbath, and then Jesus heals on the Sabbath, and then the Pharisees confront them for breaking God’s law. Jesus responds by saying that sometimes it’s okay to break the law, even God’s law (the Sabbath, established before the Fall)—that the strict letter of the law doesn’t apply in all cases, and that we have to consider the purpose of the law when deciding how to act. In the case of the Sabbath, Jesus says that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). (He also says, in Matthew 12:7, “If you know what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not condemn the innocent.” Our goal here is to figure out what “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” means.)

    This is the standard approach Jesus takes, which is why the Pharisees hate him. He shows them that their rigid adherence to the letter of the law is not the path to righteousness, that, in fact, it’s a type of sin. They’ve made idols of the law and let that get in the way of the law’s real meaning which, as Paul tells us, “is summed up in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:14).
    So we’re to think about the purpose of the law when we seek to apply it. That’s not to say the law doesn’t matter. In fact, Jesus says he comes not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. But he fulfills it precisely by revealing its higher purpose. Which is love. Or, as Francis would put it, “lurv”. I don’t think this position is controversial at all— it’s a plain reading of scripture and, on top of that, it’s basically a natural law approach, too. It’s the way I was taught to read the Bible at both my Marianist high school and the (conservative) Episcopal Church where I was an acolyte.

    Continued...

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  107. Leila,
    (New Business, pt. 2):

    Now think about the purpose of marriage.

    Genesis 2:18 says “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an helpmeet for him.” That’s the underlying logic of marriage—like the Sabbath, it’s an institution made for man’s flourishing. That’s its purpose, its telos. And, empirical data tell us it’s an institution through which man does flourish: married people live longer than single people, they’re healthier, they’re more productive, etc.

    Now, you can argue that the purpose of marriage is procreation (maybe using Genesis 1), but that’s not what Genesis 2 says, and that leaves you with the octogenarian problem that we discussed. Even Sebastian admits he has to struggle to reconcile octogenarians with the standard notion of natural law. But I don’t struggle, it’s obvious to me: their marriages are good, because it is not good that the man should be alone.

    Yes, marriage is gendered in Genesis 2. God makes woman, and “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife.” So for most of us, the suitable helpmeet is to be found in the opposite sex. But we also know that gay people exist, that they don’t find suitable helpmeets in the opposite sex, and that (as humans) they have the same need expressed in Genesis 2:18. So we (or more precisely, they) are left with the question of what to do about that. How are they to act?

    How you answer that question depends on whether or not you believe gay people can flourish through committed, lifelong, monogamous sexual relationships.

    That’s the real question of the debate. For me, the answer is obvious: yes, I’ve seen it.

    So the ultimate test of gay marriage is Luke 6:43-44. “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit,” the Gospel says, “nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its fruit.” I’m surrounded by the good fruit of gay marriage. I’m sure you are, too, and I hope and pray that one day you’re able to see it.

    Best,
    Frank

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  108. "It took me a long time to realize this, but my support for gay marriage comes from my Christianity."

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Nothing in 2,000 years of Christian teaching will support you on this. It will actually do just the opposite. I will be writing up Fulton Sheen one last time, and it's as if he is speaking directly to you. Stay tuned.

    As for Brandon Vogt, you clearly do not know the man. I do.

    After I publish Sheen, I will be back to address the rest.

    Here's something relevant in the meantime:

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

    Frank, believe it or not, you don't get to decide what Christianity teaches. It's a revealed religion. You may accept it or reject it, but you have no authority to personally interpret it or determine it.

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  109. But just to be clear: You feel that the Church (basically all 2,000 years of Christianity) simply got Tradition and Scripture wrong all this time, and finally they are conforming to… the world. And that is a good thing. So, what again is the purpose of the Church? Why do we need a Church if it is wrong on something so fundamental, and in such an extreme way, for so many centuries? Truly, if Christianity has said for 2,000 years that a good thing is evil, and has talked of damnation for those types of willful acts, and has preached purity and chastity even within marriage (which has only and always been heterosexual), then isn't the Church simply evil? And if not evil but wrong on such an important issue, then why does it have a shred of credibility in your eyes? Why would you call yourself a Christian if it lags so far behind the world in knowing what is good re: the foundational, sacred gift of sexuality?

    It's something I really ponder, and I would love to hear a reasonable answer.

    Okay, back to Sheen, be back later….

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  110. @Francis.just want to mention that I'm a fan.I enjoy your wit and sharp tongue.

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  111. Frank, re: the exceptional marriage of Mary and Joseph, I will excerpt from a previous post:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/06/little-teachings-from-bubble-marys.html

    Marriage is a reflection of the union we will one day have with God. Mary achieved that union, that consummation, on earth. Even the words of the Angel Gabriel at the Annunciation ("The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you" Luke 1:35) echo language in the Old Testament which implies marital relations.

    We will "marry" God in Heaven. Mary "married" God while still on earth. She, in essence, "skipped over" earthy marital union and went straight to where marriage points us, which is union with God! (And as an aside, that is why priests and nuns remain celibate as well... There is a lot of nuptial imagery in religious life. For example, women religious have Jesus as their spouse, wear wedding rings, etc.)

    Mary as "spouse" of the Holy Spirit is a common and ancient understanding of the Church, and you'll often hear Mary's unique relationship to the Holy Trinity described this way:

    Mary is the Fairest Daughter of the Father,
    the Chaste Spouse of the Holy Spirit,
    and the Blessed Mother of the Son.

    Soooooo.... what was St. Joseph, then, chopped liver?

    Quite the opposite! Though not sinless himself, he was a profoundly holy man and a faithful Jew. He lived his life in humble obedience to God, and God had a very special role for Joseph in salvation history. As one of my favorites, Brother Anthony Opisso (Jewish doctor turned Catholic monk!) put it:
    Having been enlightened by an angel in a dream regarding her pregnancy, and perhaps further by Mary concerning the words of the archangel Gabriel to her at the Annunciation, Joseph knew that God had conducted himself as a husband in regard to Mary. (emphasis mine)
    Joseph knew that Mary had conceived by the Holy Spirit! She was now the Holy of Holies made flesh, the Ark of the New Covenant who carried within her the Word made flesh! (Remember the Old Testament Ark? It was made of purest gold, and if you touched it you would die! How much more worthy and precious was Mary than a golden box!)

    And now let's get very real here. Many of you know deeply holy and devout men of God. If a holy man knew from an angel that his virgin betrothed had been overshadowed, espoused and impregnated by GOD ALMIGHTY, do you think that man would go ahead and have relations with her? Ummmm..... not likely!

    And yet, Joseph followed the instruction of the angel, and took Mary as his wife. He knew he was to care for her and the Baby as a husband and a father. They lived as a true, real family, in true, real love, but Joseph abstained from relations with his wife, as anyone with his understanding would do.


    Yeah, I used to get really worked up and excited in the early days of blogging! My point is, this is not the norm…. they skipped right past the "one flesh union" to the very thing it was pointing to anyway. But could they physically have consummated? Yep. They sure could have. Woman/man. Yep.

    As to your "letter of the law" analysis, you are confusing discipline with doctrine. Levitical laws were not, not, not the universal moral law. For example, one would not be allowed to murder on the Sabbath, ever. One would not be allowed to steal or lie on the Sabbath, ever. One would not be allowed to commit adultery or commit idolatry on the Sabbath, ever. And one would not be allowed to commit acts of sodomy on the Sabbath, ever. With sodomy, fornication, adultery, etc., this is universal moral law we are talking about, not Halakah, binding and loosing, Levitical law, changing disciplines.

    The distinction is HUGE.

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  112. "you can argue that the purpose of marriage is procreation"

    You can do more than argue it, you can look at the male/female bodies, and also listen to God's command. God made us male/female, gave us our private parts for a purpose, and then said, "Be fruitful and multiply" (a command). I had no idea that people were arguing that God did not design marriage for procreation? When did this exegesis come about?

    Frank, why do you suppose there is no marriage in Heaven, as Jesus made clear? Surely he wants us to be close to each other and bond, etc.? So, why will marriage be missing (not necessary) in Heaven? It's because there will be no more souls created. How are souls created? Through the act of marriage. No children are being procreated in Heaven now, nor will any more be created after the culmination of the world. The purpose of marriage on earth is to create new souls who will live eternally in heaven. To mess with a sacred act like that, which so closely reflects the union of God and man (Bridegroom and Bride) is a terrible sin. Always has been always will be.

    ReplyDelete
  113. You said: Okay, these two sentences say different things. In the first, you’re saying that the Church can positively know that a couple is not married, but will still call them married. In the second, you’re saying the Church just assumes every couple that calls themselves “married” is, in fact, married.

    No, that's not it. I am saying that the Church can definitively say what Christ said: Divorce and remarriage is adultery. This is macro. It is a truth. What the Church doesn't do is go up to couples and examine their marriages. How would the Church know about the micro (the individual marriage) unless the couple (one or both of the pair) brings the circumstances and case to the tribunal to be examined and ruled on? Can you think of a way the Church would be able to do such a thing? Is there a roaming posse of canon lawyers and tribunal priests and judges knocking on doors, asking for papers and intentions and backgrounds and witnesses? For the record, the Church does not do these things, and I hope you are not claiming that she should.

    You say marriage is defined thusly:

    marriage is two individuals’ public commitment to build a life together

    So, if no sex or consummation is necessary (I'm guessing), then two elderly sisters could marry? Or young sisters, if they have to "build a life"? It seems too broad a definition, honestly. And you include an arbitrary number: TWO individuals. Begs the question: Why two? Is it tradition only? If so, then the tradition of marriage being heterosexual faaaaaar outweighs the tradition of marriage including only two individuals (we have lots of examples, even in the OT, of polygamous marriage). So, why did you pick the "two" tradition, but not the "heterosexual" tradition (which has, until two minutes ago historically, always been seen as inherent to marriage, unlike "two")?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clarifying: "So, if no sex or consummation, nor even the ability to consummate, is necessary…"

      Delete
  114. Frank, thanks for engaging my article! It's great to see you and others thinking through this important topic.

    However, I take issue with one of your comments. You claim:

    "Vogt is basically saying that infertile and elderly marriages are worthless to society, but it’s just too much trouble to prevent them. That doesn’t bother you?"

    First, please show me where I said or insinuated that "elderly marriages are worthless to society." I don't believe that, and I didn't say it, so you're arguing against something neither of us hold.

    Second, in my response to the "infertility" objection, my aim was not to highlight all the natural goods that flow from infertile marriages but to show there is nothing inherently objectionable to them. My purpose was to refute the suggestion that if same-sex couples can't marry, we shouldn't allow infertile couples to marry either.

    Third, while I did make the case that such relationships are extremely rare and thus not worth regulating, I didn't say that's the *only* reason why infertile couples could still enter real marriages. Even if the large majority of people were infertile this fact would not change.

    Fourth, your critique quotes my original article out of context since *in the exact paragraph you quoted from* I quite explicitly note some of the benefits infertile couples brings to society (outside the benefits inherent to their own union): "Elderly marriages still feature the right combination of man and woman needed to make children. Thus they provide a healthy model for the rest of society, and are still capable of offering children a home with a mother and a father."

    I think we both agree that elderly married couples, though infertile, still offer tremendous value to society. Claiming I believe otherwise is a serious distortion of my words.

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  115. Thanks, Brandon! And for Frank: As a Christian, you know from Biblical accounts that God has "opened the womb" of some very elderly ladies in the past, no? (Sarah comes to mind.) If old folks' marriages are not valid and valuable, then we would not have had "Abraham's descendants", which would mean… no Christ, no Christianity.

    Frank, re: our discussion wherein you take issue with my using the word "marriage" to describe what is an adulterous union, what do you make of Jesus' using the same term?

    "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

    We understand what he means, right? Without negating the sin of the adultery?

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  116. Leila:

    Obviously, I can’t respond to everything at once. Some quick notes:

    “As to your ‘letter of the law’ analysis, you are confusing discipline with doctrine.”

    No I’m not. All of the things you mentioned (murder, theft, lying, idolatry, adultery) are right next to the Sabbath in the Decalogue, which is “God’s revelation” and “a privileged expression of the natural law” (CCC 2070).

    The Pharisees truly believed they had caught Jesus breaking God’s law, and Jesus didn’t respond, “Hey guys, I was just breaking a discipline, like when Leviticus says not to eat shrimp.” Instead, he says the law has a purpose, which is found in the two great commandments, which can be summed up by love. That’s doctrine. That’s at the core of what we believe.

    “Frank, re: our discussion wherein you take issue with my using the word ‘marriage’ to describe what is an adulterous union, what is do you make of Jesus’ using the same term?”

    Okay, good point.

    “Frank, why do you suppose there is no marriage in Heaven, as Jesus made clear?”

    You said why earlier: “We will ‘marry’ God in Heaven.” We’re not alone in heaven. We’re joined with the Father.

    More later.

    Best,
    Frank

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  117. Brandon,

    Great to have the chance to dialogue with you! I noticed you commented on Rob Tisinai’s posts at boxturtlebulletin.com—that’s great. I hope you also had time to read his critique of Robert George.

    I didn’t intend to take your words out of context or misrepresent you—I think I offered a reasonable summary of your main argument in that passage. The language there is shocking, and I think even you would admit that some of your words were poorly chosen.

    You do offer two positive reasons, as an afterthought, for allowing elderly marriage, and I should have acknowledged that. But it’s not the thrust of your argument, and it comes after you’ve spent 3.5 paragraphs explaining why it’s not worth the trouble to restrict elderly/infertile marriages. Maybe “worthless” is too strong a word, but there’s also no way anyone take from that passage the idea that elderly and infertile couples offer “tremendous value” to society.

    But since you’re here, this is a great opportunity for you to make the case you didn’t make in that article. What are “all the natural goods” that flow from infertile and elderly marriages? Why can they not flow from gay couples?

    Here’s what you’ve given us, with some questions they raise:

    1. “Elderly marriages still feature the right combination of man and woman needed to make children.”

    As Tisinai responded, no they don’t. That’s the point. I’m just going to quote from him here:

    “To start with, elderly couples are exactly the *wrong* combination of man and woman needed to make children. I’m not just playing with his words here. If the point is to model the appropriate marital couple for procreation, especially for the next generation, this fails completely. Suppose young children ask, ‘If marriage is about making babies, then why can grandma marry her boyfriend,’ and they’re told ‘Because grandma and her boyfriend are the right combination for making children.’ A sensible child will shut that down with a solid, ‘Nuh uh!’

    2. “Thus they provide a healthy model for the rest of society…”

    Genuine question: do you think gay marriages can provide healthy models for the rest of society? Do you think, for example, that we can learn anything from Edie Windsor’s marriage to Thea Spyer? Commitment, sacrifice, patience, perseverance? Anything?

    3. “…and are still capable of offering children a home with a mother and father.”

    Is this what we’re left with? Elderly couples might somehow find themselves with a kid? It’s more or less what Sebastian suggested earlier, too, and it’s behind Leila’s point about Abraham and Sarah.

    At least that’s an actual reason. It’s a debatable reason, but I won’t spend time debating it, because at least it’s plausible. I just ask you to consider—just consider—a simpler explanation: these marriages are good because it is not good that man should be alone.

    Like I said, Brandon, it’s good to have this chance.

    Best,
    Frank

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  118. Sharon,
    First thank you for the kind words.

    Can you tell me how your children suffer?

    What so many of you seem to miss is that I am talking about a two parent home.

    All children can suffer, whether a one or two parent home. But you are not concerned with their suffering. Rather when I attempt to get you (and you is not you specifically Sharon)

    We see things differently. I see any child that is wanted by his parent, will be loved by his parent. You ask what is loving about denying a child a parent. But that child still see's and knows love. It's your job as a parent to help it avoid the suffering. So to me any child brought into this world by love is not brought in lacking or suffering. Plus I am talking about married homosexual two parent households. YOu see it as lacking, I don't.

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  119. Frank, respectfully, you are still confusing the issue. It is never, ever (and I mean NEVER) permitted to sin. Sin is what put Our Lord on the Cross. It is what cost him more than any of us humans will ever know. We are not permitted to violate the immutable moral law. Never. It's Christian morality 101: The ends do not justify the means. The Law (10 Commandments) themselves are how we love God and neighbor. To violate those is not love.

    What the Apostles were doing was breaking the letter of the Levitical law. Not the universal moral law. There is never, ever a time when Jesus said that it would be fine to commit adultery, you know, if it was the "loving" kind of adultery. Or that it would be okay to lie (Satan is the Father of Lies) if it was a "loving" lie. Could the Apostles defraud the poor or steal commit idol worship on the Sabbath, then, with Jesus' smiling approval?

    Of course, not. Not ever. Never.

    Working or healing on the Sabbath is not inherently (of its very nature) evil… it was part of the law of Moses, the binding and loosing, the Levitical law.

    Repeat for all those reading, who might be confused: We never have God's permission to commit sexual sin, or any grave sin which violates the universal moral law. Virtue is the path for Christians, not sin. Do we sin? Yes. Do we have permission to sin? No.

    Did Jesus release us from being under the Law of Moses (changeable discipline)? Yes. Did he release us from unchanging Truths, and the objective moral law? No way.

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  120. Alan, so a motherless child is not lacking anything? Not lacking a mother? A fatherless child is okay, not lacking anything, as long as there are two mothers?

    When children born of donor sperm, or not knowing or having a father, grieves for that loss of what was their birthright, we should tell them to be quiet and be grateful? Their voices are not to be heard, then?

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  121. Alan, for example, here are two brave girls who spoke up on an article lauding two lesbians having a baby through donor sperm. The two girls actually believe gay marriage is okay (one grew up in a gay home), but they have a deep loss, and they regret it terribly. They grieve. And notice how they were quickly and subtly scolded, basically told "we don't want to hear that; buck up and be happy you're here" by others. Instead of allowing them to say, "No. We are the children of these experiments and we don't agree. We grieve." Alan, are you saying that they are just wrong to believe they are lacking their parent?

    http://celebritybabies.people.com/2013/03/27/jenna-wolfe-stephanie-gosk-expecting-daughter/


    Kaitlin Cahfee on March 27th, 2013

    congrats to them both and the baby. I am the daughter (not biological) of two mom’s. I love them both sooo sooo much but their is not a day that goes by that i didn’t wish i had a dad. it is very hard for kids like me that are different. no matter how accetping are society is. i have men in my life – my moms’ friends but it is not the same. please, don’t get me wrong, i really love them both but i guess i’m just saying it is not the same. -KC



    The "sympathy" she got:

    amalia on March 27th, 2013
    Dear Kaitlin Cahfee,
    I understand your point. It’s the same as of millions of people that grew up without a father figure. Either because their fathers didn’t take the responsibility and left them, or because of a divorce, death, estrangement etc. The phenomenon has been around since forever, it has nothing to do with homosexuality. Thus nothing to do with this thread.
    Family is that close circle of people that offer you love and care unconditionally and create you a solid environment to educate and develop.
    Just as a little detail, I had both parents around as I grew up, but my dad had never been a father figure, nor involved at the level I needed. It was just a personal experience that I overcame just fine. Love is everywhere!!!



    to be continued...

    ReplyDelete
  122. And then another girl:

    Kathy on March 27th, 2013
    I’m the product of a my mother’s egg and a sperm donor. I love my parents but I don’t agree with the fact that I will never know half of my biology or my siblings. I will never do that to a child. If I can’t have them, I will adopt. I hope more couples, gay and straight, consider adoption and foster care.


    And here's how her feelings were invalidated (ie., get over it, how selfish of you to complain that you wish you had a heritage and a father):

    Marky on March 27th, 2013
    Kathy, I am the adoptive mother of a child who was abandoned on the street with no identification in another country. We adopted her as an infant who was assigned a birthday, a name, and any other information, including what town they thought she might have been born in. Children born using sperm donors are not the only children on the planet who may never know their biological heritage, or bio family, etc. You know half of it, and frankly, I’ve known many people who discovered their bio parents and siblings, only to wish they had stuck with the adoptive parents they knew. Your insistence that knowing bio family makes all the difference in your life is exactly why many people nearly kill themselves to try to have bio children rather than adopt or foster. Believe me, your parents’ worst fear was the thought you would end up saying all the things you have posted here. All they wanted was to have a family, and when you “father”came to grips with the fact he couldn’t do the deed himself, they probably chose to do what they did so you would be related to at least one of them. I know people who were from your same circumstances and they feel very differently. Adoption and fostering, both of which I have done, is not some easy road, either, depending on personality of the child. There comes a time when you need to accept your circumstances and live the best life possible, not to be harsh in any way. Most people make the best choices they can, under their circumstances, when choosing how to build their families.


    The adults selfish wants are now to trump the inherent rights and needs of children. Very, very sad.

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    Replies
    1. Forgive my typos, please. Ack….

      And upon rereading the second response… that commenter was actually shaming Kathy, and equating Kathy's purposeful, willed fatherlessness to a baby who was abandoned in the street! How is this even a comparison? Then to guilt her by saying, "You see! This was your parents' worst fear, that you might feel this way and voice it, you little ingrate!"

      Makes me ill. That poor girl got not a scintilla of support or validation.

      Delete
  123. Leila: I did state something wrong last night-thanks for catching it. Jesus didn't say it's okay to break God's law--that would be an impossibility. I didn't mean that, and I said it better today: "The Pharisees truly believed they had caught Jesus breaking God's law."

    They were wrong, which is the whole point of the story.

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  124. Leila,
    I applaud those young ladies for stating what they believe. Just because they felt lacking doesn't mean all will.
    Many children of heterosexual married children grow up lacking. Didn't someone just mention that he had a mom and a dad but he dad was not a father figure?
    Would you like to ask children from families that have multiple children and ask what they feel they are/were lacking? Because I will tell you being a child of the 60's and 70's, and being raised catholic I know many people who think they lacked true parental attention growing up. Realistically how many children can you pay attention to and raise.

    You also assume that the child will not know their biological parent that may not be involved in the day to day raising of them.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Now lets see who will answer this question.

    Why did you have children?

    ReplyDelete
  126. and of course why did you get married?

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  127. I have been reading this blog for quite some time, and I really enjoy it. I myself am not a Catholic, though I have been attending Mass for several weeks now. I have also been reading up on it and studying as much as possible. I am at the point now where I am seriously considering taking it a step further by reaching out to the church about possibly starting RCIA in the Fall.
    I am conflicted about this because of the fact that I am gay, and am involved in a stable and monogamous relationship with my partner of ten plus years. I am wondering if there is any place in the Catholic church for someone who is LGBT, and is not celibate. Thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  128. and I will throw this out.
    You seem to be willing to force a rape victim to have the baby. Isn't that creating a baby that will never know its father? Or will the father be involved in the babies life? I mean ya know he did impregnate the mother.

    Extreme, sure, but it happens

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  129. Frank, again, respectfully, they thought that Jesus had broken the laws of Moses (discipline) and indeed he had, much in the way that Pope Francis broke the liturgical law when he washed women's feet on Holy Thursday. But Jesus (and the Pope) are the arbiters and executioners of those laws. Those laws are not immutable, not in any way! They are disciplines. Were the Pharisees scandalized? Yes, because the Law of Moses was in place, and it was a discipline that was binding on the Jewish people (and only them, by the way… another way we know clearly that this was not the universal moral law).

    Sexual sins do not fall under the category of changeable discipline. That is the point here.

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  130. Alan, you said:

    "You seem to be willing to force a rape victim to have the baby."

    No. Letting a baby stay alive, instead of violently killing it, is not "forcing" anything. It is letting a human child live, as nature allows. The child already exists. She already "has" a baby, and is a mother.


    "Isn't that creating a baby that will never know its father?"

    Yes, and the way the baby was created is evil, wrong, terrible, and should never be allowed (in fact, rape is illegal!)

    "Or will the father be involved in the babies life?" No, the child who exists now (and whose life is inviolable) will be missing out on his biological father, because he hopefully will be in jail as a criminal. Totally horrible that this child was not conceived in marriage, to be raised by both a loving mom and dad.

    There are many ways that a child should NOT be conceived, and rape is one of them, fornication is another, sperm donation is another, cloning is another, adultery is another, etc.

    But while you would only agree that the conception by rape or adultery is wrong (and maybe cloning? Not sure?), the Church would say that it's ALL wrong. All of those are ways that a child should NOT be conceived. The child has a right to be conceived by his or her parents in the marital act, and know and be raised by them whenever possible. When that does not happen, that is a TRAGEDY, and it's nothing we would want to promote as a society. That is my point. Why don't you agree?

    ReplyDelete
  131. Hi Eric! I've known of other folks in your position (much like the divorced and remarried without annulment), that chose to live chastely so that they would be able to make a good confession and live out their Catholicism. So yes, you are welcome, like everyone else, and like everyone else, you'd just have to put aside any and all mortal sin. That's a prerequisite for receiving the sacraments. Many blessings and I hope you do make that leap! :)

    ReplyDelete
  132. "Didn't someone just mention that he had a mom and a dad but he dad was not a father figure?"

    Yes, and we agree that that is a BAD thing, no? So, why would we purposely set out to put a child in a bad position? Not cool.

    Why did I get married? Because that is the natural order of life…. Man and woman marry, they come together in conjugal union (marriage is the only proper context for sex, since it's the baby-making act), and that act naturally produces children. Marriage is the stable environment in which to raise the children that sex produces.

    As to the number of kids, that has and will always vary. I know "only children" who were lonely as kids so they have lots of kids when they grow up. I also know "only kids" who are happy being only children. I know kids of small families (usually broken homes) who are neglected (read the CPS reports… oh my, Lord have mercy), and I know kids from big families (usually broken homes) who are neglected. Size of family is not the salient factor in neglect. I have eight children, and every last one of my kids wants more siblings. My husband and I are the only holdouts, ha! I came from a family of two siblings. I always wished I had more siblings. I see that siblings are a great gift, especially as I get older. I so wish I had more, especially as my parents age. My kids are blessed to have many siblings for their whole lives. Not everyone has a big family, and that's okay, but boy what a blessing if they do. It's so rare nowadays and people are very lonely, disconnected, disjointed.

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  133. Leila,
    It is forcing. It she wants an abortion and it is not allowed it is forcing.

    The church is not the world, the world is not the church. So what the church wants is not necessarily important.

    And where are these rights of children guaranteed?
    It seems that you want to be able to define what is a right, what is a privelege and whom deserves which.

    ReplyDelete


  134. No Alan, it's not forcing, any more than laws not allowing rape are forcing rapists not to rape. If that were the case then laws against rape would eliminate all rape in the world, and we know that isn't true.
    Now you feel, as do the rest of us, that the consequence of a rapist choosing to rape is also worthy of legal consequences. But we also believe that the consequence of a mother choosing to kill her baby, regardless of how that baby was conceived, is also worthy of some sort of legal consequences.

    Everything we do, with the exception of birth and death, is a choice and all choices have consequences. Some consequences are harder to face than others, but the difficulty of the consequence involved doesn't eliminate the choice.

    I once had a professor said he knew he had reached adulthood and maturity in thought when he realized that everything we do is a choice. Saying "I have no choice." is really saying "I don't like the consequences of the choices I have before me, but I dislike these ones that come with this choice more than the ones that come with that choice, so I'm going to make that choice."

    Hope that makes sense.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Bethany,

    "No Alan, it's not forcing, any more than laws not allowing rape are forcing rapists not to rape. If that were the case then laws against rape would eliminate all rape in the world, and we know that isn't true."

    I cannot believe you could type something as inane as that.

    A woman is raped against her will. She is not legally allowed to abort her fetus if you get your way. That is her being forced to carry a fetus that she had no desire for. No choice is being forced.

    Rapist are not forced to rape.

    But to say that a woman seeking to abort a fetus that was forced on her is a crime like rape is a crime, I can only ask you exactly what on this earth is wrong with you? That is about the most idiotic thing I have read. Do you also think the way a woman dresses is asking to be raped?

    So think you should go back and rethink that.

    And yes Bethany there are some things beyond birth and death that we have no choices in. Illness, well we have no choice in that. Who would chose cancer?
    Green eyes, yup no choice.

    Did you chose who you love? Do you chose what sex they are? Do you chose your religion? Do you chose what to eat today? Yup some of those are choice some of them are not.

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  136. A woman is raped against her will.

    An unborn child is killed against his/her will.

    Alan, in what other context do you favor executing a child for the crime of its biological father?

    ReplyDelete
  137. Alan, I will try to give one example from my kids' life that shows how their father, by stepping in even though he is not in the household, kept my son from going far down the wrong path. My 15 yo started hanging out with all the wrong kids, trying to stay out until all hours, coming home or not coming home, doing drugs, sneaking out at night. I had to come down hard on him, but I know I could not have done it alone. The amount I had to handle by myself was very, very hard. However, to his credit, my ex-husband backed me up, and it was only the power of that backing that really helped my son. We survived last summer - although I aged several years, I think - and my son is back at a good high school and doing well. He himself says he would not want to relive last summer. As a comparison, a co-worker of my ex-husband lives near my home. Her son started down the same path when he was my son's age. Her son's father was never around, and she had to deal with her son by herself. Her son barely finished high school, getting in trouble all along the way. She only got him to finish by promising to give him her car if he graduated. He did graduate, then wrecked the car in less than a week. It was a constant struggle, and I really feel that it takes a man to make the difference that a boy needs. The mom can only do so much. I don't think that these are just two isolated examples - my son and the other mother's son. I believe that this is not uncommon when a mom is in the home alone and the child starts heading the wrong way. Now I agree, we are talking about a single mother versus, say, two female parents. I don't believe that either woman could have the effect on a son that a man could have, especially that his own father could have. That male aspect is so important, and a woman just cannot BE a man for her son. It is male leadership that is needed for a boy to be guided in a situation like that.

    I am sure you could pick that example apart, along with any others I could give, but that's what it is, and statistically, my experience and my children's experiences are just not that uncommon. You could say that divorce or single parenthood plays the stronger role rather than a missing gender, but you don't know that, and I don't believe it. And if we KNOW that children by far tend to do best when they are raised by their married biological parents, then we should reach for that goal for the children of our society. It is just true that in spite of the fact that there are sub-optimal biological families, children still tend strongly to do better in those intact families. And to say that you are willing to bet the future of children on not having both parents, and intentionally not having one gender in the home, is just not fair to the children. Children do not biologically come from a male and a female by mistake, Alan. I can't see that it is wise, or fair to children, to pretend otherwise. You can say, "Well, I don't think so," but the stats back up the traditional family.

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  138. “Frank, again, respectfully, they thought that Jesus had broken the laws of Moses (discipline).”

    Respectfully, I don’t think the Pharisees had a doctrine/discipline distinction. I think you’re projecting that backwards from your Christian understanding. They believed that Jesus was breaking God’s law (the 3rd Commandment) by not keeping the Levitical rules. If you’ve got a citation that suggests that the Pharisees drew that distinction, I’ll gladly admit I’m wrong.

    But this a sidetrack: we agree that the universal moral law is unchanging, and we agree that other rules, like celibate priests and eating fish on Fridays, are man-made and can change. And, hopefully, we agree that Jesus reveals how we’re to understand the universal moral law in his dealings with the Pharisees.

    Have a good night!

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  139. I think you’re projecting that backwards from your Christian understanding.

    And, Frank... could it possibly be that you are doing the same?

    Your theory seems to be that either (A) God allowed Christian Churches to teach error as doctrine for nearly 2,000 years; or (B) God changed His mind.

    Either theory essentially torpedoes Christianity as a religion. Anyway you cut it, going with your theory, Christianity has to be false. What kind of God allows his followers to teach false doctrine? What kind of God changes his mind capriciously and doesn't bother to have any way to inform his adherents of when/why/how His mind changes?

    It makes no sense whatsoever.

    The Church's position, with teachings that have remained consistent and coherent for 2,000 years, and a God who does not change His mind, is infinitely more logical.

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  140. "But to say that a woman seeking to abort a fetus that was forced on her is a crime like rape is a crime, I can only ask you exactly what on this earth is wrong with you? That is about the most idiotic thing I have read."

    Thank you, Alan164.

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  141. Opposites attract. Likes repel. Simple as. Even a humble (and productively functioning) magnet knows that. Sheesh! When and how will all these insanely tortured attempts by an unprecedentedly witless generation to warp eternal truths and blindingly obvious natural laws collapse? As someone I greatly admired used to quip, "Beware of becoming too open minded - your brains fall out!" Sadly, it'd seem they already have, for sizable sections of the increasingly godless, immoral, self aggrandizing and narcissistic societies of the "First World" - while the bulk of level headed humanity looks on, utterly bemused.

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  142. It is always a crime to kill an innocent human being. Always. Always. And it is always a crime to rape. Always. Always.

    And it is always morally wrong to create children to be motherless or fatherless on purpose.

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  143. we agree that the universal moral law is unchanging.

    Yes, and thus it is illicit to violate it, always, always.

    and we agree that other rules, like celibate priests and [not eating meat] on Fridays, are man-made and can change.

    Yes, only changeable by the authority delegated by God to change it.

    And, hopefully, we agree that Jesus reveals how we’re to understand the universal moral law in his dealings with the Pharisees.

    No, because he was not dealing with universal moral law in the case you cite. Who besides the Jews were bound to the Halakah? If you had seen Jesus say that it was okay to "lovingly" murder on the Sabbath, then you might have a point. Because murder (just like the other points of the universal moral law) has always been wrong and will always be wrong, and not just for Jews, but for every human being. Same with the rest of the universal moral law, including misuse of the sexual faculties. That is why it's not just a Catholic or Jewish thing to say that homosexual acts are immoral. The orthodox of every major world religion recognize the same moral law. It's universal.

    There is nothing inherently immoral about picking grain. There is nothing inherently wrong with healing. In fact, both are good things.

    However, it is inherently wrong to murder (no matter what day of the week) and it is inherently wrong to lie (no matter what day of the week) and it is inherently wrong to commit acts of sodomy or adultery or fornication (no matter what day of the week).

    By its very nature, homosexual activity is wrong. By its very nature, stealing is wrong. By its very nature, abortion is wrong. None of these things are right on Sunday through Friday but wrong on the Sabbath. They are wrong every day of the week, because the are inherently, intrinsically (of its very nature) wrong.

    Francis, like Johanne, I enjoy your wit, too! And Sharon, I can only say a hearty amen (and you are a hero; that is tough stuff… I've dealt with many boys, and I praise God there is a father in this house). Bethany, I love what that professor said… so true. We want to be a society without any consequences for our choices. I feel we have no more grown-ups in this culture, or at least very, very few. JoAnna, B-I-N-G-O.

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  144. Johanne, why do you view the unborn baby as an aggressor instead of the rapist? Isn't the child a victim, too? Why punish a victim for the crime?

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  145. Sharon,
    I am glad your son is doing better. But what about all the kids from intact families that go down the wrong path and stay down the wrong path? So while I am glad your son is doing better it has as much to do with the kid as it does the parents.

    My god daughter is a beautiful young lady. Never gotten in trouble, does not drink or do drugs. She did well in school. She has never known her father. She does not miss knowing him. I've had many discussions with her about this.

    So please understand that some kids will go the wrong way regardless of their family situations. You think (and yes it's what you think, not what is known) that a stable two parent home with parents of the same sex the children will not grow up well. I see it differently.

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  146. JoAnna, can you define the word will for me? Especially as it pertains to an unborn fetus.

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  147. JoAnna Wahlund writes
    "Johanne, why do you view the unborn baby as an aggressor instead of the rapist? Isn't the child a victim, too? Why punish a victim for the crime?"

    But isn't forcing (and yes that is the correct word choice here) a woman who is impregnated during a rape punishing the victim for the crime?

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  148. Leila
    What if we don't believe in natural law?
    There seems to be no such thing as universal natural law. You say the orthodox of all religions agree that homosexuality is wrong. I ask so what? Not everyone is religious, not everyone is orthodox.
    You all are inspired by a book written by man allegedly from the words of god. But that book is not to be followed literally is it?

    So you can say things like murder is always wrong. But see then I think most of you will say killing someone while defending yourself is ok (it's still murder though). Stealing is wrong, but if you are starving and you steal food it might be ok. So you too change the natural laws to suit your needs.

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  149. Leila

    "Why did I get married? Because that is the natural order of life…. Man and woman marry, they come together in conjugal union (marriage is the only proper context for sex, since it's the baby-making act), and that act naturally produces children. Marriage is the stable environment in which to raise the children that sex produces."

    So your specific husband had little to do with your desire to marry.
    Marriage (as stated ad naseum) is not required to procreate.
    Wont argue marriage creates a stable environment. We aren't saying anything different.

    But now why on earth did you live with your husband first if that is not the natural order?


    "As to the number of kids, that has and will always vary. I know "only children" who were lonely as kids so they have lots of kids when they grow up. I also know "only kids" who are happy being only children. I know kids of small families (usually broken homes) who are neglected (read the CPS reports… oh my, Lord have mercy), and I know kids from big families (usually broken homes) who are neglected. Size of family is not the salient factor in neglect. I have eight children, and every last one of my kids wants more siblings. My husband and I are the only holdouts, ha! I came from a family of two siblings. I always wished I had more siblings. I see that siblings are a great gift, especially as I get older. I so wish I had more, especially as my parents age. My kids are blessed to have many siblings for their whole lives. Not everyone has a big family, and that's okay, but boy what a blessing if they do. It's so rare nowadays and people are very lonely, disconnected, disjointed."

    I'm glad you understand that different people see things differently. Look up Zach Wahls. His story is just as poignant as that of anyone else.

    So you sit and converse about what you want, what you think is best (an agenda) and I do the same (another agenda). We both find examples to prove our points. So how do we move forward?

    You say "By its very nature, homosexual activity is wrong", but that is an opinion. I say there is nothing wrong with it. That too is an opinion.

    Funny thing is I have never once asked you to not be catholic. I have told you that the whole world is not catholic, and that the constitution of the United States indeed protects me from having to follow the rules of catholicism.
    You have said to me that the best thing I could do is leave my husband and let him get to know god. Manda (or at least I think it was her) tells me that my relationship with my husband is less than hers (after telling me that things being different does not make them lesser).
    The point. I would rather find a way to include, you exclude. And all the while say it's because of natural law (which from what I have read are not universal or in fact natural if one uses the definition of natural) and protecting the children.
    The point?
    I'll let you decide that.

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  150. AH HA! And Alan has hit the nail on the head, with this question.

    But first let me address you're minor tirade. First of all, you're right, a rapist isn't being forced to rape. And whether or not the law says a woman can't get an abortion doesn't negate the fact that she CAN indeed still procure an abortion, through illicit means, to be sure, but still possible. The fact that she is pregnant through no fault of her own is just as irrelevant to us as it is irrelevant to you (and Johanne) that the baby is alive through no fault of it's own.
    But let me try to clarify my point. If I have a guy holding a gun to my head, saying steal this (oh I don't know) computer - most people would say, I have no choice but to steal the computer. I am simply pointing out that I do have a choice, to either steal the computer or risk death. Both are terrible choices, but one is often perceived as worse than the other.

    As many others have pointed out outlawing abortion will not end abortions. Just as outlawing murder has not ended murder. My point was that one will still find a way to make that choice.
    But to say that a woman seeking to abort a fetus that was forced on her is a crime like rape is a crime,

    Call it what you want, but a fetus is a human being in the earliest stages of development, abortion kills an innocent human being. ANYWHERE else in the country, outside of a mother's womb, that would be considered murder and yes I do believe that murder is a crime, actually it's one worse than rape.

    And yes Bethany there are some things beyond birth and death that we have no choices in. Illness, well we have no choice in that. Who would chose cancer?
    Green eyes, yup no choice.

    Did you chose who you love? Do you chose what sex they are? Do you chose your religion? Do you chose what to eat today? Yup some of those are choice some of them are not.


    Apparently you did not read clear enough, I said, everything we DO in life is a choice. I do not do illness/cancer, nor do I do my blue eyes. Those a passive results of genetics or environment or they are consequences of previous choices (I seriously doubt my grandfather would have developed the lung cancer that killed him, had he not made the choice to smoke for 58 years). Choice requires active participation. We always have the choice to do something else.

    But to get back to my initial remark, this is the problem with the pro-choice abortion argument. They only classify a human being as someone who can exercise their will in a way that someone else can understand. It's ultimately a very utilitarian view of human beings. A human being only has a right to life if, in some way, shape, or form, that human being can express itself so that another human being can understand. It only has a right to life if it can "object" to having it's life taken away.

    And this is why I am PROUD to be Catholic. Human beings, all human beings have a right to live and not be killed, simply because they exist and THAT existence is what makes them beautiful and gives them dignity and self worth. It doesn't come from being able to exercise one's wants or desires, their will, but by virtue of simply existing in this world, regardless of how that existence is achieved.

    You and Johanne have dignity and self-worth, not because of what you do, not because of what you believe, not because you want it and work for it, not even because of who you are, but that you are. You have dignity and self-worth because you are.

    And unborn fetus has dignity and self-worth and the right to live because it is, it exists.

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  151. Bethany,

    Really? Your argument now is that even if abortions are illegal they can still be obtained? Did I read that correctly? And that is the same as you being forced to steal because of a gun to the head?

    Second, yes I read that everything we DO in life is a choice. But guess what, the raped woman didn't choose to be raped. Now after the fact she indeed has a choice. To abort the fetus or to keep it. You think she should have no choice, thus punishing the crime victim.

    Just so you know I am PROUD to be gay, just the way god made me. Hey guess what, you chose to be catholic, I did not chose to be gay. Argue all you want about whether I'm born this whether or whether I can change. I'm telling you that I am how I am and that is not going to change. And please don't try to sell that "be chaste" business. I am entitled to love, to be loved in the same way you are. And I am entitled to have that love acknowledged by society and the government.

    And while I know you did not mean it in this way, but to tell me (I'll let Johanne speak for herself) I have self worth and dignity is amazingly condescending. I never thought I didn't have self worth or dignity.
    I understand why you are trying to show me I have self worth in the hopes that I will see a fetus as having self worth, but it to me is condescending.

    I don't think the rights of the unborn are greater. Children's rights are not greater than adults rights. Please understand that. I don't think abortions should be used as birth control, I would love to see far less abortions happen. But I think it should always be available for rape victims (and incest victims)

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  152. Alan, I am not equating your homosexuality to pedophilia, but you do realize that pedophiles say that God made them the way they are, too, right? Same with zoophiles. They say that God made them that way, too. Do you believe that is true? And if not, why not? If that is their orientation, and they feel it is a gift from God, what can we say to them?

    Basically, Alan, we are all born with disordered desires. All of us. Whether disordered desires for food, power, riches, etc. Aren't we supposed to fight against our disorders? What do we tell pedophiles? I'm seriously asking. They say that they were made this way.

    And yes, Alan, lots of women got abortions when it was illegal, and most of those were done by doctors. Dr. Mary S. Calderone, a former director of Planned Parenthood wrote in the American Journal of Public Health in 1960!!

    "Abortion is no longer a dangerous procedure. This applies not just to therapeutic abortions as performed in hospitals but also to so-called illegal abortions as done by physician. In 1957 there were only 260 deaths in the whole country attributed to abortions of any kind…Second, and even more important, the conference [on abortion sponsored by Planned Parenthood] estimated that 90 percent of all illegal abortions are presently being done by physicians…Whatever trouble arises usually arises from self-induced abortions, which comprise approximately 8 percent, or with the very small percentage that go to some kind of non-medical abortionist…So remember…abortion, whether therapeutic or illegal, is in the main no longer dangerous, because it is being done well by physicians."

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/abortion/defending-life/if-abortion-is-made-illegal-women-will-die-in-back-alleys/

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  153. Children's rights are the same as adults', Alan. Children have the same right to be and stay alive as adults. You are claiming that children actually have fewer rights than adults when it comes to protection against willful killing. Do you think that is just?

    Aren't all human beings equal in dignity? Shouldn't they all be protected by law from willful killing by others?

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  154. Really? Your argument now is that even if abortions are illegal they can still be obtained? Did I read that correctly? And that is the same as you being forced to steal because of a gun to the head?

    So you're saying that prior to 1973, no abortions ever happened in this country? Really? You put a lot more faith in the power of this government than I do. But considering that the Bible speaks of it being sinful to end a life in the womb, I know that abortions have been around regardless of what the law says. The choice is always an option. You equate making a choice illegal as eliminating the choice. I'm simply pointing out that it does not, in fact eliminate that choice. It changes the consequences of that choice, but nothing can eliminate the choice itself.

    And being raped is not something that she did, it is something that was done to her. The choice is whether or not to kill her child or to carry the child to term. I"m sorry that she doesn't desire to be pregnant. She didn't desire to be raped either, but that doesn't change the fact that she WAS raped, and her desire to not be pregnant doesn't change the fact that she IS pregnant (in our hypothetical scenario; only about 1.5% abortions procured are done so for reasons of rape or incest). Saying that she now should have a choice to either kill her child (also an innocent victim of the rape) or carry the child to term is 1 naive to believe that will make her anything other than a woman her killed her own innocent child, and 2 is victimizing the innocent child for a second time.

    And please don't try to sell that "be chaste" business. I am entitled to love, to be loved in the same way you are. And I am entitled to have that love acknowledged by society and the government.

    First of all, congratulations that you're proud to be gay. And you're right I'm not gay. I'm straight, and I'm proud of that too. But since straight and gay are inherently different, then there is no possible way that you can "love" (I'm assuming you're referring to erotic love since you used the word chaste) and be "loved" in the same way I am. It is simply, physically, NOT possible.

    (cont)

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  155. But what I really want to address is the part I bolded, let me pull it out again. And I am entitled to have that love acknowledged by society and the government.

    And my question, Alan, is Why? Why are you entitled to have that love acknowledged by society and the government? I'm not entitled to that as a straight person. No where in the application for my marriage license did the government ask if we "loved" each other. The government isn't recognizing love by recognizing marriages. It's recognizing the easiest, most efficient, most cost-effect means of creating a stable family which thereby creates stable future generations, leading to a stable thriving society.

    In fact, I wouldn't want the government acknowledging the love I have my husband, because some days that love is more like a short fuse on a shipping container of TNT and other days it's much more... well... loving.

    But even more importantly, WHY do you want the government or society to acknowledge your love. What does that prove? Is it purely for the benefits of tax-breaks? Because I would just as soon see them eliminated for everyone. Not because I'm trying to be stingy, selfish, or greedy about it, but because those tax-breaks, and other marital norms, most of which can be procured with outside paperwork work such as living wills and other legal documents, are there for the purpose of stabilizing the family, in particular the children that come out of that union. If children are no longer the goal, which I realize they unfortunately haven't been for a while in practice, but if children are no longer the goal of marriage as enshrined by law, then there's absolutely no reason for the marital norms to exist.

    We don't need the government to grant us tax breaks or joint insurance, or the ability to make medical decisions because of some fickle and fleeting feeling of love or because we have the ability to pleasure one another's genitalia, or even because we practice the actual virtue of love - which means working for the good of another whether we feel like it or not. None of these things deserve the benefits and financial incentives that exist within the context of marital norms. And the funny thing is, they never have been why the marital norms were put into place.

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  156. I am also sorry that you find me telling you have dignity and self-worth simply because you exist as condescending.

    I find it condescending that you seem to assume that the baby that I"m currently 31 weeks pregnant with only has dignity and self-worth (and therefore the right to live) because I am capable and willing to object to him being killed. That the ONLY reason why I, my husband, my 5 children currently eating lunch, and my baby due in June have the right to keep on living is because someone, either us or someone else, has the ability and desire to object to our demise.

    That,in my mind, has a reached a level of thought that so exceeds the bounds of arrogance in it's attempt to have control over that which cannot be controlled (nature, biology, God, take your pick, I don't care) it ceases to be simply sad and pathetic and becomes malice and evil.

    (Sorry for channeling Faulkner there. ;) )

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  157. Alan, are you really saying that the only human beings who have a right to life are the ones who can speak to defend themselves, or who have someone nearby who loves them enough to defend them from being killed?

    If human beings don't have their own voice, or their own advocate, then they have no right to be alive? They lose their basic human rights? Human beings like that may be murdered at will with the blessing of the state?

    Could you really be saying this?

    Sounds a lot like the idea that people are only worth a damn if someone else "wants" them. That they are worth nothing in themselves. Should "wantedness" be the deciding factor in a person's right to be alive?

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  158. Alan:

    You say "I am entitled to love, to be loved in the same way you are. And I am entitled to have that love acknowledged by society and the government."

    Alan, I enjoy the very real and authentic love of many women and men. But none of the latter push their penis up my anus to express their fondness for me. So let's get this straight: the "love" you're after is not "in the same way" that the overwhelming majority of human beings are loved by their fellow humans - nor the overwhelming majority of married couples loved by their spouses. The type of love you're talking about is disordered - it's an aberration, a perversion, or simply sensual, mutually exploitative lust, mislabeled as "love". This type of "love" can, arguably, be applied across an entire range of relationships - including polygamy and bestiality.

    Secondly, since when and how do societies or governments "acknowledge love" (or any other sentiment, be it private or institutional), especially in statutory law? Can you name an example? Indeed, do current marriage laws - anywhere in the world - have anything to do with (or make reference to) "love" between the concerned individuals? So why should it be so for (naturally un-procreative) homosexuals only?

    Why don't you admit it - what you're really seeking is a societal "blessing" (given that civil unions already confer legal rights to homosexual "partners" in line with those of married couples) for a sentiment/lifestyle that is immoral and disordered - immoral and disordered for reasons already highlighted in this thread. What you are really seeking to do is mis(use) the strong arm of the law in a cynical endeavor to forcefully extract that blessing - against the good conscience and commonsense of the overwhelming majority of peoples of the world, from time immemorial. Your actions are no different from those of the pagan Romans who fed Christians to the lions for not acknowledging their emperors as gods. No, don't tell us that those who refuse to accept (and even worse, propagate) "gay marriage" as natural or legitimate won't be persecuted - indeed the persecutions have already begun. When you refer to the Constitution (as you do), don't selectively ignore some of its provisions - its guarantees in relation to protection of religious freedoms, for instance.

    Over the years I have had several friends who were/are gay, and cohabit with "partners". I can honestly say that none of them have ever expressed a desire (in my presence at least) to marry. Indeed, the majority of them have gravitated over time from "partner" to "partner" - statistics relating to the gay community actually bear out this very marked overall penchant for multiple/serial "partners". When I asked one gay friend recently why this current push for "gay marriage", he laughed out loud and responded "Just to get up your discriminating Christian nose!" I laughed with him, but he did cheerfully confirm what the vast majority of the thinking folk among us suspect - the whole thing is entirely political.

    Just about all of us secretly harbor some sentiment or desire that is disordered or unlawful (we Christians call it concupiscence) so you're no exception and we no superior to you, but all of us don't jump up and down for enabling laws to be framed (which you homosexuals already enjoy to an effective extent) to engineer an outcome of even superficial acceptability/respectability of such sentiments/desires.

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  159. Leila,
    "Alan, I am not equating your homosexuality to pedophilia"

    If you wish to classify them as the same then please feel free. Psychiatrist will tell you they are not. I'll go with a medical mind over mine.

    But it's the same as me seeing no differences between you catholics, muslims and the westboro baptist church. You all believe in the same god. What's the difference?

    And you think children have the same rights as adults?

    This will only lead to a disagreement about rights v privileges.

    But yes I think an embryo in a woman's body has fewer rights than she does.

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  160. Alan:

    You also say "What if we don't believe in natural law? There seems to be no such thing as universal natural law."

    Man, the entire universe runs on natural laws - every planet, star and constellation is governed by it! If you don't believe me, throw your heaviest casserole dish into the air and stand below it. You'll soon discover in convincing fashion at least one of them - what goes up, must come down. Like ridiculous "laws", for instance. No lie lasts forever; thankfully, Truth inevitably prevails in the end.

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  161. ok so now we reach the point where there are too many of you and only one of me.

    Yes I am aware that women could find abortions before they were legal. I am also aware that a great many of them died doing so.

    You are right, I should not have said have my love recognized. I forget you all don't believe in love. I'm sad love is not at the forefront of your marriages. I should have said my relationship (which thanks to the state of Massachusetts is a civil marriage). When you all do away with the civil part of your marriages then I will agree with you on it. But I highly doubt any of you have. I'd be willing to bet each of you has a license from the state in which you married.

    I am not looking for a religious marriage. Never have been, never will.

    Bethany, good luck with your new baby. I never said it lacked dignity or self worth.

    Leila, please stop reading what you want to read and read what I wrote.

    Francis, I'm glad that those who love you have not pushed their penis up your anus.
    Sadly I find both you and your gay friend to be ignorant in your belief that push for gay marriage is purely political. It's not why I got married to my husband (who as an fyi pushes nothing up my anus so lets stop this childishness about specific sex acts)
    But also you should realize that I have been told by many catholics that you are indeed free to push penises up female anuses as long as the act is completed in the vagina.

    And you wrote
    "When you refer to the Constitution (as you do), don't selectively ignore some of its provisions - its guarantees in relation to protection of religious freedoms, for instance."

    Where have I done that?

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    1. Please know that you are not alone, you have silent supporters. I wish I could take part in this discussion, I just don't have the time.

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    2. Hi Michelle! I agree, Alan has many supporters, and growing. Homosexual "marriage" has the support of pretty much the entire media and the zeitgeist. Most folks will continue to "progress" on sexual issues in this culture, but the problem is, there is no natural stop to sexual "progress.

      As atheist Sigmund Freud said, "The abandonment of the reproductive function is the common feature of all perversions. We actually describe a sexual activity as perverse if it has given up the aim of reproduction and pursues the attainment of pleasure as an aim independent of it. So, as you will see, the breach and turning point in the development of sexual life lies in becoming subordinate to the purpose of reproduction. Everything that happens before this turn of events and equally everything that disregards it and that aims solely at obtaining pleasure is given the uncomplimentary name of "perverse" and as such is proscribed."

      It's natural law, attainable by human reason. The problem with supporting homosexual acts is that it is in fact not loving. It is not loving to say that going against their own human dignity is a good thing for them. It is good to treat all folks with compassion and dignity, but not to endorse harmful activities. I can assure you that no one here wants anything but the very best for Alan, which is why we can never support a lifestyle that goes against his own nature, no matter how much he feels that he wants it.

      (Nor can we go along with the idea that some innocent human beings have less of a right to life itself than others. What could be more harmful to a human being than to kill it?)

      But you are right that Alan has a lot of supporters in his views, and I am sure that Alan knows that and that it's a comfort to him.

      Michelle, you are a science major. Do you think it is biologically ordered for the reproductive system to be used in the digestive tract? I would think anyone could see that, with the eyes of reason, as disordered of its very nature. How can it be good for people to go against the nature of the body?

      Glad to see you here, Michelle!

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  162. Francis
    Yes that is true. If you throw something up in the air it will indeed fall back down.
    That's natural.
    Can you explain how that pertains to marriage? Gravity has never changed. Marriage has.
    Some have said our culture is natural, yet there are so many different cultures, and we don't all follow the same cultures and beliefs, so how can they all be natural?

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  163. "But yes I think an embryo in a woman's body has fewer rights than she does."

    Alan:

    1. Do you believe that authentic human rights - and especially the right to life - are granted by God and not by man?

    2. Do you believe that a child developing/growing in a mother's womb is (regardless of the stage of its development) as much a child of God as its mother (or any other human being) is?

    3. If so, how can it have less of a right to life than anyone else? How does that work?

    Please, please, please don't do yourself (and us) the disservice of claiming that an embryo or fetus is not a living child. Even the most rabid pro-abortionists have completely abandoned that argument, what with modern medical technologies having soundly dismantled that silly old lie now.

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  164. Francis,
    What are "authentic human rights"?

    1. No.
    2. That child is as much a child of god as it is of the mothers if that is what the mother thinks.
    3. An embryo growing in it's mother cannot survive without the mother. So yes I believe that the mothers rights supersede those of the embryo.

    I will not say an embryo is a living child. But sorry there are, to me at least, distinctions in what living means.

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    1. sorry I meant I will not say an embryo is not a living child. I understand it is indeed alive.

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  165. Frank, this quote by Pope Paul VI speaks to both Genesis creation accounts, which cannot be artificially separated, as you have done earlier:

    Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the begetting and educating of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute very substantially to the welfare of their parents. The God Himself Who said, “it is not good for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18) and “Who made man from the beginning male and female” (Matt. 19:4), wishing to share with man a certain special participation in His own creative work, blessed male and female, saying: “Increase and multiply” (Gen. 1:28). Hence, while not making the other purposes of matrimony of less account, the true practice of conjugal love, and the whole meaning of the family life which results from it, have this aim: that the couple be ready with stout hearts to cooperate with the love of the Creator and the Savior. Who through them will enlarge and enrich His own family day by day.

    You did exegetically what folks do physically: Artificially separate two things that go together: Union of spouses and procreation. You have no authority to do so.

    I want to speak to you as a fellow Christian now, as secular folks don't believe in the Fall of man. But you've often brought up the issue of elderly folks getting married. They can get married as long as they can physically partake in the salient act of marriage (conjugal love). The reason old folks cannot have children is for the same reason that infertile couples cannot: The Fall. Defect, aging, decay, disease. All from the Fall. It is not because their sex acts are not ordered toward procreation. They can legitimately have the "union" part of marriage, with the "procreative" part being unlikely due to the effects of the Fall (like infertility). But their union is no less marriage simply because the Fall has allowed our bodies to have defects and decay. They are not withholding or distorting the marital act in any way, and they therefore have a right to enter into marriage.

    The reason that gay couples cannot have sex or have children? That has nothing to do with the Fall! It is rightly ordered that they not be able to do those things. In fact, if the Fall had never occurred, -- and all bodily systems still worked as designed and never were touched with disease or defect or aging or decay -- two men could still never, ever come together in the marital embrace, and they could still never, ever produce a child. Same with two women. The fact of their not producing a child is rightly ordered. It means all things are going right. It means that things are working correctly.

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  166. Alan,

    1. Sodomy (any copulation-like act, such as oral or anal sex) is a grave sin for Catholics. Any Catholic who tells you that it is okay (in any circumstances) is seriously un-catechized.

    2. Regarding the Constitution, you wrote "I have told you that the whole world is not catholic, and that the constitution of the United States indeed protects me from having to follow the rules of catholicism."

    What I was trying to point out is that the US Constitution also forbids the enactment of laws which impinge on the religious freedom of Americans - which "gay marriage" laws are starting to do by forcing Christians to act against their religious beliefs. By the way, it's quite mischievous to suggest that this debate is about forcing anyone to "follow the rules of Catholicism". It's much, much, much wider than that.

    3. You question how natural law relates to marriage. Why do you imagine then, that men are - by nature - anatomically different to women? What is the principal reason for the difference in their reproductive organs? Can you, as a man, be pregnant or suckle a baby? And since when have these things (including reproduction) become remote from or extraneous to the universal and prehistoric arrangement that is marriage?

    4. Authentic human rights? That's easy. They're the ones that are undeniably inherent to all human beings, have stood the test of centuries of time, and been regained (even at great cost) every time when lost. Quite unlike the unprecedentedly new, fabricated ones that are granted from time to time in history by magnanimous Caesars and American presidents at the behest of their campaign financiers, exploitative lobby groups and servile sycophants.

    5. "An embryo growing in it's mother cannot survive without the mother." Certainly not true in all cases - and increasingly less true as the child develops. So does a mother still retain the "right" to abort at or near full term? Or doesn't she? Does the growing child in her womb have an inviolable right to life by then?

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  167. Alan,

    Do tell us if you will, why you got "married" instead of just co-habiting with a male "partner" who you refer to as your "husband" (given that the law in MA now does). What did you hope to achieve by "marrying" him? Has that hope been fulfilled? This isn't a trick question - I'm sincerely trying to get into your head about this. Was it to have your homosexual love for him "recognized" and do you believe that sufficient numbers of people will do that in the world eventually?

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  168. Alan, you believe that we get our worth as humans based on what our mothers think of us?

    Just trying to clarify.

    I am a child of God if my mother says I am? But if she says I am not a child of God then I am not?

    Do you see anything unreasonable, arbitrary, or subjective about this view?

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  169. When the day comes that embryos can live and grow without a mother's womb, will that embryo have a right to life? Or will it still be disposable? When, if the day comes that the embryo does not need a mother's womb, will the human embryo be bestowed with human rights?

    I'm guessing you will say that society will get to vote to decide who has the right to live or be killed? Or a team of doctors or scientists?

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  170. I want to make one thing really, really clear in all this. We are talking about very sensitive things here, things that strike at the core of folks on both sides. People take things very personally, and there are many sensitivities in the human condition to consider.

    If you look up at my "Please Read First" link up top, you will see that on this blog, I consider us to be debating ideas and facts. On this blog, I live in my head. It is for thinking and hashing out ideas, and presenting objective, logical truths. The way I discuss things here is not how I would discuss things with a friend who is sitting in my living room. I would still never lie about what was true, of course. But I have a very personal affection for everyone on this blog (aside from the folks who were truly scary, or stalkerish). So, if Alan or Frank or Michelle or Johanne were in town, I would be thrilled to get together over a beer or a meal and enjoy time together. We are all sinners, every one. Every.single.one. And each human heart is searching for the same thing: Truth, Goodness, Beauty and Love.

    I pray everyone will come to know it in Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the Bridegroom that every heart longs for, and He is waiting for us to receive Him. But He is not a rapist, and He will never force belief in Him or His Church. I cannot force anyone to believe, either. My hope in this blog is to get people to think and reason and not base their ideas of what is true on emotion or sentiment. (Because we have way too much emotion in this culture, and not nearly enough thinking.)

    But sentiment has its place, and I just want you guys to know that I appreciate every one of you, truly. Thank you for being here!

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  171. Leila,

    Your question to Alan about whether it'll be societies or doctors or scientists who decide who has the right to live and who dies is moot really. Alan, for one, has already acknowledged that an embryo is a living child - he (so nonchalantly, shivers) admits to understanding that "it is indeed alive" - but nevertheless, and despite that fact, chooses to advocate for the right of another human being to kill it. What's even more chilling: he doesn't even hasten to stipulate any weighty conditions that might conceivably justify the murder. I actually applaud Alan's honesty - or naivete, given that a politically savvy Barack Obama or an ambitious, pro-abortion Hillary Clinton wouldn't, in all likelihood, be quite so expansive or forthright in their public admissions. You bet they'd use smooth weasel words to get around such controversial but essential questions.

    Yet this is precisely where this terrifying culture of death leads to - to the point where no one really has the inalienable right anymore even to life itself. This most basic of human rights becomes subjugated to the needs, whims, fancies, wants or conveniences of another (individual, singular). As Mother Teresa put it so eloquently: "If a mother can kill her own child - what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me - there is nothing between." Precisely. Let the berserk bloodbath proceed. Let the ghoulish genocide flourish. So let it be written by the courts and legislatures, so let it be done.

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  172. Francis

    1. Perhaps those that told me were merely christian as opposed to catholic.

    2. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Is this what you are referring to?


    3. I understand the natural workings of procreation. My question remains what does marriage have to do with procreation? Put another way procreation does not require marriage and marriage does not require procreation. So where is it naturally true that marriage and procreation are tied to each other?

    4. Question still not answered by you.

    5. True. And my opinion remains that when a baby can survive outside the womb abortions should not be allowed. But see I said my opinion.


    I married (the quotes are childish, I thought I was dealing with adults. Going forward I shall only mention "catholics" to you Francis) my husband because I love him. Marriage symbolizes a commitment to each other that should be stronger than mere cohabitation. It says to others that I can be committed to just one person. We have also created a family, his family thinks of me as one of them, mine thinks him one of us.

    There are also legal benefits that are protected by marriage. If we are building a life together, buying homes together and such we should be protected just like you. I should be able to visit him in the hospital when he is ill with no issues.

    And I didn't hope to acheive anything by marrying him. We have a wonderful life. Sure there are ups and downs, but at the end of the day I love him and he me. And we are there for each other and committed. Did we need to get married for that? No. But then neither do you.

    So now Francis the questions are to you.
    Why did you marry your spouse? That is of course assuming you are married.
    Were you a virgin when you married said spouse?
    Have you ever partaken in a practice of a sexual nature that the "catholic" church says is wrong.

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  173. no Leila, I believe we get our worth from the kind of person we are.

    It is not given to us by anyone other than ourselves.

    When the day comes that embryo's can live outside the womb we can discuss it. But I am not sure that would be anything less than intended.

    Rape creates unintended embryo's.

    Do you see the difference in the two?

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  174. Francis
    I advocate for the right of the mother to determine what is best for herself. Thats different than what you said.

    My friend passed away almost 3 weeks ago. She was in a coma for ten days during which time her sister, myself and her boyfriend were at the hospital around the clock. We maintained our hope until the last day when the doctors said they had done all they could and she could not be saved.
    The three of us discussed what was best to do.The tubes and wires were removed.Shortly there after she died.

    So I ask you who determined that she should die?
    The doctors?
    Science?
    The three of us?
    God?

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  175. Bethany, good luck with your new baby. I never said it lacked dignity or self worth.

    I appreciate that, Alan. I'm a little nervous at having 5 boys, 3 of which will be 3 and under. :)

    And I apologize in my haste if I made it seem like YOU were saying my baby lacked dignity and self-worth. I know you weren't.
    What I do object to is the supposition that the reason my baby has dignity and self worth is because I give him that.

    Dignity and self-worth are inherent tributes simply by virtue of existence. They are not afforded to a human being based on self-actualization, the desire of another human being to let live, or government recognition.

    The absolute TRUTH of the matter is, no matter how much we human beings try to control nature, we don't have nearly as much control over nature and biology, including our own bodies, as we think we do. And it doesn't come down to a matter of, "But we should so we need to keep abortion legal so that women can have that control over their bodies." No, we're human beings, we're part of nature and biology, God's creatures for the Christian reading this. We don't own nature, we don't biology and we don't control either one of them. The attempt to control it and then justify that control by attempting to claim that a human being, in the earliest stages of development, is somehow less worthy of the right to life, simply because the mother doesn't want it is ridiculous.

    Which is something else I want to address. You said that you believe that an embryo in a woman's body has fewer rights than the woman does. At what point in the stages of development does a human being gain the right to life? And ultimately, isn't whatever answer you give really an arbitrary answer?
    But even more than these questions, what you're basically saying is that an embryo in a woman's body has NO rights separate from the woman's wants. You're saying that the embryo, fetus, human being's rights, specifically, it's right to life, comes directly from it's mother.
    But as with dignity and self worth, rights don't come from self-actualization, another human being, or the government. Privileges, perhaps, protection of rights, to be sure, but there is absolutely no body here on this earth who is qualified or has the authority, to make the decision of who lives and who dies. That's a level of control of nature/biology that we simply don't have, and will never have.

    Now yes, I will admit to the obvious, that people take others lives all the time; in murder, in self-defense, accidentally, it happens on a regular basis. And yet, murder, the killing of an innocent human being, is reprimanded by the legal system, because we can't prevent people from acting on their wills and making choices, even illegal ones. But it is a punishable offense, because the job of the law is to protect the rights that inherent for every human being. NOT to assign rights based on who it or another human being deems worthy.

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  176. Alan, letting someone die naturally who is already in the dying process is one thing. Actively killing a person who is NOT dying is quite another. Wouldn't you say there is quite a distinction there?

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  177. This is just so true, I'm popping it in here just because:

    "The intrinsic dignity of every human being must be affirmed, but this is not realized by redefining marriage to mean simply the public recognition of certain emotional bonds among adults. Marriage is rooted in the natural reality that men and women are different, and thereby complementary, and that children deserve both a mother and a father. Respecting this truth benefits everyone." -- Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco

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  178. Marriage symbolizes a commitment to each other that should be stronger than mere cohabitation.

    Alan, this is a wonderful sentiment, but marriage is far from a symbol. But I'm here to tell you, the government doesn't give a flying rat's patootie whether you or I are in a committed relationship stronger than simply cohabitation. The care about one thing, building a strong, stable and flourishing society, built upon future generations of tax-payers. That's it. Nothing more. I'm not cynical about this, it's the freaking government for goodness sakes. They don't care whether or not I love my husband and they only care that our marriage is committed because that indissolubility affords our children a stable home environment, which greatly effects the children's ability to become productive members of society.

    And as for all of the benefits afforded by the government. They are in place specifically to protect, encourage, and grow the family, in particular protecting the children that come from the union of a married couple.

    You also happened to ask Francis, WHY he married his spouse. A fair question to be sure, except that the reasons WHY someone wants to get married, don't make the relationship a marriage.
    So WHY he married his spouse has no bearing on whether or not he IS in fact married.

    Which is why I object to your critique that we don't believe in love. On the contrary we believe in love so strongly that we realize that the government has and should have nothing to do with the love in our relationships. The love that exists in our marriages has nothing to do with our marriages being marriages. It has to do with our relationships being loving and happy, but it doesn't define our marriage as a marriage.

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  179. Rape creates unintended embryo's.

    Since science tells us that embryos are human beings, your sentence can also read, "Rape created unintended human beings." Yes, so does adultery, fornication, "unprotected sex", etc. Lots of unintended human being. Unintended but still intrinsically worthy. Intrinsically valuable. Every human being has intrinsic value. Period. We don't have to apply for the right to stay alive. We have human rights simply because we are human. The smallest human beings are not exempt from human rights.

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  180. "It is not given to us by anyone other than ourselves."

    So, if a gay teen thinks he's a piece of crap, then he is?? Of course not!! He is a human being with dignity! We get our dignity from the very fact of our humanity! We are made in the image and likeness of God, every one of us. No exceptions. We all have human dignity, human rights, and the right not to be willfully killed.

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  181. Alan, do you realize you just said that human beings who were intended have worth, but those who were unintended do not? Did you really mean that? So, those folks walking the earth (millions) who were "unintended" have no value? Or only began to have value when they gave it to themselves?

    And, what of the child who was conceived intentionally, but then aborted later when the mother changed her mind? Was that a murder, since the child was intended and then killed?

    And do you see how crazy this line of thinking is? Our worth is based on if someone else wants us, unless we can at some point start giving ourselves our own worth?

    So, an abandoned baby in a dumpster is unintended and unwanted and cannot give himself worth…. is that a person with human rights? Or just a piece of trash?

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  182. Thank you, Leila. I was thinking that myself. Dignity, self-worth, and human rights, beginning with the right life, do not come from the human being, nor from another human being, nor from group of people, a society, a culture or a government.

    Simply existence as a human being is what gives EVERY human being dignity, self-worth, and the right to life.

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  183. Alan,

    2. Yes
    3. States have gotten involved in marriage, legislating and regulating its conditions, principally to support and promote the welfare of the next generation – in other words, to facilitate the procreation of children, enhance their protection, and thereby, most importantly, to ensure the survival of the human species. As I keep pointing out, governments do not – in fact, have never and simply cannot - enact laws to legitimize (or, for that matter, deny) the sentiments of people &/or support/reward their sentiments for each other with benefits as they do in marriages. That is not the role of either the government or the law. Very genuine sentiments such as love and very solemn pledges of commitment (not just in marital relationships) exist in a plethora of situations and none of these are the business of government or the law. It is precisely because procreation is (both normally and potentially) such an integral part of marriage, that marriage becomes institutionalized in law.
    4. Would life, liberty, freedom (as opposed to licentiousness which it is so often mistaken for these days) and the pursuit of happiness help you to understand what I mean by “authentic rights”? Not – note – any “rights” which unjustifiably jeopardize or impinge on the rights and freedoms of others – such as withholding of the right of a child to a real male father and a real female mother.
    5. What is the difference (rights wise) between, say an 8 month old fetus in a womb, and a 7 moth old baby that has been born prematurely – i.e. has escaped the danger-laden womb of its mother? Have you ever considered that a woman carrying a child – note: “carrying a child” - might actually comprise of two individual bodies, each with their own set of inalienable rights? If not, then what prompted the laws (still prevalent) that if a pregnant woman is killed, the killer is charged with a double count of murder? Why would that be?
    6. You say of your “marriage”/”husband”: “And we are there for each other and committed. Did we need to get married for that? No.” You still haven/t answered my question as to why you did. Heterosexuals who are people of faith get married in a religious ceremony to seal a lifelong covenant of commitment and service to each other before their God. Heterosexuals who do not believe in any supernatural element to a marriage get married legally to avail of the benefits and protections of the state which were principally enacted for the welfare of their offspring – see point 3. The fact that such benefits and protections have now been extended to de-facto heterosexual couples as well is an extension of the same underlying rationale. In the case of same sex couples that logic cannot apply – as there is no chance of the couple reproducing.
    Here's a hypothetical, Alan. If, tomorrow, we ceased to refer to marriage societally, and instead supplanted that word, by, say, "matrimony" with its "narrow" set of connotations such as we are expounding here, and all people of faiths took up the refrain... you know what'd happen, don't you? You lot would start to jump up and down again demanding that we redefine what we meant by "matrimony". You're chasing after shadows, buddy - you'll never receive the universal blessing/recognition you're seeking for an intrinsically disordered lifestyle. Why? Because we're mean, bigoted, uncharitable so-and-so's? Not at all. Because some things are simply what they are and most folks have the eyes to see.



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  184. I've missed so much of this discussion but wanted to respond to Alan's response to me.

    "You think (and yes it's what you think, not what is known) that a stable two parent home with parents of the same sex the children will not grow up well. I see it differently."

    But Alan, you are willing to experiment on children in a way that has never been done in thousands and thousands of years. I think there is plenty of research that shows that children grow up with fewer problems when they grow up in homes with their married parents. That does not mean that every child from such a home grows up well. It does not mean that no children from other homes will grow up well. It means that you can acknowledge the reality that children have a greater risk of suffering from the lack of that kind of home. You cannot point to bodies of research, or even common sense, that says that having both a mother and father is not relevant for children. I realize that there is a relatively small amount of research in the area of same-sex parenting that has reached contradictory conclusions about the children who experience such parenting. I am reading you, Alan, to say that as far as you are concerned, such kids are fine. But you are not one of those children. We would also have to ignore the complications and injustice to the children who are conceived in all kinds of ways, ways that you have indicated in the past that you do not have a problem with. From gay women using donor sperm to gay men using a woman's body to gestate a child that may or may not be biologically hers, we are setting up complicated issues for children and I don't see why you are so quick to say, "Oh, they are fine as far as I'm concerned." We are seeing the problems that come from such arrangements, with California, for example, being ready to put more than two lines on birth certificates to name the parents of the child. It opens up a Pandora's box for children, and I guess we can leave it that that is ok with you. Never mind you are not one of those children yourself, but you will make the call for them, that it is all ok. I'm not ok with that, and I have no agenda for myself personally, but for children.


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  185. Fill in the blanks.

    Buxom lady to 5 year old drawing Superman: "Hey, boy, guess what! I'm going to be your daddy from here on!"

    5 year old: _________

    Hairy chested man to 5 year old dressing her Barbie doll: "Hey, young lady, guess what! I'm going to be your mommy from here on!"

    5 year old: _________

    There you have it. Wisdom (albeit, whoops, candidly expressed!) from the mouth of clear thinking, uncorrupted babes. Not above their pay grade at all!

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  186. Liela

    I appreciate every one of you, truly. Thank you for being here!

    Thank you. I appreciate you too.

    And I can't participate in this discussion anymore which constantly ignores the needs of a raped woman and refers to bone-crushing trauma as "whims, fancies, wants or conveniences"

    Just too painful.

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  187. Johanne, no one is ignoring the needs of raped women. We just disagree that a raped woman "needs" to violate the rights of an innocent child.

    Killing an innocent child, who is ALSO a victim in that situation, just compounds the tragedy. It doesn't reverse the rape or take away the mother's pain. It doesn't punish the rapist or bring justice to the mother.

    It just means that an innocent child had to die, and be deprived of his/her right to life, based on circumstances that weren't his/her fault in the slightest.

    Do you think that is just?

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  188. ok a few things.
    1. Michelle, thank you.

    2. My beliefs are mine, as I try to explain them I don't expect them to be belittled by you. I try my best not to do that to you.

    3. Our worth is not given to us by god. If a gay teen feels like a piece of crap it is generally due to attitudes like yours. Whether you feel it or not your words are damaging to a gay teen (or anyone who you point them towards) who is trying to figure out how to belong. Words like deviant and disordered are confusing and, like it or not, hateful.

    4.Leila, keep in mind when one is raped and impregnated that is completely different than anything else you mentioned. When one is raped one is not giving consent. JoAnna you are putting the rights of that embryo above that of the mother. That's just wrong to some of us.


    5. Capitalizing a word does not make it a truth. Putting a word in quotes does not make it false or impossible.

    6. Francis if you have graduated high school I will be totally suprised. Don't care if thats insulting or not, but your comments about penis in anus and man saying I am your mommy and woman saying I am your daddy just show your ignorance. Grow up.

    Sorry if I missed any of your responses, but as I have said there is one of me and many of you.

    I have been direct and honest about what I believe. I have attempted to show how and why I think what I think. You don't agree.

    What do we do now.

    Trust me I know that I have dignity. I know that human life has self worth. But as I will assume most of you are catholic (note not in quotes) I will tell you that your rules are your rules and I am not catholic, and the US does not require me to live by your rules.

    You can disagree with what I think and feel. I'm ok with that. Just stop saying I'm saying things I am not, and please stop assigning your thoughts to them.

    For now, I'm done.

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  189. Reasons given for having abortions in the US:

    1.http://women.webmd.com/tc/abortion-reasons-women-choose-abortion

    2.http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/abreasons.html

    Nothing like a slice of cold hard independent statistics to correct the mischievous hijacking of a broad and principled argument towards one single circumstance (that everyone agrees is exceptionally tragic), with some participants ducking behind it to cry foul and "painful" to all else. Seems 1% is a compelling statistic, while 50,000,000 murdered Americans are of little or no account. Fine logic, that. The babies stabbed and torn apart limb by living limb from their mothers' wombs feel no "pain", we must presume. Ugh! The hypocrisy, par excellence!

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  190. "JoAnna you are putting the rights of that embryo above that of the mother."

    No, Alan. I'm saying that a woman and her unborn child are both human beings with EQUAL rights.

    I don't have the right to kill an innocent human being regardless of the circumstances involved. If I was raped and became pregnant, lived in denial of the pregnancy, for nine months, and ended up killing my newborn immediately after his birth, would that be okay with you? If not, why not? Why is it okay to kill a child when he is an embryo, but not when he is a newborn? Or at 36 weeks gestation? What is the difference?

    Here is something you may want to ask yourself. Why do you keep dehumanizing the unborn child by calling him/her an embryo? Does referring to a baby using the clinical term for a specific stage of his/her human development help you stomach the fact that you are advocating for the death of an innocent human being?

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  191. Alan, the idea that each human being is innately valuable and may not be killed is not merely a Catholic idea. It's a universal one. There is truth. We need to be seekers of truth and we need to receive it and embrace it when we find it. We are not the arbiters of truth.

    No one will ever answer this, but when teens like this (below) feel like crap, should we affirm them? Is it hateful to say, "You should not act on your feelings"?

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

    I'm seriously asking. Is it hateful to say, "This is wrong. I am sorry you have these feelings, but it's simply not good for you to act upon them."

    Is that hateful? Must we not say it if it makes these people feel bad?

    PS: Alan, you were the one who said that people give themselves worth, which is why I was asking about someone who may not themselves feel worthy. Does it mean that person has no worth? Of course not.

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  192. Homosexuality and the Catholic Church:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crfAsWacA-w (3 mins 42 sec)

    Exactly the point, so frequently falsified by prevailing propaganda.

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  193. ok I said I was done, but I'm not very good at that.

    JoAnna. Why do you keep insisting on using the terms killing an innocent and murder instead of the word abort?

    I'm not dehumanizing anything. I'm using a medical term. Leila prefers emotion not be used in the discussions. Read her comments about having too much emotion in this world. So I use a medical term. Murder, killing those are emotional terms that you use for abortion to show your outrage.

    I know you will disagree, but what can I do.

    Oh yeah for the record (and if you read what I write) i have acknowledged that an embryo is a human baby.

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  194. Leila
    the whole world does not believe in god. And frankly when I read so much of what many people here have to say I indeed start to question the existence of god.

    So no, I don't think we get our worth from god. Perhaps we get it simply from being born, and then it's up to us to "use it or lose it"

    Did Hilter have worth? Jeffrey Dahmer? Matthew Shepard?

    We need to find in ourselves our sense of worth. Yours comes from you religion. I don't rightly know where mine came from, but I definitely know I have worth and value. I just don't know that I think all people do, especially bad people.

    Those bad people include those who will take a young confused teenage homosexual and belittle them into thinking those feelings are wrong.

    As for your continued comparison (and keep saying you are not comparing them, but you are Blanche, you are) to an attraction to animals, please for the love of your god stop. Gay rights are about human rights. When you can get your goat to consent then we can talk.

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