Friday, April 26, 2013

Quick Takes: About that slippery slope...

Yikes, as I go to hit "publish", I realize that this is a terribly depressing Quick Takes! You might want to skip this one if you are having a bad day. (Although you shouldn't miss #6 and #7!)





1)  Sexual "progressives" have no natural stop, no identifiable point at which sexual "progress" is complete. Despite this fact, we are told that there is surely no slippery slope leading from gay "marriage" to the acceptance of other types of disordered sexual relationships. Yet amidst these denials, other minority sexual orientations are busy walking the legal and social trail that's been blazed for them by gay activists:

Consider three articles that I ran into on the same day.

First, Slate runs a serious plea for the acceptance of polygamous marriage:


(Polygamy, by the way, is more naturally ordered than any gay sexual pairing; I'm not sure why gay unions are embraced while polygamous marriages are vilified? I think polygamy stands a good chance of winning approval, eventually, especially if folks are serious about "marriage equality for all". I mean, why not?)

Next, German proponents of bestiality protest a law that they claim discriminates against zoophiles:


The zoophiles claim that they are "born with" their sexual orientation and that their sexual expression should be seen as normal, acceptable behavior that can be exercised responsibly. These particular zoophiles are advocating in progressive Europe, but American zoophiles are looking to follow the course that gay "marriage" proponents have taken here in the United States.

The third article opens a path for human/animal "marriage" someday, the way I see it. Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer is to be featured at a Yale conference promoting -- I kid you not -- "non-human personhood":


Hey, if animals can be declared persons (a designation denied human beings in the womb), then couldn't (and shouldn't) marriage rights follow? After all, Peter Singer and others see some forms of bestiality as a positive good, and we are told that it is much more common than we know (I believe that). Yale recently held a conference at which students were taught to be more sensitive to "sexual diversity", including sex with animals.

As to pedophilia, we've talked about the ripening conditions for its acceptance here, and pedophile advocacy groups continue to operate both here in American and in progressive nations

If it all seems too far-fetched, just remember that gay "marriage" used to be unthinkable -- even a few years ago. I actually hope we slip down the slope quickly enough to shock all the boiling frogs and snap us back to reality. Nothing is inevitable, and any society can right itself again if it chooses.


2) This is one of the saddest stories I've ever read, and we as a nation are guilty:


This is the very situation -- leaving babies who survive abortion to die without medical care -- that Barack Obama voted more than once to legally allow. Oh, to hear one Obama supporter, or one abortion supporter, denounce Obama's votes as evil. And today comes word that as Obama stood before an adoring Planned Parenthood crowd, he invoked God's blessing upon them. The bloody, broken bodies of the millions of God's children Planned Parenthood has killed were the proverbial elephant in the room.

And the irony of invoking God's blessing continues: Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, established her organization under the motto of "no gods, no masters". So, exactly which god should bless PP's work?

Interesting that Obama never once used the word "abortion" in his fawning speech to the nation's largest abortion provider.

Yeah, I'm rambling, but since we are talking about the evils of Planned Parenthood, how's this:


The leftist New York Times and Washington Post rejected this ad as being "too graphic" and "shocking" for their adult readers, yet Planned Parenthood endorses these materials for children as young as ten years old. Why are we giving hundreds of millions of dollars a year in taxpayer money to this corrupt and violent organization that sexualizes our kids, and why is our president its biggest champion?


3) Logic, logic, logic:


It is not hard to understand. It is not "complex". It is simple truth.

There are not different degrees of humanity. Either we are all human, or none of us is. And no one member of the human family gets to determine the humanity of any other member of the human family. Not allowed.


4) Oh, my goodness. I had no idea until today:

As dozens of victims were sprawled across Boylston Street, many of them in danger of death, Catholic priests came running to the scene—and were turned away. 
Doctors and nurses were welcome at the bombing scene. Firefighters and police officers were welcome. But Catholic priests, who might have offered the solace of the sacraments, were not.
... 
Jennifer Graham captures the problem well: 
"But it is a poignant irony that Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy who died on Boylston Street, was a Catholic who had received his first Communion just last year. As Martin lay dying, priests were only yards away, beyond the police tape, unable to reach him to administer last rites…" 

Where are we? What have we become?


5) Some more interesting reading I've done this week:



(Hat tip to Dr. Stacy!)

Giving the Addict His Due
(This really convicted me!)

And, finally, perhaps the most disturbing and inspiring thing I have seen in a while:



6) I have been meaning for so long to tell you about my friend Marcus Daly, who is a master craftsman, a devout Catholic, and owner of Marian Caskets, a family company which has so incredibly impressed me! Marcus and his wife Kelly live a life of beautiful simplicity with their six children on Vashon Island, WA, and his handcrafted natural wood caskets, inspired by the life and death of Pope John Paul II, are carved with the prayers of the Divine Mercy and inlaid with a Marian Cross. Truly awesome!




I never thought that caskets could bring supernatural comfort, but these do. Check them out.

Oh, and a bonus! Because of the family's commitment to the sacredness of life, a portion of all proceeds goes toward the purchase of ultrasound machines for pregnancy care centers, "so that pregnant women in crisis can make informed choices about the futures of their babies".


7) Won't someone go and scoop up Justin and take him home forever? He has been waiting so long. And his grant just jumped by several thousand dollars, all of which can be used toward the cost of his adoption. I know a very special advocate who would be thrilled to work with any family who commits to bring him home. ;)

Justin as an infant
Getting to be a big boy!

Click here for more info on this precious little guy!


Thank you, wonderful Jen, for hosting!

And next time I will try to be more upbeat! :) :)


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185 comments:

  1. There is MUCH to pray for in our country and world these days...Jesus we trust in you!

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  2. The words "slippery slope" came to mind when I was reading your Going Green post just a bit ago. Some people are just going to keep denying the slope, even as they hit the water at the bottom of the slope and their heads start to go under. Pray, pray, pray.... what else can you do?

    Want some super-good news? I read your story about a little boy named Darren on the Orphan Report. He captured my heart and I couldn't stand the thought of him being transferred to an adult facility at the age of 5. I contacted Reece's Rainbow to see if he still needed a prayer warrior and he did, so here I am! A couple of weeks ago I checked the website and everything was the same, but I lit a big candle at the beautiful basilica near our home and asked for the intercession of Fr. Baker, the priest who built the basilica and ran a well-known orphanage. Well don't hesitate to ask Fr. Baker for his help for those kids, because when I checked Darren's page last week it said that his family found him!!! YAY!!!! I am hoping the family has a public blog so I can see how things are going, but if not I"ll just keep those prayers coming. God bless Darren and his forever family!

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  3. Hey if we are going to slide, I hope we slide FAST!! As you said , it is the only way people are going to see, live and know the consequence of evil. As with kids, I don't want a big Owie just enough to realize the danger and then stay clear from it.

    What is scary is people are forgetting and denying that God is the source of Goodness. We now think we can be good on our own. That is what is the scariest about humanists. Because of the terrible sin that happened in the Catholic Church, they seem to think they can be more loving, more just, more caring without God. And yet to actually love as God loves is a grace. I keep thinking of a quote "The only reason people are nice to each other is because they have everything they need." Take away security, food and shelter and things change. And yet it is in these times of crises that we can then see God's grace, God's love and we can allow God to work through us. It actually requires a supernatural love and trust to continue to love, forgive and help those around us when we have nothing.

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  4. "The only reason people are nice to each other is because they have everything they need." Take away security, food and shelter and things change.

    Chantal, so scary but so TRUE! And when people begin to cannibalize each other, you have the St. Maximilian Kolbes and Edith Steins and JPII's of the world to shine with God's grace as the light in a dark world. That is exactly why we must be about the business of holiness these days. Because darker days may be coming.

    Patty, amen! Sharon, WOW! I am so happy!

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  5. I never thought I would say this about a casket, but, I want one of those! Not any time soon though. When it's my time. :-)

    (No rush, God!)

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  6. Becky LOL! I did notice the "pre-planning" option and I'd consider that, but not til the house is painted, plumbing repaired, driveway replaced... Guess that means I will have to hang on a lot longer so I can have the funds for my casket! :) Seriously, they are so nice, and it is a beautiful, comforting message for family and friends to see at such a hard time.

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  7. Hi everyone!

    1) As someone who's marched for and is very active in the fight for marriage equality...I never really said that there isn't a slippery slope -- because I hope there is! A slippery slope towards greater equality would be great! Non-monogamous couples are not hurting anyone (intrinsically) with their relationships. The only issue I see with them is the absolute headache that would result from taxes an inheritance modifications. But that's just laziness, I'm sure we could figure it out.

    As for beastiality and zoophilia, I have the same primal rejection of that idea you do, but I must admit they have a logical point. If this country endorses animal mistreatment like the horrors of factory farming...then we have no moral standing to argue against zoophilia from moral right. The solution should be treating animals better, not legalizing zoophilia though.

    As a side note though, pedophilia and zoophilia will always remain entirely seperate issues from homosexuality and polygamy, simply because the two former issues contain people and things who cannot consent, and who can't even understand what consent is.

    2) I can't imagine voting against requiring abortion survivors born alive (who are now under the protection of the state) from receiving medical care. Abhorrent, but all politicians support something abhorrent.

    4) I was there (well, 1 mile away from the finish, taking pictures, and I was leaving as it happened). It was a scene of mass confusion. People didn't know what happened, why people were being diverted, who was to blame, etc. The only people they let through were first responders and security, and rightly so. While I'm sure as Catholics it would be conforming to have your sacraments performed, it was just too much of a security risk a the time.

    As a side note, I hope this isn't implying that priests perform sacraments on non-Catholics. If I had been taking pictures at the finish instead, and I woke up, I'd be *highly* annoyed to find out I had religious sacraments performed on me without my approval.

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    1. What about equal rights for all? Many relationships, other than marriages, have tremendous personal significance to those involved. The fact that we do not call them marriages is not evidence of bigotry, but recognition of reality. Procreation is the rational basis for secular marriage.

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  8. forthewar - we already have marriage equality. One unencumbered, consenting adult, whether heterosexual or homosexual, may marry one other unencumbered consenting adult of the opposite sex, whether heterosexual or homosexual.

    How is that unequal?

    Why should the government have any interest whatsoever in sanctioning the sexual relationships of its citizens?

    Why would you be offended by religious sacraments being performed on you? If they are meaningless, as you believe, what is the harm?

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  9. Ben and JoAnna

    Since this is related to both of you...

    That is part of the concern. Two friends who do not have a romantic relationship (therefore have no plans to procreate), or a couple who have no desire to be together forever can get married. As well as a lot of creepy parings. The only rule seems to be a man and a women who are not currently married or related to each other (don't laugh, but I actually looked it up for NJ).

    However, two women who have been together for seven years, and raised a little girl name Jessie can't get married. Even if they stay together until death, they cannot get married in many states.

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    1. Do you think the way humans procreate and marriage defined as ONE man and ONE woman is some sort of bizarre coincidence? So what about infertile couples or couples who do not want children? This question brings a new debate. The debate becomes, should marriage be defined as any man and any woman or only a man and woman willing & able to have children. The question in no way logically justifies SSM.

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  10. "While I'm sure as Catholics it would be conforming to have your sacraments performed, it was just too much of a security risk a the time."

    Security risks? What do you call it when a Catholic priest is on a battle field trying to perform last rites on soldiers gravely injured while bullets are flying all around? This is part of their vocation. They know the risks involved and are willing to risk their own life for the sake of others. Priests risk their lives in many areas of the world for their flocks and sometimes brutally murdered in the process. There was NO security risk to give the Sacrament to those injured, not anymore than allowing bystanders to administer first aid to the same.

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  11. "What about equal rights for all? Many relationships, other than marriages, have tremendous personal significance to those involved. The fact that we do not call them marriages is not evidence of bigotry, but recognition of reality."

    Those relationships aren't marriages generally because those relationships aren't ones you want to involve the state in (unless there are, in which case I hope you are one day legally allowed to do so, granting that all people involved are of legal age and consenting). Marriage has a specific context and meaning. Even without government recognition gay people would still be calling their relationships marriages, because that's what we think of when we think of committed relationships.

    "Procreation is the rational basis for secular marriage."

    Unfortunately, I am going to have to strongly disagree here.

    "we already have marriage equality. One unencumbered, consenting adult, whether heterosexual or homosexual, may marry one other unencumbered consenting adult of the opposite sex, whether heterosexual or homosexual."

    I know Catholics are probably sick of hearing this and are probably going to groan, but:

    We already have marriage equality. One unencumbered, consenting same race adult, whether white or black, may marry one other unencumbered consenting same race consenting adult, whether they are white or black.

    Now, I understand you may howl at the idea of equivocating the two, but that's not my point. My point is that statement always struck me as meaningless. You're just describing the current status quo, not an argument about equality. The statement you just made could be just as easily transformed into what I wrote and sent back into time to 1965 and be infuriating to hear as an interracial couple. Can you see why that response is not satisfactory to homosexuals? I'm not asking for you to agree, simply for you to understand where they and I am coming from.

    "Why would you be offended by religious sacraments being performed on you? If they are meaningless, as you believe, what is the harm?"

    Well a) If I was out cold and couldn't give/take permission, I'd be annoyed they either assumed I was a member of their religion or because they don't respect other worldviews enough not to do things without knowing whether or not the person approved. If b) I was gravely injured and awake and told them to leave me alone and they did it anyway, I'd be annoyed someone is not listening to me and my wishes, as anyone would be. It's the principle of the thing. The act may or may not mean anything.

    "Security risks? What do you call it when a Catholic priest is on a battle field trying to perform last rites on soldiers gravely injured while bullets are flying all around? This is part of their vocation. They know the risks involved and are willing to risk their own life for the sake of others. Priests risk their lives in many areas of the world for their flocks and sometimes brutally murdered in the process. There was NO security risk to give the Sacrament to those injured, not anymore than allowing bystanders to administer first aid to the same."

    It's not the risks the priests face; they are brave and some of the best humanity has to offer, it's just that in a scene of confusion like that, the police and security shouldn't let ANYONE in until they have a handle on the scope and have control of the situation. Doing anything else is risking danger to those within the area. I know priests are unlikely to be dangerous, but you can never be too careful.

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    1. You disagree that procreation is the rational basis for secular marriage.

      Step back from a narrow view of marriage and see the big picture. Why is the government in the marriage business at all? Do you have a lifelong best friend? Why doesn’t the government provide a “Best Friends” license? Does the government really care who you “love” or don’t “love”? If humans reproduced asexually, would we have secular marriage?

      A procreative union is unique; it’s unlike ANY other human relationship. This is why government gets involved. This is why the State should give incentive for it, recognize it and treat it as unique. It’s the very building block and the very future of a society. This is why SSM is unintelligible, even with no religion involved.

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    2. Ben
      My life long best friend was a woman, I am a man. So I could have married her. Funny though we both understood the difference between our love for each other and the love we had for our husbands. We understood that the relationship was different.
      Why don't you see that?

      And perhaps you are missing the point. You are ok with two opposite sex persons marrying and adopting yes? So they didn't procreate, yet you say the government should still incentivize it? Why?

      Marriages do not have to be procreative as long as they are male and female. Why is ssm different in that respect? And spare me the "biology" as we know many infertile people still are allowed to marry, and there is no govt requirement that couples procreate or even have sexual relations.

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  12. forthewar said: "As for beastiality and zoophilia, I have the same primal rejection of that idea you do, but I must admit they have a logical point."

    Thank you! Yes, it makes sense that if gay "marriage" can exist, then so can any other sexual pairings based on whatever sexual orientation folks were "born with".

    "The solution should be treating animals better, not legalizing zoophilia though."

    Zoophiles think that loving animals and giving them sexual pleasure is treating them very, very well.

    Chelsea, marriage has always assumed consummation, as a given. That is why a male and female are allowed to marry. And that is why the civil authorities will annul a marriage for non-consummation. (Annul meaning the marriage never existed, which is different from a divorce.)

    Chelsea, what is your definition of marriage? If it's always been inherently heterosexual and conjugal in nature, can we just redefine words at will to mean something they never have, especially if the thing we are redefining is considered the basic building block of human society? Or should we be more careful?



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  13. Marcus Daly, who makes the beautiful Marian Caskets, could not get his comment to post, but he asked me to post this:

    The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

    Amen, Marcus!

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  14. "Thank you! Yes, it makes sense that if gay "marriage" can exist, then so can any other sexual pairings based on whatever sexual orientation folks were "born with". "

    No!

    Haha, that wasn't what I was saying at all! Zoophiliacs (or whatever you call them...) have a point because of how we treat animals in this society -- not just as non-persons with no rights, but truly, and objectively horrifically. Not to get all PETA on you guys, but we cut beaks off of birds, throw baby animals in grinders, leave pigs in pens for months where they don't have the ability to even turn around, legally...all for a good value cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets.

    While we all have the same basal revulsion to human-non human animal relations, the point is, how much further *morally* is it really going to allow sexual abuses of animals, when we already allow all those other horrific things? That's the point I think the zoophiliacs make. So my solution is simply ending the abuses of farms...then we have a moral leg to stand on when we say "You can't have sexual relations with animals because it is cruel to them..."

    I can't comment on whether zoophiliacs are born with their orientation or not, homosexuals likely are. Either way, the practice of the orientations aren't comparable morally; in one (homosexuality) everybody can consent and can communicate they are willing, and in the other that is impossible. This is the same reason comparing pedophilia and homosexuality morally is incorrect.

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  15. I have a question that's been bugging me I will ask it, I hope you don't mind...

    I can understand being opposed religiously to homosexuals being married, as you have the Sacrament of Matrimony, which has rules and everything. That's a deal breaker. And I can understand being touchy about the word marriage, even though I don't believe it belongs to anyone and has a number of different meanings. What I don't understand is what I truly ( please don't take offense to this) consider to be callousness.

    The question: Are you opposed to gay people getting the secular rights afforded by secular marriage just in general? Remove the context of the marriage debate and everything else about rights and whatnot. I really, and truly do not understand how anyone can be against granting the right to make sure your loved one can visit you in the hospital and make medical decisions for you; inherit the things you worked together for in a lifetime, provide insurance for one another to protect each other, etc.

    Is this about the word marriage or is this also about denying committed homosexual couples those rights as well? I could understand the former, but if its the latter...I truly could not understand that.

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  16. What if the dog is wagging his tail everytime his husband comes back for more?

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  17. forthewar, you said:

    That's the point I think the zoophiliacs make.

    Just to clarify, you don't think they are making that point themselves, right? Because they actually don't think it's cruel at all to "love" and sexually give pleasure to animals. They would say that the animals consent, by the way (at least many of them claim so). Can you be sure that the animals they love are not enjoying the encounters? (I can't believe we are even talking about this. Makes me sort of ill, but frankly, that is their claim, and I can't say that there is actual pain or cruelty in what happens, at least for some of them (have you read the links?). Some people do cruelly rape animals, but not these folks, apparently…. they truly "love" the animals, and while I am sickened by the thought, I actually believe that they do care for these animals, in a very twisted and disordered way.

    Question: Is consent the sole criterion of the good?

    Also, no one I know would deny the right of any human being to give another person power of attorney, or have a loved one visit in the hospital, etc. All those things can be addressed/remedied without a usurpation of the word "marriage". Unfortunately, "civil unions", which could have done this, did not satisfy the gay community (and civil unions still infringed upon freedom of religion despite promises to the contrary [see my post here: http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/08/catholics-your-misguided-compassion.html ]).

    "Marriage" is the word and status that the gay rights movement has set its sights on.

    Sorry, this is not in order, but just FYI, both zoophiles and pedophiles are adamant that they are born that way (or "God made me this way" for those who believe in God). The "born this way" argument is used by gay rights folks to show that their attractions are not disordered and their acting on those attractions is a good thing, not deviant at all. So, it's not even the "consent" issue that gay rights activists use, it's the "I was born this way, so it cannot be wrong" argument that is used. That is the same argument the other groups use, too, and I am hard-pressed to understand why they shouldn't.

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  18. I already commented but I just saw this, which I didn't see before:

    "But it is a poignant irony that Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy who died on Boylston Street, was a Catholic who had received his first Communion just last year. As Martin lay dying, priests were only yards away, beyond the police tape, unable to reach him to administer last rites…"

    As a mother and a Catholic, this is really upsetting to me. I can't imagine how devastating this must have been to Martin's parents that priests were not allowed in, even if it was for security reasons.

    In a blog that I read that also posted about this, a commenter (a priest himself) brings up a good point that police and fire departments have their own chaplains/priests for disasters like this, which is why priests were allowed in at 9/11. However a commenter states:

    "I think with Obamacare, we cannot expect hospital chaplains in the future, if Catholic hospitals close down or give the hospitals to secular boards." Which a good yet scary point.

    http://supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com/2013/04/priests-were-not-allowed-to-give-last.html

    So what happens when we lay dying in our own hospital room and there is no priest allowed to respond even when there is no security threat?

    I think my Dad had it right--better to die at home. I rather go without the security of IVs and pain medication than go without the Sacraments.

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  19. "Just to clarify, you don't think they are making that point themselves, right? Because they actually don't think it's cruel at all to "love" and sexually give pleasure to animals. They would say that the animals consent, by the way (at least many of them claim so). Can you be sure that the animals they love are not enjoying the encounters?"

    Perhaps the animals are. I can't really comment because thankfully I'm not an expert. Either way, there is no definitive way to compare bestiality to homosexuality because a human can say "Yes, I absolutely, 100% want to have sex with you, and animals can't."

    But our banning of bestiality doesn't make logical sense from the way we treat animals, whether they make that point or not. It's an uncomfortable truth. If we treat animals as property, why should it be illegal to "love" one? That's not advocating legalizing bestiality, I just see inconsistency.

    "Question: Is consent the sole criterion of the good?"

    No. But in a free society, it should be the sole criterion of *legality*, perhaps barring acts that carry extreme risk of harm (and I'm not even convinced of this, really). Homosexuality doesn't fit that bill at all. You should be allowed to eat all the junk food you want if you consent to it, but it sure isn't good to you.

    I had this discussion with my roommate once. Now that I understand a little more of the intellectual argument behind Catholic opposition to marriage equality, I can firmly say I don't think it has a legal leg to stand on. Because even if I believed Natural Law was the proper way to behave in society, and it was "good" to "ordered" in a certain way (which I don't), I'd *still* be for marriage equality, because American society if nothing else would give you the right to live completely "disordered" if you so wish, as long as your actions were not directly harming others.

    "Also, no one I know would deny the right of any human being to give another person power of attorney, or have a loved one visit in the hospital, etc. All those things can be addressed/remedied without a usurpation of the word "marriage". Unfortunately, "civil unions", which could have done this, did not satisfy the gay community (and civil unions still infringed upon freedom of religion despite promises to the contrary"

    Glad to hear that. Really, I truly am.

    People don't want "civil unions" though. They want marriages, as you alluded to. Can you not imagine why? A separate name smacks of "separate-but-equalism". In fact, it doesn't just smack of it, the same thing that happened with segregation is happening again. Separate but equal will always degenerate into inequality if it is a compromise. In my home state, NJ, the government concluded the civil unions are *not* equivalent to marriage, because they face hassles at every turn. If you're civil unionized but not married, expect a fight from insurance companies to put your "spouse" on your coverage. Expect fights when it comes to custody rights where there shouldn't be any (does anyone remember those Mennonites who wouldn't let the gay partner execute her custody arrangement). I even *just* read an article about how a gay man with power of attorney was thrown out of his loved ones hospital room because the family didn't approve of the gay lifestyle. Did he have the right to be there? Absolutely. Can he sue and be compensated? Sure? But that's a hollow victory when you can't be there for your dying loved one.

    Wow, I wrote a lot. Sorry, I'm pretty passionate about this. Like I said I'm pretty active in the movement in my spare time.

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  20. "Sorry, this is not in order, but just FYI, both zoophiles and pedophiles are adamant that they are born that way (or "God made me this way" for those who believe in God). The "born this way" argument is used by gay rights folks to show that their attractions are not disordered and their acting on those attractions is a good thing, not deviant at all."

    I think that's generally an attempt at trying to end bigotry, which is a very real issue against gay people. "Look, I can't help who I am, please stop bullying me." That's an entirely separate issue from the difference in morality. Pedophiles could absolutely be "born that way" and all that would mean is we should stop torturing pedophiles for who they are, not that we should allow them to express themselves sexually, because they can't morally -- unlike homosexuals.

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  21. "I think that's generally an attempt at trying to end bigotry, which is a very real issue against gay people. "Look, I can't help who I am, please stop bullying me." "

    So generally, telling people they are born that way is a lie to gain sympathy?? Really? There is a general misconception that Catholics and Christians in general want to control how people live their lives. We don't, but we also don't want anyone to tell us what we know is not natural IS natural and that we have to accept it.

    SSM is not a right based on equality but on emotions. What homosexuals that want marriage redefined do not seem to understand is that respect for what they consider a 'marriage' will not happen when people are coerced to accept something they know is just plain wrong. I will give you and example:

    I conducted my own poll last Friday. I know of three people at work that support homosexual 'marriages'. Fine, I never really told them I was against it because I wanted to know their true feelings. Each one of them said that there is nothing wrong with homosexual acts and that since they may be born that way, who are we to say it is wrong? I didn't dispute it but let them talk. Finally I asked them if they really thought same sex attraction was as normal as opposite sex attraction and if it was wrong to stigmatize homosexual attraction. All three, ALL three said of course it was and that there was nothing wrong with that.

    Then I casually slipped in the big question: "Are you gay?". You should have seen their reactions. The first one laughed hysterically, "What?? Me? No way man!! Not me!" The second one screwed up his face and said point blank, "There is NO way I'm queer." The third was startled by my question and very defensive, "Me? What do you mean? No, of course not! I'm straight as an arrow!Why would you even ask me that?"

    My point in all of this is that if the homosexual thinks changing the law will get respect from heterosexual supporters they are dead wrong. Sure, they will get lip service as the three men above that I work with, but generally their marriage will never really be viewed as equal to a marriage between a man and woman.

    People know this is wrong, very wrong and forcing them to 'accept' it is more than wrong. It is unjust. It is not just against God's laws, but against nature itself that God set in place. Same sex attraction is a disorder, but not a sin. Acting on this disorder is a sin to the highest degree.

    Ask anyone who has had children, atheist and people of faith alike if their children ever had to be disciplined for doing something very wrong. Now ask them if they hated their children because they disapproved of their actions and you will probably get no, of course not for an answer. Why then do homosexuals insist that our disapproval of homosexual acts equates to hating the homosexual? A little consistency would be helpful n'est pas?

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  22. Hi! I feel bad about suddenly appearing with no after I thinks 6 months-ish of silence and not saying some kinda intro. Glad to see everyone still seem you know, alive or whatever.


    Leila

    Marriage to me is two people with a commitment to each other.

    Yes, maybe it redefines it a tad bit, but a lot of other things have been redefined. The role of women, legality of slavery, and other things. All of which I could totally see someone saying could ruin the fabric if changed, but then we found out that it did not ruin society.

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  23. "So generally, telling people they are born that way is a lie to gain sympathy?? Really?"

    No, because it's true! It's just a way to try to get people to empathize! It's much harder to hate someone or bully someone if you know they cannot help it or its the way they were built. Marriage equality should have nothing to do with whether being gay is a choice or not. I always viewed that as a distraction. It doesn't matter.

    To everything else, I'll bring up one of my favorite social justice quotes from Dr. King:

    "It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important."

    Most gay people would like it if people would accept them, but they know that's a long process if that's even possible. Generally, they don't care though! Catholics can disagree with homosexuality all they want, if the rights of marriage were granted to gay people they wouldn't really mind because they'd be able to *live* their lives without interference. If my friend can be covered under his spouses insurance plan and inherit his money because they are recognized by law as being married, respectfully, who really cares what anyone (including your three friends) thinks? They are only asking for acceptance in respect to legality. Everything else would be nice and would come in time, but the law is what matters to people here. Not personal opinions.

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  24. "Why then do homosexuals insist that our disapproval of homosexual acts equates to hating the homosexual? A little consistency would be helpful n'est pas?"

    Also, homosexuals outside of the church are nothing like your children. They aren't and don't want to be subject to your authority.

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  25. forthewar, I'm just jumping in for a second, but have you considered any of the legal quagmires that will be (and are) visited upon children as we forge ahead to this brave new world of two moms, two dads, three (or more) legal parents, etc.? How much have you looked into that, if at all?

    Thanks, be back soon!

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  26. American society if nothing else would give you the right to live completely "disordered" if you so wish, as long as your actions were not directly harming others.

    Yes, sure, but why should the state go so far as to sanction and enshrine disordered living as a positive good?

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  27. You know, I'm really starting to wonder, why have marriage benefits at all? Why not just expand insurance plans to cover whomever people choose? Same with hospital visitation and the other "rights"? Why even have legal marriage? Or should there be limits to the rights?

    And homosexuals do have the ability to control themselves and abstain from sex. Just look at Steve Gershom http://www.stevegershom.com

    Attraction may not be a choice, but all people have the ability to decide whether to act on the attraction or not.

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  28. Because people seem to think that they're entitled to the rights anyways and marriage is merely a formal way of obtaining those rights. Why have marriage if it's just going to end in divorce?

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  29. Chelsea, glad to have you back!

    You said:

    Marriage to me is two people with a commitment to each other.

    This is about as vague a definition as can be, and encompasses just about every kind of human relationship, including business partners, or athletes and coaches. It's not "redefining" marriage, it's actually undefining it. Marriage under your definition becomes, practically speaking, meaningless. I.e., it has no real meaning at all. When something means everything, it really means nothing.

    I wrote about that in #2, here:
    http://catholicexchange.com/167954/

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  30. "Also, homosexuals outside of the church are nothing like your children. They aren't and don't want to be subject to your authority."

    Obviously you totally misunderstood that entire point. The point is that a parent may disapprove a child's actions but that doesn't they now hate that child. I've sure people have done things that you don't approve of, so, do you hate them all?? That IS the point I am making. So...I hate homosexuals if I don't accept their homosexual acts? Come on...that is plain ignorant. Homosexuals may hate Catholics that oppose and work to prevent SSM, but the dirty little secret is, we don't hate them.

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  31. Leila, definitions change all the time. Things can also be hard to define, but still legitimate(like with porn).

    I find it interesting how important definition is to this whole debate. How does one define race? How about mother with the discovery of IVF and the many step-parents? Or many professions?

    We still know what is right and what is not right, if we cannot define it.

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  32. Chelsea, I think you are missing the point. You defined marriage as being something that can include a thousand different relationships that are NOT marriage. So, you have un-defined it. You have made the word "marriage" meaningless, if that is your definition of it.

    Words are sounds that represent real things. If we cannot speak words and understand them, then how do we communicate?

    What is the real thing that the word "marriage" represents? It can't represent just "two people with a commitment to each other" (as I mentioned, that would include basically everything: cohabitation, grandparents and grandkids, business partners, coaches and their athletes, college roommates, a plumber and his boss, etc.).

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  33. Also....there is something that has bothered me for a long time about this whole SSM issue. In one of Stacy Trasanco's posts on her blog, there was a certain person there that repeated over and over again the persecution, the mockery, the ridicule and the violence and murders against homosexuals that occur in this country.

    It is also known that homosexuals still have the highest rate of HIV among all groups. It is also known that there is a very high rate of suicides by homosexuals for a variety of reasons, non-acceptance is just but one of them.

    If a homosexuals life is so miserable, so risky for a whole host of reasons, then why in God's name do they want to bring a child into this type of life as adoptive parents?? Do they think kids at school will just accept Johnny's two dads or moms because there are rules against bullying? When has that ever stopped a bully?

    What of the child having to witness their adoptive parents being mocked and ridiculed? Why put a child in the position where they have to constantly defend his or her 'family' as normal? Why? And what of the homosexual acquaintances of his or her family that die of HIV because of their actions? Why are adoptive parents so willing to expose a child to all of this misery? Is it selfishness? What the heck is it? To be accepted?? At a child's expense?

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    1. To those gay couples that find themselves surrounded by the situations you describe, it could well be that adoption isn't best for the child...as it would be for any sort of couple looking to either adopt or have their own children. Unless you're trying to say that all gay couples face all the challenges you laid out, or apply the same to straight couples in terrible situations, I don't see how this reasoning applies.

      Delete
  34. I'm not saying that mockery, ridicule, violence etc against homosexuals is right. It's not. Not by a long shot nor is it right against anyone else, but they need to take their heads out of the sand and realize that is the reality. It's out there and to willfully and deliberately put a child in that situation is nothing short of selfishness.

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  35. Ordinary Catholic, good questions. Many have noted that the SSM movement has always been about the wants of adults, not the needs of children. The only reason societies and the state would have a vested interest in marriage is because of the children that come from male/female unions.

    Joe Heschmeyer did a great post on that:

    http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2011/11/whats-state-interest-in-promoting-gay.html

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  36. Ordinary Catholic, there are a lot of things that children have to explain, and situations they could be ridiculed in. Should all Muslims and Deaf people stop having kids?

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    Replies
    1. Chelsea, that question is absolute nonsense. If you want to go that route why not ask this question instead: If a gene is found to cause homosexuality, would it be better to abort this child who is homosexual than allow him or her to be born into a life of persecution? Of course not.

      The homosexuals have often asked those opposed to homosexual acts, why would they deliberately choose such a life with all the misery that comes along with it? My question is why deliberately put a child in the middle of it then?

      Delete
  37. forthewar: A separate name smacks of "separate-but-equalism"

    Actually, no, because we are claiming that homosexual unions are quite different than heterosexual unions. Even Alan, who is in a gay "marriage" admits to an essential difference. There is something unique about heterosexual unions. It's easy biology. So, the relationships are not equal, and they should have separate names. There is no injustice in treating unequal things unequally.

    Heck, the state even sees a difference between cohabitation and marriage, and those are a lot closer to "the same" than gay unions and heterosexual unions.

    Mixed-race marriages do not have an essential difference from same-race marriages. In fact, even those who were against mixed-race marriage were not arguing that it was ontologically impossible for a black man to marry a white woman, only that they didn't like it or want it for society. But homosexual couples are different by their very nature from heterosexual couples. There is no conjugal union possible, no consummation possible. This is simple biology and anatomy and common sense.

    (By the way, for the record, the Catholic Church has never been opposed to mixed race marriage.)

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    1. I guess a more clear way to address this issue is to ask: Is there anything unique about male/female sexual union?

      Delete
    2. whoa, Leila,
      I am in a marriage. No quotes needed. Childish. Yes it is to a man.
      I do not admit there is an essential difference. I have always said the premise, the marriage is the same.
      I admit that we cannot procreate in the same way, so that is different, but our desire to marry, our reasons for marrying, our belief in marrying is exactly the same.
      If at any point I misdirected you or anyone else on that I am sorry.
      My marriage (again not quotes, you need to grow up about that) is the same as yours.

      Delete
  38. I think that's generally an attempt at trying to end bigotry, which is a very real issue against gay people.

    In my experience, it's more about "I'm born this way, this is the way God made me, so I have every right to act on my "gift", since it's who I am."

    That is what the other groups are saying, too. That their orientations are a positive good, thus they need (and are entitled to) equal rights.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Christopher Eden on the blog Catholic Lane explored this whole SSM issue with a post entitled: Was Jesus Really Silent on Same Sex Marriage?

    Here are a couple of excerpts. Read the whole thing here

    http://catholiclane.com/was-jesus-really-silent-on-same-sex-marriage/

    Jesus’ stance on marriage was strong. When the Pharisees asked Him whether it was lawful for a man to give his wife a bill of divorce He responded, “The Creator ‘made them male and female … a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ … So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate” (Mt.19:4-6).

    The apostles were stunned when He went on to say that only death could dissolve a (valid) marriage, and how anyone who divorced and remarried lived in adultery. “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry!” (Mt.19:10 ) Jesus didn’t back-pedal; they had understood Him just fine. That was marriage in the Kingdom – marriage as it was before humanity’s Fall. Jesus knew it would be difficult, “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted” (19:11).

    Pay attention to what Jesus said next: “Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” (19:12). A man’s ability to be united to his wife, sexually, was what made him a candidate for marriage. If he was unable to achieve sexual union because of a) birth defect, b) castration, or c) a vow of celibacy; then marriage was not his vocation.

    The foundation of Jesus’ whole argument is biological. Unless “a man” and “his wife … become one flesh,” there is no valid marriage. For Jesus, and for anyone committed to His teachings, it is impossible to speak of a “Christian same-sex marriage.” Jesus’ words rule it out absolutely. The parameters for marriage between Christians, the parameters for a sacramental marriage, have been set by Jesus and cannot be changed. “Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away” (Lk.23:33).

    Homosexuals are demanding something that cannot be had. Even if the law gives them the right to marry, then the law will be attempting to supersede God's law. God's law cannot be superseded by man's law.

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  40. "American society if nothing else would give you the right to live completely "disordered" if you so wish, as long as your actions were not directly harming others."

    Just jumping in to point out that that right already exists, and nobody I know at least is trying to criminalize homosexual *acts*. I would have a serious problem with that. Not granting government incentives, benefits and recognition to same sex marriages is completely different from homosexual acts being illegal, which is what you were alluding to.
    And because it hasn't been said in this thread yet, most people who oppose SSM that I know, myself included, would be happy with a civil union granting all the rights you mention, as long as it was open to any two consenting adults, not just homosexual couples e.g. best friends, sisters, etc.

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  41. forthewar, Stacy had asked you an important question on the other thread that is really foundational. I am reposting it here to let you see it, but you can answer on the other thread if you'd like, to keep the continuity:

    forthewar,

    Have you ever been asked about your "epistemology"?

    Epistemology is one of those words in philosophy that confuses a lot of people, but it means 'how do you get your knowledge.'

    Among the ancient Greeks there were different views and some of them still persist today.

    For instance, there were the materialists even then, the Stoics and Epicureans. According to the materialist all of our knowledge comes from our senses, from what we can see, touch, taste, feel. We process it in our brain and all truth is in terms of matter and energy. The materialist eventually says, “Truth is a process in the brain.” This is the atheist epistemology.

    Then there were the spiritualists, like Plato. Plato believed that world around us, the world of the senses, is only a shadow of reality, not reality itself, but an imitation, a shadow, a sort of reflection in the mirror of the real world. The real world cannot be known by the senses, but can only be known by a spiritual intelligence, and in that spiritual intelligence there are innate ideas of truth. Truth is within us, and we have to become conscious of it again. The Eastern religions share this epistemology more or less.

    The third is that of Aristotle, a middle ground. Aristotle pointed out that the data about reality comes through the senses just as the materialist says. But, he said, that cannot be the whole explanation of human thought. Why? The senses give us things as they are but that includes lots of accidental, irrelevant material. It’s intelligence that analyzes what the senses tell us and draws out from it the relevant material. Our knowledge comes from both the senses and the intellect, which is able to transcend the level of the material in order to get at what is essential in the material world and make a scientific critical kind of knowledge possible. This is the epistemology the Church has.

    So, which is your? Or do you have none at all? Do you not even believe in knowledge or truth? And if so, then how do you trust your own reasoning?


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  42. Busy day at work, but I'll do my best to respond here:

    "I'm just jumping in for a second, but have you considered any of the legal quagmires that will be (and are) visited upon children as we forge ahead to this brave new world of two moms, two dads, three (or more) legal parents, etc.?"

    What legal quagmire could exist for same sex marriage when it comes to custody? I don't understand... 10 states already have marriage equality, and the gears of the justice system haven't ground to a halt. Generally there are people (if there are two parents in the picture, it is two parents) who have custody of a child. In an instance of a split or divorce, one parent is awarded sole custody, or there is shared custody. How does the fact that these two parents are same-gendered change that facet of the system at all? There are two usual ways a same sex family comes together:

    1) One parent is the genetic parent of the child; the other legally adopts the child.

    2) Neither of the parents are genetic parents; the child is adopted through a service or some other means because the genetic parents have given up their legal rights of custody.

    Besides the fact these couples are same sex, there is no difference in the custody arrangement between them and one genetic parent-one adoptive parent and two adoptive parent heterosexual parents. The legal system is adequately set up for them...

    As for polygamous couples, the issue becomes more complex, but it probably shouldn't be described as a "quagmire", haha. I could imagine a situation where the primary caregiver of the child in the relationship would be the default custody recipient, but the others in the relationship could petition for custody.

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  43. "So, the relationships are not equal, and they should have separate names. There is no injustice in treating unequal things unequally."

    I excised this portion of the comment because this is the crux of the matter. Marriage isn't about children (unless the married participants make it about children). Marriage (civil marriage) is a specific governmental contract that allows people to jointly file taxes, inherit property without tax penalty, refuse to testify against each other in court, etc, etc. It is nothing more or nothing less.

    Since that is the case, there is no functional difference between people who wnat to get married that are able to create life and people who can't. That only matters if you suscribe to the idea that creating life is important, which the government does not recognize. That is why there are no fertility or progeny tests for marriage, at all.

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    1. I should clarify. Creating life is important. I should say that it only matters if you view creating life or attempting to create life as integral to the purpose of the marriage.

      Delete
  44. I consider this a quagmire:

    http://www.ruthblog.org/2012/11/09/a-little-girl-called-m-c/

    So now… on to three legal parents? This time it was vetoed, but next time? Remember, we are "progressing".

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  45. "That is why there are no fertility or progeny tests for marriage, at all."

    And yet the state will annul marriages for non-consummation. Why? Why is marriage based on the capability of the conjugal act?

    Also, marriage pre-dates America. By far. So, what has ever been the state's or society's vested interest in marriage? It wasn't to give people tax benefits….

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    1. In other words, what makes marriage unique among all other human relationships, such that societies hold it up, and have an interest in it at all?

      Delete
  46. Respectfully, I consider that to be a really biased website. Please don't take offense to that.

    That's a quagmire that can happen with heterosexual marriage. A couple could be married, have a child, and the husband would also be considered the presumptive father. Later, however, it could come out that another man is the genetic father, he would have paternity rights as well. A similar situation would develop if the husband wishes to retain his rights.

    The details are slightly different, but those are both a 'quagmire' about three people who have legal rights.

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  47. "And yet the state will annul marriages for non-consummation. Why? Why is marriage based on the capability of the conjugal act?"

    A holdover from a different era. It's similar to why there are remnants of blue laws encoded in different states.

    "Also, marriage pre-dates America. By far. So, what has ever been the state's or society's vested interest in marriage? It wasn't to give people tax benefits…."

    I don't think this is a really fair question because we use the word marriage to refer to a number of different systems. Just a few for example: property transaction marriage, political unity marriage, ethnic mixing marriage, economic necessity marriage, conflict avoidance, etc. etc.

    Marriage (the idea of two people being joined together and being considered a unit from that point forward) has been done for a number of reasons throughout history.

    I gotta run, but I may be back tonight. Thanks for the stimulating conversation!

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  48. All sources are biased, forthewar. The question is if the information contained within the source is accurate. Can you prove that the information contained in the source link is untrue?

    Regardless, here is a source that you will no doubt consider "ritually pure" with more information: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2012/08/28/california-multiple-parents-bill_n_1837806.html

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  49. Marriage (the idea of two people being joined together and being considered a unit from that point forward) has been done for a number of reasons throughout history.

    Yes, and it's always been heterosexual in nature. Always, even despite other adjustments and differences. Why do you suppose that is? What is unique about the marriage relationship from any other?

    As for biased sources, so what? I quote Guttmacher and Slate, etc., all the time. I have no problem using liberal sources, so long as the facts are right. You only read and accept sources that agree with you?

    Thanks, forthewar, hope to see you back later!

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  50. Busy day, but I'm sure my busiest day is not as busy as yours! I perused your blog while procrastinating...mother of eight! You're awesome lol.

    "Yes, and it's always been heterosexual in nature. Always, even despite other adjustments and differences. Why do you suppose that is? What is unique about the marriage relationship from any other?"

    But that's not true! There are recorded instances of binding relationships between same sex people across cultures and times. Romans recorded people entering same sex marriages and covenants with partners for life (admittedly, quite often the Roman concept of homosexuality overlapped with pedophilia, though that wasn't always the case); the Chinese have stories about men being joined for life in love as closely as 'husband and wife'; isolated African tribes practice ritualistic homosexuality and same sex marriage; Native American and First Nations peoples had "Two-Spirit" men and women who defied traditional roles and bound themselves to men and women. Several of these relationships were legally recognized.

    Probably not coincidentally, all of these types of relationships became either persecuted, diminished, or illegal after Western European influence (and thusly, Christianity) entered the area. The Roman Empire outlawed homosexuality shortly after Christianity was named the state religion. The Chinese began to view homosexuality as a mental disorder in the late 19th Century as they began to attempt Westernization. Native Americans and First Nations people became homophobic as they were assimilated into American culture.

    The idea of 'legal' life unions between same sex individuals has a firm historical background. It *is* less common though. The reasons why it is less common may have something to do with the patriarchal societal structure of most societies. Ancient societies often failed to separate the idea of 'gender' and sexual orientation. Same sex partnerships were often viewed in the context of one person taking a masculine role and the other a feminine role. The control and disdain for females may have contributed to their rarity. Also, there are a number of different anthropological explanations for marriage. One is it allows a man to 'ensure' paternity of his children; another is it promises sex. Another, and I bet the one you were going for, is that it helps create a basic family unit. The reality is probably a combination of all of those.

    “As for biased sources, so what? I quote Guttmacher and Slate, etc., all the time. I have no problem using liberal sources, so long as the facts are right. You only read and accept sources that agree with you?”

    Of course not, I started reading the Bible. :P Are we allowed to be snarky here? If not I apologize, haha

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  51. forthewar, a tiny smattering of cases where there was something sort of similar to actual marriage… It's not what I was talking about. There was no case that homosexual sexual pairings were equated with marriage. Can you cite your evidence?

    Also, just because it's fascinating to me, this article (from the Atlantic! Not a Catholic source, ha ha) tells of societies where no one has even heard of homosexuality, not even as a concept (nor masturbation):

    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/12/where-masturbation-and-homosexuality-do-not-exist/265849/

    But there is no society which is unfamiliar with marriage. It's a natural law understanding.

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    1. "homosexual sexual pairings"

      Well, that was redundant! Sorry!

      Delete
  52. Aww, and by the way, thanks for this sweet comment!

    I perused your blog while procrastinating...mother of eight! You're awesome lol.

    Hope you read the stuff about how I am the last person in the world who should have eight kids, but somehow God made it work nicely, ha ha!

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  53. http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core9/phalsall/texts/gaytexts.html

    Here's a page from SUNY that talks about homosexuality in China and the sorts of relationships I mentioned.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/oct/11/two-spirit-people-north-america

    There's an article that talks about 'two spirit' Native Americans, and there marriages, that were destroyed with European influence.

    I'll keep looking for good Roman and African sources, but those should be good for now, right?

    "forthewar, a tiny smattering of cases where there was something sort of similar to actual marriage…"

    But what is an actual marriage? I think I alluded to this before; marriage over the course of history has referred to a broad range of unions and institutions. People have been joined together simply to stop the outbreak of war, to try and merge two ethnic groups or powerful families, to keep wealth and royalty within the family, for love, to ensure paternity, etc etc. There have been group marriages, polygamy, polyandry, 'free love' societies...marriage doesn't really have a firm definition across history except as 'socially and legally' joined group. Several homosexual pairings fit the bill of life union. I believe it is only because of our society they aren't classified with marriages along with other marriages that deviate from 'one man-one woman.' You could *preemptively* define it as only between a man and a woman, like I think you're doing ("Well, that was redundant! Sorry!"), but that would be doing the study of history a disservice by looking at history through a heteronormative lens. It would be no different than the European history scholars in the 19th and early 20th believing Africans had no real "history" without written word.

    "Hope you read the stuff about how I am the last person in the world who should have eight kids, but somehow God made it work nicely, ha ha!"

    I can't even imagine having one kid, let alone eight! Eight cats and dogs maybe lol

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  54. I don't think any of these things has to do with civil US marriage by the way, I just want to point out how fluid the idea of marriage has been throughout history. It's always changing.

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  55. People have been joined together simply to stop the outbreak of war, to try and merge two ethnic groups or powerful families, to keep wealth and royalty within the family, for love, to ensure paternity, etc etc. There have been group marriages, polygamy, polyandry, 'free love' societies...marriage doesn't really have a firm definition across history except as 'socially and legally' joined group.

    Yes, and all those marriages that you have described are heterosexual in nature.

    I read your links, and yes, I've never denied that homosexual relationships have existed in societies. Certainly they have. But aside from the author of the Guardian article using the word "marriage" for these relationships (to make his point or push his agenda?), I have not seen evidence that the societies themselves regarded them as equal to (or the same as) marriage in that society.

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  56. I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree :(

    I think that a recognized 'life union' is a marriage, and there are reports of homosexual unions of that nature throughout history. They are not as common as heterosexual unions, I'll grant you that, but that probably has a number of anthropological explanations that has to do with continuity of children and ancestry.

    Also, how is using the word marriage to describe lifelong unions any more indicative of an agenda than describing marriage as exclusively homosexual from the get? I can't win if the definition you're putting forward necessarily excludes what I'm trying to prove, right?

    The reason why homosexual and heterosexual people would join together in ancient societies were far different.

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  57. But again, what I'm suggesting is that there is something unique about heterosexual unions, and that every society recognizes that. It's not "just like" any other union, sexual or not. And, I don't believe that any society ever tried to actually equate gay pairings to marriage, even when gay pairings may have been seen as a positive good.

    Marriage is specific to male/female, conjugal in nature, whereas "life unions" can mean anything (two widowed sisters, even).

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  58. "Marriage is specific to male/female, conjugal in nature"

    But that's heteronormative. It's simply describing marriage as what society currently sees it as. You are framing the discussion in a way that makes it impossible for me to win that way, incorrectly. In an discussion about whether A and B are the same thing, you can't start off by saying the thing can only be A, and can never be B, unless it is logically impossible. Marriage is only a word (with numerous meanings, some currently in use, some not). It may be impossible in Catholicism, but that is only one religion. You can't define something only in your terms if the debate is about whether those terms are valid in the first place.

    "But again, what I'm suggesting is that there is something unique about heterosexual unions, and that every society recognizes that. It's not "just like" any other union, sexual or not. And, I don't believe that any society ever tried to actually equate gay pairings to marriage, even when gay pairings may have been seen as a positive good. "

    I don't think that was the original issue in question. When I defined marriage as a life union of two people, you said it has always been exclusively heterosexual throughout history. I showed sources that homosexual life unions (that really, have all the hallmarks of "traditional" marriage: romantic love, lifelong commitment, sex, etc) have existed for millennia. Then you said that I hadn't proven that homosexual unions are "just like" homosexual unions. But that was never my goal. I didn't fail 7th grade biology haha, I know only heterosexual parings can naturally create life, and life results from heterosexual sex. That makes heterosexual pairings 'unique.' Any society that wants to continue to exist must have heterosexual sex (well, now we have IVF), I've never disputed that.

    But that's orthogonal to the issue of what is and isn't a marriage, because we don't define marriage as simply an issue of life creation anymore. Marriage is defined a "romantic" bond too.

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  59. I still maintain this has nothing to do with the definition of US Civil marriage too, haha. This is just a anthropological discussion on human sexuality and what is/isn't a marriage.

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  60. But then, is saying that the nature of a clock is "measuring and telling time" to be considered "time-measurement normative" when someone decides to undefine it? (Hope that made sense, ha ha.)

    Romance is still not part of the definition of marriage, actually. Plenty of real, true marriages started out with no romance at all. Would you say those folks are not really married? Essentially, what makes a person "married"? It can't be statues and laws only, as marriage is pre-political (as Hillary Clinton said so eloquently before she "evolved", it's from the "mists of history").

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  61. Correct me if I am wrong but has there ever been a major civilization that has officially sanctioned a homosexual union as a marriage? In other words has any major civilization decreed marriage other than between a man and woman? I don't mean a town here or a village there recognizing a homosexual 'marriage' but the recognition and acceptance as a whole civilization. Rome had plenty of 'homosexual unions' , I agree, but I do not believe those unions were ever considered a true marriage by the state. There will always be pockets in civilization that deviate from the norm in all ages. This particular issue of redefining marriage to accommodate two people of the same sex is new to our age, new in the sense that the governments are now sanctioning it. Seems a bit arrogant to me in trying to change the nature of such an institution that has existed before the rise of empires. It was never nor is it ours to change. As Leila said, no matter the reason why two people married, it was always between a man and woman.

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    1. "Correct me if I am wrong but has there ever been a major civilization that has officially sanctioned a homosexual union as a marriage?"

      Barring a misunderstanding of what you mean by 'officially sanction', Native American tribes treated the 'two-spirit' individuals who took same sex partners with reverence and equality to heterosexual parings.

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    2. Also, I'll bring up again what I will now on call a "trick" (not to be taken in a malicious sense, I beg you) you two are doing. You ask me to demonstrate same sex unions that could be classified as marriages. But you then exclusively refer to heterosexual unions as marriages, preemptively regard same sex unions as impossible to characterize as marriages due to some innate difference. If you are asking this question you must disregard the definition of marriage you currently hold, or otherwise you are asking for an impossible burden of proof.

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  62. "But then, is saying that the nature of a clock is "measuring and telling time" to be considered "time-measurement normative" when someone decides to undefine it? (Hope that made sense, ha ha.)"

    I got it! I've had clunkier metaphors, trust me, lol. Answering this question is going to probably devolve into a completely off topic discussion about human purpose, nature, and the origin of sexuality, but I'd argue that homosexuals *are* as nature made them (i.e. homosexual) and everything is working properly, making disregarding their experiences and disregarding a valuable part of human history. And even if homosexuality was a choice (it's not), the idea that you disregard the actions of millions of people throughout human history because it's not the way they were supposed to act isn't a very good idea.

    "Romance is still not part of the definition of marriage, actually."

    I disagree. When I eventually marry my significant other, we will be getting married 'because we love each other.' Ask 10 people on the street why they married their SO, and I fully expect you will get answers involving romance. Romance is one of the reasons people get married. Some people even classify romantic love in terms of marriage. "I love him so much we're basically married." "If you love her, why don't you propose?", etc. etc.

    "Plenty of real, true marriages started out with no romance at all. Would you say those folks are not really married?"

    Romance is only 'one' of the ways we describe a marriage, there are plenty others. I listed a few earlier. Romantic love being the primary motivator for marriage is a really new idea, it's almost a post-feminism commonality. Most marriages in the past were economic arrangements. They were about giving away your daughter to an eligible man. So no, I wouldn't say that.

    "Essentially, what makes a person "married"? It can't be statues and laws only, as marriage is pre-political"

    I'd say there could be a number of different answers to that question. What makes a person married civilly under the US government? A marriage license. What makes a person married in rural Pakistan? A dowry payment and a ceremony, I guess. What makes a person married when we're referring to the social and historical definition of marriage? Any number of things. Love, children, cohabitation, etc.

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  63. Any sources on the "two spirit" thing, if possible? Thx

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  64. I recently attended Mass in LA. The celebrant said a few times that he did not believe we'd ever be persecuted for his Catholic faith. It's bad enough when my Catholic and non-Catholic friends don't think persecution will occur, but it's worse hearing it from the pulpit. As I tried to explain to a Catholic friend, change happens incrementally; you can get from point A to point L with realizing what's happening - or willfully being in denial - until it's too late. We are already suffering underreporting and biased reporting of our persecutions re: gay "marriage." Things are really going to fast forward if the Supreme Court strikes down Prop 8, which, tragically, I think it will.

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  65. forthewar,

    I shouldn't have asked "what makes a person married" (sorry), I should have stuck with "what is marriage?". You are saying that anything and everything can be a "marriage", it seems to me, as long as people simply apply the word. If the basis of it is ever-changing, then the word actually means nothing. For example, if "romance" is now "part of the definition of marriage" (or what makes a marriage marriage), then still millions of marriages in other cultures today (and those from "the mists of history") are not real marriages. But then I think you said you didn't believe that. So, what is the essence of marriage? What is non-negotiable about marriage (definitionally), that makes it unique among all other types of relationships? We may be going round and round. But to say that romance is now a part of its definition is to negate massive percentages of marriages throughout human history and still today. My grandparents barely knew each other when they got married, and they were married (legit!) for over fifty years.

    When you say all this about marriage, it sounds to me as if you are saying: "Clocks used to be about measuring and telling time, sure, but now they are more often about being round. Most people today would say the essence of "clockness" is roundness. Definitions change."

    Moving on, you said this:

    I'd argue that homosexuals *are* as nature made them (i.e. homosexual) and everything is working properly, making disregarding their experiences and disregarding a valuable part of human history. And even if homosexuality was a choice (it's not), the idea that you disregard the actions of millions of people throughout human history because it's not the way they were supposed to act isn't a very good idea.

    Please, please, please, understand that this just brings me right back to the fact that these people argue the same exact thing you are arguing above:

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

    If someone is born that way, then everything *is* working properly! Somewhere about 2-3% of the population, no harm comes to the animals, this must be a positive good, mustn't it? Again, assuming they are very gentle and loving, then their orientation doesn't harm anyone, doesn't harm society, doesn't harm anyone else's marriage, etc.

    As for the "Two Spirit" pairings being seen as just the same as marriage (even in that culture), I haven't see it yet. It sounds like this was a whole different designation (with its own name, even, which would immediately prove my point). It may be held up as a good, and even as something amazing, but I want to see evidence that it was believed to be the same entity as marriage in that culture.

    I will do more investigating, but still and all, as Hillary Clinton stated so well before her sudden "evolution" (hey, I thought evolution was a slow, barely perceptible process, ha ha), "[Marriage is] the fundamental bedrock principle that it exists between a man and a woman going back into the mists of history, as one of the founding foundational institutions of history and humanity and civilization, and that its primary, principle role during those millennia has been the raising and socializing of children for the society in which they are to become adults.”

    I know I quote that from Hillary a lot, but it's just really great. Weird how she could just drop her own principles and beliefs so dang quickly when the political winds start a-changin'! :) But that is another topic!

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    1. "If someone is born that way, then everything *is* working properly!"

      Just to clarify…I'm stating that as your argument, not mine. I just want to be extra clear on that!!

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  66. "I shouldn't have asked "what makes a person married" (sorry), I should have stuck with "what is marriage?". You are saying that anything and everything can be a "marriage", it seems to me, as long as people simply apply the word."

    What is a family, tribe, or clan? What is a business? What is music? What is wealth or money? What is influence, power or recreation? All of those words are terms that have quite "pliable" definitions if you look at them in a sociological context, because across culture and time, human societies and cultures and the meaning of the words can wildly vary. Yet very few people would say they are undefinable. Wealth may have meant something very different in Ancient Rome as compared to Middle Ages China, yet, I'd think we'd both recognize a wealthy man in any era, with the right starting parameters.

    Expansive and nuanced does not mean 'meaningless.' To the contrary point, I offered what I'd consider to be a rather firm definition of marriage:

    "the idea of two people being joined together and being considered a unit from that point forward"

    It's not quite academic quality and probably could be shored up quite a bit, but that is a pretty definable concept. Anything and everything can *not* be considered "two people being joined together and being considered a unit." The definition encompasses what I'm sure you will recognize as 'traditional marriages' and what you asked me to show homosexual relationships which fit this bill, and I think they do.

    The idea that a sociological definition must bear the burden of strict, detailed type of marriage doesn't make any sense to me. Would you say that a marriage in the Catholic Church and two atheists getting married by the Justice of the Peace are the same thing? They might be both exclusively heterosexual, but the similarities end shortly afterwards. I'm not radically changing the word, in my opinion. It still means the same thing, "life union." The word "citizen" or "person" didn't become meaningless when we finally decided to include minorities and women amongst their ranks. 'Family' doesn't become meaningless if you recognize group families. 'Business' doesn't become meaningless if you recognize a different type of money making venture.

    "Somewhere about 2-3% of the population, no harm comes to the animals, this must be a positive good, mustn't it? Again, assuming they are very gentle and loving, then their orientation doesn't harm anyone, doesn't harm society, doesn't harm anyone else's marriage, etc."

    Do you deny there is a difference in being ensured of the clarity and confidence of consent from a gay human adult and from an animal who cannot communicate using language?

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  67. "As for the "Two Spirit" pairings being seen as just the same as marriage (even in that culture), I haven't see it yet."

    "You're probably looking for a Native American saying that they made biological families through these unions (you know that's impossible, haha) But:

    "The social and sexual lives of Two-Spirits were consistent with their gender roles. Sexual activity and marriage usually involved relationships with members of the opposite social gender. That is, female Two-Spirits had sexual relations with and might marry women, and male Two-Spirits had sexual relations with and might marry men. Two-Spirits often were highly desired as mates because of their economic prosperity and productive skills and their spiritual knowledge and abilities. According to recorded accounts, they had little difficulty marrying and establishing successful households. The wives of female Two-Spirits sometimes had children fathered by men but claimed by the Two-Spirit husband in an expression of social fatherhood. In some societies, Two-Spirits might marry either men or women. Significantly, Two-Sprits never married other Two-Spirits, because two people with the same social gender could not marry."

    That's from Cultural Anthropology, by Nancy Bonvillan. It's a introductory anthropology book in college.

    Does not that sound like a functional marriage to you?

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    1. As a matter a fact, that sound strikingly analogous, minus the 3rd gender situation, to the current homosexual model of marriage in the US...

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  68. Forthewar-I hope you don't mind me jumping into the conversation as well. I know you made this comment several days ago but I just have to respond to it.

    You stated you don't believe our position (that marriage should remain between a man and a woman) has a legal leg to stand on. I'm afraid I have to disagree. We've got thousands of years worth of legal legs to stand on.

    This is not common knowledge anymore but if you are going to argue the law- you need to know where it comes from.

    Our laws are not just made by congress and interpreted by the courts. Sometimes, the courts make laws. Congress cannot always anticipate every circumstance so the courts fill in the blanks, This is called case law or common law. Congress is a relatively new idea and vast majority of our laws on the books are based in the old common law that was used before congress. Most of it coming from the old English common law.

    Back before our modern government and court system there were really two courts of law. There were the criminal courts and civil courts. The civil courts were where people brought disputes that could be resolved by rewarding money. I contract to buy your pig for X amount of money and I take the pig but don't give you the money. You can sue me for the money I owe you.

    But there were also what was called the Courts of Equity. These courts didn't deal with money issues but with people issues and fairness issues. For example, if I promise you I will hire you to work for me in a month. You move your family so you can take the job. A month passes I tell you I changed my mind. What we had isn't a contract it was just a promise. But you relied on that promise and now are worse off than you would have been if I hadn't made the promise. That "unfairness" would be resolved int the Courts of Equity. Family law was part of this court as well, including marriage.

    Here's the kicker- It was the CHURCH that ran the Courts of Equity. The case law that was handed down in those courts and became part of our legal history was made by the Catholic Church and later the Church of England. You may not agree with Catholicism but Catholicism is still very much part of your legal heritage. The laws surrounding marriage CAME FROM the Church- so yes, we have lots of legal legs to stand on.

    con't with next post (Sorry, it is long but I obviously think it is important.)

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  69. So, why not just throw all the law out? After all it is so backwards and old-fashion? Sometimes we do. But it shouldn't be done without careful consideration of all the factors and unintended consequences. The rule of law benefits us because it gives us stability. We know what to expect and can make reasonable assumptions on how the courts will decide disputes. This prevents us from taking matters into our own hands which will lead us into "might makes right" territory.

    There are a lot of unintended consequences to opening the definition of marriage. It isn't just about allowing people to marry children or dogs. (Your consent argument is already weakening. People already make the argument "some" children can consent in "certain" circumstances. It wasn't that long ago everyone agreed gays couldn't get married with the same conviction you believe "consent" will prevent pedophilia from being legal.)

    Did you know there is a lawsuit against an event center owned by a Methodist Church on the west coast because they refused to rent their place to a gay couple for marriage. There is a florist being sued because she would not provide the flowers for a gay wedding (but did provide the flowers when the gay man sent some for Mother's day.) There was a woman who owned a Bed and Breakfast (her Home) and she refused to rent a room to a gay couple because she felt it betrayed her religious beliefs. All tried to be kind in their refusal- all were sued and defamed for their efforts. What do you think about that?

    Is the freedom of religion less than the freedom to marry? Does it matter to you the Supreme court has rarely upheld a person must go against their religious beliefs? Does it matter that freedom of religion is listed in our Bill of Rights while the right to marriage has been "read in"?How does this play out?

    I guess what annoys me so much is this is established law. The burden is on the SSM group to tell us why the law needs to change and it has to be more than "Well, at the moment the mob thinks it is wrong." or "I think it is unfair". Otherwise- legal precedent has no meaning. If legal precedent has no meaning, the major benefit of the rule of law (stability) is gone.

    If you are going to cut down my long established constitutional rights because you don't think they are important anymore- why in the world should I care about your rights?

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  70. Kat, thank you! You should jump in a lot more often!! Really great points.

    forthewar, a few points. First, this: "Significantly, Two-Sprits never married other Two-Spirits, because two people with the same social gender could not marry." It makes me smile because it seems as though even on some level even these folks realize that "same gendered" people cannot marry! And it appears from my research that in some of those unions of two males, one of the males had to be considered the "wife"! Again, right order resonated, on some level, with these tribes. Philosophically, their beliefs don't bolster your case -- it's not analogous to gay "marriage" after all, because gay "marriage" proponents are are indeed saying that same gendered people can marry, an idea that the tribes would reject. So, I think your research proves too much.

    You said: Do you deny there is a difference in being ensured of the clarity and confidence of consent from a gay human adult and from an animal who cannot communicate using language?

    I don't deny it and never have. Of course there is a difference between the two! But that was not my question. This is the part that you didn't address:

    forthewar said: I'd argue that homosexuals *are* as nature made them (i.e. homosexual) and everything is working properly, making disregarding their experiences and disregarding a valuable part of human history. And even if homosexuality was a choice (it's not), the idea that you disregard the actions of millions of people throughout human history because it's not the way they were supposed to act isn't a very good idea.

    Leila said: Please, please, please, understand that this just brings me right back to the fact that these people argue the same exact thing you are arguing above:

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


    How does your above statement, about how nature made them and all the rest, not apply to those who love animals? They use the same arguments about being "born with it", and everything working properly, their experiences, etc. It's the same argument you just used. Aren't you saying that if one is "born with it", then it means it's supposed to be? And if not, then what are you saying, and what did you mean by the "born with it" argument?

    As to your definition of marriage: "the idea of two people being joined together and being considered a unit from that point forward"

    Why two? Joined together how? By whom? What does "joined together" mean? Is it sexual? Is there a sexual union? (I would say the union is conjugal in nature). A unit? Same issue. A lot of things can be considered a unit. More than one, non-conjugal, etc. Heck, since the number "two" here is arbitrary (unless there is a biological imperative) a baseball team is people being joined together and being considered a unit. Or if you insist on two, then a doubles tennis team.

    This is an excellent question: "Would you say that a marriage in the Catholic Church and two atheists getting married by the Justice of the Peace are the same thing?"

    They would both be valid marriages, actually. One would be sacramental, and one merely natural, but yes, both would be valid marriages (I'm assuming they were free to marry, i.e., not already married to someone else). And believe it or not, if the two atheists had somehow been baptized previously, there is a chance (I don't want to bore you with the details here) that they would actually have a sacramental marriage whether they knew it or not!

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  71. Wow, a lot to respond to because of Kat. Busy day so I will keep my answers short for now:

    "Here's the kicker- It was the CHURCH that ran the Courts of Equity. The case law that was handed down in those courts and became part of our legal history was made by the Catholic Church and later the Church of England. You may not agree with Catholicism but Catholicism is still very much part of your legal heritage. The laws surrounding marriage CAME FROM the Church- so yes, we have lots of legal legs to stand on."

    All of what you said is true. It's not important except as a historical curiosity, because while the American legal tradition comes from a number of sources (Islamic, humanistic, Catholic, Puritan) none of these religious or irreligious traditions matter any more because the US is a secular state that should have explicitly secular reasoning for its laws.

    "There are a lot of unintended consequences to opening the definition of marriage. It isn't just about allowing people to marry children or dogs. (Your consent argument is already weakening. People already make the argument "some" children can consent in "certain" circumstances. It wasn't that long ago everyone agreed gays couldn't get married with the same conviction you believe "consent" will prevent pedophilia from being legal.)"

    I firmly and completely reject this argument. There is no logical or moral comparison between sexual acts of two consenting adults and children, besides the fact they are both viewed as deviant social behavior. People can make that argument all the want -- it's an entirely separate one.

    "Did you know there is a lawsuit against an event center owned by a Methodist Church on the west coast because they refused to rent their place to a gay couple for marriage."

    Yes. Good, haha.

    "There was a woman who owned a Bed and Breakfast (her Home) and she refused to rent a room to a gay couple because she felt it betrayed her religious beliefs. All tried to be kind in their refusal- all were sued and defamed for their efforts. What do you think about that?"

    Good, good lol. Each of those states where the state is suing these people has LBGT citizens as a protected class. The situation is legally analogous to someone having a religious belief black people are descendants of the devil and refusing to serve them in your B&B. You cannot do that, because as wel all know, equality legislation has to have some teeth to back it up. If you offer a business, you are creating a public space, and therefore must obey discrimination laws.

    Hopefully one day the laws in Washington protecting LBGT people will become federal, along with marriage equality (c'mon Supreme Court).

    "I guess what annoys me so much is this is established law. The burden is on the SSM group to tell us why the law needs to change and it has to be more than "Well, at the moment the mob thinks it is wrong.""

    To the contrary point! A law must have a justification, not the other way around. Inclusion and freedom isn't the one with the burden of proof. You must have a good (and secular, haha) reason for restricting freedoms, including freedom to marry.

    "Does it matter that freedom of religion is listed in our Bill of Rights while the right to marriage has been "read in"?How does this play out?"

    Freedom of religion is a clear right. No one thinks Catholicism should be illegal. The right to marriage isn't based on the 'right to marriage' because that doesn't exist, it's the right to *equal protection under the law.*, which is a clear Amendment based right.

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    1. For the last point, it's basically either a) give marriage rights to gay people or b) get rid of them for everyone. Those are the only two legal remedies for "equal protection".

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  72. Each of those states where the state is suing these people has LBGT citizens as a protected class. The situation is legally analogous to someone having a religious belief black people are descendants of the devil and refusing to serve them in your B&B.

    Nope. Not even a close analogy. Our objection is to accommodating sin (an action), not simply refusing to serve people for the beliefs they carry in their heads. Catholics cannot accommodate sin. Sorry. It's part of our faith. We sin if we accommodate or facilitate sin. If we are forced to directly facilitate a sin, we are in sin. (Yes, I'm being redundant, but I want to make sure it sinks in.) The government cannot legitimately force me to commit sin (because, um, I have freedom of religion).

    But your comments, with the "lol"'s and all, prove this post:

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

    What you think is funny, we are willing to be jailed for. When you see nuns and priests and bishops, and mommies like me hauled off to jail and court, will you still think it's funny? I think you will, sadly, but I hope I am wrong. Maybe there are some atheists who still care about religious freedom (since it's what the America they love was founded on, not "sexual rights"), but I'm not so sure….

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  73. For forthewar and all other readers:

    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/05/10034/

    With adults demand a law (and a "right") based on "I want it!", the children always suffer. Incredibly selfish.

    During the oral arguments about Proposition 8, Justice Anthony Kennedy referred to children being raised by same-sex couples. Since I was one of those children—from ages 2-19, I was raised by a lesbian mother with the help of her partner—I was curious to see what he would say.

    I also eagerly anticipated what he would say because I had taken great professional and social risk to file an amicus brief with Doug Mainwaring (who is gay and opposes gay marriage), in which we explained that children deeply feel the loss of a father or mother, no matter how much we love our gay parents or how much they love us. Children feel the loss keenly because they are powerless to stop the decision to deprive them of a father or mother, and the absence of a male or female parent will likely be irreversible for them.

    Over the last year I’ve been in frequent contact with adults who were raised by parents in same-sex partnerships. They are terrified of speaking publicly about their feelings, so several have asked me (since I am already out of the closet, so to speak) to give voice to their concerns.

    I cannot speak for all children of same-sex couples, but I speak for quite a few of them, especially those who have been brushed aside in the so-called “social science research” on same-sex parenting.

    Those who contacted me all professed gratitude and love for the people who raised them, which is why it is so difficult for them to express their reservations about same-sex parenting publicly.

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  74. "It makes me smile because it seems as though even on some level even these folks realize that "same gendered" people cannot marry!"

    Respectfully, this is a goalpost move. I qualified, all the way back when I brought this up in the first place, that ancient societies did not separate the concept of gender and orientation. Me, a gagillion posts ago (Wow, we have been posting a while, haha):

    "Ancient societies often failed to separate the idea of 'gender' and sexual orientation. Same sex partnerships were often viewed in the context of one person taking a masculine role and the other a feminine role."

    I never disputed that two spirit tribes had gender prohibition rules, same as our current society (interestingly though, ancient Chinese culture did not have this 3rd gender idea, that was just straight same sex domestic partnerships). That wasn't what I was attempting to show, that "natural order" hadn't been infringed. You said, "show me that these marriages that were same sex were treated the same." I obliged, didn't I, haha? Do you recognize that 3rd gender as valid? Probably not, right? In every biological sense of the term, these are same sex marriages treated equally. I have a different argument if you want to talk about 'natural law.'

    "How does your above statement, about how nature made them and all the rest, not apply to those who love animals? They use the same arguments about being "born with it", and everything working properly, their experiences, etc. It's the same argument you just used. Aren't you saying that if one is "born with it", then it means it's supposed to be? And if not, then what are you saying, and what did you mean by the "born with it" argument?"

    I can't comment on whether zoophiliacs or pedophiles are born with their sexual proclivities, because I am not aware of any scientific data supporting that assertion. On the other hand, we have pretty strong supporting evidence for biological origin of homosexuality (homosexuality in non-human animals, differences in brain chemistry, the statistical connection between the orientation of twins...). I can't say whether that data exists for those two.

    Not to mention, the sexualities are not morally equivalent.

    "Why two? Joined together how? By whom? What does "joined together" mean? Is it sexual? Is there a sexual union? (I would say the union is conjugal in nature). A unit? Same issue. A lot of things can be considered a unit. More than one, non-conjugal, etc. Heck, since the number "two" here is arbitrary (unless there is a biological imperative) a baseball team is people being joined together and being considered a unit. Or if you insist on two, then a doubles tennis team."

    I did say the definition wasn't perfect, didn't I? Let me pull out a better one:

    "Marriage is a socially supported union involving two or more individuals in what is regarded as a stable, enduring arrangement based at least in part on a sexual bond of some kind."

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    1. PS: how do you do italics? That's cool lol

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  75. forthewar, if I owned a B&B, would I be obligated under the law to allow an unmarried heterosexual couple to stay at my establishment? That would be against my religious beliefs also.

    Should I be forced to serve KKK members? Or members of the Westboro Baptist Church?

    Are Jewish deli owners forced to serve members of the Aryan Brotherhood?

    What about a baker who has gladly and happily made cakes for homosexual persons in the past (for birthdays, etc) but declines to do so for a gay wedding due to his support for traditional marriage? Is that still discrimination?

    Are you saying that business owners are not allowed to refuse service to anyone for any reason? What if a homosexual person who doesn't care for my religious affiliation vandalizes my property? Am I still required to serve him or is it discrimination if I do not?

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  76. "Nope. Not even a close analogy. Our objection is to accommodating sin (an action), not simply refusing to serve people for the beliefs they carry in their heads. Catholics cannot accommodate sin. Sorry. It's part of our faith. We sin if we accommodate or facilitate sin. If we are forced to directly facilitate a sin, we are in sin. (Yes, I'm being redundant, but I want to make sure it sinks in.) The government cannot legitimately force me to commit sin (because, um, I have freedom of religion)."

    You have a choice. Close the business, or commit sin? I do not recognize that religious beliefs include the right to be discriminatory in the public square.

    (I hope that doesn't turn this conversation towards a negative place. If my lols offended you, I apologize. I do that all the time.)

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  77. But forthewar, what you so sadly misunderstand, is that 'religion' isn't just a feeling that people have, it's something that they LIVE OUT. They have to live it, we have to live our Catholicism. And while you do not understand that, you will continue to misunderstand the debate surrounding things like not allowing gay 'weddings' to occur in church buildings.

    You laughingly say that these people deserve their lawsuits, and then say with seriousness that "Freedom of religion is a clear right. No one thinks Catholicism should be illegal". This is a contradiction. If these people deserve the lawsuits against them, then you are saying that their religion should be illegal. If these people do not deserve these lawsuits against them, then their freedom of religion is being trespassed upon.

    I'm glad you acknowledge that the right to marriage does not exist. But marriage does in and of itself not give 'equal protection under the law'. Assigning the word 'marriage' a new definition doesn't give anyone any better protections. These 'protections' can easily be effected by introducing a change to the tax laws, for example the inheritance tax, and other such ways. The fact that this route is being completely ignored by those such as yourself means only that this so called 'equal protection' matters not one jot, and all you care about is having the word.

    The supreme court may give you the word 'marriage', just as the supreme court has already changed marriage to be breakable, and therefore pretty meaningless already (when it's a state marriage that is). But do try to realise that marriage means more than you think it does, it is so much more than a simple sign of devotion, showing someone just how much you 'love' them etc. Nor is marriage just a means of getting tax breaks and financial benefits, as so often gets brought up in the 'debate'. Remember that the state implemented tax breaks because of *children*, which same sex relationships so severely lack, and children being brought up in stable homes, in a stable environment, is what the state is interested in.

    The idea that the state is at all interested in 'equality' or making people happy is quite frankly juvenile. People rarely understand what they mean when they say 'equality', and truthfully, there are probably only two ways to be equal: in our dignity as human persons, and in death. There will always be inequalities in man as long as we are different from each other, which as we know, we all are. Some people will always be cleverer than others, some will be prettier, some will be taller or shorter, some will be women, some will be men etc. and so forth. Difference is what makes life life, and to try and stamp it out is absurd.

    So instead of trying to make marriage, which is a celebration of a heterosexual union, into something it's not, why don't you celebrate the different union (because yes, homosexual unions are different) with a different word. It would be entirely more appropriate to do so, and furthermore wouldn't run the risk of trampling on religious liberty.

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  78. My bad! You did say that! So for this:

    Same sex partnerships were often viewed in the context of one person taking a masculine role and the other a feminine role.

    Why?

    I can't comment on whether zoophiliacs or pedophiles are born with their sexual proclivities, because I am not aware of any scientific data supporting that assertion.

    What if they are?

    That's quite a definition of marriage! In your mind, is there anything unique about male/female union? And, why did folks of all walks and cultures, from "the mists of history", decided societally that there should be some sort of sanctioning or vested interest in a thing like "marriage"? I'm asking you to philosophize a bit.

    Italicize like this: < i > text < /i > but without the spaces in the brackets. You can do the same for bold, by using a "b".

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  79. Joanna,

    "Are you saying that business owners are not allowed to refuse service to anyone for any reason?"

    As I understand it, you can deny service to anyone as long as you have a legitimate business reason for doing so, and aren't making an arbitrary distinction.

    http://www.legalzoom.com/us-law/equal-rights/right-refuse-service

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  80. Forthewar- thanks for your reply. I know it can be tough to keep arguing when so many people are throwing different ideas and concepts at you.

    Let's talk about the equal protection clause because in my opinion- that dog don't hunt. The Equal Protection Doctrine states that persons who are similarly situated must be treated the same under the law. It is a VERY important doctrine.

    I as a woman cannot marry a woman. I also can't marry my brother or my cousin. My sexual preferences are not the bases of that rule. A gay woman can marry a man. She has the exact same options I do. Now if you said gay men and women can't marry at all. That's an equal protection claim. If you said straight men and women can have SSM but gay ones can't. That's an equal protection claim.

    What's your basis for saying they should get married? Because they desire each other? What about the ones that want to marry their brothers, or their dogs, or children? Why is the desire to marry the same sex better or more important than these other desires?

    The only equal protection clause I can see is arguing that gays can't marry those they want to marry....but that's true for a lot of people. Two married people can't marry each other, etc. You have to give an argument why the "want" trumps the state's interest in using marriage to support and stabilize biological families. (Which is what the state cares about, they don't give a hoot if you love or are attracted to your spouse.)

    Oh the protected-class-argument. Remember the supremacy clause? Constitutional rights and federal law trumps state law.

    Did you notice I stated the florist did sell flowers to the gay man? She just refused to provide the flowers for the wedding. She's not refusing to serve him because he's gay (like many refused service to the blacks) she's refusing to participate in an activity she believes supports and validates sin. Does that matter?

    The way our legal system works is not the law on the books has to justified its existence. The state can give a good reason for limiting marriage which is a desire to encourage and promote the biological family unit. The idea is we use marriage to connect parents to each other and to the kids so that the unit is responsible for supporting all the members. So if you have a spouse who becomes disable you can't just divorce them and leave them in the care of the state- you have a responsibility to them. (This is not my personal beliefs- this is what the law IS in most states.) We've already justified the laws behind marriage- it is on the SSM group to argue why those should change.

    Not only why it should change but why should we force Americans to go against their religious beliefs and commit what they believe it is a sin? Remember the Mayflower found our shores because the people on board were not allowed to practice their religion in public......freedom of religion is nothing if you do not allow the free exercise of religion.

    Sorry for the choppiness! On my lunch break!

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  81. Hi Leila,

    you quoted the following from a young man raised by gay parents presumably arguing against gay marriage.

    "in which we explained that children deeply feel the loss of a father or mother, no matter how much we love our gay parents or how much they love us. Children feel the loss keenly because they are powerless to stop the decision to deprive them of a father or mother, and the absence of a male or female parent will likely be irreversible for them."

    The reason this is not a particularly convincing statement against gay marriage is because it has little to do with gay marriage. 35% of children live in a single parent household (which actually seems low seeing as how the illegitimacy rate is 40% and the divorce rate is 50%) This has absolutely nothing to do with gay marriage as it is illegal in a majority of this country-this is the fault of homosexual marriage (or lack there of)

    We cannot deny gay people marriage rights on the basis that it denies children a mother and a father because children are systematically denied access to both parents through our current system known as heterosexuality and children are not legally entitled to a mother and a father

    CS

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  82. CS- So the fact that some children, through no fault of their own, lack a second parent means we should routinely support and encourage a system that will denied a child a mother or father?

    That makes no sense.

    It is very sad that many children do not have a mother or a father due to death, deadbeat parents or divorce. But to say that justifies a system that will always denied a child a parent and moreover insist to that child that he or she is not missing anything at all.......is just amazing to me. There is so much wrong with that logic I don't know where to start.

    I would very much argue against your statement a child is not legally entitled to a mother and a father. Every child has a mother and a father. So long as the parents are alive they are responsible for that child. While we cannot force a parent to be physically and emotionally present we sure as the day is long can force them to financially support the child. The government does it all the time.

    So yes, children are entitled to their parents. Socially, biologically, and legally.

    Next you are going to tell me there is no difference between mothers and fathers, and so long as a child has a "caretaker" that's all they need.

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  83. Amen, Kat. We know from common sense (and mountains of social science) that a child does best with a mother and a father. To now enshrine a "right" for adults (based on "I want it!") that would put children behind the eight ball is not the role of law or society. And the whole argument of "well, lots of kids come from broken homes!" is so illogical. It's like saying, "Lots of kids are born without limbs, and they end up doing fine!" As if then it's okay to purposely create children to be without limbs?

    Yes, plenty of children overcome the absence of limbs and the absence of a mother or a father. It's a testament to the human spirit that we overcome many, many adversities! But to purposely create the adversity for a child? Unthinkable.

    And Kat, yes, I'm so glad that you brought up that every child already HAS a mother and a father. And every child has a right to that mother and father.

    CS, I am sad that you didn't come back to the last conversation we were having. I truly wish you would finish that, or answer the questions that had been left hanging.

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  84. Hi Leila and Kat

    I certainly understand why you would say it is not moral or in the best interest of the child to deprive him of a mother and a father.

    But when you object to legally instating gay marriage on the basis that it deprives children a mother and a father it implies that children have a legal right to a mother and a father and that is just simply not true.

    "To now enshrine a "right" for adults (based on "I want it!") that would put children behind the eight ball is not the role of law or society. And the whole argument of "well, lots of kids come from broken homes!" is so illogical. It's like saying, "Lots of kids are born without limbs, and they end up doing fine!" As if then it's okay to purposely create children to be without limbs?"

    I'm sorry but the law already puts children behind the 8 ball based on what the adult 'wants' in terms of childrearing. Adults currently have the right to have sex with (and make babies with) whomever they want and this right does trump children knowing who their parents are. (Not arguing that this is good or bad, just that it is currently the law.

    Women are allowed to have one night stands with men whose name's they don't know, are allowed to sleep with multiple men and thus don't know paternity. They are allowed to decide they don't want to wait for a man and become a single mother using a sperm bank or a friend. Straight people are fundamentally 'allowed to create children without legs' are you put it. We cannot hold the gays to a standard of two parent households that does not exist

    CS

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  85. Leila,

    I am sorry about darting off the other page. I had a work project that I was working on that was monopolizing a lot of time. I scrolled briefly through the comments and two outstanding questions I saw were you asking me the denomination of my Pastor, he's episcopal. Another was from Sharon I believe about how I would face God in light of my views on abortion

    I think the latter is certainly a good question, but not in regard to abortion, but in general. I think if i really evaluated my culpability, it would be a hard thing to do. I mean look at that building in Bangladesh that collapsed and killed 400 people. I had a part in that. I insist on buying clothes from Walmart, and an iphone from Apple and chocolate from Hershey because god forbid i pay decent price for my clothes or go without a luxury. But I don't. I support slavery, and sex trafficking, and exploitation. I spend money on frivolities while people are starving to death even in this country. I certainly fear god's judgement more on these issues than on abortion

    CS

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  86. CS, your last paragraph… that is certainly the liberal mind at work. Supporting a law that directly allows ripping children limb from limb in your own town is not as worthy of fearing God's judgement (in fact, you are a fan of Planned Parenthood) as is shopping at Wal-Mart. Um, okay.

    And on those other issues (putting aside the fact that you are actually not culpable for a building collapse in Bangladesh, and no one [unlike abortion] actually celebrates and wants such a thing)… how badly do you actually fear God's judgment and seek to submit to Him and His laws? Does He have any other laws (such as on human sexuality) that you fear His judgment on as well? The Bible says that "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom". We are culpable for our own towns and cities (laws) and our own personal sins (not just "social sins") before anything else.

    As for the gay marriage comments: Elevating gay pairings to the status of "marriage" is not the same as merely allowing or tolerating something that we don't desire as a culture (such as hook-ups, drunkenness, etc.). Gay people already had the ability to be sexual with each other and live together, etc. Enshrining and exalting it to legal marriage is a different animal altogether.

    Your "it's not good or bad, it's the law" reminds me of the interview with Tamara Holder and Lila Rose recently:

    http://foxnewsinsider.com/2013/04/30/hannity-debate-over-shocking-undercover-video-abortion-clinic

    Morally, it just makes me tremble for Tamara. And my goodness, I never thought it would be uncomfortable watching a pro-abort (who is defending the indefensible) crash and burn on national TV, but I was seriously feeling bad for her. Her avenging conscience was working overtime. That must have been a hard night for her, and she was arguing from the "hey, it's the law" perspective.


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  87. CS, let me ask this way, with a hypothetical:

    1) Slavery is legal in your town, even held up as a "right". Do you, CS, speak against it? Do you help enact laws against it? Do you vote for candidates who are against it? If it came up in a referendum, do you vote to make slavery illegal?

    2) Abortion is legal in your town, even held up as a "right". Do you, CS, speak against it? Do you help enact laws against it? Do you vote for candidates who are against it? If it came up in a referendum, do you vote to make abortion illegal?

    And you never actually answered: As an abortion advocate, what do you think is your culpability before God on the abortion question, specifically?

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  88. Should I be forced to serve KKK members? Or members of the Westboro Baptist Church?

    I'm not aware of the legal obligations, so I can't really give you a legal answer. But I can tell you my opinion. If you're open for business to the public, then you're open to business to the public. That means everyone. Nurses shouln't get to decide who they treat, and pharmacists shouldn't decide what drugs to dispense according to their moral views.

    If you don't like it, then maybe you shouldn't be working in something that may present a unpalatable moral working environment. Muslims don't try to say they should be able to refuse to serve you bacon, do they? They either don't work in that environment or deal with the issue.

    f these people deserve the lawsuits against them, then you are saying that their religion should be illegal.

    I am not saying that at all. You are perfectly entitled to practice your religion however you see fit, under your right to religious expression. However, you are not allowed to use that religious freedom to restrict the rights of others. A business is a public square, that's why we can command racists and such to integrate? If you open a business, you are subject to the rules of discrimination.

    The idea that the state is at all interested in 'equality' or making people happy is quite frankly juvenile.

    I disagree entirely.

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  89. "The idea that the state is at all interested in 'equality' or making people happy is quite frankly juvenile."

    Amen. Forced equality of outcome has been tried. Look to history. Not pretty. We can have forced equality of outcome, or we can have liberty, but we cannot have both.

    forthewar, so if a florist was asked to provide flowers for a KKK awards banquet, he cannot have the freedom to decline? Should he have that freedom, in your opinion, for that reason?

    Or if a photographer did not want to shoot a porn wrap party, could she politely decline and refer them to other photographers? Or should they be required to shoot the porn party or else lose their business? Is that liberty? And would declining to shoot the party really infringe on anyone's rights?

    What about printing invitations to a cutting party? Could a printer decline to facilitate something that she sees as wrong and harmful? If we cannot decline to participate in things that we sincerely believe are sinful, harmful, wrong, then where is our freedom?

    In light of this, your statement seems nonsensical:

    "You are perfectly entitled to practice your religion however you see fit, under your right to religious expression. However, you are not allowed to use that religious freedom to restrict the rights of others."

    I will serve KKK members, cutters, porn stars, etc., if I am in business. Serving them food is not a sin, providing flowers for their moms for Mother's Day is not a sin. What I must never be forced to do is help in the facilitation of things that I consider to be sinful, immoral, harmful or wrong (freedom of conscience and religion are paramount). Being and doing are two different things. Making distinctions is so, so, so important.

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    1. "Or should they be required to shoot the porn party or else lose their business?"

      And by this, I mean "have to literally lose the photography business" (not lose the porn company's business). Paying lawyers fees and fines so as to be unable to continue to run a business. Hope that was clear.

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  90. By the way, your Muslim analogy does not work. A Muslim restaurant owner would not serve bacon. The problem would come in if a "bacon rights advocate" came in with threats of lawsuits if the Muslim restaurant continued to refuse to serve bacon, and the government backed the advocates up.

    A Christian florist will serve anyone. What a Christian florist will not do is provide flowers for something sinful. Not someone sinful (we are all sinners), but something sinful.

    Distinctions.

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  91. Why?

    Why did (some) ancient people not separate the ideas of orientation, gender, and sex? I'm straying into areas that I cannot speak with confidence about, but I have a few ideas:

    1) Quite simply, ancient societies did not have the knowledge of biological sexual orientation and gender we do now. We understand there are "female" associated hormones, "male" associated hormones, female brains, male brains, etc etc. We know that biologically born males can have brains that are closer to biological female brains, and vice versa. Male homosexuals usually are part of a biological subset. Without this knowledge, it's probably relatively easy to separate people (based on their feelings) into the two clear and obvious anatomical categories: male and female, with their resultant characteristics.

    2) Gender roles were often quite rigid in the past. Men and women who did things that were characteristic of the opposite gender role would simply be characterized in that gender.

    What if they are?

    Then they are. Facts are facts. That does not, however, make their orientations morally workable on the equivalent level to heterosexuality and homosexuality.

    That's quite a definition of marriage! In your mind, is there anything unique about male/female union? And, why did folks of all walks and cultures, from "the mists of history", decided societally that there should be some sort of sanctioning or vested interest in a thing like "marriage"?

    Like I said before lol, I didn't failt 7th grade biology, only heterosexual unions can create life. But didn't we already have this conversation? That's orthogonal to the discussion of marriage? There are marriages where children play no role.

    As for why marriage came into existence, there are a number of theories. One, it provides a way to "ensure" paternity, resulting in a continuance of heredity. Others include the evolution of monogamy, social uplift, the creation of family unit...

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  92. "That does not, however, make their orientations morally workable on the equivalent level to heterosexuality and homosexuality."

    And they would disagree with you. So, who wins? Morality is determined by whomever has the strongest political position, no?

    As for why marriage came into existence, do you think there is really a chance that procreation and children had *nothing* to do with it? Isn't the fact that male/female union can create children the only reason we even have something called marriage? If humans reproduced asexually and their offspring were self-sufficient from birth, do you think marriage would have ever been the basis of societies? Would it even have existed?

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  93. "By the way, your Muslim analogy does not work. A Muslim restaurant owner would not serve bacon. The problem would come in if a "bacon rights advocate" came in with threats of lawsuits if the Muslim restaurant continued to refuse to serve bacon, and the government backed the advocates up."

    I'm sorry, that wasn't the point of the analogy! I'm not talking about a Muslim owned business, because the analogy doesn't work that way, I agree. I was talking about my general opinion on being able to refuse public service at a company. This was more of a general "employee" type situation. A Muslim waiter is not legally allowed to refuse to sell alcohol of bacon because it is a 'sin.' That is the sort of idea I was talking about.

    When it comes to a religiously owned business...they have to make a choice. Will I be open to the public (that includes KKK members, sexual deviants, bad people, monsters, etc) or won't I? You could set up a business that only caters to a particular market or what have you that 'sinners' aren't part of, but at the end of the day, yes, you have to provide service to everyone. You still have to right to practice your religion, but you don't *have* to have a business. Don't be a florist if it bothers you that much.

    (These are my opinions. I have no idea what the law is. I am not a lawyer)

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  94. "Isn't the fact that male/female union can create children the only reason we even have something called marriage?"

    I think that has to do with the fact humans are monogamous.

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    1. Actually, and also because humans are lifelong maters. Actually, probably more because of that.

      Delete
  95. Oh, my apologies for the mistake.

    But again, the florist is not refusing to serve people (even monsters). She is refusing to help facilitate a sin. Other than that, she will serve monsters all day long. Distinctions.

    What good is freedom of conscience or religious expression if those freedoms cannot be practiced? Scratching my head….

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  96. "What good is freedom of conscience or religious expression if those freedoms cannot be practiced? Scratching my head…."

    You have freedom of speech. You probably do not have the freedom to go on a tirade against Jews at your place of work and keep your job. I consider the situations equivalent.

    PS: I will be gone for the weekend. I don't know if you want to continue this conversation or not, but if not, it was fun! You guys do have well thought out opinions even if we disagree. I appreciate we can have these talks without negativity, too.

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  97. Uh, mating has nothing to do with… children, then? Really? Mating and children seem to go hand in hand. Thus, marriage as something desirable (all societies thought so).

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  98. "I am not saying that at all."

    Yes actually, you ARE saying that, because you fail (AGAIN) to understand that religious freedom involves living out your religion. Now, the other person may have a right to request a service of me, but they do not have the right to demand it of me, and I have the right to refuse such a service, and religious freedom comes under the reasons for being able to refuse. (Let's remember the distinction between sinful THINGS and sinful PEOPLE here 'kay?)

    The other person, let's not forget, has the right to go elsewhere and vote with their wallet and feet. They are not obliged to demand services of me - especially, come to think of it, in America, where you can find hundreds of people offering the service you want. If you demand a service of a specific person because they refused you on legitimate religious grounds, then you are being petty and anti-religion.

    On a side note, I can't believe you just equated religious people with racists. Cheers for that. Classy.

    And sure you disagree that the state isn't vested in equality or people's happiness. What the state actually should care about is the functionality of society. It's not the state's job to look at individual sob stories and make laws accordingly. It is the state's job to ensure law and order in a more global nature, and because we live in an imperfect world, the way the state does this is invariably flawed. The state is never going to make everyone happy. Ever.

    Actually, forget that. Give me a solid (read: not woolly, vapid, un-pin-downable definition, but a real one that can be applied) definition of equality and happiness (you could do happiness on an individual and then national basis if you like, because the two are different) and then I'll better be able to see where you're coming from.

    Because at the moment, all I've read, over and over again is:

    - children don't matter to marriage
    - gender doesn't matter to marriage
    - marriage is whatever the law says it is
    - truth doesn't exist or matter
    - but people's feelings do matter, so much that we have to make laws about it
    - religion should never make anyone feel unhappy about themselves.

    (May be reaching slightly on the last two, but that is what your words really do come across as to me. Could be a British thing, idk.)

    I'm sorry forthewar, but this worldview makes absolutely no sense. Sure it seems very liberal, and very nice, and very sunshine and butterflies. But it absolutely doesn't hold up to logic, or common sense, or the collective experience of humanity over the last few thousand years.

    I'm going to repeat what I said at the end of my last post, because I know you've got a lot of posts to read in response to you, so:

    So instead of trying to make marriage, which is a celebration of a heterosexual union, into something it's not, why don't you celebrate the different union (because yes, homosexual unions are different) with a different word. It would be entirely more appropriate to do so, and furthermore wouldn't run the risk of trampling on religious liberty.

    Unless you don't think the unions are different?

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  99. Every time I peek into this discussion, I'm reminded of the circular nature of posting opposing thoughts/ideas on this blog.

    Forthewar, you should know there's been A LOT of talk about the proverbial Muslim serving bacon, an obscure story about people who want to marry animals and the photographer who gosh darnit, didn't want to chronicle a same-sex marriage ceremony. Perhaps we could extend an invitation to a Muslim who has been present while bacon was cooking to join the conversation after all this time?

    I'm particularly intrigued though with Leila's directive to CS. Makes it sound like judgment day before God is going to be like a long audit with the IRS....."and on September 20th, you chose not to buy clothes from Wal-Mart but you didn't stop and protest medical procedures for pregnant women wishing to terminate their pregnancies. Peter, could you get me the golden scales please, we'll need to weigh this one carefully so as to determine the percentage of penance time in purgatory before we move on to September 21st, when you took my name in vain after you stubbed your toe."

    Keep going, I'm enjoying the read : )

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  100. Quietly refusing to facilitate sin (and thus commit sin oneself) is not the same as going on a tirade against a race of people. Even though cursing an entire race is protected speech (what good is freedom of speech if it only protects popular speech, right?), I agree that an employer should determine what kind of employees he can have in his business. Just like an employer should be able to decide (without fear of government punishment) not to participate in or facilitate sin.

    Anyway, the situations are not at all equivalent.



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  101. Probably gonna have to be my last comment until Monday! Sorry!

    "Uh, mating has nothing to do with… children, then? Really? Mating and children seem to go hand in hand. Thus, marriage as something desirable (all societies thought so). "

    Mating was probably the wrong word to use. I can't think of a better word though. Pairs is wrong, because sometimes there are love groups. Hmm...humans generally have lifelong romantic relationships. There. That's closer to what I meant.

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  102. "...humans generally have lifelong romantic relationships."

    Biologically, why would that be?

    And, I respect that you have to go. I have a crazy weekend (prom for one child and a ton of other stuff; note that I have not put up a new blog post in a week, ack!), so I understand the time crunch. Thanks for the respectful discussion!

    Gwen, if you don't like the Particular Judgement, wait'll you see the General Judgement! ;)

    Every idle thought and word will be judged. Thankfully, we have a God of great Mercy, who can even take our filthy sins and bring good from them. All He wants is a contrite heart.

    Nice to see you back!

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  103. Personally, I am in a committed relationship with my pet rock, and am looking forward to new government programs to benefit us.

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  105. Hi Leila,

    I really don't mean to comment and dash. I have been having trouble accessing your site from anywhere besides my home computer and I have not been home all weekend.

    As your your question. I really don't want to presume to know what God chooses to pass judgement or not on. There are oh so so many sins. But I don't know why a person such as myself who doesn't actually contribute to abortion in any meaningful way (having conversations in a vaccum on a catholic blog and liking PP on facebook) makes me complicit in murder, yet directly buying good I know was made from slave labor doesn't implicate me in slavery. I dont really see it.

    I don't pretend to know in the eyes of God who goes down for any of it. Who i judged for polluting the water? Who is judged for poverty. All of us none of us. I certainly couldn't tell you.


    CS

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  106. Hi CS! No worries on quick answers, as I have been a real slacker lately, on my own blog.

    But if you could answer this specifically:

    CS, let me ask this way, with a hypothetical:

    1) Slavery is legal in your town, even held up as a "right". Do you, CS, speak against it? Do you help enact laws against it? Do you vote for candidates who are against it? If it came up in a referendum, do you vote to make slavery illegal?

    2) Abortion is legal in your town, even held up as a "right". Do you, CS, speak against it? Do you help enact laws against it? Do you vote for candidates who are against it? If it came up in a referendum, do you vote to make abortion illegal?


    For the record, I would answer yes to both. I would work to end both slavery and abortion in my own town. I would vote against both.

    And as to the part about "who knows what God would judge", then are you saying that God is going to punish us on things that we can't possibly have known were wrong? He speaks a lot about sin and judgement for our own personal sins, but could a just God have left us with no real way of knowing what is right and wrong? Help me understand. What kind of God would say, "You could sin gravely enough to spend eternity in hell, but I am not going to make anything clear for you, and My Truth will be a mystery. Good luck!"

    That is not a loving God. Not the Christian God. So, help me understand.

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  107. Hi Leila,

    Abortion is legal and I don't as you know speak or vote against it. But poisoning the water is legal and I also don't do much to stop that.

    If you are implying that we are guilty for the evils we don't speak up and stop, I believe we are all a lot more guilty than you think.

    What I meant Leila, was only that there are just too many sins to keep track of. I mean if God is sending people to hell for masturbating and taking his name in vain or thinking mean thoughts, we're all going hell. I imagine the formula is more complex than that. If God thinks we are complicit for every evil we don't stand up against, I don't know how we arent all in his bad graces.

    CS

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  108. To make it simpler:

    If direct poisoning of water were up for a vote, you would vote "no".

    If direct killing of a human being through abortion were up for a vote, you would vote "yes".

    Correct?

    Off to a movie, be back later to address the rest.

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  109. Hi Leila,

    I am sure you know by this point that yes I would vote to keep abortion legal.

    CS

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  110. Right, and that is kind of my point. You are against all sorts of bad things, like slavery and sex trafficking, and intentionally poisoning water, etc. But you are not against abortion. And you say you are not sure what your culpability would be with regard to it, even though you are for it. You would and do allow it to happen, without speaking out, without working to make the killing of those children illegal. And so again, as a Christian to a Christian, I wonder about why you are not more concerned about your culpability when God asks you about it at your Judgement. We know these are His children. He loves them. He created them. The Bible says that He "knit us in our mother's womb". We know that at the Visitation, the unborn John the Baptist "leapt" for joy in his mother Elizabeth's womb when he was in the presence of Jesus, the embryo, in Mary's womb. We know these are sacred, human lives from the beginning. A culture who allows their slaughter, and yes, celebrates it as a right, is going to be culpable for that. That is why I pray often, "Lord, have mercy" and I tremble at what we have done.

    As for the rest, there is no "formula" that makes sin complicated and hard to keep track of. Again, speaking Christian to Christian: Christianity is a revealed religion. God wanted us to know Truth. Jesus Christ (God) said: "For this I came into the world, to testify to the Truth; those who are of the Truth hear my voice" (hope I got that verbatim). And Jesus said to His Church: "I will not leave you orphans" and that the Holy Spirit would lead His Church "to all Truth". And he mentions sin and hell so, so, so many times. And he warns us again and again to turn away from sin, to repent. And that even the approval or desire of sin in our minds is enough to make us turn from His friendship, kill the love in our hearts for goodness, and deaden our souls.

    The question for all of us, every Christian, is how deeply, how passionately, do we desire to do God's will and abandon our own? Every breath should be to live for Him, and not for ourselves. It's not hard to know what sin is (that part is easy). It's hard to turn our will away from sin and toward virtue and goodness. It's hard to do His will (that is why Jesus showed us how, by picking up a Cross to His death, and said, "Take up your cross and follow me" (to Calvary).

    How can we stay out of sin and stay in His grace? Only by the grace of God, and not by our own power. But with His grace, all things are possible, even holiness. The lives of the saints attest to this. Only through His grace. But we have to crave Him, love Him, and desire to be holy like Him.

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  111. Hi Leila,

    I understand what Christianity is as revealed religion. So does no stealing mean we aren't allowed to download music? how about buy pirated Louis Vuitton? What exactly qualifies as gluttony? can I have skittles every day, every week, every month. Does the ' a camel has a better chance of going through the eye of a needle than a rich man does getting into heave' line mean i am sinning if i vote for Mitt Romney or (any president for that matter) or if i don't live in abject poverty, is that okay.

    I'm not asking these questions because I am personally struggling with the answers. But rather because there are a lot of 'sins' that may be sins that could be argued either way and different clergymen will give you different instructions.

    "You would and do allow it to happen, without speaking out.." Yea Leila but that's a lot of things not abortion. You say I'm not guilty for the treatment of workers in Bangladesh or dirty water, yet i do nothing to stop either of these, and it's not sinning. But not speaking out against abortion makes me responsible for that. I don't get it. The idea that abortion is the most important social issue is really a uniquely catholic position. But its certainly your perogotive to have

    CS

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  112. Yes, those things are stealing, though the sin might be mortal or venial, depending on the amount stolen. As to the rest, same thing. There are gradations and subjective qualities to greed, or to gluttony. Best to strive for the opposite virtues of those vices (generosity, temperance).

    Abortion (which is direct, willful murder) is not the same as the more subjective and gradated issues such as "what constitutes glutton in any particular case?" Abortion is a direct killing of an innocent human being who has been given his or her very life by God Himself. To take that life is never, ever allowed, nor is it a gray area. And the more we know, the more we are culpable for what we do or don't do with things in our own life or our own community…. (God does not require me to fix Bangladesh when I am here with plenty to fix in Phoenix; he placed us where we are for a reason.) A vote or a spoken word is not going to extraordinary lengths -- it is well within our power to vote against the killing of humans, or to speak against it in our towns and nation. It is not within my power to change the city codes and punish the guilty parties in Bangladesh. God knows this.

    But as Jesus said, if you are for evil in your heart, then you are as guilty as if you had committed the act itself. I know you would not be for the collapse of a building on anyone, anywhere. But you are very much for abortion being legal, you would not vote to end the killings, and you've even argued publicly for abortion. You (like every one of us) will be held to account.

    Yes, many clergymen say opposite things. That presents a serious problem, doesn't it? That's what happens when people rebel against the Church Christ founded. We have 30,000+ Protestant denominations. Whom do we trust with our salvation? (Eternity is a looooong time, and it's no joke.) Jesus delegated His authority to His Apostles and their successors. Look for the successor to Peter, the leader of the Apostles, and you cannot go wrong. God did not leave us orphans, unknowing. Look to the Church that Christ founded. And read the New Testament, that the Catholic Church wrote, canonized and promulgated. Read the words of Jesus, St. Paul, the early Christians.

    Again, the question: How desperately do you wish to do God's will, die to self, and become virtuous and holy? Right now, you are young and it might not be an important question to you, and I understand. I was there. But the problem is, it's the only question in the world that ultimately matters, even if we don't care about the question. Because the answer to it determines our eternal fate. It really does. Jesus was not kidding around. He wants you holy, CS, and fully virtuous. You are called to sanctity.

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  113. Hi everyone! Sorry if the conversation's dead! I figured it was worth a shot...

    Quietly refusing to facilitate sin (and thus commit sin oneself) is not the same as going on a tirade against a race of people.

    But that wasn't the point of the comparison. Sorry if that wasn't clear! You said:

    What good is freedom of conscience or religious expression if those freedoms cannot be practiced? Scratching my head….

    My point was just because a right is curated does not mean it cannot be practiced. Very few people would say that we don't have freedom of speech here in the US, even though you agree with me that you can't say ridiculous things at your place of employment and expect to keep your job because of freedom of expression. Similarly, you shouldn't be allowed to discriminate in a public space because of religious views, and not face consequences as a business. You don't have to have a job that restricts your freedom of speech, and you don't have to own a business that puts you in a position of "endorsing sin." But that doesn't render your ability to practice your rights moot.

    As for the fact Catholics will serve gay people as long as it does not endorse sin, it doesn't matter. Conditional discrimination is still discrimination and I still believe it should be illegal.

    Biologically, why would that be?

    I have no idea. Perhaps because our brains are set up that way? Primates have complex social organizations.


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  114. forthewar, we have Constitutional freedom of speech -- specifically freedom of unpopular political speech (mainly what the Founders meant) -- in order to protect the people from the government who might not like what the citizens have to say. It's what makes us different, and so revolutionary among governments.

    If I own a business and I start spouting ugly, racist slogans and such (or speak against the government, etc.), the government CANNOT come in and close my business. The government cannot sanction me, fine me, persecute me, jail me, etc. That is what freedom of speech means. Freedom of association, same idea. If the KKK wants to hold a meeting, no matter how despicable its ideas, they are free to do so, with no fear from the government. That is so that all unpopular speech and association is protected. (Popular speech and popular association would not need protection, right?)

    Now, if the private citizens want to boycott certain stores, groups, etc., that is fine. That is not government sanction and penalty, and the people are still free. Same with an employer who wants to fire an employee for spewing hateful, racial crap all over the business. An employer must have that right, to fire such an employee.

    But what you are saying is that a Catholic (not some fringe, new, crazy religious group… my goodness, a Catholic!) cannot run his own business in accord with his religious faith. You are saying that the GOVERNMENT can go after him, intimidate him, sue him, and run him out of business for refusing to facilitate what his conscience and Church says is grave sin. This is absurd, outrageous, insane, un-Constitutional, and a complete violation of his rights.

    You cannot compare the government taking away a private citizen's rights to private citizens deciding not to patronize (or employ) certain businesses (or people) for whatever objection they have. It's not analogous.

    The Constitution protects citizens' rights from being infringed by a heavy-handed government. ESPECIALLY with regard to religious freedom. It's the very reason this nation was founded. It's in the history books. Freedom from religious persecution by the government. That's why they came here.

    "Conditional discrimination is still discrimination and I still believe it should be illegal."

    Yes, and this is why the Church, including all the normally milquetoast American bishops, are on high alert now. I meant what I said in my one post: You (and other atheists) do not care one whit about our freedom of religion. Freedom of religion is waaaaay down the list for you, when it actually is at the top of the Constitution and the Founders' intent. We are drifting far from what we were, and it does not take long before our rights are gone and the Constitution is a joke with no meaning at all. We are very close. Catholics expect it now, but it is very sad nonetheless.

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  115. "I have no idea. Perhaps because our brains are set up that way?"

    You've never thought about why humanity has always instinctively married? In all times and cultures?

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  116. forthewar, we have Constitutional freedom of speech -- specifically freedom of unpopular political speech (mainly what the Founders meant) -- in order to protect the people from the government who might not like what the citizens have to say. It's what makes us different, and so revolutionary among governments.

    If I own a business and I start spouting ugly, racist slogans and such (or speak against the government, etc.), the government CANNOT come in and close my business. The government cannot sanction me, fine me, persecute me, jail me, etc. That is what freedom of speech means. Freedom of association, same idea. If the KKK wants to hold a meeting, no matter how despicable its ideas, they are free to do so, with no fear from the government. That is so that all unpopular speech and association is protected. (Popular speech and popular association would not need protection, right?)


    I agree with all of this. You are allowed to say whatever you want, and the consequences will come.

    Now, if the private citizens want to boycott certain stores, groups, etc., that is fine. That is not government sanction and penalty, and the people are still free. Same with an employer who wants to fire an employee for spewing hateful, racial crap all over the business. An employer must have that right, to fire such an employee.

    I also agree with this. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.

    But what you are saying is that a Catholic (not some fringe, new, crazy religious group… my goodness, a Catholic!) cannot run his own business in accord with his religious faith. You are saying that the GOVERNMENT can go after him, intimidate him, sue him, and run him out of business for refusing to facilitate what his conscience and Church says is grave sin. This is absurd, outrageous, insane, un-Constitutional, and a complete violation of his rights.

    I hope the conversation isn't headed to a negative place again, but yes, this is exactly what I am saying. If the Catholic religion makes discrimination part of its beliefs (it's "discriminating against 'sin', isn't it? I swear I'm not using that word simply for being inflammatory) then Catholics themselves should be wary of endeavors where they might have to endorse sin. I fail to see how that is a violation of rights. If it bothers you, I believe you should simply find another line of work. What right is being violated? You don't have the right to work in whatever business you desire... You do not have to work in a business where you will be put in a difficult moral position. Plenty of people turn down jobs for this reason.

    Society sees (or should, they're working towards it...) LBGT individuals as a discriminated class who need social protection. Equality of treatment laws are social protection.

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  117. You (and other atheists) do not care one whit about our freedom of religion.

    But that's not true! I'm a huge proponent of freedom of religion, I just believe it is used as a defense often quite inappropriately.

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  118. You've never thought about why humanity has always instinctively married? In all times and cultures?

    This is a different question then the one you originally asked me. Lifelong romantic relationships do not have to be marriages. They can be, but they aren't. The origin of romance and human sexuality is too complicated of a question for me to answer confidently because I don't know enough about it.

    I do know that humans are one of a few animals to have sex outside of their fertile periods, but also have complex social norms around sex.

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  119. forthewar, that last part makes me chuckle (if a bit wryly) because I believe the Soviet Union had freedom of religion in its constitution, and we know how seriously they took that.

    You did not mention the point that I was making all along, which is that GOVERNMENT cannot curtail my right to run a business as a Catholic. Yes, a Catholic should even be allowed by the government to run a florist shop, without being shut down for refusing to sin. At this rate, due to the HHS mandate as well, Catholics will soon not be able to be doctors, nurses, pharmacists, owners of any business that is not religious in nature, etc. Basically half the professions in America, or more, will be closed to Catholics who want to live their faith. Some liberal politicians have said explicitly that Catholics should not apply to be ER doctors for example, or work in pharmacies. You are in agreement with them, and so how can I conclude anything other than that you don't care about my freedom of religion? Will you fight for the Catholics in this nation when we begin to go to jail? (The bishop of Columbus risks jail right now for firing the lesbian teacher, who had been hired under the pretense that she upheld Catholic values and teaching.)

    My questions specifically were about the government. If the government is going to override a citizen's rights (as fundamental as freedom of religion), then it has to have a compelling interest (I believe that is the legal term). And, a gay person's right to have me provide flowers for a "wedding" (when there are many, many other places that will sell flowers for that event) is not a "compelling" enough interest to run a Catholic out of business, when we have always been able to run businesses in the USA before gay "marriage" became de rigueur. (In fact, even a few years ago, gay people themselves would have been baffled at the thought that two men could logistically get "married"…. so, it's a weird "discrimination", since no one, even the "discriminated against", ever knew it existed!).

    Again, if the public does not want to patronize a Catholic business (we have lived through anti-Catholicism before) that is one thing. But for the government to start penalizing Catholics for being… Catholic? That is a whole other thing. Is that the role of government? That sexual "rights" trump freedom of religious expression? Again, what was this nation founded on, in your understanding? What good is freedom of religion? What does freedom of religion protect me from, specifically?

    Thanks!

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  120. You did not mention the point that I was making all along, which is that GOVERNMENT cannot curtail my right to run a business as a Catholic.

    Isn't this the whole point of disagreement? I believe it should, if Catholic beliefs involve discriminating against LBGT individuals...

    We're not talking about the current law right? I know some states are set up to protect LBGT rights, but I have no idea what the actual laws are.

    Catholics will soon not be able to be doctors, nurses, pharmacists, owners of any business that is not religious in nature, etc. Basically half the professions in America, or more, will be closed to Catholics who want to live their faith. Some liberal politicians have said explicitly that Catholics should not apply to be ER doctors for example, or work in pharmacies. You are in agreement with them, and so how can I conclude anything other than that you don't care about my freedom of religion?

    Every job in America doesn't come with severe moral quandaries, I apologize if I think you are overstating the issue a bit. The jobs you have listed specifically all have situations where the moral outlook of your customer may not line up with your own, and that should be ok. As for the others, how is being a Catholic landscaper or casting agent in danger, haha? And even if you are in the "dangerous professions", I think a simple "We are Catholic and we hate endorsing sin, please don't buy flowers from us if you are committing a sin according to Catholic theology" should be an acceptable and legal way to, ahem, dissuade gay people from patronizing your business, albeit in a way I disapprove.

    And, a gay person's right to have me provide flowers for a "wedding" (when there are many, many other places that will sell flowers for that event) is not a "compelling" enough interest to run a Catholic out of business, when we have always been able to run businesses in the USA before gay "marriage" became de rigueur.

    I consider this a faulty argument because it simply uses the past as a moral ideal, when we both know that isn't true. It is true that Catholics have been able to refuse to provide services to gay people in the past, whether or not they were getting married -- it doesn't mean it was right or should continue.

    In fact, even a few years ago, gay people themselves would have been baffled at the thought that two men could logistically get "married"…. so, it's a weird "discrimination", since no one, even the "discriminated against", ever knew it existed!).

    There have always been pessimistic minority groups who didn't believe that obtaining their rights was possible. It doesn't invalidate whether it is right to, though.

    That is a whole other thing. Is that the role of government? That sexual "rights" trump freedom of religious expression?"

    In a public space, when providing to the public? Absolutely, I believe. But that has nothing to do with your individual rights to practice religion as you see fit.

    Again, what was this nation founded on, in your understanding? What good is freedom of religion? What does freedom of religion protect me from, specifically?

    The US was founded on freedom. A very limited concept of freedom that only applied to rich white males, though. So I don't take the Founding Father's opinions on what constitutes an equal society very strongly, sadly. The good of freedom of religion is that it allows you to practice your personal religion without fear of reprisals from the government.

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  121. forthewar, thank you, thank you, thank you. You are illustrating perfectly why both sides are so at odds and cannot be reconciled. We have SUCH different views on the very basics of civics, never mind religion. I can't remember if I asked you before, but I am guessing you are young? In your twenties, maybe, and single?

    Every job in America doesn't come with severe moral quandaries, I apologize if I think you are overstating the issue a bit. The jobs you have listed specifically all have situations where the moral outlook of your customer may not line up with your own, and that should be ok. As for the others, how is being a Catholic landscaper or casting agent in danger, haha?

    "Business owner" is a huge segment of the population. It is how many millions of Americans make their livelihood. It's how millions support their families (so that the government doesn't have to, by the way). So, Catholics who want to stay out of sin must not be business owners. They cannot be doctors, nurses, pharmacists. They can be landscapers, ha ha, until a gay couple comes to them and asks them to clean and decorate their backyard, adding plants around the gazebo for the "wedding". Okay, so no landscaping open to Catholics. Casting directors…. how many are their in America? Should all Catholic households be run by casting directors? Does not seem feasible, and most would starve as there is not much demand for casting directors as far as percentage of the population, ha ha. So, what is left? I guess all Catholics could be engineers, at least for now? But what if a Catholic feels called to be a doctor (like my son)? Or a restaurant owner? Or a business owner? In your new America, there is no room for them. This is something that would have been unthinkable, even ten, even eight, even five years ago!

    And even if you are in the "dangerous professions", I think a simple "We are Catholic and we hate endorsing sin, please don't buy flowers from us if you are committing a sin according to Catholic theology" should be an acceptable and legal way to, ahem, dissuade gay people from patronizing your business, albeit in a way I disapprove.

    Oh, if it were only that simple! That would be fine and wonderful, if only it could happen that way! Unfortunately, the strategy of pushing gay "rights" has come from the top down, from courts and academics and elites. They know all about the power of lawsuits against a small citizen who cannot fight back. The florist, and the baker, and the B&B owners, and all the others caught in this legal trap all did exactly what you proposed. And it was not enough, because the point of the activists is to change the culture, via lawsuits. There was no way out for these business owners. Heck, the activists go looking for ways to draw a lawsuit!

    I consider this a faulty argument because it simply uses the past as a moral ideal, when we both know that isn't true. It is true that Catholics have been able to refuse to provide services to gay people in the past, whether or not they were getting married -- it doesn't mean it was right or should continue.

    Again, no Catholic I know has or would refuse to "provide services to gay people". Even the florist in question serves gays all the time and employs them, too. What she will not do is participate in sin. Distinctions.





    There have always been pessimistic minority groups who didn't believe that obtaining their rights was possible. It doesn't invalidate whether it is right to, though.

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  122. Sorry for that last straggling sentence. It was your words:

    There have always been pessimistic minority groups who didn't believe that obtaining their rights was possible. It doesn't invalidate whether it is right to, though.

    Faulty. First, gay activists never wanted marriage (in fact, decried it as meaningless) until they saw it as a winning strategy for acceptance. Read their own literature from the past decades. They never though "marriage" was a "right" for them, as everyone understood that marriage by definition could not accommodate same sex unions. There are still plenty of gay people who know that marriage is not ontologically possible for gays.

    Your statement is like saying that adult siblings have had the right to marriage all along, but they are just pessimistic right now.

    In a public space, when providing to the public? Absolutely, I believe. But that has nothing to do with your individual rights to practice religion as you see fit.

    See, I don't see "sexual rights" in the Constitution, but I do see freedom of religion as foundational. By my "individual right to practice religion as I see fit", you mean "freedom of worship", right? Not freedom to live my faith in the public square, and in my business practices, my voting, my dealings with other human beings (as has always been the case), correct?

    Obama and the left have been accused of changing "freedom of religion" to mere "freedom of worship" (sort of like the Soviets, ha ha). Is that where you're at?

    The US was founded on freedom. A very limited concept of freedom that only applied to rich white males, though. So I don't take the Founding Father's opinions on what constitutes an equal society very strongly, sadly. The good of freedom of religion is that it allows you to practice your personal religion without fear of reprisals from the government.

    Again, keep religion in the home and the church, correct? So, give me an example of what might be a government violation of freedom of religion. That would help me understand.

    As to the Founders, I've noticed that many liberals really do not like them, do not find them noble or revolutionary for their time, nor do they particularly like our Constitution (Justice Ginsburg said as much, in Egypt!). Did they get it all right? No, of course not. But did they get freedom from tyranny right? Oh, yes. And freedom of religion? Oh, yes. These things were revolutionary. What do you think they were wanting freedom from? I am seriously asking. We were founded on "freedom" but what was it from?

    Out the door for a while, sorry this was rushed!

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  123. Kat, you write
    " would very much argue against your statement a child is not legally entitled to a mother and a father. Every child has a mother and a father. So long as the parents are alive they are responsible for that child. While we cannot force a parent to be physically and emotionally present we sure as the day is long can force them to financially support the child. The government does it all the time"

    What about adopted children? Does the law hold the biological parents financially responsible?

    And if a child is raised by two homosexual parents it is not being denied a parent. It has two. That is the standard that has been set no? Two parents?

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  124. Leila,
    I would like to apologize if at any time I led you to believe that I find same sex marriage and opposite sex marriage "essentially different"
    I have said many times I feel my marriage is the exact same as yours. Yes I acknowledge the players are different but that is all.

    I acknowledge the biological necessity of procreation, but I have continued to say that biology is not dependent on marriage.

    You keep mentioning arranged marriage and calling them real marriages. What makes them real?
    Do you understand what happens in an arranged marriage and the reasons behind them?

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  125. I can't remember if I asked you before, but I am guessing you are young? In your twenties, maybe, and single?

    Yes, yes, and happily taken :)

    They can be landscapers, ha ha, until a gay couple comes to them and asks them to clean and decorate their backyard, adding plants around the gazebo for the "wedding".

    This seems like a far fetched scenario, lol, unless you mean that a vendor that performs gay weddings asks a Catholic landscaper to decorate their land. In which case, they could simply refuse and not state a reason why, and I doubt reprisals would follow. They'd be losing out on some sweet business though, haha.

    But what if a Catholic feels called to be a doctor (like my son)? Or a restaurant owner? Or a business owner? In your new America, there is no room for them.

    If they feel that accommodating differing lifestyles is a sin and cannot be done, then yes, I'd say I don't envision them being part of a valuable public business community.

    I'd say the same thing about Amish people if they had misgivings about providing services towards people who might use it on the sins of technology (I know it probably isn't like that).

    They know all about the power of lawsuits against a small citizen who cannot fight back. The florist, and the baker, and the B&B owners, and all the others caught in this legal trap all did exactly what you proposed.

    If you only state this after I ask for your services, that will be a problem. Do you have anything that says they maintained they were a Catholic business before the lawsuit?

    Again, no Catholic I know has or would refuse to "provide services to gay people". Even the florist in question serves gays all the time and employs them, too. What she will not do is participate in sin. Distinctions.

    I consider conditional denial to provide a service still a denial of service, if that service is based on discrimination and not sound business practices.

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    1. Faulty. First, gay activists never wanted marriage (in fact, decried it as meaningless) until they saw it as a winning strategy for acceptance.

      First, I'd probably consider that a mischaracterization of the entire gay rights movement, which only started in earnest in about 1978. Some members of the gay community may have considered the right to marry pointless in the past, possibly because they considered it useless or impossible to implement, but changing social justice realizations and the shifting American public brought the possibility of success to many gay men and women.

      Second, even if I did grant that as accurate (I don't), the fact that gay people in the past didn't want the right to marry is no more indicative of gay marriage not being a civil rights issue than the apathy of African Americans against segregation before the Civil Rights Movement. Rights are still rights whether or not the oppressed class is fighting for them or not.

      See, I don't see "sexual rights" in the Constitution, but I do see freedom of religion as foundational

      The issue isn't sexual rights, it's the protection from discrimination, which I see as a fundamental goal of the government. This particular battle just simply has to do with sexuality. I'd be having the same conversation about any discrimination, i.e. black, white, nationality, etc.

      By my "individual right to practice religion as I see fit", you mean "freedom of worship", right? Not freedom to live my faith in the public square, and in my business practices, my voting, my dealings with other human beings (as has always been the case), correct?

      You just attached those last two things on there! Haha. I have no problem with anyone voting or dealing with people how they see fit, but a business that provides public services (not just a source of income) is subject to discrimination legislation in my view.

      Obama and the left have been accused of changing "freedom of religion" to mere "freedom of worship" (sort of like the Soviets, ha ha). Is that where you're at?

      I don't know if I'd consider the "freedom of religion" clause in the 1st Amendment anything else. People are always allowed the "free exercise of their religion", just not without consequences. One of those consequences is they may not be able to own a business without being in "sin."

      Again, keep religion in the home and the church, correct? So, give me an example of what might be a government violation of freedom of religion. That would help me understand.

      Yes, haha. I consider religion an complete personal matter (that may inform your life and the way you interact with others). I'd see a law that violated freedom of religion like the laws proposed in France that ban the hijab for women, even if they desire to be covered. Or the laws in Egypt that stop people born Muslims from converting to Coptic Christianity. What would probably be telling to you is I don't think there is a single case in America where freedom of religion has been violated against Christians, lol. Christianity runs America.

      to the Founders, I've noticed that many liberals

      But I'm not a liberal. :( I'm what counts as a Republican in New England, hahaha. But I suppose anywhere else I'd be a conservative Democrat.

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  126. do not find them noble or revolutionary for their time, nor do they particularly like our Constitution (Justice Ginsburg said as much, in Egypt!). Did they get it all right? No, of course not. But did they get freedom from tyranny right? Oh, yes. And freedom of religion? Oh, yes. These things were revolutionary. What do you think they were wanting freedom from? I am seriously asking. We were founded on "freedom" but what was it from?

    Don't get me wrong, I think the Founders were earth shatteringly progressive for their time, and the Constitution is probably the finest law document ever written. What they had was a heck of a lot better than the "divine right of kings." I'm just saying, they viewed women and blacks as slaves. They had quite a bit to go, so any ideas they may have had about social equality are going to be taken with a grain of salt.

    This country wanted freedom from Britain, which they saw as ruling them without appropriate representation and authority.

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  127. forthewar, I'm gearing up for my oldest child's graduation, so I won't be back to answer for a while, but thanks for patience! Have a great weekend!

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  128. Congrats! No hard feelings, I disappeared for 3 days didn't I, haha?

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  129. Leila,
    Congrats on the oldest daughters graduation. You must be proud.

    JoAnna,
    Not sure if you are still reading, but I wanted to respond to your post of April 27. In it you wrote the following:

    "we already have marriage equality. One unencumbered, consenting adult, whether heterosexual or homosexual, may marry one other unencumbered consenting adult of the opposite sex, whether heterosexual or homosexual."

    Please define adult in the legal matter. Also you appear to be advocating for brother sister marriage as your definition does not exclude it.

    "How is that unequal?"

    You are correct, it is not unequal.

    But how about this definition.

    One unencumbered, consenting adult, whether heterosexual or homosexual, may marry one other unencumbered consenting non related adult , whether heterosexual or homosexual.

    So I will ask you, how is that a special right, wouldn't that definition still be an equal right?


    "Why would you be offended by religious sacraments being performed on you? If they are meaningless, as you believe, what is the harm?"

    You are right, there is no harm. But what if you as a catholic had an Imam (not well versed in Muslim verbiage so that may be the wrong word) praying over you. Would you appreciate that?

    "Why should the government have any interest whatsoever in sanctioning the sexual relationships of its citizens?"

    It's sad that you see this issue as one of only sexual relationships. But it seems that you are advocating for the government to stay out of marriage? You want to make marriage a religious entity only? Am I misreading this?

    To me marriage is about so much more than merely the sexual relations that it entails.

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  130. Thanks, Alan, for your well-wishes!

    forthewar, it's my nature to want to answer your points one at a time, as usual, but I think we have covered our points well for the readers, and they can see both sides clearly. I do see that the sides cannot coexist, philosophically, at all. And we Catholics know that we may face hard penalties and persecution simply in the living out of our faith. When the government oversteps every boundary and forces its citizens to commit sin and violate their own consciences or else not be full participants in society, then we have an unhealthy situation, nothing like what the Founders intended for us (hint: They did not ever intend "equality of outcome" -- which can only be had by force and tyranny; they intended freedom to live as our consciences and religion dictate, putting the Creator's laws above all others -- that's why the civil rights movement was largely a religious movement based, as MLK said, on Natural Law).

    Archbishop Chaput said it well:

    “The time for easy Christianity is over. In fact, it never really existed. We’re blessed to be rid of the illusion. We need to be more zealous in our faith, not more discreet; clearer in our convictions, not muddier; and more Catholic, not less.”

    forthewar, I like you a lot! But I do see that at a certain point, if we keep going in this direction, folks like you will be overseeing the persecution and jailing of folks like me. Because the Church will never relent on sin. Another couple of quotes to make the point (and it's a sad point, but not unexpected). First from Cardinal George of Chicago:

    "I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history."

    And from the amazing St. Joan of Arc:

    "I would rather die than do something which I know to be a sin, or to be against God's will."

    Amen, sister Joan!

    The Church will long outlive America, but that doesn't mean a lot of Catholics won't suffer greatly in the meantime. So far? It's been a walk in the park. We shall see what lies ahead, but God's grace will make us ready. :)

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  131. Do I get a final word too, haha?

    I'd just like to say I did have fun discussing the points, and while I still firmly believe marriage equality is a political right (and inevitability! The tide has turned...3 states in the last months, 6 in the last year out of 12!) the Catholic position is well thought out and based in what I believe you consider to be love and equality. Catholics fought tooth and nail against no fault divorce, saying it rendered the institution of marriage meaningless...and yet here we are, 45ish years past the post and marriage still exists as vaulted social institution. I understand Catholics have specific views about what marriage is, but they cannot and should not be wrapped up in the understanding civil marriage. Theology and government should not mix.

    Many people in the past and the present cannot envision true equality, myself included. We can only hope that when we recognize deficiencies we act to destroy them. I do not wish to destroy Catholicism or any religion with strong moral beliefs, as I am for freedom of expression at my very core, but I do wish for a more equal society, which must not be partial to any personal beliefs.

    Hope I'm welcome to stay around, like I said, Catholicism if nothing else but well thought out.

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  132. Catholics fought tooth and nail against no fault divorce, saying it rendered the institution of marriage meaningless...and yet here we are, 45ish years past the post and marriage still exists as vaulted social institution.

    Actually, no-fault divorce has done exactly what Catholics predicted it would do... it's turned marriage into a meaningless institution for the vast majority of the American public (hence the 50% divorce rate as well as the current push for gay "marriage").

    When Catholics claimed that no-fault divorce would cause the divorce rate to increase, and lead to a lack of understanding of the meaning and nature of marriage, they were scoffed at and ridiculed. But that is exactly what has happened. Marriage is far from being a vaulted social institution in our country - it's become a meaningless ritual that can be ended at any time for any reason... and what's worse, most people enter into it with the understanding that "if it doesn't work out, we'll just get divorced" or "if we fall out of love, we can get divorced."

    It's really sad.

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  133. JoAnna, you took the words out of my mouth. Thank you!

    forthewar, "equality" (as in…'equality of outcome' which is the Utopian dream and always must be forced by tyrannical government) cannot in any way coexist with liberty. We always have to choose one and lose the other.

    The best thing to do, and the goal we have as Catholics (and the wish we have for all) is not some political notion of "equality of outcome" (we already have equality of human dignity which we are born with, which is why abortion is so evil), but it's the notion of virtue. If we have a virtuous society, we have peace, justice, beauty, truth, goodness -- we flourish. With virtuous citizens, a virtuous nation, we have true joy and hope, and love for all.

    The rallying cry of "equality" has led the world to too many bloody reigns of murderous terror. But virtuous societies, virtuous families, virtuous governments, virtuous people -- that can never lead to bloody murder.

    You are always welcome here, forthewar! You are respectful and well-spoken. Thank you for your contributions! And, please bail me out of jail when the regime comes for me, okay? Or give my kids food when their father cannot provide for them as a Catholic business owner in America. :)

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  134. Marriage is still a big deal in the country, even though divorce is legal now. How big is the marriage business?! It may not be ideal to the Catholic sensibility, but the only people getting divorces are the people who think the relationship is unsalvageable. And they should be allowed to end a contract if they want.


    I only want equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome, sorry if that wasn't clear. The opportunity for gays to get married, raise families, and participate in society equally. That's far from equality of outcome, as some gays will still not be able to accomplish these goals.

    If you ever get thrown in jail for simply being a Catholic business owner or writing your views on this blog, not only will I bail you out, I'll join your side because you were right!

    Good talk everyone! :P

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  135. Weddings are big business in this country, but don't make the mistake of equating weddings with marriage. One is a day, the other is (or should be) a lifetime.

    "the only people getting divorces are the people who think the relationship is unsalvageable."

    On the contrary, most of the people getting divorces are the people who don't want to make the effort to salvage their marriage.

    "And they should be allowed to end a contract if they want."

    Absolutely. But marriage is so much more than a contract, and your comment just shows how no-fault divorce has reduced marriage to being nothing more than a contract, when in fact it is supposed to be so much more than that.

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  136. Again, I agree with JoAnna.

    The opportunity for gays to get married, raise families, and participate in society equally.

    Oh, I see what you mean. But remember, it is ontologically impossible for two men to get married. It is not unjust to treat unequal things as unequal (male/female relationships are unique, for reasons which are written into our very nature, biologically).

    Gays have not only been able to participate in society like everyone else (and raise families if they actually got married to the opposite sex and had children), but I think the median income of gays in America has long been higher than average.

    Thanks for your support if things get bad for Catholics! I am counting on it! :)

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  137. Leila,
    I'm intrigued as to what the median income of gays being higher than average has to do with anything.

    Lets ask you this though. If you knew your husband was gay would you have married him? To say that "Gays have not only been able to participate in society like everyone else (and raise families if they actually got married to the opposite sex and had children)" is short sighted, but I think you know that.

    And yes male/female relationships are indeed unique for biology. Why do you keep confusing marriage and biology though? Is marriage necessary biologically for procreation.

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  138. JoAnna, how is marriage "much more than a contract"?


    Also to both you and Leila, same sex marriage will also be available to you, so see it isn't a special right. It will be (or is now in 1o or 12 states I believe) equal and open to all. You be able to marry the person you love. And go ahead and say love is not essential for marriage. Right after you admit that you don't love (or didn't when you got married) your husbands.

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  139. Alan, marriage is supposed to be a covenant, not merely a contract. If my husband doesn't live up to this marriage vows, that doesn't automatically nullify our marriage. I'm still obligated to love, honor, and cherish him even if he chooses not to love, honor, and cherish me. I can civilly divorce him if it becomes necessary for my family's physical, financial, and/or emotional safety, but that still doesn't nullify our marriage covenant.

    Another scenario - say my husband gets into a horrible car accident and becomes a quadriplegic or has a severe brain injury. My marriage vows still apply.

    If you want to view your marriage as nothing more than a contract, and keep a running tally of what your husband does/should do, and divorce him if he fails to do the dishes 3x per week or whatever your contract stipulates, then I guess that's your prerogative. But that's not what marriage is supposed to be - it's in fact a poor imitation of it.

    Also to both you and Leila, same sex marriage will also be available to you, so see it isn't a special right. It will be (or is now in 1o or 12 states I believe) equal and open to all. You be able to marry the person you love. And go ahead and say love is not essential for marriage. Right after you admit that you don't love (or didn't when you got married) your husbands.

    Alan, you're incorrect. I can't marry my brother. Or my sister. Or my beloved pet. How is that equal?

    If AZ made same-sex "marriage" legal tomorrow, I couldn't marry Leila, as much as I love her, because she's married and so am I. But by your logic, Leila and I should be able to move to CA and get married! Why can't we? That doesn't seem equal.

    I was married in the state of North Dakota, Alan, and I just looked up their marriage requirements. I don't see a requirement of "you must love the person you want to marry" on there. Do you?

    How can that be, given your claim that love is indeed a requirement for marriage?

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  140. JoAnna
    according to whom is marriage a covenant? When I look it up although it doesn't mention marriage.
    And so you know my husband and I think marriage is so much more than just a contract. But legally speaking it is a contract. If we are to remove emotion from marriage, then specifically speaking marriage is a contract between two persons.

    Now you and Leila marrying. Well we both said unencumbered didn't we? I assumed you meant single, not married, well I do. So realistically you have no argument against my definition for you and Leila marrying unless you have an argument against your argument for you wanting to marry Leila's husband while still all married.

    Also JoAnna read your definition of marriage and my slightly tweaked version. Yours actually allows siblings or anyone related to marry, mine does not. Not sure where you are going with that one.

    As for your beloved pet. Well I think we can all agree that marriage must involve consent? Then that really leaves your beloved pet out now doesn't it?

    So now JoAnna all I can assume is that you didn't love your husband when you married him because it was not required via license.

    But please go read what your link said was required. I did. Lets see if you can find what is also missing from the prerequisites.
    I'll give you a hint, it's what you and Leila find essential for marriage. Yet North Dakota doesn't require it.
    Hint. Children. Hint. Consumation.

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  141. "Hint. Children. Hint. Consumation."

    If it's not related in any way to the concept of children or consummation or the marital act (which is ordered toward producing children), then it's not marriage. It might be called that, but ontologically, it is not marriage. It's like if we suddenly said that, by law, all dogs were now cats. Would that make dogs cats? Of course not.

    Or, if the state (which it does) declares that a man is now a woman (if a man thinks he's a woman). Can the law actually make the man into a woman? Of course not. The law can say that a man is a woman, and even give us penalties if we don't agree to the fiction, but a man is still a man, even if the law says he's a woman.

    Truth is truth. Marriage cannot be confected between two of the same sex (there is no "groom and groom" -- it takes a bride and groom to equal a marriage), even if the state insists it must now be so.

    It's nothing personal, it's just impossible for same sex couples enter into a marriage in the way marriage has always been known. If you want to say "Well, we are undefining marriage and saying it's something completely different now", then why not just give it a new name, since it is something new and completely unrelated to what the world has always known as marriage.

    To quote Hillary Clinton yet again, before her sudden "evolution" (can evolution be sudden?):

    "[Marriage is] the fundamental bedrock principle that it exists between a man and a woman going back into the mists of history, as one of the founding foundational institutions of history and humanity and civilization, and that its primary, principle role during those millennia has been the raising and socializing of children for the society in which they are to become adults.”

    I wonder how the gay "marriage" advocates can reconcile this statement of hers? How did she get history so wrong, so recently? And what made her see, practically yesterday, that she had been completely wrong on history? (Assuming she didn't switch for political expediency, though politicians on all sides do tend to do that, we all agree!)

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  142. "Truth is truth. Marriage cannot be confected between two of the same sex (there is no "groom and groom" -- it takes a bride and groom to equal a marriage), even if the state insists it must now be so."

    Not truth. Your opinion.

    "It's nothing personal,"

    Ok, never took it as personal.

    " it's just impossible for same sex couples enter into a marriage in the way marriage has always been known."

    This may well be true. And nothing in society that "has always been known" has ever changed?

    " If you want to say "Well, we are undefining marriage and saying it's something completely different now","

    We aren't doing that. In our minds there is no difference.

    " then why not just give it a new name, since it is something new and completely unrelated to what the world has always known as marriage."

    Because it is not. Why does it get another name, when it isn't different? I took JoAnna's definition of marriage and changed very little about it. Still applies.

    JoAnna threw out the marriage requirements for North Dakota. They don't mention consummation. Or children. Did they?

    And please stop telling me love is not required for marriage if the state doesn't ask for it. That dog won't hunt.
    So are you finally willing to admit you and JoAnna didn't love your husbands before marrying them, or are we shutting down that argument for good?

    Are we shutting down the brother sister marriage? JoAnna's definition didn't exclude it?

    Nor did it exclude animals (mine either for that matter, mostly because I can reason that all parties to a marriage need to consent to said marriage. Not sure why some of you can't see that)?

    As for Hilary, sure she evolved. You are right about one thing. For so long marriage has been thought of one way (although there seems to be some evidence that may not always be true). So many people's brains have only seen it as that way. Does that make it right? If so lets go back 100 years and talk about women voting. Or slavery. Yes people's opinion evolve.

    You have not always believed in the church the way you do now. You evolved. Why can't others?

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  143. "In our minds there is no difference."

    But it doesn't matter what is in your mind, it matters what is ontologically true. So, a dog is not a cat, no matter how many people go along with a redefinition, should it occur.

    If we were to suddenly say that "measuring and telling time" were no longer essential for "clockness", would that change the essence of the thing we've called a "clock" for all this time? Of course not. The essence of thing, no matter what we call it, is the same. So, as Shakespeare said: "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." A rose is a rose, marriage is marriage, and there is something essential to marriage (a conjugal union) that is not a part of any other pairing. Sorry, it's just true.

    As for love being essential for marriage: So, you are saying that every married couple on earth today that is not "in love" anymore is not actually married? Would you really want to say that? And every one of the millions upon millions of consensual, arranged marriages throughout history were not marriages? Are you willing to say that? Golde and Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof would disagree with you, as would their whole culture, no? And, my grandparents, married over 50 years, who hardly knew each other when they met…. were they not married? When we celebrated their 50th with all their children and grandchildren, were we celebrating a marriage that did not and never did exist? I am interested in your thoughts on that.

    As for slavery, women's vote…. you are talking about people's opinions of a thing. That is utterly different than redefining a thing. Acceptance or rejection of slavery does not change its meaning or definition. It just means we reject or accept that thing. Doesn't change the nature of slavery or women's votes, nor the definitions.

    The Church has not evolved to be "not-Church", so I can't speak to that. However, if the nation started to speak of a church as a grocery story or a pencil factory, then I would say, "Wow, you can't use that word for that; it means something essentially different."



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  144. You like that word ontologically don't you Leila?

    But the conjugal union is not essential to marriage. Marriages have existed without them for as long as marriages have existed. Can you say they haven't?

    "But it doesn't matter what is in your mind"
    Nor does it matter in your mind. It's all opinion. Yours, mine, theirs. Not sure why you can't really accept that.

    Marriage is a man made concept.

    Like it or not, I am married. You can continue to say I cannot be, you can use your quotes, but at the end of the day I am married.

    Leila, the question is still out there unanswered by both you and JoAnna. It is simply did you love your husbands before you married them?

    Is love essential to marriage? No. Guess what. Neither is procreation or consummation. You seem to keep insisting it is, but it has never been a given, or required.

    not familiar with Fiddler on the roof. Is that a true story?

    And you deftly avoided your evolution. Why is that?




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  145. Alan, yes, the word "ontological" actually makes me giddy! I've loved it since I discovered it, and it fits here just perfectly.

    Yes, marriage has always been known to be a conjugal union. Can you show me otherwise? The burden of proof is on you, not me. As Hillary Clinton said and we all know…. [refer to quote above]

    Marriage is rooted in our very natures as male/female. And even though marriage can be understood as it is written into our very biological natures (that is why atheist regimes have marriage, and it's not homosexual in nature), it is definitely more than manmade.

    You have not answered: If a rose is called by another name, does it cease to be a rose? Or does the "thing" that it is remain the same? I think you'd agree the "thing" that we call a rose remains the same, no matter what we call it. And, if we suddenly say that all cats are now dogs, does it mean that cats are now dogs? Or do they stay -- ontologically (yes, that word!) -- what they essentially are (i.e., something different from the other)?

    I loved my husband when I married him and still do. But romantic love is in no way essential to the actual reality of being married. Was my grandparents' marriage a marriage? Or, were they never married? Fiddler on the Roof is fictional, but it's a story rooted in historical reality. There are and have been millions upon millions of Goldes and Tevyas. Were none of those marriages real? Were they never married? All those hundreds of millions throughout time?

    Sorry, what evolution are you talking about? My church is a church and never became a grocery store or a pencil factory. So, what was it and what do you claim it has evolved into?

    Busy night tonight… My son is receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation! Confession is the most beautiful thing for a soul, and I lived without it for many, many years. It's freeing, beautiful! God forgives and pours out His grace. Thank you for prayers as my son excitedly, nervously, joyfully receives the grace of this holy Sacrament for the first time! I hope to be back later or tomorrow to respond to any other comments.

    Many blessings!

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  146. Leila,
    Can you show where the conjugal nature has always been required of marriage?
    Are you saying there are no marriages that have not been conjugal in nature? So if a paraplegic marries without use of all lower extremities, will you tell his wife they are not married?

    I have researched marriage on the web, and have found several sites that make mention of unions of men, some akin (if not directly called marriage) to marriage. One about two saints if memory serves. Point is you won't believe anyway.

    But yes a rose is still a rose. A orchid is a orchid. And they are all flowers. So maybe marriage is the flower and your marriage is the rose, mine the orchid?

    I would argue that marriage actually is not in our nature, but rather a manifestation of years of training to want marriage, to see marriage as the only way.

    And I know you of course understand that marriage is not a necessary biological component of procreation right?

    I'm glad you loved your husband when you married him, and now (I too loved my husband when I married him, and do now as well). Would you have married him if you didn't love him?
    And yes arranged marriages are indeed marriages. I do not claim that marriage requires love for everyone. For me it does. But of those arranged marriages throughout the years I wonder how many were true (by your definition) marriage. How many were forced true (you know back in the day when one simply could not rape their own wife, but that is still what it was). How many ended. Too many questions on that front don't ya think?

    I can see that your continued questioning of the church (or pencil factory. I would love to know how your brain comes up with these ) evolution again shows you aren't really reading what I wrote. And rather than scroll up you will continue to ask. But here is what I wrote.

    "You have not always believed in the church the way you do now. You evolved."

    I remember you saying you didn't always believe as you do now. So that shows an evolution on your part. Why are you holding Hilary to a higher standard than you hold yourself?

    My father is 85, when I told him I was gay he was in his 70's. His first response was marriage was a man and a woman for procreation and religion (He married the second time in his 70's and we all know no kids will come from two 70 year olds being married, and he was never religious). He's come a long way, coming to his sons wedding to another man and voting for gay marriage in his state. Is his evolution wrong? Or has he come to understand that the way he was taught was maybe not so right?

    Hope your son enjoyed his reconciliation.

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  147. So I've been hiding away for awhile. The last series of discussions I was in here took a lot of thinking on my part. With that and the fact that my mother-in-law was diagnosed with lymphoma (she is currently getting treatment and doing quite well, all prognoses look very good) and baby #6, dubbed Wee One, was induced just a couple of weeks ago due to a recurrence of pre-ecclampsia. He was full-term, born 2 1/2 weeks early. :) Needless to say we've been busy.

    In thinking through some of the previous conversation we had, and reading through some of these comments, I'm going to address the following comment from Alan, just above, and try to explain why I, at the very least, am against same-sex "marriage".

    I'm glad you loved your husband when you married him, and now (I too loved my husband when I married him, and do now as well). Would you have married him if you didn't love him?

    Here's the issue, Alan. Leila loved her husband when she married him, and I loved my husband when I married him, and generally speaking most people love their spouses when they get married. But here's the difference, our marriage took place as a sacrament in the Church. It is God who recognizes and is present with us in our loving relationship, in our marriage. We did not seek out the government to recognize our love. We still don't seek out the government to recognize our loving relationship. The government recognizes our relationships for one reason only. Our relationships, by virtue of being male/female, meet the most most basic biological criteria for creating the next generation of tax-payers. Securing future revenue is the only reason the government is and even should be (and even that's arguable) involved in marriage.

    I disagree with anyone heterosexual or homosexual petitioning the government to grant them benefits simply based on the status of their "loving relationship". The government has no business investing in loving relationships. Yes, some heterosexual couples do petition the government to recognize their loving relationship mostly because those couples either don't believe in God or don't believe in a religion so they have nothing else to petition for recognition. And yes, the government recognizes their relationship as a marriage, but not because it's loving, they recognize it because, as with ours being male/female, the potential for future tax-payers secures future revenue growth.

    Any attempt to force the government to recognize loving relationships, simply because they are loving relationships, turns the government into a deo facto religion or worse, a god. Not only is this in violation of the First Amendment, but it's seriously twisted and completely creepy.

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  148. While it is true that chances are two 70-somethings aren't going to procreate - the most basic biological requirement for reproduction is male and female, that's the first step, once you have that, the only other stipulation put into place for reproductive purposes is to be unrelated by a certain amount of degrees, this being for one reason only, to quote Eddie Izzard, "First rule of genetics, spread the genes apart." Other than that, all other stipulations that could potentially inhibit the reproductive process (age, infertility) put too narrow of restrictions on the ability to reproduce and therefore marriage, in particular because those restrictions can, do, and will vary for each couple - one couple suffering from infertility might eventually overcome their fertility in their late 40s, one might overcome infertility in their late 20s, one might never overcome their infertility, but we wouldn't know until after the fact. The same with age, there has been documented evidence of some women having children in their 60's or later; in other words there could be absolutely, positively no consistent benchmark for those restrictions and even if you could justify some sort of no marriage after menopause (which would only apply to women) the invasion of privacy would extend far greater than the government should ever be allowed.

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  149. Bethany,
    The benefits exist. Are you not taking advantage of them? If you are then you should stop right now, especially if you don't need them because god sanctioned your marriage. Stop taking the tax breaks, go to an attorney to get visitation rights when sick. Oh wait, you don't have to, why? Because the govt grants you them.

    As for future potential tax payers, hey guess what Bethany, a homosexual marriage can, and often does, create them. So that argument doesn't really hold water either.

    You write "Any attempt to force the government to recognize loving relationships, simply because they are loving relationships, turns the government into a deo facto religion or worse, a god. Not only is this in violation of the First Amendment, but it's seriously twisted and completely creepy."

    A. If you think this is just about love, well guess again. It's so much more. Not sure why you don't see that. Your marriage is about so much more than love isn't it? Why would you think it different?

    B. Hogwash, the govt as a religion.....seriously?

    C. Twisted and creepy? Do we really want to foray into this sort of discussion? You do realize that your denial of marriage rights for me based on god is also a violation of my first amendment rights? Is that twisted and creepy as well?


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  150. and now you have whittled marriage down to possibility of procreation only. Yet still not a prerequisite.

    Do any states marriage license require procreation?

    Do you have the links for those women over 60 who have gotten pregnant? I'd like to see if they did it the natural way, because as we know that is the only acceptable way to get pregnant.


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  151. Do you have the links for those women over 60 who have gotten pregnant? I'd like to see if they did it the natural way, because as we know that is the only acceptable way to get pregnant.


    Here you go, Alan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah#Isaac

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  152. JoAnna
    thanks for that.
    Not really what I was looking for. Not the least bit surprised by that.
    I think you know why.

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  153. Actually, Alan, I don't. You asked for evidence and I gave it. Now the burden of proof is on you to disprove it.

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  154. JoAnna
    Sorry, that is not proof of anything.
    Next

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  155. I beg to differ, Alan. Can you prove it didn't happen? The burden is on you since you're the one making that claim.

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  156. JoAnna
    You can beg to differ all you want.
    Yours is not proof it happened. If that is the case then you absolutely have to believe that every single aspect of the bible is true.
    Is the bible 100% factual?

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  157. Sorry, Alan, that comment went into spam for some reason and it just now got released.

    The Bible is an historical document, so I have more proof that it did happen than you have proof that it didn't. Once again, where is your proof that it didn't happen?

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