Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Square circles win the day





In light of the Supreme Court's support for the "rights" of square circles (i.e., gay "marriage", which is an ontological impossibility), we have a bit of a new Roe v. Wade moment at hand. I expected these decisions from a leftist Court, and I am not that upset. It's just another opportunity to clarify the sides.

There is no middle ground on this issue as some on the timid Catholic side would have loved to believe before today. And there is no way that the gay rights advocates are stopping to rest on their laurels. Next up? I'm guessing it'll be the forcing of gay "marriage" on states that oppose it, and also the ironclad "right" for gay couples to have the state give them children or the means to manufacture them, since nature has decreed that no gay couple can ever produce a child through their always non-fruitful "unions".

The good news is, the line in the sand is ever clearer, and each of us will have to choose a side: with Christ and truth and authentic love, or with the world and lies and false compassion.

I hope it's a wake up call that our culture is on a huge, slippery decline into, well, madness. Start praying and working and teaching your children well, folks. We will be accountable into eternity for which side we choose.




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289 comments:

  1. Crying for our country. Continuing the Fortnight 4 Freedom prayers.

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  2. I'm very sad, partly because of the reactions I'm reading from people for whom I care deeply. Yes it's time to take a stand ... but so many already have taken one on the wrong side, falling for the lies from the ravening wolves :(

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  3. Did anyone notice how SPOT ON today's Gospel reading is??? Matthew 7:15-20

    "Jesus said to his disciples:
    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing,
    but underneath are ravenous wolves.
    By their fruits you will know them.
    Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
    Just so, every good tree bears good fruit,
    and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
    A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
    nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
    Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down
    and thrown into the fire.
    So by their fruits you will know them.”

    And yes I'm very upset, but trying so hard to trust God and resist despair! Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, pray for us!! Oh how I wish Fulton Sheen were beatified already so I could publicly ask for his intercession as well...

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  4. iamlori, remind them if they are Catholics that Mother Church is now under the gun:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/08/catholics-your-misguided-compassion.html

    They either stand with her, their Mother, or with her oppressors and accusers.

    You are right, the wolves are at the gate. But we Catholics are used to that. It's a winnowing fan of sorts, and Christ promised us that sort of division.

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    1. That is part of the problem though; I am praying and praying for these loved ones to return to the Church, but I see them being swept further away.

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    2. Oh, I see. Well, then you just entrust them to God. This is not the issue that will win them back. They have to get to know Christ again. Or have a major life crisis. Just pray for them. Very sad.

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  5. All i keep thinking is canada. Its ironic that im moving there. Im not looking forward to our country becoming that way or moving to an area where my rights to publically preach the bible no longer exist.

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  6. Margo, that is uncanny! I love how God works. :)

    And remember friends, when you feel down, that although square circles win the day, they only win the day. They lose the war. Lies and (literal) non-sense never win in the end, where only truth and goodness and beauty will prevail. I like what Archbishop Chaput said recently, that he's happy that the illusion of easy Christianity is gone. It was always an illusion anyway. The lot of Christians is hardship and persecution. Are we better than our Master?

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  7. They were trying to make this a civil rights issue and an "equality" issue but sin can never be eqaul to goodness and truth. Sadly, most in our country has lost their moral compass.

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  8. E, yes. The left sees this as the advancement of civil rights. We see this as an advancement of the (destructive) sexual revolution. Always it's the children who suffer.

    If this is a "civil rights" movement, it's unlike the last one, which was largely a religious movement. This was a secular movement.

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  9. The irony in all of this gay "marriage" talk is when a SSM supporter says (as one did on another blog that I read) that gay marriage helps children in gay families. Really? Manufacturing children, throwing those children who aren't need away as embryos, and denying the children who are implanted (sometimes in a Womb for Rent for two gay "daddies" - another form of prostitution since bio mother is selling her body for profit) the right to know their biological mother and father, hurts children.

    As I have said elsewhere, even last night before this became official, I will no longer celebrate the 4th of July. With all of the implications of a ruling such as this, throw in domestic spying and such, the country that we knew growing up is gone. Today, any sadness that I have ever felt at not having children is gone. Those of you who are parents, I feel terrible for you.

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  10. Please don't compare this to Roe v. Wade. Roe was about allowing people to kill children in utero. This is about allowing gay couples to receive federal benefits. Even if you don't agree with the latter, comparing it to the former is downright offensive.

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  11. Pray, pray, pray! Become a saint. This is the only solution, the only hope. There will be a wave of deep conversions when people see us giving ourselves 100% to God. We need to give witness to the faith by our holiness, rather than think that argument can change hearts. We're past that. I don't mean that this wonderful blog should shut down, of course! Some people still will be won over by words, but we need more than that now for most people. At this point, they see our views as a political stance, rather than part of the Gospel of Love.

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  12. Time to ramp up prayer and fasting.

    Mortification needs to be a virtue we are all striving for.


    Sharing here, because a friend just sent it to me. If fasting seems to overwhelm you and you don't know how to start - check out this ministry:

    Http://livethefast.com

    My friend is a Franciscan, and he says that they provide the supplies/bread to priests and religious free-of-charge.



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  13. Also under “Next-up”: This will encourage formal public school teaching that says marriage means ANY two people and those who think otherwise are bigots who make groundless distinctions. Winning the youth is key.

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  14. "Please don't compare this to Roe v. Wade."

    Chris, to clarify, I was meaning it in the way a number of social commentators have laid it out: It is a sweeping, top-down, massive social change imposed on the populace by judicial fiat. There are few things more foundational to a society's stability than issues of life and family. Both are crucial, both are fundamental. That the Court could decree a Roe v. Wade and wipe out all the states' laws, and that the Court could wipe out all the states' laws in this case…. it's a sweeping social change that is divisive, and because of how it has been imposed (and the foundational nature of the issues), it will not simply be "accepted" and die out and go away. Look to abortion and see if it's been "accepted" by America forty years later. Nope. We are badly, horribly divided.

    What the Court did is similar to what happened in Roe.

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    1. Leila, it's really not at all similar to Roe. I'm a constitutional lawyer and you are wrong. Both are narrow decisions and neither one found a fundamental right to same-sex marriage. And the court explicitly DID NOT wipe out all the state laws. In DOMA, it said that the federal government had to recognize state marriage, which has long been true. In Prop 8, it said there was no standing -- again, this has long been true in cases like this. These cases are very different from Roe. Julie

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    2. Julie, I'm replying at the end of the thread as per the rules (unless there is a correction or the discussion is not to be continued), thanks!

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    3. Sorry, I'm new! Will respond at the end from now on! Julie (the Jessica is one of my children!)

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    4. Julie, no worries at all! Lol! Thank you!

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  15. Some of my best Christian friends are cheering this decision and are in favor of gay marriage. "Can't we all just love each other?" they say. I'm just really sad and confused by where this world is headed.

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  16. I am not quite sure what the problem is. So something you don't agree with is being permitted. I am sure there are lots of things permitted that you do not agree with. Contraception, divorce, remarriage after divorce etc. Why is this different?

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  17. Angela, the fallout will come in a few decades and even generations, with the horribly confused children of such a society who have no existential grounding. It's already begun (I will be doing my post on that next, I hope). Unintended consequences. Very sad stuff ahead.

    Flying Goose, yes, and all those things have eroded children's rights, eroded family stability, breaking down marriage. None of it has had any sort of net good for society. It's been disastrous. This latest ruling undermines the whole essence of marriage (a conjugal union between man and woman) and takes an already watered-down foundation of society and obliterates it.

    Not to mention the loss of religious liberty that will come. Previously unheard of "sexual rights" (and the right to be a square circle) will trump the higher right (and unalienable right) of freedom of religion and conscience.

    Lots of bad stuff ahead.

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    1. I want to add that this already happening even in states where its not recognized. Printers who make announcements, bakeries, state justices of peace, and even venues like a religious based camp site are/have been sued. Its just going to get worse. Imagine companies like Eden foods who is against hhs mandate are they also going to have to provide insurance for a gay "spouse?" Its a religious liberty issue.

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  18. Thank you for your excellent postings, Leila. Love your blog. You explain everything so well, so logically, simply and orderly!

    I am most sad for our children and grandchildren. They will have to live in this misguided culture. Depressing beyond belief.

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  19. "Not to mention the loss of religious liberty that will come. Previously unheard of "sexual rights" (and the right to be a square circle) will trump the higher right (and unalienable right) of freedom of religion and conscience".

    How so?

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  20. Deltaflute, yes, and the non-critically-thinking (and so poorly educated) masses don't understand that this is how tyranny begins. With the removal of religious liberty, replacing the authority of God and conscience with the authority of the state.

    Emm, but just remember, we were put here in this time and place for a reason. God placed us here, he wants us here, it's no mistake. He wants our children and grandchildren here, too. It's time for making saints. So, we must rejoice! He knows what he's doing, and he's still fully in control, just as he was at the Crucifixion.

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  21. Amen Connie and Heidi!! And Ben, you are right.

    Flying Goose, we've gone over that a lot on this blog (I linked to one of the posts I wrote under "false compassion" in the OP; and two posts ago we had a really long discussion about it, note especially Francis' two-part response to Alan), but here is something you can start with:

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/blog/why-the-catholic-church-and-gay-marriage-cannot-coexist/

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  22. Seems to me if you want to conscientiously object to something the quid pro quo is to permit others to act in accordance with their good conscience. In a secular democracy conscience works both ways.

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  23. Love cares enough to tell someone, "don't continue to do what damages your soul". It would be easier to say live and let live and go about your life (JUST like pro-choicers do with the issue of abortion) but apathy is destroying our culture and our world. Love seeks the ultimate good of the other always. So when someone says this is about love and hate, and that those who support ssm are the loving ones and those who are against it are the hateful ones, hold it up to the litmus test of what love truly is, and what it means to hate, and you'll find that the truth of this is that those who fight against same sex "marriage" are truly concerned for those lost souls and for those who support violating God's natural law.

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  24. Have any of you considered , just for a moment, that this issue is not just another exchange of theories but an actual reflection of life experience. Leila and most people on this blog have raised kids, some of us many kids. 20-30 years of experience in asking the questions every day of "how do we make this work for the best?". Trial and error, learning all the fragility and pitfalls in raising kids and seeing the long term results that can be devastating and brutal. We have observed hundreds and thousands of other families all trying to figure it out and again observing what works and what ends up in train wrecks and teen suicides and permanently disfuctional adults. And seeing their lives and children damaged. I'm sick and tired of watching the destruction. All so some adult brats can have there way and feel good about themselves.
    So how about his approach.
    Question: Leila, with all your wisdom insight and experience, day in and day out for 25 years raising children in this challenging modern time, do you think raising a child with two moms would be Good? Better? or Best?

    No! Come on lady, I can feeeeel its going to be just great.
    Congrats on gambling with other lives.

    P

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  25. Yep we Catholics in California got the bad news that no matter how the state voted, they just don't care and prop 8 has been overturned. Of course. While it's definitely disappointing, I expected it.

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  26. "Deltaflute, yes, and the non-critically-thinking (and so poorly educated) masses don't understand that this is how tyranny begins."

    "All so some adult brats can have there way and feel good about themselves."

    If you had any question at all about the rudeness I might have mentioned yesterday, well here it is. I was not intending on responding to this, but when I saw these two post I just could not let it go. FYI Chris, their way.

    So Leila you don't want the government to be tyrannical but it is a ok if the religious are? Because it certainly does appear that you and your friends want an "arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power" for your beliefs.

    Flying Goose, don't waste yer time

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  27. Hafsa,
    How many people live in California?
    How many voted on the ballet issue.
    Are you sure the people of California voted for it
    Fyi, best as I can tell about 1/3 voted on the issue, and it was not a resounding defeat.

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    1. The ballet issue? Last time I checked this wasn't about dancing...

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  28. Congrats on finally finding a hammer so you can nail yourself on a cross. Sorry to everybody for giving him the nail.

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  29. LOL Chris
    Ain't no nails or hammer anywhere near me. Ain't no cross either.
    But maybe if I find them I can use them to build a marriage?

    Just pointing out what I am talking about. Plus neither of the rudeness was directed at me, so I ain't takin it personal.

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  30. and Alan, I meant adult brats in general and you decided to take that to mean you. I actually had in mind the experience of a good friend who got to scoop up the brain matter of 17 year old who couldn't take the teasing from friends when they found out his mom was a bisexual swinger all because she decided that the world and her son should just figure out how to deal with it.
    and now go ahead a tell us all about how if society had a different attitude ......
    Either way, when you and your partner decide to adopt hopefully you will take the advise of people who actually know and don't try to wing it.

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  31. Actually Chris I didn't for one minute think you meant me. Your post was not directed at me at all. Nor was Leila's.

    They both just provided me with an opportunity to prove my point about rudeness here. One can convey passion without rudeness.

    And Chris I've done my child raising. And you know what. She came out pretty damned good. And the advise I needed, I got. From experienced people. And you know what, some of it we winged, just like all parents do. There are no parenting classes required to raise children. Maybe there should be.

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  32. Alan, does your daughter have her mother? (Meaning, of course she has a mother, since every child has a mother even if the child is deprived of her mom, but was she able to have her mother in her life, raising her?)

    The human spirit is amazing and people can overcome all sorts of adversities, even having no mother, no father, being abused, being a foster child, being disabled, etc. That doesn't mean we purposely hand them the adversities.

    And yes, the adult in the past few generations are completely spoiled brats who want their way. It's not rude to say that, unless it's directed at a person. But in general, "If it feels good do it" was the mantra of a whole generation. Utter selfishness. We've devolved from there.

    And alan, by your comment/logic on voting, then you'd have to conclude that Obama is not president either, correct?

    Also, what tyranny by the Church? Can you point to the ways that the Church has the power to fine you, force your business to close, put you on trial, or on the street? Jail you, even? Please, show me how that power is enforced. And if you say, "It's through words!" Oh, boy, how I wish the only power of government was words. Then we Catholics would not have to fear for the loss of our livelihoods and even businesses that have been built for generations. Or fear our physical freedom, when the state identifies the "discriminators" and has us jailed. Show me the power of the Church over you, alan. I want to know how it manifests. Are the prayers and votes of Catholics what makes you unfree to be with your partner?

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  33. "Seems to me if you want to conscientiously object to something the quid pro quo is to permit others to act in accordance with their good conscience. In a secular democracy conscience works both ways."

    Flying Goose, no one is stopping anyone from living with or doing sexual acts with anyone. Certainly the Church is not doing so. So, where is the "both ways"? Not clear on that.

    And again, religious liberty (freedom to live our faith without fear of government suppression or tyranny) is what the nation was founded on, not "sexual rights" of any kind. Check the Constitution (if anyone cares about that anymore.)

    Did none of that article I linked alarm you, even as a secular person? Why don't secularists care that religious liberty is eroding, even if (this time) it doesn't affect them?

    I think that many folks today truly do see "religious liberty" as something that is allowed to citizens by a magnanimous state. That my freedom of religion exists only to the extent that the government says it's okay. That the government is the giver and determiner of religious liberty.

    But that is 100% false. The government did not give me the right to a free conscience and to religious liberty: My Creator gave me that. No one else gave it to me, and it cannot legitimately be infringed upon. The government's only role is to protect that God-given freedom, not to tell me what freedom I can and cannot have, as if human rights, unalienable rights, come from the government! (They do not.)

    I believe this to be true: The left does not care one whit about others' freedom of religion.

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

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  34. Alan, swell, I hope your child is lovely and healthy and thriving. But the line of " and see , they came out just fine" means zero to me. I'll assume you are honest here , but from my experience, the only that's keeps people from saying that is prison time. Without exception. And "rudeness" well how about " FYI Chris, their way". Don't you think that's just a little rude? maybe even um snarky or dare I say...bratty. Ohhhhhh I'm so sorry.
    The bottom line here is I believe we are screwed and my seven kids will pay the price in a further screwed up society where once we loose the economic stability and luxury of living in theory, we will face the music and mass people will suffer. I will teach my kids to Love others more than themselves and always stay focused on the higher good of freely given Love, accepted and given away. Maybe , 20 years from now Alan, after a long happy life, when you are in a government run hospice, running on no budget, and the brightest part of your day is when that overly happy blonde nurse (maybe Nubby's daughter) treats you well for no other reason than her love for God, I hope you will accept it and get to know where it comes from. I honestly hope some day, both of us will be together smiling and laughing in the light of truth, humbly before our loving God. Until then I will teach my kids Spanish because Mexico will have less oppression than here.
    Now I have to work, I almost called a customer Alan for goodness sake. and if you would like to talk more to me Alan, Leila can give you my email, otherwise gotta go.
    besides Nubby should be about done gnawing on that femur bone by now and ready to chime in.
    God Bless all, Viva la Christo Rey

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  35. Chris, femur bone, bwahaha! Nubby, where are you? ;)

    Flying Goose, you referenced "secular democracy". America is a democratic republic, and our laws are based on Natural Law.

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  36. "our laws are based on Natural Law."

    Although I doubt this, I'll assume it's true for the next paragraph.

    Imagine if they weren't based on Natural Law. Imagine if our system of law was built on my values instead. Imagine if gay marriage had existed across the country for 200 years. Would you try to do anything to change that?

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  37. besides Nubby should be about done gnawing on that femur bone

    *fierce face* Grrrr....! ;)

    Nubby, where are you? ;)

    Leila, I was waiting to hear the word "rude" a third time; you know, like the summoning of Beetlejuice. Rude! Rude! Rude!
    *Ba-ding!*

    Actually, I'm just waiting for Alan (or someone with his same perspective) to throw out an argument.

    Oh, but wait, there is this: So Leila you don't want the government to be tyrannical but it is a ok if the religious are? Because it certainly does appear that you and your friends want an "arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power" for your beliefs.

    No, Alan. Catholics aren't pro-tyranny. We absolutely do not want any unrestrained exercise of power. If you gleaned anything from our last exchange, it would be that.

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  38. Why do you doubt that? What do you think our laws were based on?

    As for your hypothetical: I would still be a Catholic (I'm assuming in your hypothetical?) so I would always speak the truth that two men cannot ontologically marry. But I am not so sure what this country would look like (or if it would still exist after 200 years) if sodomy-based "marriage" was considered a good and normal thing. It's a weird hypothetical. It's sort of like me asking someone, what if our system of laws were based on "values" that included polygamous marriage or marriage to animals, or marriage to inanimate objects, or child/adult marriage**. Would you try to do anything to change that?

    But it's hard to imagine a society based that way. And you are young, but I promise you the idea of gay "marriage" was as much of a farfetched idea just in my adult lifetime as those other things would be today. So, if that is no longer taboo, what makes any of us think that other stuff will not lose their shock value either?

    **All these types of marriages are being lobbied for, and they are using gay marriage (legally, strategically) as their model going forward.

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  39. "Leila, it's really not at all similar to Roe. I'm a constitutional lawyer and you are wrong. Both are narrow decisions and neither one found a fundamental right to same-sex marriage. And the court explicitly DID NOT wipe out all the state laws. In DOMA, it said that the federal government had to recognize state marriage, which has long been true. In Prop 8, it said there was no standing -- again, this has long been true in cases like this. These cases are very different from Roe. Julie"

    Julie, thanks for those distinctions, and yes, you are right that it did not wipe out all the state laws. I am learning more about what these new rulings did and did not do, so I will be reading loads of commentary in the next few days and weeks of fallout. I am not prepared to say it's nothing at all like Roe, especially in its effect on the psyche of the American people (and it's deviation from Natural Law principles vs. positive law).

    I am not Constitutional scholar or lawyer, so I will defer to those of you who are, although with some grains of salt, ha ha. For example, I will not defer to someone like "Constitutional teacher" Obama (not professor from what I understand), who seems to have a very poor actual understanding of the Constitution and constitutional principles, from the constitutional scholars that I've read who have evaluated his thoughts and writings.

    But yes, I am looking forward to reading a lot more from the sources I trust, and also from the other side.

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    1. To clarify, I am speaking as to what the decisions actually did hold, not my opinions or analysis of the Constitution. I think most people haven't read the decisions -- they are repeating what they hear from their own particular news source. And I think it is important to understand what the Supreme Court did and did not do. No state laws were wiped out. DOMA was about the federal government recognizing state laws -- it did not wipe out or impose any laws on the states, but it DOES impose many duties on the federal government. In the Prop 8 case, the voter-initiated law in CA limiting marriage to one man and one woman was already wiped out (held unconstitutional) by the lower courts, and the Supreme Court held there was no standing (again, as Justice Roberts stated, standing has never been granted in such cases). It is notable that Justice Scalia (who is vocally anti-gay marriage, embraces original intent as his jurisprudential method, and is a traditional Catholic with 9 children) joined in Justice Roberts' opinion re standing, though he dissented in DOMA. In fact, the anti-Prop 8 parties to the lawsuit DID ask the Supreme Court to find a constitutional right to same-sex marriage and the Court decidedly declined. (They declined to address the issue, they did not rule either way). The decisions were about a major social issue, but the decisions themselves were quite narrow. The DOMA one will have far-reaching impact largely because a number of states have already allowed same-sex marriage. Roe, OTOH, did in fact have a holding that found a new constitutional right that applied to all states and wiped out many laws. It was and remains an extremely broad and far-reaching decision. (PS, I know you don't accept the word "marriage" being applied to same-sex unions, but because it is the language used by the states and the courts, it is difficult to talk about the issue from a legal perspective without using the word "marriage.") Anyway, I think it's important to recognize what the Court actually did and didn't do when debating this issue.

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  40. "Why do you doubt that? What do you think our laws were based on?"

    The Constitution, state constitutions, and international treaties. The Constitution, as it stands, was very much a compromise so I don't think we could say it's based on any one system of thought or legal vision.

    "As for your hypothetical: I would still be a Catholic (I'm assuming in your hypothetical?) so I would always speak the truth that two men cannot ontologically marry."

    Exactly. So I don't think it's proper to use Natural Law as an argument against gay marriage, since you would still look at things the same even if you couldn't claim our legal system was founded on it. If the way things had always been seemed wrong to you I'm sure you would seek to change it, and that's exactly what we're doing over on my side.

    "Would you try to do anything to change [all those other types of marriages being legal]?"

    If sex (let alone marriage) with children or animals were legal, I would definitely support banning it because animals and children cannot give consent, and because the power dynamics of such relationships are inherently abusive. If benefits were given to married couples I would support taking them away from people who'd married inanimate objects, since they'd done basically nothing to merit them. If polygamous marriage was the tradition, I probably wouldn't seek to ban it, but I'd be unhappy with it because it generally occurs in very sexist societies and because I think exclusivity is the most important element of marriage.

    Also, I find it hard to believe that you really think 200 years of legal gay marriage would have much of an effect on the country.

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  41. "**All these types of marriages are being lobbied for, and they are using gay marriage (legally, strategically) as their model going forward."

    Is there really anyone lobbying for human/object marriages? I know there have been a few weirdos in Japan who've "married" body pillows or video game characters, but I highly doubt that they're receiving benefits, or that they have any sort of movement going.

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  42. Be back later to answer (gone tonight), but meanwhile, I like what Justice Scalia has said here, in response to the majority opinion:

    But to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to con- demn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions. To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution. In the majority's judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to "dis- parage," "injure," "degrade," "demean," and "humiliate" our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homo- sexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence— indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race.

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  43. I never thought I would see the day, yet here it is. Gay marriage is like two pieces of bread and no toaster, or a toaster w/out any bread. It's like a car with two steering wheels, and no tires. I need to spend some quality time with God and Our Lady because I don't like this feeling of being on a train that went very much off the rails.

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  44. "our laws are based on Natural Law." - Leila

    Although I doubt this, I'll assume it's true for the next paragraph.- Chris P.


    Chris P.-
    They are based on natural law and natural rights, to be sure. It's this law that grounds the judges as to their reasoning, application, and decision making.

    Imagine if they weren't based on Natural Law. Imagine if our system of law was built on my values instead. Imagine if gay marriage had existed across the country for 200 years. Would you try to do anything to change that?

    It's a difficult hypothetical, Chris. What would laws be based on, then? What do you mean by "your values"? I'm seeing a huge blank as far as criteria goes.

    You're saying, "imagine, imagine". Well, if we have to "imagine" x, we have to also imagine y and z. Call them incest and murder. Lots of variables.
    With no moral grounding or continuity based in moral philosophy, we have to imagine countless possibilities for your hypothetical society.

    Anyway, a human society has laws based on moral philosophy, there's no getting away from that. Go as far back as Aristotle and Plato.

    In your example, logically, the moral underpinnings of healthy and robust society are absent, in which case your hypothetical society would have moral chaos. Would murder and incest then be allowed in your hypothetical, too? They'd have to be, if your society doesn't use natural law.

    Also, I find it hard to believe that you really think 200 years of legal gay marriage would have much of an effect on the country.

    You don't see a huge demographic problem with 200 years of legal gay marriage? What kind of criteria would your hypothetical government abide by, I guess is the main question.

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  45. This is disapointing, but I like what you said about a line drawn in the sand. I am definitley going to educate myself to better defend real marriage.

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  46. "I find it hard to believe that you really think 200 years of legal gay marriage would have much of an effect on the country."

    That strikes me as such a strange statement. Do you really think that 200 years ago there would have been ANY chance of having gay marriage accepted? Do you think that the people alive 200 years ago would have considered such a concept as anything but perverse and depraved? It took the sea change in sexual attitudes of the past 40 years or so for the concept to be considered at all. Even less than 20 years ago when DOMA passed, the Democrats still recognized, or at least pretended for political reasons that they recognized, the value of traditional marriage.

    And it is going to have a HUGE impact on our country even now, and I don't think you could be more than pretending to think otherwise. There are those who can't wait to get pro-gay literature in children's classrooms, pro-gay speakers in grade schools (who just happen to "surprise" everyone by giving details of gay sex as has already happened), and expose younger and younger children to all manner of gender confusion.

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  47. " Next up? I'm guessing it'll be the forcing of gay "marriage" on states that oppose it,"

    My husband was just saying the same thing tonight before I even read your post! Man, it's like talking with Leila#1 and Leila#2! Freaky!

    Great post, and great discussion. :-)

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  48. Becky, I am sorry you have to have two Leilas in your life, lol!

    Sharon, what you said reminds me of this, by Chesterton:

    In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.

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  49. Some of the initial punditry and commentary on the SCOTUS decisions:

    http://bigpulpit.com/2013/06/26/attack-on-marriage/

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  50. "You don't see a huge demographic problem with 200 years of legal gay marriage?"

    Considering that gay people are only a small percentage of the population, no I don't.

    "With no moral grounding or continuity based in moral philosophy, we have to imagine countless possibilities for your hypothetical society."

    Well, I'm mildly insulted that you think I have literally no moral philosophy, but okay.

    The point of the hypothetical situation was that in that world, Catholics would be opposing the social order, not upholding it. I brought it up because Leila used our country being founded on natural law theory as an argument against gay marriage.

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  51. Chris, it was nothing personal from Nubby. She was legit asking what sort of moral philosophy laws would be based on if not Natural Law?

    And of course if our nation had been founded on some other type of philosophy, I would fight against it. But as it happens, it was founded on Judeo-Christian values with our laws based on Natural Law. It's the very reason MLK gave for fighting segregation:

    ...there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all."

    Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.


    Amen.

    And yes, I get that the other side is fighting because they don't like Natural Law. I get it. But they are fighting against our foundations. Yep, things could "fundamentally change" in America, as Obama has promised from the beginning (when he claimed, as a Constitutional teacher, by the way, to be against gay "marriage"; go figure), but then we will not resemble the America we once were. And religious liberty will be history.

    Anyway, I can't hypothetical think of living in a different country, because I live in this one, and this is the one that was founded on unalienable rights given by our Creator (not given by government) and laws based on Natural Law (not positive law, not "because I want it" law).

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    1. Sorry, I forgot the citation. MLK was writing his Letter from a Birmingham Jail and I suppose there will be many Catholics writing letters like this soon enough, quoting St. Augustine and St. Aquinas like he did….

      Delete
  52. I suppose my questions remain, and remain unanswered. In what way would you as a Catholic be adversely affected by the permitting of gay marriage? Divorce is permitted, is anyone forcing you to divorce? Contraception is permitted, is anyone forcing you to use it? Now you argue that people of good conscience will not be permitted to object to giving services, (eg the baker in the other blog). But as Lord Ali said in the House of Lords the other week. If you wish to preserve your freedom of conscience to abstain from doing something, why would you be against someone exercise the freedom of conscience in the other direction. If a minister of say the Unitarians is compelled by conscience to conduct a Gay marriage, why would wish to disallow that freedom of conscience? As I said, my question remain unanswered.

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    1. Here is one example.

      If I am a public school teacher I must teach the official curriculum. If the curriculum claims that same-sex sex is fine and same-sex marriage is fine then I am obligated to support that. If I exercise my conscience and say those things are not fine, I will be fired. It will mean that committed Christians will not be able to be public school teachers.

      Because marriage is so fundamental, committed Christians will not just be excluded from working in an occupation which touches in any way on the wedding industry.

      Delete
    2. Kevin so that becomes part of the conversation.

      Here is quote from Hansard.
      “If a conscientious clause to allow registrars to opt out in civil marriage is so important, I will work with him [The Bishop] to craft a similar clause to allow registrars in the Church[e]s to opt in. Conscience is not a one-way street. It goes both ways. If you want to opt out, we must come back and question why we cannot opt in. It is about more than just one conscience. We all have a conscience...”

      Yet all we hear from those oppose the possibility of same sex marriage, 'No'

      Delete
  53. I have a question if you feel your religious freedom is going to be infringed on by allowing marriage equality, then surely you must support Polygamy since making it illegal effects the fundamentalist latter day saints from practising their religion. Unless your religious freedom trumps everyone else.

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  54. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  55. first and foremost....Rude.....there it was said again so Nubby can appear just like Betelgeuse. I am sure you are far more attractive and a better entity than Betelgeuse though.

    Second, I agree, catholics don't want "unrestrained exercise of power"
    They seem to want an exercise of power based on their unalienable rights to religious liberty. More importantly their religious liberty. How else can you explain that they want the government of a country to base it's rules and laws solely on their beliefs?

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  56. second Chris S.
    I apologize if you saw my correcting you as rude or bratty. I have been corrected so many times here on the meaning of words that I thought it was ok to point out when words were used improperly.

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    1. You corrected my spelling, not the definition of the word "there" it a usage or spelling error. So that means you called me dumb and ill never be same again no matter what you or Leila or my stupid therapist says. Just leave me alone!!!!

      Delete
    2. Chris, I enjoy your comic relief!! Thank you! ;)

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  57. Solely on our beliefs? Oh, Alan.......please.

    First, as the dissenting justice pointed out they are not just OUR beliefs

    Second, do you have to go to confession? to Mass? Do you have to accept Christ as your lord and savior? NO.

    Because Catholics don't even force Catholics to do those things.

    That's why we are losing this battle Alan. Because we won't force you.

    We'll stand between you and the WBC. We'll stand between you and the jerks who would beat you up or kill you because you are different than they are. We'll stand between you and those who would refuse you employment or education. We'll stand between you and those who try to make you something your not.

    But there are plenty on your side Alan who are going after our reputation and livelihoods and there aren't a lot helping us.

    For a group that insists it has been bullied for most of its existence.....you sure have learned well.

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  58. Now Leila,
    My daughters has no father. I mean of course she has one, but he has never been in her life. He has never wanted to be in her life. I am her god father. And yes I helped to raise her. For all purposes I am the only father she has ever know.
    She's a good typical teenager trying to find herself. She doesn't do drugs, drink, smoke, holds two jobs and has not gone to jail (I wonder if this is really the way we define doing ok?).
    She is against abortion and pro gay marriage.
    No biology, but I love that kid like she is my own, and will say her mom and I did a great job raising her.

    Now for voting. Yes Obama is president, of that there is no debate. But would I say the citizens of the United Stated voted for him? No I absolutely would not. I would say he won the election. I would say it was a shame that only approximately 60% of the eligible voters actually voted. I won't even say a majority of the citizens of the United States voted for him. These are absolute statements (in my opinion, but also if you do some research you will see they are facts as well). I like stuff like that.
    Now in California I think approximately 70% of the population voted. The population was I think 34 million. That would be about 24 million. And of the 24 million 7.5 million voted against gay marriage. So I feel confident in saying that indeed the citizens of California did not vote against gay marriage. And yes it's a fact that even less voted for gay marriage (i think it was 52% against, 48% for)

    Hope that clears that up.

    And as for the Tyranny of the church, do they have the power to fine me, force my business to close, put me on trial, or on the street? Jail me, even.
    But they do want the power to decide the laws of this country. To define how people live their lives.

    efinition of TYRANNY

    1
    : oppressive power ; especially : oppressive power exerted by government
    2
    a : a government in which absolute power is vested in a single ruler; especially : one characteristic of an ancient Greek city-state
    b : the office, authority, and administration of a tyrant
    3
    : a rigorous condition imposed by some outside agency or force
    4
    : an oppressive, harsh, or unjust act : a tyrannical act

    Look at definitions 1 and 3 to see what I mean.

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  59. Kat

    "That's why we are losing this battle Alan. Because we won't force you."
    I will let that stand on it's own

    "We'll stand between you and the WBC."
    Will you? Have you? Where?

    " We'll stand between you and the jerks who would beat you up or kill you because you are different than they are."

    Perhaps, although honestly I don't see a lot doing that. Each day there are stories, and witnesses that sit there and do nothing. Plus when you are done standing up for us you will then tell us our actions are immoral, a sin etc, and then to make it worse you will claim to only say it out of love, to keep our souls from being harmed.

    " We'll stand between you and those who would refuse you employment or education"

    On this you need to do a little research. How many homosexuals have been expeled from catholic schools? How many teachers denied jobs there? So you'll stand between us, as long as we are not looking to work with you.

    "We'll stand between you and those who try to make you something your not."

    Again maybe not so true. Maybe of catholics as I don't know what their opinion is of conversion therapy, but this definitely is not true of all christians.

    "But there are plenty on your side Alan who are going after our reputation and livelihoods and there aren't a lot helping us."

    yes there are some who do. But then again the laws state that you cannot discriminate. And I will stick up for your individual rights, but business do not have individual rights do they?
    Will you define helping you?

    "For a group that insists it has been bullied for most of its existence.....you sure have learned well."

    Umm are you questioning that homosexuals have been bullied in modern history?
    And it always surprises me how you consider us to be bullying you. We aren't forcing you to be gay, to marry a gay, and most of us think that we aren't infringing on your rights just because we want to be married. I've still seen no real evidence that we are.

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  60. Also, it's kind of funny how we all seem to know what happened when this country was founded.
    We also seem to skip the fact that there were already people here, and those people didn't believe in god like you do.
    But I digress, are we forgetting that part of the reason this country was founded was to escape religious persecution? Church of England?

    The first amendment reads:

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

    I think I know how you read it, but can anyone tell me what the first line means?

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  61. Flying Goose, in this argument

    "If you wish to preserve your freedom of conscience to abstain from doing something, why would you be against someone exercise the freedom of conscience in the other direction.

    are there any limits to your philosophy? Is "my conscience" the standard of behavior? Would "Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law" be a standard that our society should attempt to live by?

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  62. Sharon with respect I am not the one asking for opt outs on the grounds of conscience.

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  63. Flying Goose, if memory serves, here in America there have been liberal churches who have "married" gay couples for quite a few years/decades. The Catholic Church had nothing to do with it, and did not interfere with it. That is a private church matter. And, of course, folks can and do live in gay pairings if they'd like and do whatever they want in the bedroom (even polygamously). No one is stopping them.

    The US government ended polygamy here (not the Church), and even though the Church is opposed to polygamy, it is nothing like gay "marriage" and still keeps moms and dads together and with their children. I have never really heard buzz on anything regarding polygamy from the American hierarchy of the Church except that, like cohabitation, fornication, etc., it's not right order, it's sinful. There are many millions of sins that occur every day and the Church does not get involved. Why would she?

    As far as gay "marriage", the animal just changed. While polygamous marriage is ontologically possible and practiced widely (it's been around and is still around all over the world), gay "marriage" is a game changer. It's not marriage. It's square circle thrown out there now as a societal right. It's like we are all playing "make believe". And so it undermines much in the common good (including consequences for people of faith and our first freedoms -- religious liberty -- as well as for the children who are involved in such unions -- I'm working on that post; it's a can of worms to come to all these 'enlightened' nations in the future. Gosh, even the French people surprised me with their sanity on that.).

    We can't stay quiet in the face of loss of our religious freedoms, and the deformation of marriage to the point of non-recognition, and the consequences to future generations of children with no connections and no understanding of who they are and where they came from.

    To alan, I knew you had a goddaughter you loved. I'm sure she is lovely.

    And, sorry, how do those definitions apply to the Church oppressing you? Because she disagrees with you on what marriage is and she has a voice in the public square, you are being oppressed? When she forces you to close your business, makes you lose your livelihood, etc., let me know. I doubt there has been any Church leader who has even contacted you, much less oppressed you.

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  64. Kat, your answer to alan at 6:06… bingo! Thank you.

    Alan, you have it exactly backwards. This country was founded on religious liberty! Meaning, religious people were being persecuted by the state back in Europe, and they wanted the freedom to live their lives of faith without being coerced by the state. Religious folks needed protection from the state, not vice versa.

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

    Sure, let me explain the Establishment Clause to you. Those two parts do not sit in tension with each other (as the secular left has implied); the first part facilitates the second part. So, the state cannot make a state religion (like the Church of England) precisely because it limits our freedom of religion, and the state may not prohibit my free exercise of religion. So, the state, in both those parts of the Establishment Clause, is being told, "HANDS OFF! You have no right to limit religious liberty." Double whammy in favor of religion over the power of the state. The state is given NO power at all here.

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  65. "But I digress, are we forgetting that part of the reason this country was founded was to escape religious persecution? Church of England?"

    By the way, maybe I am reading you wrong? But you do realize that "religious persecution" means that religious people were being persecuted, correct?

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  66. "How many homosexuals have been expeled from catholic schools? How many teachers denied jobs there? So you'll stand between us, as long as we are not looking to work with you."

    See alan, any homosexual can work for a Catholic school as long as they agree to live by Church teaching so as to be in harmony with the mission of Catholic schools. So, if a chaste homosexual wants to teach, then great. You aren't being singled out: Heterosexuals who do not live according to the morals of the Church are also asked to leave (because they signed a contract in good faith, presumably, and broke their end of it). If you think that Catholic schools can't hire people who will teach and live according to the Faith, then what the heck is the point of a Catholic school?

    If Muslims/Mormons/Hindus/Sikhs/Jews, etc. cannot require that their school or church or temple employees live by their faith, then how do they have freedom of religion? Heck I would NEVER begrudge the right of any faith to hire those who hold their values. Even if it meant I couldn't work there (and frankly, why would I insist on working at a school that educated children against my values? Or why would I disrespect the other faith, by insisting that they change it for me?).

    Of course, I realize that Obama recently went to Northern Ireland and told Catholics that they needed to stop having Catholic schools there. You know, having Catholic schools is "divisive". My jaw just dropped. This is our president!? Implying that Catholic education (which is as old as formal education itself, as we founded the university system) is bad, divisive, should not exist? And we are supposed to believe he understands freedom of religion and conscience? He is either 1) not thinking, 2) nuts or 3) evil. And none of those options is acceptable. You wonder why Catholics are wary to the point of scared of this man who commands the IRS and the armies?

    Freaky times we live in. Alice down the rabbit hole times.

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

    I think I know how you read it, but can anyone tell me what the first line means?


    One doesn't robotically interpret this, Alan. The judges have to look at the principles that underlie each of those clauses mentioned.

    The Constitution is painted largely with a broad brush. The judges apply, in part, the moral reasoning based on the founder's principles, Alan, therefore moral reasoning is glued to that document. What they can't or shouldn't do is inject their own morality and change the very principles that guide us.

    As Leila said, they should do their responsibility to adhere to the founder's principles and then back away.

    Next, one shouldn't try and slap together an argument like this:

    We also seem to skip the fact that there were already people here, and those people didn't believe in god like you do.

    It's absolutely a non-argument.

    There are moral truths that came before the Constitution and others that go beyond the Constitution, Alan, otherwise it would not exist.

    You have to adhere morality and that document. Gorilla glue it. They don't ever come apart, okay? That's just accurate interpretation.

    By the way, Alan, there is a reason the Declaration and the Constitution are two separate documents. Interesting fact: the founders realized the Declaration speaks to those rights which they (governing men) never gave, and so can't alter.

    Second, I agree, catholics don't want "unrestrained exercise of power"

    Then why did you even say the opposite in the first place? Scroll up if you want to see that.

    How else can you explain that they want the government of a country to base it's rules and laws solely on their beliefs?

    Alan, where are you getting this notion that Catholics want to take over the government?
    Or that God was ever separate from what the founders acknowledged and even ratified?
    Where have you picked up this idea in the course of engaging on this blog?
    Catholic comments on here are painting an entirely different picture than what you're gathering. Striking.

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  68. * founders' principles

    ignore my typos -- erg

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  69. Methinks that the Catholic Church might find itself in the same position as it did with whole contraception mandate/Obamacare fiasco. I certainly hope not, but...

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  70. Flying Goose, why the non-answer? You are the one who asked the question about conscience. My point was that we can't have a society where everyone gets to do whatever he or she wants. There have to be limits to "my conscience says I can do this", when your conscience tells you that it is ok to violate what I believe are my rights. So I am asking, do you think that everyone should just be able to behave according to their own consciences? Would that even be possible? And if not, on what would we base the limitations?

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  71. Leila,
    Not because the church disagrees at all. The church is welcome to disagree. But to intend to use her might to keep me from marrying whom I choose then yes she is oppressing.

    Now who has been forced to close their business? To lose their livelihood? Key word is forced here. You choose to break the antidiscrimination laws, that is your choice. But it's a choice. Your a baker sure. Gay marriage is against your beliefs. Don't sell wedding cakes. Seems the easiest way to avoid it. You can still sell your delicious baked goods. No one forces you to sell wedding cakes. Photographer, well just don't do wedding photography. Your saying we are depriving you of a living, but we aren't.

    Not sure what the church leader contacting me has to do with anything?

    When was the last time a gay activist contacted you?

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  72. well kids we are at the point where I opt out.

    Too many of you, only one of me and I have to prepare for the return of my husband tomorrow. I have missed him while he was out of the country.

    I know I left stuff unanswered, and if I could remove my last post I would, but I don't know how. I just have no desire to further discuss this with you. Doesn't serve me or you any benefit, because as Leila says we just talk past each other.

    Be well all.

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  73. Alan, so Catholics may no longer be wedding photographers (that's a business in itself, bread an butter for a photographer)? Or bake wedding cakes professionally? Or anything else having to do with the wedding business, even if it's their livelihood, their gift, and how they support their family, even for generations? Wow, that is just so generous of you to say, "Hey, just don't ply your trade! No big deal! Go be a janitor or a botanist!"

    Oy, vey alan. I just have no response to this attitude or line of thinking, so I think I will just agree that the time has come to wish you well.

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  74. As for everyone else, if you are not reading Witherspoon, you need to be! Here is the beginning of the latest by Prof. George and the other two men who wrote the definitive defense of marriage book (emphasis mine):

    Here’s the least reported fact about yesterday’s rulings on marriage: the Supreme Court refused to give Ted Olson and David Boies, the lawyers suing to overturn Prop 8, what they wanted. The Court refused to redefine marriage for the entire nation. The Court refused to "discover" a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Citizens and their elected representatives remain free to discuss, debate, and vote about marriage policy in all fifty states. Citizens and their elected representatives still have the right to define marriage in civil law as the union of one man and one woman.

    And we should continue doing so. Already, in the wake of yesterday’s ruling, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana has called on his state to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Marriage matters for children, for civil society, and for limited government. Marriage is the institution that unites a man and a woman as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children that their union produces. And that’s why the government is in the marriage business. Not because it cares about adult romance, but because it cares about the rights of children.

    If you believe, as we do, in the importance to children and to society of the marriage-based family, then of course you were hoping for different results in yesterday’s marriage cases. But you probably also put your trust in the institutions of civil society—in that vast arena between man and state which is the real stage for human development. And in that case, you never expected a court of law to do our work for us, to rescue a marriage culture that has been wounded for decades by cohabitation, out-of-wedlock child-bearing, and misguided policies like no-fault divorce. Your only question at 10:00 AM yesterday was whether the Supreme Court would leave us the political and cultural space to rebuild that culture, or get in the way.

    The answer was that the Court would leave us some space—for now. Five justices in United States v. Windsor have seen fit to put the republic on notice. While coy on state marriage laws, they have held that we the people—through overwhelming majorities in Congress and a Democratic President—somehow violated the Constitution in enacting the Defense of Marriage Act.

    Here we’ll describe just what the Court said and didn’t, what it got wrong, what that means in practice, and where it leaves the fight for a sound marriage culture.



    Read the rest, here:

    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/06/10455/

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  75. I have a question if you feel your religious freedom is going to be infringed on by allowing marriage equality, then surely you must support Polygamy since making it illegal effects the fundamentalist latter day saints from practising their religion. Unless your religious freedom trumps everyone else.

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  76. Leila
    "As far as gay "marriage", the animal just changed. While polygamous marriage is ontologically possible..."

    How do you or even the church you are a member of get to make that ontological claim. Why should anyone other than a Catholic accept that?

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  77. Copezio, I think those marriages are illicit, of course, but polygamy to me is less offensive than saying two men's homosexual acts are "marriage". Although illicit, at least polygamous marriages are still in the spectrum of marriage (heterosexual in nature, and children coming from such marriages are raised by the parents that gave them life). I believe that the fundamentalist LDS churches still perform their ceremonies, though the state does not recognize all those wives? Gay folks had that. Lots of liberal churches would bless their "marriages".

    And I don't think anyone is shutting down the businesses of Catholic folks who refuse to bake a cake for their polygamous weddings? We should have the right to refuse, don't you think?

    Regardless, you can be sure that polygamists are now going to push for their rights as well, and they have a much better leg to stand on by claiming their unions as marriage, in my opinion, than gay couples.

    Funny you asked that as I was just telling my husband today, it's better to have polygamy than gay "marriage" (which cannot exist). My goodness, at least I can logically explain polygamy to children. Two men "marrying"…. ummmm, does not compute. There is nothing of marriage in that.

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  78. I regard the social contract as the basis for society. I also believe in natural rights. So the ideal government is formed to protect rights, and people support governments in return for protection of those rights, as well as other services rendered.

    This serves a perfectly good basis to ban murder and so forth, but I don't see how a ban on gay marriage would logically follow from this.

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  79. Sharon,

    "Flying Goose, why the non-answer? You are the one who asked the question about conscience. My point was that we can't have a society where everyone gets to do whatever he or she wants."

    The question of conscience was implied in Kevin's comment above.

    I don't disagree with the above which is why in a democracy we reach a consensus about what is and what is not permissible. On the question of gay marriage, twenty years ago the consensus would have been with you. That is no longer the case. Thats democracy, you make your case.

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  80. Sorry it took so long to respond, I'm sure the conversation has moved on by now.

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  81. Sorry, flying goose, can you show me the orthodox of any major world religion which even conceived of a concept called gay "marriage"? Or any atheist regime for that matter?

    This is not a Catholic thing. Marriage can be a sacrament, but I'm sorry but most people get that it's a universal concept. And 99.9999% of the history of humanity has never conceived of something called gay "marriage" till two minutes ago historically, and even now it's a very rarely accepted concept. It actually is an impossibility, as there is no way to have a conjugal union, no consummation, nothing but sex acts between same-sex people. That is not marriage. That is pretending.

    Can a state legally declare a fiction? Yes. Just as the state is now defining males and females. But just saying something, even legally, does not make it so. Men do not become women simply on the say-so of the state. In reality, men remain men. Ontologically. And in the same way, one cannot say gay men can "marry", since that's not reality. It's legal fiction. They can have unions, they can form alliances, they can have sex and call themselves pet names, but they cannot, ontologically, be married, even if we all pretend they are.

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    1. Should have said:

      "Just as the state is now defining males as females."

      Delete
  82. "gay "marriage" (which cannot exist)"

    That's an opinion.

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  83. "This serves a perfectly good basis to ban murder and so forth, but I don't see how a ban on gay marriage would logically follow from this."

    Because marriage is so foundational to a healthy society, in all human society, and it's about the common good.

    Here's the pertinent quote from above:

    "Marriage is the institution that unites a man and a woman as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children that their union produces. And that’s why the government is in the marriage business. Not because it cares about adult romance, but because it cares about the rights of children."

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  84. "On the question of gay marriage, twenty years ago the consensus would have been with you. That is no longer the case. Thats democracy, you make your case."

    The Nazis made their case democratically, too. Does that always work well? Or should natural rights and unalienable rights trump majority opinion?

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  85. "gay "marriage" (which cannot exist)"

    That's an opinion.


    It can exist as a legal fiction. It can exist as long as we fundamentally un-define "marriage". But it cannot exist ontologically, as that thing that has always been known (till now) to be "marriage".

    So yes, we can start calling cats dogs, but will the cat actually become a dog? No. But boy are we going to be confused if we start renaming things to be things they've never been. The essence of things remain the same, no matter what we call them.

    The male-female relationship is unique (gosh, even gay folks have admitted that!). It's not like man-on-man. So, if you use "marriage" for the latter, we will need a new name for the former, since it's unique. The two things are not the same entity.

    See, that is the confusion. You want to slap a label on something that doesn't mean the thing that the label says.

    We are a very confused culture. Our poor kids.

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  86. With respect they did not. My Grand parents grew up in the Weimar republic, at best it was an experiment in democracy, in a country that had had no previous democratic experience. It was fatally flawed from the start. To compare the Germany of the 1920s and 1930s to the US or UK of the 21st C is a travesty of the truth.

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  87. But where do you get your ontology from? And please no sophistry with words.

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  88. "Not because it cares about adult romance, but because it cares about the rights of children"

    Here's where we'll probably never agree. Gay couples raise children just as well as anybody else. Adopted children, if treated right, have parents just as good as their birth parents could have been.

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  89. Flying Goose, in America, the gay agenda has not been put in place via democratic vote. You may have missed this post:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2013/06/is-church-imposing-or-is-it-someone-else.html

    And within it, the article which illustrates that the gay "marriage" push came from the top down, from our leftist elites:

    http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/media/me0396.htm

    As for ontology, I'm sorry…. If you could please, since the burden is on you: Show me where marriage (before it's un-defining two minutes ago historically) was known to be something other than a conjugal union, heterosexual in nature?

    Because basically you are saying: "Could you show me how a circle cannot be a square, when clearly many people now know that a circle may have four distinct corners?"

    My mind is twisting and it hurts.

    Thanks!

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  90. "Here's where we'll probably never agree. Gay couples raise children just as well as anybody else. Adopted children, if treated right, have parents just as good as their birth parents could have been."

    Gay couples cannot (ever) "have" children together except for borrowing other people's "stuff" or manufacturing them like commodities. And just because children overcome fatherlessness or motherlessness, it doesn't mean we enshrine this as the ideal, or a positive good. I know many heroic single mothers. They do a great job. And none of them would say that it's wonderful that their children have no fathers in the home. None of them. They see it as a very hard, sad thing. Necessary due to circumstances, but not what should be planned and executed for a child's life, from its beginning.

    Hey, we are allowed to say that children have a right to their mother and father, and if that cannot be, we know that the human spirit can overcome so much. But we don't put children in that position on purpose. And, adoption is a restoration of what has been lost to a child (a mother and father). We don't purposely create that loss from the outset and then call it a good. Hopefully you can understand that distinction.

    My next post will speak to the issue of the children of gay couples and donor sperm (which goes hand in hand with gay "rights" to marriage).

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  91. Why would you say that both a mother and father are necessary for a child? What can an man and woman do for their adoptive child that two men can't?

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  92. But that is a matter of definition, of language not ontology which is branch of metaphysics dealing with what is and what is not.

    Language is always on the move, before the object of the verb 'believe' was not a statement or a truth claim, but always a person. I put it to you that language is too fluid a foundation upon which to substantiate a metaphysical claim

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  93. "Why would you say that both a mother and father are necessary for a child? What can an man and woman do for their adoptive child that two men can't?"

    You are talking about "roles", right? Like changing diapers, reading, playing catch, correct? Any sex can do those, yes. So can orphanage workers, aunts, strangers. But let me try this: Why would Elton John, a gay man who got himself a baby (through a surrogate) with his "husband", say this:

    “It’s going to be heartbreaking for him to grow up and realise he hasn’t got a mummy.”

    What could he see that you can't?

    Are there any difference between men and women (besides incidental genitals)?

    And do you not see a bit of difference between motherhood and fatherhood?

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    1. Does Elton Jonn & his "husband" take any responsibility for manufacturing his sons loss out of their selfishness?

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  94. You say that marriage is, as if you were able to look at marriage as if it were some kind of metaphysical object, something that you can fully objectify and say this is it.
    But there is a problem 'perception is always a (constructive) action, not passive 'reception'. The fundamental framework and "boundary conditions" of what we are, how our minds and bodies work is what determines the representational content, modality and other properties of perception-experience fundamentally'. In other words even before we 'look' at something in order to understand its nature we bring both conscious and unconscious presuppositions to it. Thus to say what something is in and of itself, especially a metaphysical object like marriage, is not possible.

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  95. Flying goose, marriage is a truth, a reality, regardless of the language we use to identify it (a rose by any other name would smell as sweet). And so if you could answer my questions?

    If you want to add gay unions to the definition of marriage, then what word can we now use for male/female committed union? We will need a new word.

    Unless you see absolutely NO unique quality about a male/female sexual union vs any other kind of relationship?

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  96. Chris, this is the opening of a scholarly article you might find worthy of a read:

    Marriage is based on the truth that men and women are complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the reality that children need a mother and a father. Redefining marriage does not simply expand the existing understanding of marriage; it rejects these truths.

    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/03/marriage-what-it-is-why-it-matters-and-the-consequences-of-redefining-it

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  97. 'Can we Know anything?'

    ‘Our intellect is related to truth in the way that a polygon is to a circle: the more angles it contains, the more like the circle it is, but it never equates to the circle even if its angles are multiplied to infinity.’ Nicholas of Cusa

    'There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.'
    'What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.' Ludwig Wittgenstein.

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  98. Flying Goose, why can't two men or two women conceive a child?

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  99. Margo, I am guessing he will answer that "we cannot know…."

    ;)

    Sigh, sorry Flying Goose, but I am frustrated. We Catholic believe that MUCH is a mystery. Indeed, we love mystery. But we also believe that we can know things. And we can speak and communicate. And words mean something. And concepts and objects are represented by words that we all understand, so that we don't have to end up in a Tower of Babel (which I think this culture is approaching).

    Many thanks for the discussion!

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  100. "If you want to add gay unions to the definition of marriage, then what word can we now use for male/female committed union? We will need a new word."

    Perhaps a new word will emerge, I don't think we should leap to construct one.

    The fact is that gay and lesbian people continue to be born. Many wish to make promises to one another which say I will 'love you, comfort you, honour and protect you, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to you as long as we both shall live... they wish to take that person ', to have and to hold from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death parts them..'

    These are promises we make. Why would I wish to limit such a commitment to people like me?

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  101. 'There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.'
    'What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.'


    But we can assign government benefits for them and run people out of business if they won't make a cake for them….

    Sorry, just having a little fun.

    Oy, vey.

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  102. Flying goose, two elderly sisters could make those vows and mean them (there is nothing sexual there), but it would not be marriage.

    Gay folks cannot consummate a marriage. They can do sex acts with each other, but that is not the basis for a conjugal union.

    As for finding a new word, would it be easier to keep the word (in whatever language) that has been in use for that concept since forever, and simply find a new word for the NEW thing (gay unions)?

    See, that makes so much more sense!

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  103. But we also believe that we can know things...

    ' a claim to knowledge needs to be substantiated; ignorance need only be confessed.'

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    1. You're right FG, I never knew what I thought I knew. Marriage was gay all along. We just now realized it, millennia later.

      And that man with the beard and the penis and the XY chromosome? He is a woman. We just didn't substantiate that until he told us he thought he was a woman. So, the state rightly declared him a woman. And so he suddenly is a woman. Yep. He is.

      Yes, I love the way the left "knows" things.

      Sigh.

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  104. "find a new word for the NEW thing (gay unions)"

    Because may be its just an old thing looked at from a different perspective.

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  105. "Are there any difference between men and women (besides incidental genitals)?

    Yes, there are some biological differences, although I think social conditioning is probably much stronger. And universally, there is nothing all mothers in all cultures do, or all fathers in all cultures do.

    And do you not see a bit of difference between motherhood and fatherhood?"

    Every culture has different standard parenting roles for men and women, but a role can be filled by any person. I would assume all Elton John meant was that it would feel bad for the kid to see that everyone else had a mom, and he'd feel left out. I don't think he meant to say that the child would miss out on any particular type of care. If he did mean that, then he comes off as quite selfish for bringing a kid into a situation where he didn't think he and his partner could provide adequate care.

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  106. "And that man with the beard and the penis and the XY chromosome? He is a woman. We just didn't substantiate that until he told us he thought he was a woman. So, the state rightly declared him a woman. And so he suddenly is a woman. Yep. He is.

    Yes, I love the way the left "knows" things."

    Have you ever actually met a transgender person?

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  107. Yes, I love the way the left "knows" things.

    Please don't assume that I am on the left, BTW it is a conservative government in the UK that is bringing in gay marriage, so less of the caricatures please.

    Your example is matter of empirical observation. Marriage is metaphysical object, so you are making a category error.

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  108. Flying Goose, I'm just trying to understand you because it's not clicking.

    Are you saying that we can't know non-empirical truths because they are based on perception?

    If so, then how do you know? The claim itself is not empirical.

    You seem to be making a self-defeating argument.

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  109. Chris, so people only ache for a mother or a missing father because they look around and see them? So what? If there is no essential difference, what would they miss? A taller person vs. a shorter one? A lot of women are tall. Muscles? Some women have big muscles. It makes no sense. Why do we lament fatherless children (in inner cities, where fathers are largely absent, then no one should long for a daddy, as there are not many to "see" and it's not a big deal to be without one)? Why do we write poetry about motherhood and mothers (and not just "parents")?

    Yes, Elton John and his "husband" were obviously very selfish, saying what he said, knowing what he knows, and then going ahead and whipping up another infant (via rented womb) to raise yet another motherless child.

    I have met transgendered persons, and in fact have been in dialogue with one young woman who just "became" a man (not surgically). She has no congenital issues, and she is fully a biological female. She just "identifies" (thinks in her mind) that she is a man. Also, I know a friend whose dad "became a woman". He still looks like a man (but wearing girls' clothes/hair). Very hard thing.

    Can the state make a man become a woman, by stroke of the pen, Chris? Is it truth that we become the opposite sex if we think it?

    What is reality?

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  110. "I. Of the difference between Pure and Empirical Knowledge That all our knowledge begins with experience there can be no doubt. For how is it possible that the faculty of cognition should be awakened into exercise otherwise than by means of objects which affect our senses, and partly of themselves produce representations, partly rouse our powers of understanding into activity, to compare to connect, or to separate these, and so to convert the raw material of our sensuous impressions into a knowledge of objects, which is called experience? In respect of time, therefore, no knowledge of ours is antecedent to experience, but begins with it. But, though all our knowledge begins with experience, it by no means follows that all arises out of experience. For, on the contrary, it is quite possible that our empirical knowledge is a compound of that which we receive through impressions, and that which the faculty of cognition supplies from itself (sensuous impressions giving merely the occasion), an addition which we cannot distinguish from the original element given by sense, till long practice has made us attentive to, and skilful in separating it. It is, therefore, a question which requires close investigation, and not to be answered at first sight, whether there exists a knowledge altogether independent of experience, and even of all sensuous impressions? Knowledge of this kind is called a priori, in contradistinction to empirical knowledge, which has its sources a posteriori, that is, in experience. But the expression, "a priori," is not as yet definite enough adequately to indicate the whole meaning of the question above started. For, in speaking of knowledge which has its sources in experience, we are wont to say, that this or that may be known a priori, because we do not derive this knowledge immediately from experience, but from a general rule, which, however, we have itself borrowed from experience. Thus, if a man undermined his house, we say, "he might know a priori that it would have fallen;" that is, he needed not to have waited for the experience that it did actually fall. But still, a priori, he could not know even this much. For, that bodies are heavy, and, consequently, that they fall when their supports are taken away, must have been known to him previously, by means of experience. By the term "knowledge a priori," therefore, we shall in the sequel understand, not such as is independent of this or that kind of experience, but such as is absolutely so of all experience. Opposed to this is empirical knowledge, or that which is possible only a posteriori, that is, through experience. Knowledge a priori is either pure or impure. Pure knowledge a priori is that with which no empirical element is mixed up. For example, the proposition, "Every change has a cause," is a proposition a priori, but impure, because change is a conception which can only be derived from experience.

    Immanuel Kant. The Critique of Pure Reason (Kindle Locations 469-489).

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  111. Not universally in all cultures? How about breastfeeding? Seeing as how its both rare and difficult for a man to breastfeeding in all cultures woman do. Breastfeeding as opposed to formula feeding has many known biological benefits to children beyond just nutrition yet you would deny a child that if a child had two dads? Even adoptive mothers breastfeed. Ive never seen a man do so. Even transgendered men (male to female) often cant.

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  112. So give Aristotle a read and take his challenge to live without your reason or experiences. Saying "yes" or "no" to everything ultimately means nothing.

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  113. Transgender people experience what's called gender dysphoria, also called gender identity disorder. They feel anywhere from uncomfortable to miserable with their physical bodies, believing that they should have the physical features of the other sex. It's not just a feeling or an opinion that they have, but rather a medical condition. So then, we could hypothetically treat it either by changing the body to match the mind, or changing the mind to match the body. The latter approach is frightening. If I felt gender dysphoria, I wouldn't want to be "cured," if that meant taking away a fundamental part of who I was. If I thought I was properly a woman, I wouldn't want to take drugs or therapy until I thought I was a man. I'd want to be a woman, and there's nothing about that that would be "bad" or "harmful," beyond the fact that I was uncomfortable with my present state. The way of addressing that most in line with my wishes might be to present myself as female, or get surgery in order to be biologically female. I'm somewhat bothered by psychiatric treatment because different kinds of deviance (like lack of attention span, for example) are often treated as disorders.

    Man and woman are words that have had a stable meaning throughout most of history. Now, as we learn more about the way people work, we're forced to either amend our old definitions, or create new words to refer to previously-unknown realities. Do "man" and "woman" refer to biological features? If so, what do we make of people with traits of both sexes? What about male-bodied people whose brains function like women's brains? Does brain trump body or does body trump brain? Do "man" and "woman" refer to roles filled within society? Then what do we do about people who refuse to fill either traditional role, or people who fill parts of both? What about people who belong to societies with different role sets? What about societies with third genders?

    Reality is important, and it is knowable. So why should we use a limited, vague vocabulary to refer to the complexities of real life? A state can't make a man a woman or a woman a man. But neither can it make a Male-to-female transgender person into a cisgendered male, which is exactly how most legal codes try to do it these days. The system we have tries to mold reality into what's convenient and traditional. It's your side that's guilty of using strokes of the pen to define people, thus manipulating reality.

    Apologies for the wall of text.

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    1. Also, I should have added that some people merely wish to live the other gender's roles (so they might cross-dress and attempt to present themselves as the other gender), while others actively want to change their sex.

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  114. Male and female is biological. Even those whohave both sex organs have male or female dna and usually identify with one gender. Ive known children having a extra or missing sex chromosomes and they are still classified as a particular sex usually female. Transgender is a brain thing as you say. So is depression but im not going to allow a depressed person to go on living that way without saying something because its unnatural. I cant compel them sure but its isnt natural. Neither is it natural to be one sex and think you are another. I wouldnt let a depressed person mutilate themselves anymore than a transgendered person. They both crosses to bear and i offer my sympathies but that doesnt negate thst its natural.

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  115. Chris,

    So, even though all science points to a male being… a male, we cannot know that this is, in fact, true. Science could tell us that the person in front of us is a male, but in reality he is a female. Correct? So, what is reality?

    See, truth is what is real. So, what is real? What science tells us, or what a person believes in his head?

    I once had a transgender advocate tell me that transgender is a brain disorder, as autism is.

    My question is: So we treat the brain disorder by slicing up and medicating the reality of a normally functioning, healthy body?

    And can't we logically then conclude from your line of thinking that if a man thinks he is a bird, then he is a bird? Should we then work hard (with taxpayer funding, even) to get him to look like a bird and act and eat like a bird would, so that his brain is comfortable (and anyone who denies he's a bird will be punished for not going along with the declaration that he is a bird), or should we maybe treat the underlying psychiatric or brain disorder, so that his thoughts match reality?

    See, I just can't believe we've gotten to this point in society, where even the most basic of truths (Sue is a girl, Bob is a boy) no longer apply. Everything is up for grabs, and I do mean everything.

    So disconcerting.

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  116. Deltaflute, exactly…


    "I wouldnt let a depressed person mutilate themselves anymore than a transgendered person."

    Chris, you know that cutters cut themselves because it makes them feel good, correct? It's a way out of their mental pain. Should we let them cut? Is it okay and healthy?

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  117. Flying Goose, have you ever read Aquinas?

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  118. That's where you're getting into the medicalization of deviance. You've started with a weird scenario, of course, so here's mine:

    I'm sure, having met plenty of angry Internet atheists, you've had someone tell you that religion is a mental illness, a virus of the mind, etc. Fortunately, the medical community doesn't see things that way. But imagine if behaviors like prayer, reverence, faith, and so on were considered delusions, signs of mental illness. Suppose that they found a way to make people's brains match up more to "reality." We'd both get put on medication for believing in what they would cleverly dub "an imaginary man in the sky," regardless of how well we tried to explain ourselves.

    Obviously that's rather far-fetched, but there really are a few people in the world who think things would be better off that way. And that's why it's important to show respect for the way others' minds work. There's a place for mental treatment, but we need keep others in mind as we do so, and how they look at the world. The goal of life shouldn't be to turn everyone into copies of us. Also, I left out the fact that as of now there's no drug to "cure" gender dysphoria, so the very thought is strictly hypothetical.

    As for people who think they are animals (and that actually is a thing, you can Google "otherkin" although I wouldn't recommend it), that's quite a different issue. First of all, a person can be born with a brain like that of the opposite sex, but no human alive has ever been born with a bird's brain. Second of all, birds are a completely different type of animal, so there's no conceivable way to turn a person into one. Third, a person who actually *acted* like a bird would have to be institutionalized and medicated for their own safety. For otherkin though, it's more about saying they have the souls of animals, so it's a little different from trying to physically become them. Now if this bird person wanted to look like one, I suppose they could go through with some odd body modifications. And indeed there are people who've made themselves look animal-ish:

    http://samdasilva.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/lizard-man.jpg

    http://photos.posh24.com/p/1017508/z/tara_reid/jocelyn_wildenstein.jpg

    However, nothing about this requires modified legal treatment for them, so it's purely a cosmetic thing. And I hardly think either of them are insane.
    ---
    And again, this has to be repeated--the brain is just as "real" as the body. One must change to conform to the other, most people would much rather alter their bodies than drug themselves up until they're "normal."

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  119. "Chris, you know that cutters cut themselves because it makes them feel good, correct? It's a way out of their mental pain. Should we let them cut? Is it okay and healthy?"

    Modification and mutilation are not the same.

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  120. "I don't disagree with the above which is why in a democracy we reach a consensus about what is and what is not permissible. On the question of gay marriage, twenty years ago the consensus would have been with you. That is no longer the case. Thats democracy, you make your case. "

    Have we established, then, that you are willing to go along with whatever the majority decides? Then you were a supporter of Prop 8 in the sense that you support that democratic process, right? Are you outraged that the officials who were sworn to uphold the law then failed to defend the law, leaving private citizens to attempt to defend the law passed by the citizens, which the SC has said they cannot do? It is a travesty that those officials failed to do their job in supporting the democratic vote of the people of CA, isn't it? Because that is not the democratic process working, that is government officials in CA thwarting the process and forcing a situation on the people of CA that they had voted against. Does that bother you, or do you think that if the democratic process doesn't get the results that you think are just, those results must be forced on the voters? Sorry if you already made it clear that you support Prop 8, insofar as it was selected by the voters. I may have missed some posts.

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  121. Chris, if I were burned in a car wreck beyond recognition, science could not identify me as a Catholic. It could identify me as a female.

    "Modification and mutilation are not the same."

    Lopping off breasts and penises and removing organs and derailing hormonal systems is not mutilation? I don't know what to say. And maybe the cutters would just say they are modifying their arms and stomachs to make them feel happy and comfortable with themselves. And their "modifications" are much less dramatic than the transgendered person's.

    Again, what is reality?

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  122. ‘Our intellect is related to truth in the way that a polygon is to a circle: the more angles it contains, the more like the circle it is, but it never equates to the circle even if its angles are multiplied to infinity.’ Nicholas of Cusa

    "The shortest distance between two points is a straight line... in the opposite direction." - Caddyshack

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  123. Nubby - your point?

    Leila
    Flying Goose, have you ever read Aquinas?

    Of course, you can't read theology to post-graduate level without doing so at some point on the way.

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  124. "Chris, if I were burned in a car wreck beyond recognition, science could not identify me as a Catholic. It could identify me as a female."

    If it were possible to dig through your brain, do certain tests, and so forth, then yes it could. All of who you are, all of how you look at the world, is in your brain somewhere. Even if there's more to the mind than just physics (and I believe there is), there is a physical component to all of it. Also, I believe it's possible to damage a body enough that its sex can't be determined, although I don't want to dwell on the image.

    Do you regard cosmetic surgery as mutilation? Weight loss surgery like stomach-stapling would probably be seen as mutilation by your definition.

    "What is reality?"

    It's everything that exists, including both the things we can know for sure, and the things we can't. There's nothing ambiguous about the way transgender people are--we can determine, through medical tests and asking them questions, what organs they have, what hormone levels they have, how they perceive the world, what they think of different gender roles. These things are all real, physically real, important parts of a person. When there's some kind of conflict between them, it's not up to you to decide what part of the body is "wrong" and which one is "right," unless the person is actively harming themself or others.

    And I really don't see the logic in trying to water down all the different gender and sexual combinations into two (and only two) categories. There's no reason to beyond tradition. I use the terms man and woman because they apply to most people pretty well, but there are times when more specific terms, like transgender, cisgender, intersex, etc. better capture reality.

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  125. Even if there's more to the mind than just physics (and I believe there is)

    There's nothing physical to the mind. The mind is a set of cognitive faculties.

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  126. "Also, I believe it's possible to damage a body enough that its sex can't be determined, although I don't want to dwell on the image."

    Can't sex be determined through DNA?

    "There's nothing ambiguous about the way transgender people are"

    So they are clearly men or clearly women? And yet, sometimes I see a transgendered person and it's clear to everyone that it's a man who wants to be a woman, who thinks he's a woman. So, it's clear to me and everyone who sees him. But if it's clear to him that he is a woman, who gets to decide reality? Again, I say science, DNA, biology should determine it. You say, his feelings about himself get to determine his sex?

    Do you think it's silly for a doctor to say "it's a boy!" or "it's a girl!" when a baby is born (or identified via ultrasound)? Is that just tradition? Shall we withhold such traditions in the future?

    What would you consider to be mutilation?

    And I really promise I don't mean this to be snarky, but did you learn this philosophy in school, or on your own (via research, etc.). It's just all so different from what I knew and was taught even a few years ago. I don't know how reality could be perceived so differently, in the same culture, in just a few years' time.

    Anyway, some thoughts on modern neuroscience and the mind/brain connection:

    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/06/10435/

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  127. Cognitive faculties physically exist.

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  128. No. They mentally exist. Cognition is a mental process, not a physical one.

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  129. Again, the brain of a male-bodied person who identifies as female is *physically* different from that of a cisgender man. Is she biologically female just because she wants to be? No, of course not. But she can't be conflated with a cis man, either, without glossing over a large part of who she is. "MtF pre-op transgender" is a lot closer to reality than "male."

    It makes sense that DNA could determine a person's sex. I believe doctors tend to take outer appearance as most important when they declare a baby to be male or female. I've heard that a fair amount of ambiguous babies who were modified and declared to be female later began to strongly identify as male, even though many of them hadn't been told of their unusual physiology.

    And there's nothing wrong with saying "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" as long as society understands that there are times when sex and gender require more specialized language.

    I'm not sure how to define mutilation. I suppose we could say that it's a harmful modification of the body or some structure of the body. However, "harmful" can be a fairly subjective term--for example, I don't think circumcision is harmful but some people do.

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  130. Mental/physical is a false dichotomy. The brain exists and its processes can be objectively studied, just like in every other animal.

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  131. Really? So show me a material "mind". Not a physical brain. You can study mental processes but that doesn't make it false against mentality. There is no false dichotomy. Who told you that? Not being snarky. I wanna talk to the dude.

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  132. Chris you're going to have to define what you mean by a physical brain because it sounds like you saying the brain appears differently.

    Every year over a hundred babies die from complications from circur. That sounds harmful to me. Things like fixing clef palates are to help children eat. I think harmful is a very concrete if the modification is medically unnecessary to the quality of life AND results in death. Taking a normal body and modifying it to fit your feelings about gender comes with unnecessary risks. Even the intersex community advocate allowing the child to make body modifications although theres often no reason to.

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  133. And in related news, yet another mental illness/condition is taken out of DSM V, soon to be replaced with heterosexuality, I'm sure.

    So, the child took a pink blanket AS A FIVE-MONTH OLD and didn't like to play with dolls, so his idiot parents had him diagnosed with "gender identity disorder," which now, likely due to politics and not truth, has been removed from DSM V as a mental ailment. Now, the rest of the school has to bend to him.

    I'm really curious to see who wins the fight when the gene for homosexuality is discovered (and it will be): Women who want to abort their unborn homosexual children, or the unborn homosexual children who will be classified as humans, unlike their hetersexual unborn counterparts. It's coming.

    What a sick, evil world. Tail wagging the dog strikes again.

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  134. The brains of trans* individuals do appear different. They better match their identified sex than their assigned sex. Peer-reviewed scientific paper on it: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7477289 It's behind a paywall, but the abstract right there is all you need. Basically, if you have a trans* woman (physically male, mentally female), a particular region in the brain that's important for sexual behavior looks the same as it does in cisgender women, not as it does in cisgender men.

    You're doing a great job, Chris. I'd like to jump in more, but I don't have time, and you've got this. If you do come back to the motherhood/fatherhood question (and I hope you will!), just know that it's okay to give up when the thread hits 500 comments and you still haven't worked out what the heck it is that opposite-sex parents provide that gay parents can't. ;)

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  135. Oh, I said I wasn't going to say any more, but re: DOMA, this is actually pretty good (and it's a link straight (heh) off of a blog on your sidebar) – http://mudbloodcatholic.blogspot.ca/2013/06/a-gay-catholics-thoughts-on-doma-ruling.html

    Okay, I'm actually going away now.

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  136. Girl From New York, I hear ya, sister.

    Michelle, what is the essential difference between a mother and a live in nanny? Or are they the same?

    What about the difference between a loving orphanage worker (who lives on the premises) and a father?

    What about the difference between a brother and a sister? Or are they the same?

    And, if men and women are the same, essentially, then why would a transgendered person need to do anything at all to line up anything at all? Isn't it weird that we are all exactly the same and interchangeable, but some of us are hacking off body parts and taking away organs and pumping full of hormones in order to be…. the same thing (since male and female are not distinguishable to anyone, especially to a child)?

    Why are you attracted to maleness and not femaleness? They are the same, esp, if they are clothed and you can't see genitals, then really, there is absolutely no difference, correct?

    Why, Michelle, would Elton John find it heartbreaking that his son does not and will not ever have a mum? He has two loving parents that can fill all the mechanical roles and love him as well.

    I truly don't understand the logic?

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  137. Leila I have every respect for the angelic Doctor, but both philosophy and theology are not static bodies of thought. There has been a whole revolution in logic in the seven centuries between his and our time, as well the developments in the natural science Aquinas could only have dreamt of.

    Thats the problem if you tie yourself to closely to dogma. It stifles thought.

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  138. Intriguing to observe gay “marriage” advocates' (alleged) objections to polygamy.
    Two "married" lesbians (now seeking to become two "mommies") manufacture baby, employing sperm from male *third* party, contracted to partner in procreation/family-engendering function of the "marriage".
    Next child conceived from sperm from male *fourth* party inducted for the cause... Etc...
    Or, in the case of two "husbands" wishing to be two "daddies", eggs and/or wombs added to the partnership ("marriage") by contracted female “third* party, *fourth* party, etc... ad infinitum.
    Sounds suspiciously like polygamy to me!
    Just sayin’. :)

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  139. Why breastfeeding is important:

    http://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/why-breastfeeding-is-important/

    Guess real mommies have their uses (and serious advantages for the economy too) after all.

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  140. Are children with same-sex parents at a disadvantage? Yes? No? Let's see what the researchers and experts are saying - or, just as importantly, not really saying:

    http://factsaboutyouth.com/posts/are-children-with-same-sex-parents-at-a-disadvantage/

    "It is unethical to subject children to an untested social experiment. No human culture anywhere, at any time, has ever raised a generation of children in same-sex homes. This is an experiment upon children to fulfill adult wishes to parent."

    "A wise and compassionate society always comes to the aid of children in motherless or fatherless families, but a wise and compassionate society never *intentionally* subjects children to such families. But every single same-sex home would do *exactly* that, for no other reason than that a small handful of adults desire such kinds of families.

    There is *no* research indicating such homes will be good for children. In fact the data show us that the family experimentation we have subjected children to over the past 30 years has all failed to improve human well-being in any important way. What makes us think more of it will make the situation any better? It will only make life for our children dramatically worse."

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  141. Nope, Leila. I have asked time and time again what the essential difference is between mothers and fathers, and I have gotten only "mothers are mothers and fathers are fathers." Parents, biological or adopted, have a different connection to their children (and their children to them) than a paid caretaker, but that's not the question. If the difference between mothers and fathers is so important, you should be able to tell Chris and I what it is that each can provide that the other cannot. If it's so essential to society than children have one mother and one father, then it should be easily articulated why that is – but not once, in any argument against same-sex marriage or parenting, have I heard the answer. Even if it's been self-evident for millennia, that should make it that much more obvious and easy to explain to me. I truly don't understand the logic.

    I'm not going to do any back and forth here – our last discussion was great, but this isn't something I want to (or have time to) discuss. I feel like I've asked this maaaany times now, and a straightforward answer (one that doesn't have a question for me in it) should be easily at hand if you've truly thought through your position. The fact that I've never heard one is starting to make me very suspicious that there isn't one.

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  142. existenceandessence, from reading your posts it is obvious you are an intelligent person and can debate well. I find it very hard to believe that you or any intelligent person can't figure out the essential differences between a mother and a father and the vital importance of both in a family. You want a succinct and articulate answer and if you don't get one that satisfies you, you say the argument is flawed or invalid. I understand that your side of the argument may not allow you to openly search for your answer, but I would bet the answer is simple to find on your own.

    I read this blog a lot, but don't post that often. There are some very intelligent people on this blog and they will battle relentlessly and that is actually appreciated as the discourse helps many faithful Catholics in developing their faith.

    But, the answers are there and out there and always will be, as the Truth will always be the Truth. You may not see that or may not allow yourself to see that.

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  143. Apologies for my long absence, the power was out.

    "Really? So show me a material "mind". Not a physical brain. You can study mental processes but that doesn't make it false against mentality. There is no false dichotomy. Who told you that? Not being snarky. I wanna talk to the dude."

    If you read the article Leila linked to me, it notes that "mind=brain" is a pretty popular concept in neuroscience and psychology these days, and it wouldn't be at all hard to find someone who would argue that. I've seen it expressed as "The mind is what the brain does." That's also the basic approach my psych textbook took when I had that class last year, although it was clear that some things will always remain subjective.

    If you want an example of a material "mind," a computer program can analyze incoming data and act accordingly in a similar manner. Most AIs are rather brain-like, although much simpler. The only difference, as far as I know, is that we experience of consciousness and awareness, which I don't believe are purely physical. This is controversial among scientists (especially since it can't be tested) but some philosophers accept it. For a defense of the idea, read:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=GCA_LVmc9kEC&pg=PA391#v=onepage&q&f=false

    The concept of a philosophical zombie is also key here. A philosophical zombie would be entirely indistinguishable from a regular person. That's the whole point of the thought experiment. So we can never quite prove that there's anything more than chemical reactions to a person, although I firmly believe there is.

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    1. Chris, it seems like Nagel's coming closer and closer to what Catholics have been saying for centuries.

      You're right, we can't prove that materialism is true any more than we can prove that it is not true -- if proof depends on empirical demonstration. However, as Nagel and others are figuring out, materialism flies in the face of common sense.

      What do you think they will someday call this consciousness that is more than something emergent from the physical brain?

      A soul? ;-)

      Delete
    2. Chris,

      Two things I've written, quicly. This is why I think materialism and all its "ism" that try to deny the existence of the human soul are, actually, dangerous for society.

      http://stacytrasancos.com/neuroscientists-scooped-by-catholic-church/

      http://stacytrasancos.com/science-will-make-human-life-immortal/

      Delete
  144. Tonka, if it's so simple to find on my own, someone should be able to tell me the answer. Everyone here loves to answer questions, just not this one. It's very bizarre. You can't base your entire argument against same-sex parenting on a principle you can't articulate.

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  145. My only point was to answer this which you posted:

    Cognitive faculties physically exist.

    You can't physically pick up a "cognitive faculty" with your hands, and show anyone what that physically looks like, because it's a mental process. That's like saying a "memory" is something that physically exists. Memory, reasoning, attitudes, learning, problem solving - those are all mental cognitive processes. I was being Picky Patty about that, that's all.
    Cognition is a mental, psychological process that happens in the mind. Doesn't matter if it's a process within a robot or zombie or person. It's still a process. I get that mind and brain are used interchangeably. Just wanted to make that one distinction

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  146. e&e, well first you would have to acknowledge that there are differences between men and women - correct? I'm sure you would agree that there are differences between the two sexes? Infants can recognize from a very early age the different interactions they are having with a male and a female. (look it up) That in itself is something a child can not get from a SSM. In a SSM they cannot possibly offer the same relational interaction that is as broad and rich as a hetero couple. It's impossible. Men and women are different. Men inherently do things differently than women and women do things inherently different than men. Men and women handle situations differently than women and the combination of the two provide a more well rounded raising for the child.

    Please provide me all the evidence that suggests same sex couples do just as good of a job as a hetero couples. It's not that their effort is not there, but there are clear differences between men and women.

    I may be oversimplifying it for some, but why wouldn't God allow same sex couples to procreate? Are men and women nothing more than their sex organs?

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  147. Nope, Leila. I have asked time and time again what the essential difference is between mothers and fathers, and I have gotten only "mothers are mothers and fathers are fathers."

    There's no difference Michelle. You're so right. Let's do away with two restrooms since mommies and daddies are the same.
    Infact, let's all pick one to really simplify things. I vote we are all female, then we can share each others clothes and have big emotional pow-wows over coffee, all while having families without a male partner. We won't last long.

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  148. Nubby, I am truly blown away by intelligent people truly asking what the difference is between a man and a woman.

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    1. Tonka, me too. It's one of the most troubling things I've encountered in the course of having this blog (and you are right, these are intelligent folks who make the claim). I wrote about it in the section on "jaw-droppers", here:

      http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2012/02/heres-almost-latimes-article.html

      It leaves me stunned every time. Have these folks never hung out around a bunch of women, or a bunch of men?

      Delete
  149. Michelle, you didn't answer any of my questions at 10:32, which is the point. Please, take a stab at them.

    How about this: Have you ever been to a girls' lunch, Michelle? Or a baby shower (all women, please)?

    Envision those, and envision the dynamics there. Then you will start to get at it.

    Why is Elton heartbroken that his sons don't have a mum, if men and women can both make a bed and sing a song? It makes no sense to be heartbroken.

    Please, please, take a stab at the answers to my questions above, and we can inch toward making you see something that is really axiomatic.

    Welcome, Tonka! You should comment more!

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  150. I am truly blown away by intelligent people truly asking what the difference is between a man and a woman.

    Tonka, Especially from the biologist, scientific types.

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  151. Just a basic biological thought:
    Say my friend breeds dogs. And I deliver to her the news that there is no difference between female dogs and male dogs. She takes me at that as truth. Question: How long before her breeding business folds?

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  152. Exactly Nubby, a biologist to claim there's no difference in a male and female is like a chemist claiming there's no difference in solids and liquids.

    Sure if you reduce everything to atoms and voids, I guess everything is just a cloud of particles.

    But if that's all you've got, respectfully...step aside and get out of the way.

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  153. So just to be clear, are you guys saying that American gender stereotypes are fundamentally true, not just across the country, but across the entire human race, throughout history?

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  154. Chris, no. We are saying that in every culture, there is an understood difference between mothers and fathers. If there is a culture that does not see a distinction between mothers and fathers (and women and men), it would be a freakishly small anomaly.

    Chris, have you ever been at a girls' lunch? Here, or in Africa, frankly?

    And, why is Elton heartbroken? What does he know about "mums" that you and Michelle do not?

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  155. I guess maybe the question should be: are there any inherent differences in males and females?

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  156. Chris, my husband does the cooking and loves to shop for clothes and shoes. I do not. Yet, there is NO one who would ever suspect my husband of being a woman or a mother. He is all man. My kids know it, I know it. What does that tell you about the "roles"? Can a man cook? Yes. Shop? Yes. Hug? Yes. But if he came to my girls' lunch or my daughter's baby shower, the entire dynamic would change in a flash. Men and women can "do" the same things (to a point…. I can never bench press what the strongest man could), but we are not the same, praise God!! Vive la difference!

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  157. "Just a basic biological thought:
    Say my friend breeds dogs. And I deliver to her the news that there is no difference between female dogs and male dogs. She takes me at that as truth. Question: How long before her breeding business folds?"

    Two male dogs can't produce puppies together, but none of us tried to claim they could.

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  158. "Can a man cook? Yes. Shop? Yes. Hug? Yes. But if he came to my girls' lunch or my daughter's baby shower, the entire dynamic would change in a flash."

    So, the difference between men and women is that... people see a difference between them?

    There are certainly differences between male and female brains (on average), but there is not a single role that only men, or only women can fill as a parent. And if you agree that there are mental differences between the genders you should have no trouble accepting transgender people for who they are.

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  159. Two male dogs can't produce puppies together, but none of us tried to claim they could.

    Well, I posit that for you, to go along with Michelle's idea that there is no difference between males and females. Might as well, because it's applicable to the argument.

    Per your comment here, you would accept that it's necessary to have *both* males and and females to propagate the species, yes? In which case, you will have conceded to there being a very base and obvious, self-evident difference.

    Not a stereotype, a fact. That's the point.

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  160. A thought just came to me, though it doesn't exactly relate to the present discussion. You've often dismissed the idea that marriage, at core, has anything to do with love. You say it's about raising children. This certainly may be true, but I think love is very important for a stable environment. I'd much rather be raised by a gay couple who loved each other than a straight couple who didn't.

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  161. Everybody, I mean EVERYBODY - on both sides of the argument - chill for 13 minutes and watch this hilarious video:

    A Tale of Two Brains:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XjUFYxSxDk

    Some of you will hopefully gain some handy, down to earth, commonsense insights from it... commonsense that can, at times, trump all the "scientific research" and leaden intellectual debates in the world.

    Who said serious learning can't be fun? My sides hurt from laughing so much! Methinks I'll go grab a beer now to celebrate diversity - the GLORIOUS differences between men and women that are intrinsic to their fruitful complementarity and contribute so much to making our lives and interactions so rich, varied and captivating! Thank GOD we're not some monotonous, gender-traitless, androgynous mass!

    P.S. The "comedian" in the video is Mark Gungor, one of the most sought-after speakers on marriage and family in America. This video is an extract from his seminar called "Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage". The full video of the seminar is here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43j2kCAVsmE

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    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Is there a transcript for the video anywhere online?
      Thanks!

      Delete
  162. Marriage has everything to do with love, Chris. Love in it's truest sense, not love as "a feeling of being happy" which is what secular society has made it out to mean. Love means self-denial, not self-service. Jesus showed us what love meant when he gave his own life for us on the cross in the biggest act of self-denial mankind has ever witnessed. Marriage is a sacrament all about service and self-denial. Its about sacrifice and giving yourself completely to your spouse and those children (which are the fruits of marital love) which come from it. When anyone on this blog says marriage isn't just about love I assume they mean the false love society talks about, which is actually self-love. Love goes beyond emotions and feelings. Love goes beyond the flesh and regards the state of the other's soul first and foremost.

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  163. If it's understood, you should be able to tell me what the actual difference is. There are physiological differences that no one is denying, but I'm honestly getting the sense that you distill a parent down to their genitalia and not their character, personality, or capabilities. If you strip away gender roles (which are increasingly fluid nowadays, thankfully) and understand that there are not set personalities or characters that can apply only to men or women, what on earth is the meaningful difference between a mother and a father beyond "they're just different, can't you see?"

    If this difference is what society is founded on and is really worth defending, the answer should be something you can tell me without asking questions like "have you ever been around all women?" I am a biologist, yes, but I'm not denying biological differences. Hormones and genitalia are chromosomes are all great, but the important part of a person is who they are, not what they are. If there's a meaningful difference between mothers and fathers, that difference should be apparent in who they are. I'm not going to be led to this through questions, because we've tried that before and it wasn't fun for anyone involved, so I'm going to leave it at that. If you'd like to lament the state of biology education, feel free, but anything other than a straightforward answer will leave me dead certain you don't have one at all.

    Carry on! I'll only comment to acknowledge an answer if I see one. (Tonka, I did see your answer, but the question is how are they inherently different in their interactions? Spell it out for me? That's pretty much the question I'm trying to get an answer to.)

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    1. Hormones and genitalia AND* chromosomes, oops.

      Delete
  164. If it's understood, you should be able to tell me what the actual difference is. There are physiological differences that no one is denying, but I'm honestly getting the sense that you distill a parent down to their genitalia

    "Distilling down"? What even - what? Michelle, call it a starting point building upwards, not a deduction down.

    This is the basic differential, Michelle. A distinction. Not a common denominator. A differential at the very base level. The body, physiological difference that you just said you "don't deny" is the starting point, not even necessarily the top of the batting order.

    And you say hormones" and x, y "chromosomes" and "genitalia" aren't a big enough differential for you to see a salient distinct difference?

    So that must mean that your body and your brain are bathed in the same levels as a man's in which case you have naturally have incredible upper body strength; in which I want you at my next hockey practice because we could use another power forward.

    Question: Why the different labels to the chromosomes if there's no difference? Why the need to label one 'y'? Hmm. Something must driving that differential.

    Hormones and genitalia are chromosomes are all great, but the important part of a person is who they are, not what they are

    And a large part of what makes up the "who" is the "what".

    If there's a meaningful difference between mothers and fathers, that difference should be apparent in who they are.

    Again, the base level understanding is the biology. Build upwards from there. Color in the pictures of mommies and daddies performing various parenting tasks/duties/roles after the biology has already been included on the artistic sketch, if you know what I'm saying.

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  165. * levels of testosterone, that is. Ignore typos and all that jazz

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  166. "I'd much rather be raised by a gay couple who loved each other than a straight couple who didn't."

    Chris, that may be true for you individually. But my husband was raised by his biological, married mother and father who happened to not be "in love". He is very, very grateful that they were together and that he had his mother and his father during his growing up years, under the same roof. He would never, ever in a million years, have preferred two dudes to raise him, no matter how much "in love" those men would be.

    But let's look at it strictly from the "love" angle: Most would say it is better for a child to be raised in a loving orphanage, by loving caretakers, as opposed to being raised in a horrible, abusive, unloving home with two biological parents. But would we then jump to the conclusion that orphanages and parents are really equally good for children, and we should make no distinctions about which is ideal for children? Of course not! We would never say, for example, a good orphanage is the same thing for a child as being raised in a good home by his own loving set of parents.

    Being redundant, but want to be very clear: One could argue that a good orphanage is better than an abusive two-parent (mom and dad) home for a particular situation, but no one would extrapolate that to say that, as a rule, an orphanage is the same as a two-parent (mom and dad) home or an orphanage is better than a two-parent (mom and dad) home.

    And if you agree that there are mental differences between the genders you should have no trouble accepting transgender people for who they are.

    So you are admitting that there are more than just genital and gender role differences between men and women? I think you might be agreeing with us!

    Chris, I assume you are attracted to women, correct?

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  167. but there is not a single role that only men, or only women can fill as a parent

    And orphanage workers (or really advanced robots of the future) can fulfill those roles as well, correct? No one ever really answers me on that.

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  168. You've often dismissed the idea that marriage, at core, has anything to do with love.

    And this is not exactly what I said. I said that love (in the sense of "romantic love"), while ideal in a marriage, is not necessary for it to be a marriage. Again, what of all the arranged consensual marriages in history? What of my grandparents who celebrated over 50 years? Were they not married? What of the fictional but representative Golde and Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof? Were they not married? Are you prepared to say that they were not married? If you never saw the movie or play, you should! But the pertinent scene is here (they have been married 25 years, have five children):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_y9F5St4j0

    Please, I really want your take on that! Great scene, great movie, great question from Tevye to Golde: "Do you love me?"

    :)

    ReplyDelete

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