Friday, June 26, 2015

Rejoice! The Church's beacon just got brighter.

Maybe I should be upset and disheartened at today's Supreme Court decision. But I'm smiling. And I don't feel sad. I feel strangely excited.

I remember the night that Obama was elected for his second term. I went to bed early, sick to my stomach, depressed and afraid. It was truly awful. I felt a dark shroud had descended on our nation, the America that I love so much.

But I have grown and changed. The ins and outs of politics and courts and men do not bother me so much anymore. And in this case, I find myself untroubled. I am almost shocked at my peace! But isn't that what Christ came to give us, if we follow Him and not the world?

Some random thoughts (unpolished, redundant, I've not had breakfast yet) now that gay "marriage" is newly, magically discovered as a Constitutional right:

-- Pray for the soul of Justice Kennedy. He is a Catholic. He will be accountable for his decision. May the Lord have mercy on his soul.

-- America is and was always an experiment. If we put our hopes and faith in a fallible nation, even one so promising as America, we miss the boat. The only home for us is Christ's Church, which has outlasted every empire and nation and will outlast even the world itself. If you have built your house on the Rock instead of shifting sand, and if you are safe in the Barque of Peter, and not flailing in the stormy waters, then relax and rejoice. Life is good. And Christ's promises stand. (And if you are still in the stormy waters, get in the boat!! There is room for all!)

-- God called each of us to live in this moment, at this time, in this culture. He did so for a reason. Are you ready to fulfill your baptismal mandate?

-- So many lost souls. Pray for them.

-- So many children will suffer, and we will see that fallout in the coming decades. Pray for them.

-- Everything that happened today falls under the very capable hands of Divine Providence. Now is the time to step up and really live your faith. If not, then what is your faith for, anyway?

-- Don't be afraid. I'm not. God is so good. He knows just what we need and he has given it to us. Find your courage, people!

-- Become a saint. Trust me, it's the only way. It's what will dispel the darkness and it's what will attract people to you, and to the Church, and to Christ Himself. This is about the salvation of souls, not whether or not America will continue to be a comfortable place for us.

-- America was never the "shining city on the hill", the Church is! We need to get that straight, because I think a lot of American Christians misunderstand that point.

-- Just as with the evil decision of Roe v. Wade, this decision will continue to divide the nation. There can be no healing and unity when natural law and our very natures are dismissed and contradicted. God will not be mocked. Nature will not be mocked. It will be the children of these "unions" who will eventually bring us back to sanity. It will take some decades, but like abortion, the tide will turn back to reality and truth. And if we don't live to see it, so what? This world is passing away. Christ has overcome the world. How can we not be filled with joy?!

-- What to do now? Live your life. Become a saint. Teach your children well (start with this), because they will need to find some firm footing and sense in a crazy, upside-down world. The Church will continue to be a beacon, but even more so now. I praise God for making the line very clear! Now, the choice is more obvious. My overriding thought is "bring it on!" We were made for this, my dear Christians. Why are you afraid?

-- Finally, if you are truly, profoundly rattled and even devastated by this Court decision, you have put waaaaaaay too much faith in the things of this world. Change course. You will not find peace nor salvation in the things of this world. Turn to Christ, the source of our joy. He Himself asked if He would find any faith in this world upon His return. Well, will He?

He will in my house.

God bless and have a beautiful day, as I leave you with some prescient words from Venerable Fulton J. Sheen:
We are at the end of a tradition and a civilization which believed we could preserve Christianity without Christ, religion without a creed, meditation without sacrifice, family life without moral responsibility, sex without purity, and economics without ethics. We have completed our experiment of living without God and have proven the fallacy of a system of education which calls itself progressive because it finds new excuses for sins. Our so-called progressiveness, did we but realize it, is like unto the progressive putrefaction of a corpse. The soul is gone, and what we call change is only decay. How stop it except by reversing the process by which we drove God out of the world, namely by relighting the lamp of faith in the souls of men?
The millions of the world who keep their fingers on the pulse of public opinion and follow every theory, every vogue, every panacea, every popular immorality, and who approve the appointment of every anti-moral educator, have no standard of right and wrong. A thing cannot measure itself: A tape measure must be outside the cloth; a speedometer must not be a brick in the roadway; a judge must not be a shareholder in the corporation whose cause he judges. In like manner the judgment of the world must be from outside the world. Such a standard is the need of the hour -- an authority that does not, like some politician, find out what the people want and then give it to them, but which gives them what is true and good whether it is popular or not. We need someone to be healthy when the world is sick; someone to be a stretcher-bearer when the battlefields are freighted with wounded; someone to be calm when the house is burning; someone to be right when the world is wrong, as on Easter when they who slew the Foe lost the day.  
Where is that authority except in the Church of the Risen Christ which in each new generation is condemned by the world and then rises to a new and glorious Easter? At least a thousand times the bells have tolled in history for the death of the Church, but the execution never took place; the coffin is ordered but the corpse never appears; the mourners assist at her burial but she sings a requiem over her mourners; still doomed to death, but fated not to die, she survives a thousand crucifixions and a thousand deaths, and alone has survived the crash of all civilizations, because not involved in their ruin.

There is often an hour when the world cannot understand the reason the Church gives for her position, but there is never a time when men do not live to see that her judgment was reasonable.  


If you are still discouraged, please read this.


  1. This is exactly how I felt when Obama was re-elected.

  2. Thank you for this post. I really, really needed to read it right about now. I don't want to care about what happened today. But I do. And you put it in perspective.

  3. Thanks, Leila. I needed this.

  4. *Venerable Sheen. I pray that God will fill me with similar optimism. I'm terribly nervous for my dear priest friends. St. Thomas More, PRAY FOR US! God wins in the end, God wins in the end, God wins in the end...

  5. Margo, corrected! Thanks! :)

    Go and have a great day! God wins, as always. He can be trusted. :)

  6. I hope I can get to where you are. But as blessed as I am to be persecuted, I'm really not looking forward to it. Sigh.

  7. “Same-sex couples, too, may aspire to the transcendent purpose of marriage and seek fulfillment in its highest meaning.” - Justice Kennedy

    Oh, the Supreme irony!

  8. Thank you for this. If you ever find the time, could you put together a post on how to explain this to our children. Mine are still really young, but unlike abortion and contraception which are pretty much hidden and unknown unless told about (except of course the fact that people scream for the rights to their access), gay couplings and marriages are and will be out in the open for all to see.

  9. For anyone who feels discouraged, please read!

  10. Francis, that is actually laughable! What an irony, indeed!

    C, I will think about doing that! Thanks! In the meantime, it's enough to teach them about the Faith and Truth. Truth comes with graces attached. Christian children have lived through horrible things. God will be there for them and for us.

  11. I don't understand why religious people in this country think they are being persecuted. Do they think because gay marriage is now legal that they are going to be thrown to the lions? Gays are a really small percentage of the population. How is them marrying going to bring about the downfall of civilization?

    1. Night Cruller, I don't think you understand. We are not worried about ourselves. We are concerned for our children, their children, and the future (on earth and the hereafter) of mankind. Persecution is presupposed.

  12. Night Cruller, if something is deemed a "Constitutional right", then it cannot legally be denied them. So, people are looking ahead and seeing a clash between clergy and the state, or between business owners and the state. Who wins? What are the penalties?

    Even the attorney for the government could not answer the question when one of the Justices asked. He said that these things would be "an issue". We shall see how it goes.

    Also, now what if Christians don't want to have their children taught that gay is okay in public schools? Are they guilty of breaking the law? Discrimination? Lots of that already going on.

  13. The government issues marriage licenses, not the clergy or business owners. Where is the clash? Many Christians don't want their children taught evolution. They aren't breaking the law, they just don't get their way.

    1. It will be seen as breaking the law to NOT provide a marriage license to a same-sex couple.
      So you have the state saying you must do this and practising catholic saying we can't and we won't. The state will do everything possible to force those who don't comply.
      And The negative name callingfor dissidents and everthing is ripe for persecution. It only took 10 years for a complete turn around in públic opinión of same sex marriage. It won't take 10 years to attack christians ir isla right around The córner.

  14. Night,

    The bakers and the florists who didn't wish to provide goods or services for gay weddings were not allowed to "opt out" because of religion. The Catholic Church's charities and hospitals are already under attack because of their stance on birth control and abortion. We've lost this fight before.

    If some will sue over a cake, they will sue when they are not allowed to have their wedding in a beautiful Church of their choice. They've already started in some cases.

    You believe we will be shown mercy? Why? Look at your Facebook feed and tell me what you see. Do you see the actions of gracious winners who are showing kindness and respect to those who think differently? Or are they mocking them? Calling them bigots, haters, uneducated, worthless and worse?

    I know what I am seeing on my feed....I am not expecting any mercy from that corner.

  15. Thank you, Leila. I really need to read this post today. I'm not upset so much about the legal and moral fallout of this decision as terrible as that will be.

    I am very upset by watching so many of my friends and family move further and further from the Truth. Some of them are even outright mocking God and the Church. It is painful watching them damn themselves. I can only hope and pray they will turn back in time.

    I was feeling so helpless because I thought there was so little I can do. Experience tells me I can't argue with them because they aren't willing to open their minds enough. Fighting with them just pushes them further away. But that helplessness comes from the enemy.

    I can pray for them, I can become a close to a saint as I can be, I can teach kindly, I can love them.

    Thank you.

    It is past time I made my family's, friend's and my own spiritual welfare my top priority.

    1. Marie, amen! And Catholics who align themselves with the secular culture and against their own faith will have a lot to account for. That part is super scary. Their souls are in danger with that disposition.

  16. I have been at peace too, however, I have moments of faultering especially when I think of my children's future. Thank for writing what I needed to hear. You gave words to my thoughts!

  17. Thank you for this post. Obviously inspire by the Holy Spirit. I will be sharing.

  18. Leila, Great post, as usual. But why should you (we) be shocked at our peace? Hasn't Jesus told us "peace be with you" in a multitude of ways about 365 times in the Bible? But realistically, on the day to day level, I do know what you mean. The deeper I dive into my faith, the more anxious I've become. I don't think this is the way it should be. I don't think this is what Jesus wants for me. The more I pray, the more I feel I'm focussing on the negative. I think I should change my prayer from one of constant petition to one of praise, thanks, and "Your will be done". I don't know what my 22 year old son will present to me. I "fear" it may be an alternative lifestyle. He's already pronounced that he's godless (which upended my world) but now I'm also sensing that he's ambiguous and confused about his sexuality. My Lord, who wouldn't be in this day and age where anything, absolutely anything goes. Am I supposed to wait in fear for his ultimate decision? Or am I supposed to have trust in God? I DO believe that Jesus wants peace and trust in my life. I believe that God has already "gifted" me with an autistic child. Is my possibly homosexual child another gift? I think so, and I do believe God will make everything right in the end.

  19. Of course, all of this has implications for commerce. I am not as much concerned for this as I am for the eternal implications.

  20. Mary Beth, amen, and these days I'm surprised that more young people are not sexually confused! The messages they get and the mandate to "experiment" is just overwhelming. Pray and trust!

  21. I am experiencing peace as well, but I still greatly appreciated your words this morning. You've reminded me that in addition to peace, I can maintain hope!

  22. Everything you are saying here is right and true, but I just had a bad dream that my son and two friends died. Then I dreamed that buildings were burning down. I'm not feeling peaceful at all!

    To those who might be feeling like me--who believe but can't help feeling afraid--the devil will do his best to fill you with despair. He will challenge us in every way and you use our fears and weakness as weapons against you. This is how I keep my guard up; sometimes it's the only way for me to keep proper perspective on things. I remember that I'm feeling vulnerable and that the devil will always attack us when we're feeling the weakest.

    What I like to do when I'm feeling like this--when I can't focus on prayer or get my anxiety calmed down--is I go to adoration and I look at Jesus square in the eye. Most of the time I won't say anything. I just sit there and tell Him that I'm not leaving until He gives me peace. And He always does.

    That isn't bossing God around, by the way. It's my way of telling Him I believe in Him and I will not leave until He gives me His peace. He doesn't want me to be afraid, so this is why it's not disrespectful to be so bold with God.

    That's my advice to anyone who might be feeling afraid like I am. That's why He's here dwelling among us. We aren't meant to go through these times of darkness alone; we are too weak for that. So strengthen yourself by going to daily Mass and visiting Him often in adoration or the tabernacle. He is there in every Catholic church. Why Catholics don't take advantage of that, I don't know. The churches should be filled with Catholics! And bring your children. They will need to know of a safe place to go when their persecution comes.

  23. Your words are true and necessary, Leila. Still, I couldn't quite rejoice in a victory of the enemy of love, however temporary it is. My heart sank when I read the news. It will mean endless pain for so many people (especially children), more alienation from those close to us, more souls in danger. Surely the enemy also rejoices today.

    Strangely enough, I had gone on YouTube a few minutes earlier to listen to music from Medjugorje while working. It was the hour of adoration of the youth festival 2012. The picture (after the first few minutes) only shows the Eucharist in the monstrance, and one listens to the songs and the words of the priest (spoken in Croatian, translated into English). The same peace filled me then, and that's when I read the news of the Supreme Court. I knew then that nothing ever changes the Truth, and that Christ is with us at all times, and that He allows all that happens. Yet I cannot, at this time, rejoice in the troubles ahead. Yes, it probably betrays a lack of faith, and yes, Christ told us that He came "to bring not peace but the sword". I guess I am coward. Lord, strengthen us in the battles ahead, and protect our loved ones from error.

  24. I am A coward...

    Becky, so funny to read that you wrote of similar feelings while I was typing my comment! Many of us must feel the same these days. And you are right, we must go to Him to find peace, and He is close.

  25. Thank you. This helps me to re-focus my emotion from anger, frustration and disgust to hopefulness. To keeping my eye on the real prize.

  26. Everything that happened today falls under the very capable hands of Divine Providence. Now is the time to step up and really live your faith. If not, then what is your faith for, anyway?

    Exactamundo. Let's take a different route:

    “… strengthen your brethren” - Luke 22:32
    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” – John 14:27

    Let the world flip out and react, react, react, all day long. That’s all it has ever done, anyway. Our mission field is very small-scale and localized, right? That's our focus, within those parameters.

    Possess the peace of Christ by knowing yourself and your gifts. Do you know your own spiritual gifts? How can we share those? How can we let God work through those? Great meditation right there. Important to know, IMO.

    Share those gifts and leave the rest to God. This is peace. Stay encouraged.

  27. You Faith is strong and you have strengthened me by your well stated commentary. God Bless.

  28. Yesterday's ruling is just the tip of the iceberg. It is only a matter of time (a year or less?) that the Catholic church wil be sued by a gay couple seeking to be married in the church. They will cry out that their "civil rights" have been infringed upon.
    The persecution of the catholic church and its members has hardly begun!
    Also,,,there are a large number of catholics who support gay marriage.

  29. You guys are amazing, and I am reading some excellent advice and encouragement here! Keep it up! :)

  30. Hi Leila, I read your article on Catholic Stand and stumbled into your blog. How I wish I discovered it earlier as it so full of insight, inspiration, and warmth. You have been blessed truly, in that you are able to writing with such clarity and simplicity, making your statements easy to appreciate and understand without losing its profundity.

    Now that the SCOTUS decision is out, I would like to respond to the call of reaffirming the true meaning of marriage and by proclaiming the Truth by word and action. I hope you could advise us readers on how we can deal with those who support the decision, especially when they engage us in debate. It's hard to simply say, "Jesus said it's wrong or this and that", as we are accused of being biased by our religion, and they start referring to philosophical or anthropological concepts.

    I hope you can write on some basics we need to really know about this current issue (i.e. what is truly the history of marriage) that will equip us, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, to speak with faith and confidence, while engaging in a civil dialogue. Almost as if training your readers in apologetics.

  31. There a blogs that all of you should follow.
    It is called the next right step by charlie Johnston. His motto is trust, do, love . Or acknowledge God, do the next right step , and be a sign of Hope to those around you. This is our job as christians in these crazy times.
    He is a modern mystic and had visions and visitors of what is to come. I found his advice is sound, práctica and logical . he doesn't like talking about what he was shown. he is a catholic convert and guided by three priests.
    He is presently now organising talks around The usa to encourage people.
    As with all personal and private visions and mystical experiences we are not obliged to believe them. I do think his message will help many of you here.

  32. I've only had these 5 minutes to read any commentary on Friday's decision. So, so glad yours was the one I picked! His hope and joy--nothing can defeat that!

  33. Indeed the beacon is now brighter.
    Like any mystery, darkness can be invitation to the mind. Darkness, or a lack of knowledge, is what pushes us to seek light, or knowledge, provided that we have the right disposition. If we can say the mind is made for knowledge then way can say it tends to move in that direction if there is nothing to stop it and darkness need not stop it, but nudge it forward instead. In this ironic sense darkness helps us to see. The more the surrounding darkness, the brighter any light will appear. Those who still wonder what marriage is really all about may now be able to finally see the clear light that comes from the Church

  34. Great words. Our pastor here in Ann Arbor Michigan, who is a very on-fire spirit-filled man, told us yesterday that while he was praying about the latest supreme court decision, he got this image in his mind of an avalanche just before it starts to fall,
    like a huge mountain slope piled with snow which the slightest sound or vibration will
    set into motion, and he understood that this is God's grace, waiting for our prayers
    to be unleashed on this pitiful world. Let's pray harder than ever and beg the Holy Spirit to cascade His avalanche of grace onto us all!

  35. Thank you for this, Leila. After reading the opinion, I had a distinct feeling that life just got more serious. And that means that we all need to get more serious--about our Faith, our families, and standing up for those things in society. It is, as you say, time to be saints. We cannot choose the society we are born into, but we can certainly influence the world in which we live. Saints have done it for millennia. And we are called to do it now. Thanks for leading that charge.

  36. Wow, thank you all! And yes, an avalanche of grace is coming! :)

  37. Hi Alex Reyes! Welcome to the Bubble! Be warned upfront: you might lose several years of your life being engrossed in some of the intense stuff you find here! :) What Leila seeks in running this blog (in which people of almost all dispositions are welcome to express their views) is not so much agreement, as clarity about people's stances and stands, on various issues in our contemporary culture.

    It is understandable that you, like so many millions of others, would like a few simple and conclusive employable pronouncements regarding marriage, but our millenia-old communal understanding of this simple and basic social arrangement has been muddied so greatly today that that is no longer possible. Restoring the institution of marriage to its authentic and meaningful form is now a multi-generational project, and a lot of water (and blood) will indeed have to flow under the bridge before that is finally achieved.

    One of the ploys most commonly employed to heap scorn on the traditional understanding of marriage is to align it to allegedly medieval, unenlightened and bigoted religion, in particular Christianity. I contend however, that traditional marriage can be amply defended on a whole heap of factors, even excluding religion beliefs. Those are the skills/arguments which we will need to develop and refine if we are to preserve/restore efficacious marriage as the basic building block of our increasingly post-Christian (and, since this latest decision of SCOTUS, arguably anti-Christian) societies, particularly in the West.

    To this end, Dr Jennifer Roeback Morse of the Ruth Institute compiled a pamphlet recently entitled "77 Reasons to Support Man/Woman Marriage." I 'm going to reproduce it in its entirety in the comment(s) below, along with responses from the proponents of new forms of "marriage". This is so we can all understand where each "camp" in this debate is currently at.

    Most of the points raised by the proponents of new forms of "marriage" have been dissected/discussed/responded to at quite some length already on this blog - unfortunately, you'll have to look through a lot of previous posts on this subject for that. Oh, and I've left the comments of the alternative camp unedited. Be warned that besides a liberal dose of epithets (passing as sarcasm), they are replete also with the periodic four letter exclamation or two.

  38. 77 REASONS: #1-8


    1 The essential public purpose of marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to one another.

    This would be better phrased as “an” essential public purpose of marriage. Others include the ability for a spouse to represent the other, receive certain entitled benefits and be a next-of-kin representative for medical treatment to name just a few.

    2 Man/woman marriage allows children to know and be known by their biological parents. Same sex marriage separates children from at least one parent.

    This argument can be applied to any child had out of wedlock - perhaps those born following a rape - or any child where a single parent is involved. This argument also applies to adoption by couples of any sex. Hence this establishes nothing of value to an argument against same-sex marriage.

    3 Man/woman marriage sets the foundation for children to have the same biological, legal and care-giving parents. Same sex marriage separates these functions among different people.

    This is effectively a repeat of 2.

    4 Man/woman marriage provides children with access to their genetic, cultural and social heritage.

    No argument is presented as to why this is the case. Cultural and social heritage comes from more than just parents, they involve your social setting, peer groups, institutions and can be influenced by a wide variety of stimuli. Dr. Morse Ph.D provides no reason why this sort of experience can only be arrived at by a heterosexual couple that is married.

    5 Even though it is not always possible, children have the best life chances when they are raised by their biological married parents.

    In the first instance, citation needed. Secondly, this argument applies to a multitude of situations as noted in 2.


    6 The research in this area is preliminary. We don't have studies that last long enough to show the long-term impact of being raised in a same sex household.

    Citation needed, of course, but even if research is only "preliminary", positive outcomes in preliminary research quite often correlate with positive outcomes in more thorough research. Many children report being perfectly happy with same-sex parents, but they do so at an automatic disadvantage because people such as Dr. Morse Ph.D constantly denigrate their co-parents, turning their assertions that children are at a disadvantage into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    7 Much of the research in this area does not use a representative sample of same sex couples. People volunteer to be in the study. Volunteers are often more affluent, more educated, and more likely to be better parents regardless of sexual orientation.

    While an interesting aside on selection bias, this cuts both ways. Also, citation needed.

    8 Each member of the same sex couple may be a fine parent. But two good mothers do not add up to a father.

    Blind assertion that tries to mix mathematics with real people in a strange way. Oh, Ph.D in economics, ah, that explains it! Also, making a serious argument of a Chris Rock stand up comedy bit.


  39. 77 REASONS: # 9-20

    9 This looks at marriage from the adult point of view. It reveals just how deeply same sex marriage inverts the purpose of marriage.

    Read this again, Dr. Morse Ph.D, this doesn't actually answer the question.

    10 Look at marriage from the child's point of view. Not every marriage produces children. But every child has parents.

    Again, except in cases where the mother is raped (and then denied an abortion, thanks to right-wing control freaks from the likes of the Eagle Forum) or when another parent dies. Or when the child is adopted. Or when parents don't marry. Mostly, however, this point presents itself ass backwards; this is a discussion on the nature of child-rearing, not the nature of marriage. That not every marriage produces children is of fundamental importance to the argument that the sole purpose of marriage is to raise children; yet here, it is casually hand-waved away.

    11 Every child is entitled to a relationship with both parents.

    Every child is entitled to a relationship with parents who care for them. There are countless children worldwide in orphanages, in single-parent families and so on, and many others in abusive relationships with one or both parents.

    12 Every child is entitled to know and be known by both parents.

    A repeat of both 2 and 11.

    13 No child can possibly protect these entitlements on his or her own.

    Which is why we have adoption programs, social support and various laws that allow children to be cared for by the best possible family. Otherwise, this is irrelevant.

    14 Adult society must protect the child's right to affiliation with both parents.

    A repeat of 13.

    15 Adult society must protect these rights through prevention of harm, not through restitution after the fact.

    Also a repeat of 13.

    16 Man/woman marriage is the institution adult society uses to pro-actively protect the rights of all children to affiliation with both parents.

    Again, except in the circumstances of... you get the idea now. This point solves nothing.

    17 Same sex marriage changes marriage from a child-centered institution to an adult-centered institution.

    As stated above, Dr. Morse Ph.D didn't back up the assertion that marriage is a child-centered institution in the first place. If this was proved, then the logical argument would be to ban infertile couples from marriage too. No such argument exists amongst people against same-sex marriage.

    18 Without man/woman marriage, there will be no institution specifically protecting the rights of children to be in relationship with both parents.

    Effectively a repeat of all the above melded into one.

    19 Adopted and foster children tell us that they long for relationship with their biological parents.

    A relationship with biological parents can exist independent of marriage, so this doesn't really prove anything. Many adopted children won't have suitable parents to have a relationship with, in some cases they may be too dead for that, in many others they will most certainly not be married. So, in a sense, Dr. Morse Ph.D's point here is that marriage isn't necessary, it's just a relationship with biological parents. Curious.

    20 The law in most states helps adopted children find their birth parents.

    This is one of those "not an argument or reason but simple factoid" items. In any case, adopted children finding their birth parents isn't relevant to marriage.

  40. 77 REASONS #21-29

    21 Deliberately conceiving a child with the life plan that he or she will never have a relationship with his or her father is unjust and cruel to the child.

    This is a transparently shaky argument against gay marriage, considering that it could equally apply to the use of sperm banks, which the religious right is not up in arms about.


    22 If the love between adults were the only important factor, we would expect stepparents to be interchangeable with biological parents. But this is not generally the case.

    Citation needed. Or is this just generalized from fairytales where the step-parent is a stock villain?

    23 Children in stepparent households, on average, have more emotional problems and lower school achievement than children of married parents.

    A repeat of 22.

    24 Discipline can be complicated in stepparent households compared with households with married biological parents. Some biological parents exclude the stepparent from discipline, saying “they are my kids, not yours.”

    The situation described here is where a child has been raised, usually to quite a significant age, by one set of parents and then is replaced by another. This is not directly analogous in any way to adoption of young children by gay couples or conception through a surrogate father/mother.

    25 Some children in stepparent homes expertly pit the parents against each other.

    Basically the same as 24. Except even less relevant. Is such a thing even possible? Yes it is!

    26 Loyalties in stepparent households can be complicated. The biological parent can feel torn between commitment to the child and commitment to the spouse. Intact biological families are more likely to feel that loving their child is also an act of love for the child’s other parent.

    Another repeat of 24/25.

    27 Research shows that stepfathers spend less time with their spouses’ children than do biological fathers. Remarried mothers, on average, spend less time with their own children. The child and the spouse become competitors for the mother’s attention.

    Again, citation needed but it seems prima facie plausible. Still, the analogy to step-parents is flawed in this case. As presented, this is an argument against re-marriage, but not against non-heterosexual marriage.

    28 Same sex parenting means that one of the adults will have no biological relationship to the child, and may be more like a stepparent than a biological parent. We can’t assume the adults’ love for each other will resolve the complications inherent in stepparent families.

    Basically a repeat of all the above.


    29 Same sex marriage makes an implicit statement that mothers and fathers are interchangeable, and that sex is irrelevant to parenting. The burden of proof should be on those who make this strong, non-intuitive claim.

    This isn't strictly how burden of proof works because that's in asserting facts about reality, not social policy - see the is/ought problem, for instance. You can test for what environments cause children to be more X, less Y, more Z and so on, and define "better" based on that, however, you can't simply call burden of proof on something without suggesting what levels of (reasonable) proof you would accept. Perhaps if Dr. Morse Ph.D didn't repeat so many points, she'd have the space free to expand on this a little more.

  41. 77 REASONS #30-38

    30 Even same sex couples believe sex is relevant: the sex of their partners. A gay man insists on a male sex partner. He is not satisfied with a female sex partner, no matter how masculine she may be. A lesbian insists on a female sex partner. Even a very feminine man will not do.

    And this is relevant to Not to mention this excludes any member who experiences more than one gender attraction, such as bisexuals, pansexuals, and so on.

    31 It is unjust for the law to decree that adults are entitled to have what they want, namely, partners of the same sex, while children have to accept whatever we give them.

    Is this an argument for letting children stay up late, never eating their greens, beat up the wimpy kid and not go to school, while oppressing the adult portion of the population in the style of a fascist dictatorship? But, more seriously, Dr. Morse Ph.D has just said "It is unjust for the law to decree that adults are entitled to have what they want, namely, partners of the same sex." - so let's get this clear, this is a tacit admission that this entire list has nothing to do with defending marriage and everything to do with denying rights to those with sexualities Dr. Morse Ph.D doesn't approve of.

    32 Mothers and fathers each make unique contributions to the child’s development. Father absence creates risks in children that mother absence does not create.

    Mere assertion of traditional gender roles. In which case, perhaps Dr. Morse Ph.D should stop writing tracts like this and get back in the kitchen.

    33 Teenaged girls without fathers are at risk for early sexual activity, multiple sex partners, out of wedlock pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases.

    More citation needed. But this should imply male same-sex couples should adopt girls to make sure they're extra pure.

    34 Teenaged boys without fathers are at risk for juvenile delinquency, violence, criminal activity, gang membership and incarceration.

    This is the other half of 33.

    35 Pre-teen girls not living with their biological fathers get their menstrual periods earlier than girls who live with their fathers. Getting an early period is associated with a host of health problems including unhealthy weight gain, breast cancer, cancer of the reproductive system, and emotional problems (such as body image disorders, depression, anxiety, aggression and substance abuse) not to mention early sexual activity.

    Whoa, there! Citation. Fucking. Needed.

    36 Children need help and guidance in developing their sexual identities. Same sex marriage will make this task more difficult, if not legally forbidden.

    Citation needed. Also note the scaremongering of "legally forbidden". There's really no way allowing same-sex couples to get married could do that.


    37 The claim that mothers and fathers are interchangeable will affect men and women differently.

    How exactly? This isn't a "reason". Stop saying you have "77 Reasons" when you've padded it out with shit like this!

    38 When a child is born a mother is always somewhere close by. Fathers are intrinsically less connected to children than mothers. The essential purpose of man/woman marriage is to attach mothers and fathers to their children and to each other. Same sex marriage implies that the attachment of fathers to their children is irrelevant.

    This is pretty much a repeat of the entire first section, where there was assertion that marriage is for children while completely glossing over the countless other rights that status confers. Don't overlook the biological insight in the first sentence.

  42. 77 REASONS: #39-43

    39 Countries with same sex marriage symbolically diminish fatherhood. The Province of British Columbia, Canada changed its birth certificates. They have a place for the mother's name and a check-off box for the “other parent/father.”

    Going as far as possible without accidentally faking the birth of an imaginary child on the Vital Statistics Agency of British Columbia's online birth registration process demonstrates this to be a somewhat exaggerated assertion.

    40 The United Kingdom used to have a requirement that unmarried women could not use artificial reproductive technology unless they could show that the child's need for a father would be met. They dropped this requirement after instituting same sex marriage, for fear of offending lesbian couples.

    Even less relevant than 39. Also, factually inaccurate as the UK - at the time this list was published - didn't allow full same-sex marriage. Although civil partnerships have been available since 2004, "marriage" is considered a separate entity and was first introduced in England and Wales in 2014.

    41 Once same sex marriage becomes legally and socially acceptable, more women will decide to raise children together. They will view this as easier than putting forth the effort of crossing the gender divide and cooperating with a man through marriage.

    Wait. What the fuck?

    42 In today's climate, we can imagine people looking at two women raising children together and saying, “See, it is just as I have always thought: women don't need a man. Children don't really need fathers.” It is almost inconceivable that people would look at two men raising children together and conclude that children don’t need mothers.

    A repeat of 41 yet somehow worded even worse.

    43 Same sex marriage will further marginalize gendered language and gender roles. In Scotland, schools stopped celebrating Fathers Day. Montgomery County, Maryland, removed all references to gender in the county code. The words “father” and “mother,” “husband” and “wife” are becoming suspect.

    Christ-on-a-bike, all these repeats and now three points rolled into one!
    Traditional gender roles aren't being marginalised; people are free to conform to them if they like. Or, they can have the freedom to escape being forced into those roles and do something else. For example, a woman can go to university and become a lecturer and found their own institution instead of being forced to stay at home to cook and bake. You wouldn't know anyone who did that, would you, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse Ph.D?

    "Banned in Scotland" is a bit of a stretch according to a Telegraph article on the subject, though you have to read paragraph 19 to find out why. You mean this?

  43. 77 REASONS #44-50


    44 No one has a right to have a child. Children are not objects, to which other people have rights. Children are persons, with rights of their own.

    Finally, something sensible! However... this doesn't exactly gel well with the other assertions about marriage. In this case, the argument logically extends by combination of everything else said to not everyone having the right to get married - and the right being decided based on having children and not purely on sexuality.

    45 We will not be able to maintain a free society if some people come into being as objects, created by other people for their own purposes.

    Okay... so this is the sequitur to 44, but is there is no supporting reasoning for why a child conceived for a homosexual couple is any more or less of an object than one to a hetereosexual couple.

    46 Artiicial reproductive technology violates the dignity of the child.

    Does this include heterosexual couples who use IVF to overcome fertility issues? Probably not, therefore the argument is inconsistent at best.

    47 Using donated sperm or eggs necessarily involves the alienation of the child from one or both parents.

    Citation needed, and there's no supporting reason for why this applies exclusively to same-sex couples.

    48 Children who were conceived by artificial insemination with donor sperm often experience a sense of loss from not knowing their fathers.

    Basically a repeat of 47.

    49 Advocates of the unlimited use of artificial reproductive technology argue “our children will be fine, because we wanted these children so badly.” Turn this statement around: “We got to manufacture another human being, because we wanted to.” It no longer sounds so appealing.

    Implying that the only option is to have children that are unwanted. Also, turn this argument around. To justify straight biological parents' presumptive legal custody, Dr. Morse PhD argues, "Straight couples' children will be fine as we only love sex and tax breaks." But rephrase this: "We accidentally manufactured a human being by having sex without the benefit of comprehensive sex education or contraception because we wanted to." It no longer sounds so appealing.

    Additionally, in every respect but the fertilization itself, a child conceived by IVF grows and develops prenatally in exactly the same manner as a child conceived in the conventional manner. They are not "manufacture[d]."

    50 Same sex marriage creates an entitlement to the use of artificial reproductive technology.

    This is massively misleading because the general inability to conceive children combined with the very existence of the technology creates an entitlement to it. This applies just as well to heterosexual couples with fertility problems - and this dates back long before same-sex marriage became the hot issue it is today. In fact, Dr. Morse Ph.D's continual assertion in this screed that marriage is exclusively for raising children is the attitude that creates an entitlement. Marriage is for raising children, if you're married and can't have children then technology is there to help! If marriage is framed as an adult-centred union of people who share various legal rights (you know, as most people view it), an "entitlement" to children doesn't appear at all.


  44. 51 An “entitlement” to the use of artificial reproductive technology means that anyone with money gets to do anything they want. This cannot be correct, from any moral or religious perspective. Yet same sex marriage advocacy is driving the law in this direction.

    If you've ever visited the planet Earth, you'll see that entitlement and the fact that "anyone with money gets to do anything they want" doesn't correlate with same-sex marriage - it correlates where anything is available for a price. Fertility treatment is one of those things, and came about because heterosexual couples weren't able to conceive children without assistance.


    52 The state creates same sex marriage by saying that marriage is the union of any two persons, instead of the union of a man and a woman. Same sex marriage affects everyone because the new legal definition applies to everyone.

    Yep. That's the point. But this "reason" - which is merely just a statement, rather than an argument - is a circular appeal to tradition. It concludes nothing.

    53 Genderless marriage will drive out gendered marriage. Same sex marriage transforms marriage from a gender-based institution to a gender-neutral institution.

    The upper estimate for the number of people who identify as homosexual or bisexual is about 10% of the population. A lower bound based on wider surveys with a lower selection bias (but a higher risk of people not giving honest answers) suggests 3%. In Dr. Morse Ph.D's fantasy world, these people are capable of destroying the ability for the remaining 90-97% of the population to get married and have children. It shouldn't need stating why this is one of the stupidest arguments ever made against marriage equality.

    54 Judges who have imposed same sex marriage have made statements that appear superficially plausible in the context of same sex marriage, but which are certainly false as general statements.

    Irrelevant filler to introduce the following. Also, when have judges "imposed" same sex marriage? At most, they would interpret and uphold a law that the pertinent legislative body created. And, got a citation? Thought not.

    55 The judges who imposed same sex marriage in Iowa stated, “The research … suggests that the traditional notion that children need a mother and a father to be raised into healthy, well-adjusted adults is based more on stereotype than anything else.” This is not true as a general statement.

    Although it's difficult to track down this quote to anything other than a pro-life homophobic organisation, the fullest appearing version from a quick Google search reads: abundance of evidence and research, confirmed by our independent research, supporting the proposition that the interests of children are served equally by same-sex parents and opposite-sex parents. On the other hand, we acknowledge the existence of reasoned opinions that dual-gender parenting is the optimal environment for children. These opinions, while thoughtful and sincere, were largely unsupported by reliable scientific studies. The research appears to strongly support the conclusion that same-sex couples foster the same wholesome environment as opposite-sex couples and suggests that the traditional notion that children need a mother and a father to be raised into healthy, well-adjusted adults is based more on stereotype than anything else.

  45. 77 REASONS #56-60

    56 The judge who overturned California’s Proposition 8 stated, “Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage; marriage under the law is a union of equals.” The first statement assumes what needs to be proven. The second statement creates a false dichotomy, suggesting that unless gender is irrelevant, marriage is necessarily something other than a union of equals.

    This is part of a longer quote by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker (part of 136 pages, apparently), but here it is as reported by CNN:

    "Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples," Walker, who was appointed to the federal bench by former President Ronald Reagan, wrote in his opinion.

    "Race restrictions on marital partners were once common in most states but are now seen as archaic, shameful or even bizarre," he added. "Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage; marriage under law is a union of equals."

    57 If enough judges say enough implausible things, people will lose respect for the law.

    (1) Irrelevant. (2) Slippery slope fallacy. (3) Feel free to disobey any court orders you disagree with,

    58 Creating one legal institution for both same and opposite sex couples requires the law to strip away all the essential public purposes of marriage and leaves only the inessential private purposes of marriage.

    These "essential public purposes" that Dr. Morse. Ph.D has so far failed to thoroughly define and defend?

    59 The judge who overturned California’s Proposition 8 stated, “Marriage is the state recognition and approval of a couple's choice to live with each other, to remain committed to one another and to form a household based on their own feelings about one another and to join in an economic partnership and support one another and any dependents.” By this definition, college roommates or members of clubs count as “married.”

    Anyone who has studied the concept of an "argument from definition" and "reductio ad absurdum" should find this hilarious without further explanation.

    60 By the time the activists are finished, there will be nothing left of marriage but a government registry of friendships.

    This is a fantasy world. Compare, for example, Newt Gingrich's various marriages or the countless celebrity marriages that last weeks if not days, and you'll see that eroding the concept of marriage into something not-so-serious isn't the government's fault. In short, heterosexual couples have been mistreating this supposed serious institution for centuries; Dr. Morse Ph.D has presented no argument why homosexual couples should be denied the chance to do the same.

  46. 77 REASONS #61-68


    61 Man/woman marriage is the institution that attaches mothers and fathers to their children. Same sex marriage transforms marriage into an institution that separates children from at least one of their parents.

    Effectively a repeat of the first section, again, this argument applies equally to adoption and surrogate fertility treatment for heterosexual couples.

    62 Same sex marriage opens the door to children having more than 2 legal parents, as it has in Canada.

    This isn't necessarily true as the legal hurdles for introducing polygamy are considerably higher than for same-sex marriage - the former requires the entire legal framework to be re-written, the latter just requires the law to stop being discriminatory; the differences are quite marked. However, why this is a bad thing is not addressed. Children already have godparents and grandparents and various child-minders, and Quiverfull families usually assign older siblings to act as "parents". These people have no legal protections despite routinely being given considerable de facto responsibility over a child.

    63 Same sex marriage routinely places biological parents on the same legal footing with adults who have no genetic relationship to the child.

    As does adoption. Which has been around for much longer than the same-sex marriage issue.

    64 Same sex marriage eliminates the legal principle that biology is the primary means of establishing parental rights and responsibilities.

    As does adoption and so on. However, this argument seems to suggest that same-sex couples only "reproduce" via intentional surrogacy. In many of these cases, the "missing" biological parent will be a close friend (and not likely to be eliminated from the child's life) or an anonymous donor, as is the case with many forms of fertility treatment given to heterosexual couples.

    65 Some other principle must take the place of the biological principle. That principle will be the state assignment of parental rights and responsibilities.

    Besides being some libertarian scaremongering, this is irrelevant. The state already does assign parental rights, as the state represents the society that generates and respects such rights.

    66 Judges in Washington State created a four-part test to determine whether an unrelated adult counts as a child’s “de facto parent.” These determinations require family courts to examine the most private parts of the family’s life.

    Irrelevant. It's not 100% about same-sex couples.

    67 Same sex marriage undermines the legal principle that children are entitled to a relationship with both parents.

    Repeat of lots of other points.

    68 Same sex marriage separates children from at least one of their parents, not due to extraordinary circumstances, as arise in adoption, but as a routine procedure.

    Here, at no. 68 of 77 we get a reason why these arguments don't apply to heterosexual adoption: "that's different". But wait, how does this apply exclusively to same-sex marriage? Do same-sex couples not adopt? Only in Dr. Morse Ph.D's Catholic-centered (so much for this being "non-religious") view of marriage is it exclusively for raising children. So marriage itself has no effect on children in reality.

  47. 77 REASONS #69-73

    69 Adoption currently exists to give children the parents they need, not to give adults the children they want.

    How this doesn't apply to heterosexual couples who want children isn't exactly clear. With an excess of children up for adoption, we need all the parents we can get and so any couple that can provide a good home should be allowed to do so. The alternative is to foist these children on parents who don't want them, young and inexperienced couples, or just any pairing drawn from a hat, or to simply leave orphaned children without parents of any kind. Same-sex couples looking to adopt (like most couples looking to adopt) do so because they have thought about it, are older, and are usually in a better position to raise children in contrast to couples that find themselves with an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy early in their lives.


    70 Same sex marriage is a creation of the state. Man/woman marriage is an organic institution arising spontaneously from society.

    Heterosexual couples exist. Heterosexual couples love each other. Therefore society recognises this commitment by providing legal rights to join people together. Gay couples exist. Gay couples love each other. Therefore society recognises this commitment by providing legal rights to join people together. Most surveys of the people who actually comprise society these days show greater support for recognizing same-sex couples' rights than ever. You cannot make the argument that marriage arises from society (it originally arose to secure ownership and property rights, as well as family and national alliances, with children cementing these things--such factors as love came into it fairly late) while ignoring the fact that society actually supports same-sex marriage.

    71 The state will have to protect its creation of same sex marriage. Man/woman marriage can sustain itself.

    Marriage is a legal union that confers rights to a married partner. This is recognised in law. Without a state, there is no law. Without a state, there is no enforcement of law. With no enforcement of law, there is no concept of marriage - indeed, if there was no state or law, polygamy and same-sex unions would effectively become legal and possible; no law would recognise them, but no law would prevent them either.

    72 Governments will enforce the belief that same sex marriage is the equivalent of man/woman marriage.

    Effectively a repeat/rewording of much of the above. Again, scaremongering over the "government", and "argument by definition".

    73 Religious organizations of all kinds, potentially including schools, adoption agencies and marriage prep programs, may be subject to government regulation. Catholic adoption agencies have closed in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. The Catholic Archdiocese of the District of Columbia stopped providing health insurance to all spouses, once same sex marriage was created by the city council.

    So much for the "non-religious" aspect of this list. The examples given were because these Catholic organisations voluntarily threw their toys out of the pram and closed because they were told that they could no longer discriminate. They caused others to suffer because they let their own bigotry get in the way for what was best for children. This is an example of the most deplorable anti-gay behaviour imaginable, and Dr. Morse Ph.D does her argument no favours by bringing it up and attempting to haphazardly twist it to fit her Catholic persecution complex.

  48. 77 REASONS #74-74

    74 Governments will enforce the belief that mothers and fathers are interchangeable.

    Not enough information to really say what these means. Yet another slot and more of the word-count wasted. Also a rehash of 37-43.

    75 In Massachusetts, a father objected to his kindergartner being read a picture book that featured two men as the romantic couple. The father was taken away in handcuffs from a public meeting. The state declared parents do not have a right to remove their children from lessons they find objectionable.

    Because Dr. Morse Ph.D refuses to cite her work here, this is really really difficult to track down. But, after some Google time, what is clear from most sources is that the man, David Parker, was arrested for trespassing on school property and not for "bravely speaking up against the atrocity of child indoctrination by the "homosexual agenda".

    76 The government of Quebec insisted the Mennonites teach that homosexuality is normal to the handful of children in their little country school. The Mennonites refused, and at last notice, were considering leaving Quebec, rather than surrender the teaching of their children to the Provincial authorities.

    Again, vague and uncited material, but as with no.73 this is really more a case of religious groups letting their bigotry triumph over many other factors.

    77 Same sex marriage amounts to a hostile takeover of civil society by the state.

    Tedious, scaremongering bullshit.

  49. I just have to say, I came across this post through a Facebook group back in June, and I can't tell you how many times I've come back to re-read and be encouraged by it. Thank you so much for writing it! :)


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