Skip to content

It Ain’t All about Us

December 11, 2010

“The goal of gay marriage, as I have said many times, is to create a legal basis for persecuting and, if possible, legally suppressing the Catholic Church. That’s the goal.”

- Mark Shea

Please tell me I’m misreading this statement, because Shea seems to be saying that all those same sex couples taking to the streets in public witness and lobbying public servants in hopes of one day participating in the institution of marriage are either motivated by a desire to create a legal basis for persecuting and suppressing the Catholic Church or are unwittingly participating in this nefarious plot. Really? Should I be interpreting their shouts of protest and tears of upset and success as expressions of an unstated, underlying goal to harm my faith?

I suppose if same-sex civil marriage becomes universally recognized some obsessed grudge-holding anti-Catholics may use the Catholic Church’s refusal to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies as a pretext for persecution or suppression, but that possibility hardly translates into Mark Shea’s “That’s the goal.”

Besides, it’s not as though any heterosexual couple can get married in the Catholic Church. The bride and groom have to be free to marry, both in accordance with civil law and canon law. If either one of them has a previous marriage not declared null, then the couple won’t be allowed by the Church to set a date. Other impediments can just as surely put a halt to any wedding planning. If either of them intends to deny the right of the spouse to have children, the couple won’t be walking down the aisle at their parish. Even pregnancy, cohabitation, or a signed prenuptial agreement can give the pastor cause to deny marriage.

If same-sex marriage establishes a basis for persecution and suppression, then why do not other differences here between U.S. civil law and the Church’s canon law create such a basis? Have there been serious legal challenges to the Church’s denying marriage to the previously married, to those who openly plan measures to prevent any children, or to those already living and sleeping together?

Perhaps I’ve been tricked into letting my guard down by Jason Kuznicki, who argues that churches don’t need to fear being compelled to comply with anti-discrimination law if same-sex marriage becomes legally available throughout the country, but I don’t think so.

About these ads
236 Comments
  1. Austin Ruse permalink
    December 11, 2010 10:33 am

    The goal of the movement to gay marriage is to make opposition to the gay agenda tantamount to hate. And we know what happens to official haters. they are ostracized and chased from the public square. They are not allowed in certain jobs. They are persecuted. Is this the goal of each and every homosexual who wants to get married? no. But it is the goal of the professional homosexual movement.

    • Kyle R. Cupp permalink
      December 11, 2010 1:57 pm

      Who makes up this “professional homosexual movement”? And how have they sought to classify people as “official haters”?

      • Austin Ruse permalink
        December 11, 2010 2:26 pm

        Not limited to but including Southern Poverty Law Center that just named CWA and FRC hate groups for criticizing and opposing the gay agenda.

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 11, 2010 3:03 pm

          the Human Rights Campaign would be included in the professional category and such spokesmen as Dan Savage and Andrew Sullivan. I could go on and on. There are many groups and individuals who make up the professional movement.

          The whole argument, which is their main argument now, that opposition to homo marraige is nothing more than bigotry akin to the bigotry against blacks, has the inevitable result and intended result to treat us the same way racists are now treated.

        • Agellius permalink
          December 14, 2010 1:00 am

          Yep.

        • December 15, 2010 12:23 pm

          …intended result to treat us the same way racists are now treated.

          You mean elected to the Senate?

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 15, 2010 2:27 pm

          Besides the now dead Byrd, what other racists are you referring to?

        • December 15, 2010 4:11 pm

          All of those sided with the position Senator Byrd took in 1964 and 1965 in opposition to the great liberal cause before Congress.

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 15, 2010 4:52 pm

          YOu mean most of the Democratic caucus, yes. And that was a while ago. Anything recent old bub?

    • sean permalink
      December 11, 2010 11:07 pm

      Yes.

    • December 13, 2010 10:16 am

      And we know what happens to official haters. they are ostracized and chased from the public square. They are not allowed in certain jobs. They are persecuted.

      Sounds like life as a gay person.

      • Austin Ruse permalink
        December 13, 2010 12:47 pm

        Homosexuals are being chased form the public square?

        • December 13, 2010 2:52 pm

          Fire from jobs, chased from the public sqaure, put in jail, lives runied…yes.

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 14, 2010 11:03 am

          I guess you have not watched TV lately or read the data. They are among the most affluent and influential groups in America. In fact, one percent of the population is about to change the definition of marriage for everyone.

          Jailed for being homosexual? In America. Who, what, when, where?

        • December 15, 2010 12:22 pm

          Yes, Austin, laws to jail homosexuals with the support of the Rightists you are allied with.

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 15, 2010 2:25 pm

          Who what when where?

        • December 15, 2010 3:46 pm

          47 out of 50 states until the militant radical homosexualist agenda overroad the good judgment of decent Christians like you.

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 15, 2010 4:54 pm

          Really? Can you tell me who and when a homosexual was jailed in the US for being homosexual prior to the Georgia decision?

  2. Ronald King permalink
    December 11, 2010 11:02 am

    Kyle, Mark Shea is mistaken. However, there may be backlash against the church because of members of the church attacking homosexuality and thus becoming partners with violence against homosexuals. In my view, the desire to marry is a reaction against the prejudice and hatred that has been a major part of their human experience and also a natural desire to be loved and this love to be validated by the general society that has punished them for their sexual identity.
    In my estimation it is the sin committed against the homosexual that has resulted in catholics becoming paranoid about being targeted. If the church is targeted then it is the church’s fault.

    • Kyle R. Cupp permalink
      December 11, 2010 2:00 pm

      If the church is targeted then it is the church’s fault.

      I wouldn’t go that far. Yes, hatred has fueled attacks (physical and verbal) against homosexuals, but not everyone opposed to same-sex marriage harbors such hatred or bears responsibility for the hatred held by others.

    • Jeff permalink
      December 11, 2010 2:59 pm

      Has anyone conducted any objective, peer reviewed studies to show that Catholic teaching against homosexual sex is responsible for significant levels of violence against homosexuals? Do Catholics also attack adulterers, liars, porn-viewers, apostates, atheists, criminals, prostitutes, Protestants, Wiccans etc? Is homosexuality the exception where Catholics become raving mad with hatred against gays because the Church teaches that sex between men is sinful? Recently gay suicides have been attracted laws against gay bullying but why no laws against other forms of bullying – such as the abusive bullying which led to the Columbine massacres?

      • Ronald King permalink
        December 11, 2010 5:55 pm

        Of course there are no studies to show that church teaching results in violence against homosexuals. The church does its damage in the area of interpersonal communication which is very insensitive to the harmful effects of the language of its teaching.
        When a whole group is identified as acting “intrinsically disordered” and that is received by this group which has a long history of being recipients of violent attacks what can we as catholics expect as a reaction from them. This can be categorized as hate speech because it lacks any expression of empathy to counter the intense hurt that it causes.
        Hurt that is caused by another human being or a large organization traumatizes the human being and creates a deep fear and rage which needs to be understood with compassion by the person or the organization that caused this harm in order for real healing to begin.
        In relationships that work it was oberserved that there were 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative.

        • sean permalink
          December 11, 2010 11:27 pm

          The Catholic Church is tolerant of gay people. The Church will not however, sanction an active or practiced gay “lifestyle”. Just like the Church will not sanction active sexual behavior of unmarried straight men or women. Rather consistent.

          It is in the more Fundamentalist Churches where you find and anti-gay ethos.

        • Ronald King permalink
          December 12, 2010 8:26 pm

          I am not talking about the church sanctioning anything. I am talking about the harm the officials and those who have the most influence do when they make pronouncements against homosexual acts. It is the harm that ignorant human beings inflict on the most sensitive human beings because that creates the negative reaction to the church.
          If you do not have the education or experience with interpersonal neurodynamic and neurobiology then you will not understand the harm that is done just with the term “intrinsically disordered”. When that statement is made without awareness of the harm that it does then that act is itself “intrinsically disorderd”.

    • sean permalink
      December 11, 2010 11:15 pm

      No

      • Austin Ruse permalink
        December 13, 2010 12:51 pm

        Ronald is guilty too. He calls Church teaching hate speech. So, what do we do with those who practice hate speech? We ostracize them, drive them from the public square. Of course this is the goal of the movement.

        Kurt, you dont need to be in a confessional to know. all you need to do is listen. They will tell you. Ronald just did.

        • Ronald King permalink
          December 13, 2010 1:25 pm

          Austin, I think you need to read it again.

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 13, 2010 1:52 pm

          You said this…

          When a whole group is identified as acting “intrinsically disordered” and that is received by this group which has a long history of being recipients of violent attacks what can we as catholics expect as a reaction from them. This can be categorized as hate speech because it lacks any expression of empathy to counter the intense hurt that it causes.

  3. December 11, 2010 1:34 pm

    Shea has never really escaped the evangelical “us versus them” mindset and the “take no prisoners” approach that constitutes its political cousin. A shame really.

    • Austin Ruse permalink
      December 11, 2010 2:28 pm

      Yes. Of course. And cradle Catholics never ever display any of those attributes

    • sean permalink
      December 11, 2010 11:51 pm

      Mark Shea is amazingly even handed in most of his thinking. Shea is a fount of common sense and clear thinking. We need many more with his temperament and intellect to combat the widespread and aggressive ignorance and faulty thinking we face in US society and to a lesser degree within the Catholic Church.

      Shea is speaking about “professional” gays in his piece. The professional gay movement is not looking for tolerance but rather to force full acceptance of their lifestyle on society. It goes way beyond live and let live.

    • December 13, 2010 9:45 am

      MM,

      Do you really have any business accusing anyone of having an “us versus them” attitude? Good grief…

      Shea’s penchant for hyperbole is one of the reasons I don’t normally read him, but coming from you the accusation is downright laughable.

  4. Adolfo permalink
    December 11, 2010 1:37 pm

    Someone remind me, please. Is homosexual marriage valid in Canada? And what are there speech laws regarding statements on homosexuality?

    • Ryan Klassen permalink
      December 11, 2010 3:59 pm

      Homosexual marriage is indeed valid in Canada. I vaguely recall one evangelical pastor in Alberta being called before a Human Rights Tribunal (a quasi-judicial body in Canada) over a letter to the editor about homosexuality, but a judge eventually dismissed the complaint.

      Religious groups and schools have the ability to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, so churches are under no obligation to perform gay marriages and religious schools that are not public can discriminate in hiring staff and admitting students. These exceptions have been upheld in the courts.

      In terms of speech laws, I have certainly not experienced an atmosphere where one needs to be cautious about what is said about gay marriage. The Anglican Church in Canada is having a rather public discussion about gay marriage, and none of those who have publicly opposed gay marriage during these discussions have been charged with any hate laws that I have heard about.

      • sean permalink
        December 12, 2010 12:03 am

        Give it time. You will get more traditionalists called before the Tribunal or into court. Also remember we in the US are more litigious than our brothers to the north. We are the most litigious society in the world. Someone or the gov’t themselves will find a way to abuse any law. Who thought RICO would be used by the Feds to bust up pro-life “gangsters”?

        • Ryan Klassen permalink
          December 12, 2010 8:35 pm

          Actually Sean, gay marriage has been legal in Canada since 2005. The law doing so was ruled on by the Supreme Court of Canada before being passed, which upheld the right of religions to refuse to perform same-sex marriage (and to publicly proclaim their opposition). The federal courts have also now circumscribed the ability of human rights tribunals to take complaints based on religious speech. And, as I said, the Anglican Church in Canada is having a very public and vocal debate on gay marriage (with may public statements of opposition), all without any complaints from a “gay rights movement.”

          As much as you might wish for it to be different, Canada’s movement to legalize gay marriage has not caused persecution based on religious speech, rights or practice. If it’s a scam to create a legal basis to persecute the church, they’ve done a terrible job. You’ll have to look elsewhere to find evidence of legalized gay marriage leading to persecution of the church.

        • Thales permalink
          December 13, 2010 10:14 am

          “As much as you might wish for it to be different, Canada’s movement to legalize gay marriage has not caused persecution based on religious speech, rights or practice.”

          Google Catholic Bishop Fred Henry. What would you call what happened to him? Or Google the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the complaints against Christians.

          I recognize that there isn’t an all-out persecution of Catholicism in Canada. But there have been a number of attacks on religious speech.

        • December 15, 2010 12:20 pm

          In a free society, private citizens have the right to object (or attack, if you will) other speech, even if it be religious speech.

          Bishop Henry’s “persecution” was that after he called for laws to round up the gays and put them in jail or camps, some citizens objected. The Commission then arranged for mediation between the Bishop and those he wished to use laws to jail and both parties declared the mediation fruitful (no pun intended).

          What’s the problem?

          Contrary to Henry’s public words about the mediation, he secretly resented the procedure but was too much a sissy to say so?

          And if the Bishop is a big sissy, maybe he …well, nevermind.

        • Thales permalink
          December 16, 2010 9:21 am

          Personally, I think the Canadian Human Rights commissions are bad news, prone to abuse and harassment. Google Mark Steyn. But that’s another discussion for another day.

  5. M.Z. permalink
    December 11, 2010 1:58 pm

    Kuznicki hasn’t shown an ability to deal honestly with opposing arguments, so I would take his assurances in this area with a grain of salt.

    • Kyle R. Cupp permalink
      December 11, 2010 2:04 pm

      I almost always take assurances with a grain of salt, but what in particular about Kuznicki’s argument leads you to say that he hasn’t shown an ability to deal honestly with opposing arguments?

      • M.Z. permalink
        December 11, 2010 3:18 pm

        I’ve argued with him previously on the topic of gay marriage. There’s nothing inherently wrong with using the arguments of partisans. Some partisans are more intellectually honest than others, and I regret to say I’ve found him lacking.

        As for this argument at hand, Kuznicki richly argues that a rights scheme will protect society from the arbitrary whim of courts in addressing social obligations with regard to gay couples when of course gay marriage was instituted through the whim of the courts. Kuznicki would have it that gay marriage was instituted by the principled recognition of dormant rights, something those opposed to gay marriage find absolutely ludicrous and I’m not sure all that many supporters of gay marriage even buy. The idea that civil rights legislation was limited and innocuous is quite rich too. School busing was one of the more visible schemes of the excess of the courts created to protect the rights of blacks. There were of course others. That Bob Jones University hung around is not a counterargument to those fears.

        • sean permalink
          December 12, 2010 12:09 am

          Well said.

      • John Henry permalink
        December 12, 2010 8:17 pm

        Well, when Kuznicki argues that gender restrictions were never part of the historical core of the institution of marriage, it seems to me that he has moved past the point (consciously or no) of critically evaluating evidence and arguments on this subject. We all have blind spots.

  6. December 11, 2010 9:07 pm

    I have yet to see “orthodox” Catholics propose a just median between hanging “homosexual perverts” from the lamposts and making sodomy mandatory for everyone. In other words, if you don’t want to grant any privileges to homosexual unions, what do you want? Gays shouldn’t adopt, but are they allowed to have kids? Are they allowed to keep their kids? Are they allowed to decide whether to pull the plug on your partner in the case of terminal illness? And so forth.

    If “homosex” is so disgusting, why not string them all up? Why not ban Plato’s Symposium from the school, since it is full of homosexual innuendo showing that the Greeks did not find such things disgusting? If it is so disordered, why let them walk the streets? Hey, it’s either us or them, right? At the very least, they shouldn’t be allowed to parade through the streets or proclaim in their workplaces their perversion. Why should we have to see them, or hear about them? We should be able to discriminate against them all we want. After all, it’s a choice, and unnatural, right?

    Ideas have consequences, as right-wing intellectuals say. To pretend our Catholic ideas don’t have any consequences, that calling something “intrinsically disordered” has no implications, is rather dishonest in that sense.

  7. December 11, 2010 11:33 pm

    And, of course, it is clear in retrospect that the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s was not really about blacks getting the rights sit where they wanted on buses, or drink out of public drinking fountains, or attend something other than all-black schools, or live in decent neighborhoods. It was about trying to discredit the white people who wanted to keep them from doing all these things and make them look like bigots and racists. And now look! You can’t even make racist remarks in private without somebody snitching on you and getting you fired! If we don’t stop this homosexual “marriage” thing here and now, the same thing that has happened to white people will happen to straight people!

  8. Bob permalink
    December 12, 2010 11:04 am

    Sure, it isn’t all about _us_ in a very specific sense, that is, Roman Catholics solely and in particular.

    But it is most definitely about suppressing and then utterly destroying _us_, that is, those who defend the truth that homosexual acts are (like rape, murder, etc.) intrinsically disordered, and therefore at the very least must not be recognized by the State as a fundamental “right”. The truth in Shea’s article is that the push for homosexual “marriage” is fundamentally about marginalizing and destroying those who adhere to the truths of the natural law, especially with respect to sexuality.

    And since the Roman Catholic faith stands as the most prominent and influential Western adherent to those truths, the push for homosexual “marriage” truly is, in a very real way, about the destruction of the Roman Catholic faith in particular.

    Of course some folks would prefer the destruction of heterodoxy to occur from within, while others would prefer destruction from without. In both cases though the gates of Hell shall not prevail.

    • Ronald King permalink
      December 12, 2010 7:49 pm

      The foundation of natural law is Christ and since Christ is love then love is the natural law. That is the truth. When there is any thought, feeling, belief, word or behavioral expression that is not love then harm is the result on an intrapersonal, interpersonal, ecclesial, social, global and cosmic level. When we speak the truth of the faith we must first understand that we have been harmed by that lack of perfect love and those who have not become aware of this will then inadvertently harm others with the “truth” because their unresolved pain of insufficient love is expressed in a hardness and subdued hostility that the speaker may not be aware of but the receiver is acutely in tune with. That then is felt by the receiver as the intrusion of hate into the accumulated hate over a life span.
      That is the dynamic expression of unconscious sin harming those who we want to convert.

    • Ryan Klassen permalink
      December 12, 2010 9:03 pm

      Bob;

      I put this issue to a couple of gay activists and got laughed out of the room. The could care less what the Roman Catholic Church says or does. Neither they nor their organizations have any desire to destroy the Roman Catholic faith. Marginalize, perhaps; but in the sense that the position of the church on gay marriage is not the position of society at large (as is already the case with most issues of human relationships). They have no desire to take away the right of the church to refuse to perform same-sex marriages or to destroy the institution of the church.

      • Bob permalink
        December 12, 2010 10:56 pm

        Right. They don’t want to destroy the institutional Church per se, because like any institution it can simply be reconstructed and/or marginalized (goes the thinking). What they want destroyed (“marginalized”) is some of the fundamental truths that the Church stands for, particularly truths of the natural law.

        When what you attack is part of the essence of a thing, you attack that thing. Indeed, militant gays seem to understand his very well with their constant complaint – a false claim, as it turns out – that to attack homosexual acts is to attack the essence of the persons who engage in them.

        • Ryan Klassen permalink
          December 13, 2010 7:52 am

          I’m not sure how you think they want these truths destroyed. They don’t believe them to be truths, but they don’t care if we believe them to be true. They don’t even care if we continue to live according to what we believe, as long as we don’t make them live according to what we believe. If that is what you mean by destroying fundamental truths, then pretty much anyone who is not Roman Catholic is working to destroy the church in the same way.

        • Bob permalink
          December 13, 2010 9:12 am

          Ultimately, if you aren’t for Christ you are against Him. That goes double for “progressive Catholics” who act on behalf of the sexual revolution and against the sexual counter-revolution.

      • Austin Ruse permalink
        December 13, 2010 4:26 pm

        Ask them if it was just that Catholic Charities had to get out of the adoption mission in Boston for refusing to place children with homosexuals. Ask them if it is just that a Methodist Church in New Jersey got slammed by the New Jersey Human Rights Council for refusing to allow a homosexual couple to use a Methodist facility for a party. Ask them if it was just that a wedding photographer in California was fined for refusing to handle a homosexual wedding.

        What they seek is to force their agenda on everyone else and within that everyone else are Catholics and the institutional Church.

        • Kurt permalink
          December 13, 2010 7:56 pm

          Austin,

          No Methodist Church in New Jersey has been “slammed” for not allowing a same sex wedding in their facility.

          A homeowners association of a community founded as a Methodist Camp meeting grounds denied use of a public facility to two women. The parties have settled the case.

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 14, 2010 11:04 am

          Same thing.

        • December 15, 2010 12:14 pm

          Same thing? Not according to the assertion Ocean Grove made in other legal procedings.

          What is this problem the you folks have with honesty?

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 15, 2010 2:24 pm

          Sorry, pal. Same thing…religous believers not allowed to practice their faith.

        • December 15, 2010 3:34 pm

          Austin,

          Chilling.

          Your claim that the exemption from all civil rights laws enjoyed by houses of worship is extended to the owners of a private business if they are acting on their personal, sincere religious beliefs.

          Simply chilling.

  9. David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink*
    December 12, 2010 12:27 pm

    Two random thoughts:

    One problem (on both sides) is that the debate on “gay marriage” is narrowly constrained because it is primarily framed in terms of “rights”, which in turn invokes alot of 19th century liberalism and idealism in the background. Given that is the dominant political discourse, and given the fact that Catholics themselves are wont to talk about their “rights” (especially when they perceive they are being trampled) I am not sure how to move away from this. Can anyone suggest a more profitable and more charity inducing framework for discussing this?

    The second thing I wanted to note is that any discussion of homosexuality by Catholics always seems to be emotionally charged in ways that other issues are not. One could argue that widespread acceptance of divorce, cohabitation and extra-marital sex is as big a threat to the family, but these issues never seem to generate the emotional heat that homosexuality does. I could explain this facilely by an appeal to Freudian or Lacanian psychoanalysis (a Zizekian reading would be fun) but I am not sure this would tell us much that is useful. Again, any thoughts?

    • Kyle R. Cupp permalink
      December 12, 2010 5:32 pm

      Good thoughts. The discussion is likewise made difficult by the absence of a common metaphysical grounding for how to define marriage. Catholics speak of marriage as an institution established by God and as having essential (metaphysical) properties, but our metaphysical language is foreign to postmodern ears. If marriage has no essence, if it is entirely a social construct, then it’s hard to make a case that marriage is one kind of thing rather than another. It is whatever we say it is.

    • M.Z. permalink
      December 12, 2010 7:48 pm

      To establish my bona fides here, I did not list my step-parents on my wedding invitation. I have written previously on the plague of divorce. I don’t tend to think gay marriage will affect marriage much given the minimal numbers, but I’m still opposed to it.

  10. Austin Ruse permalink
    December 12, 2010 12:55 pm

    There is a great example of this in today’s NY Times. Frank Rich goes after Bill Donohue for his criticism of the ant-crawling Christ at the National Gallery of Art. Rich’s assertion is that Donohue’s criticism is rooted in an animus or hatred of homosexuals. The purpose of this charge is to isolate Donohue and scare off anyone who would dare even to criticize a piece of art that happened to have been made by a homosexual.

    • Kyle R. Cupp permalink
      December 12, 2010 5:41 pm

      Rich’s assertion is that Donohue’s criticism is rooted in an animus or hatred of homosexuals.

      Rich doesn’t exactly prove his assertion, does he?

      • Austin Ruse permalink
        December 12, 2010 7:15 pm

        It is enough for him and fellow travelers simply to make the assertion. that is how dangerous this tactic is. It is just accepted, in some quarters anyway, just like the label racist…

        • December 13, 2010 10:05 am

          Austin,

          You seem to know a lot about the inner and unstated motivations of other people. Are you hearing their confessions?

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 13, 2010 12:56 pm

          Go and read Ronald;s post above. He says Church teaching is hate speech. What happens to thsoe who espouse hate speech? You dont need to be in the confessional to knwo this, as if they even go to confession. All you have to do is listen to what they say. They are quite open about it.

        • December 13, 2010 2:56 pm

          As far as I can tell, no one has ever suffered legal sanctions because Ronald said they were practicing “hate speech.”

  11. Austin Ruse permalink
    December 12, 2010 5:02 pm

    David,

    I am terribly sorry if i have been over emotional in this thread. I shall endeavor to be as balanced and unemotional as “David Nickol” and Arturo.

    About these other harms to marriage you mention. Certainly they are harms, but what none of them have done is redefine marriage for everyone which is what homosexual marriage seeks to do. Should we work on making divorce harder to get? Yes. Should we restigmatize co-habitation? Yes. Should we reduce the use of contraceptives? Yes. Should we make IVF illegal or highly regulated? Yes.

    OK?

  12. Liam permalink
    December 12, 2010 7:16 pm

    Yes, Catholics are barred from worship, from preaching, from baptizing new members, and building new churches in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire. Oh, and Catholics have been barred from running for office in those places. The Church’s active membership has plummeted.

    All this and more due to GLAD’s gay marriage agenda.

    Humbug.

    • M.Z. permalink
      December 12, 2010 7:28 pm

      It could be worse doesn’t seem to be the most persuasive argument. There have been consequences in the norming of homosexual relations and advocates are being disingenuous when they deny them.

      • Liam permalink
        December 13, 2010 8:26 am

        That’s not my argument. My argument is that the premise of the argument of Mark Shea is bogus.

  13. Bob permalink
    December 12, 2010 7:45 pm

    “What about divorce, contraception, etc” always seems to be trotted out as a “gotcha” point by the very folks agitating for the whole sexual revolution.

    While there is some truth to the “gotcha”, a truly Catholic approach would be “yes, we absolutely must block ‘gay marriage’, _and_ we must also work diligently to roll back permissiveness on these other things”.

    “Progressive” Catholics who say such things, who are unequivocally on board in opposition to gay marriage and make the point to be sure these other things are also included in the great sexual counterrevolution, seem about as commonplace as hen’s teeth.

    • December 13, 2010 10:14 am

      Bob,

      I notice you use the weak and vague phrase “roll back permissivness.” Are you a liberal? You don’t seem to have the guts replace the term “permissivness” with “legality.”

      I know plenty of Catholics self-described as liberals and labeled such by conservatives who fully accept the Church’s teaching on the morality of these actions, but then think a separate discernment is needed on each matter as to should it be socialized stigmatized in our present society and should the force of law prevent it.

      That’s the “gotcha” whcih is trotted out. Not the morality of the question but a discernment as to the proper social and legal reaction.

      • Bob permalink
        December 13, 2010 11:11 am

        Kurt:

        Sure.

        Evil acts should always be socially stigmatized. That doesn’t mean that everything immoral should be illegal. Furthermore, “illegal” isn’t exactly a single monolithic category: speeding and murder are both illegal. Beyond that, there are laws on the books which can’t be enforced unless in combination with some other greater offense, and laws which aren’t enforced at all yet which still express society’s disapproval of certain practices.

        (In fact the law against selling contraception which was overturned in Griswold vs Connecticut was unenforced until parties affiliated with Planned Parenthood arranged for it to be enforced specifically to challenge its constitutionality. This is typical of the dishonesty of progressives, who try to treat legal and social standards as some oppressive dichotomy.)

        What is the point in making these mundane, well understood observations? They don’t change the fact that:

        1) Homosexual orientation and actions are intrinsically disordered;

        2) The militant gay agenda is to destroy any and all public manifestations of these truths, as “discrimination”; and

        3) The Catholic Church is the single most prominent defender of these truths; so

        4) There is more truth in Mark Shea’s characterization than the main post seems to allow.

  14. December 13, 2010 7:28 am

    Indeed, militant gays seem to understand his very well with their constant complaint – a false claim, as it turns out – that to attack homosexual acts is to attack the essence of the persons who engage in them.

    Bob,

    But the Church does not merely “attack homosexual acts.” The following is about orientation, not behavior:

    10. “Sexual orientation” does not constitute a quality comparable to race, ethnic background, etc. in respect to non-discrimination. Unlike these, homosexual orientation is an objective disorder (cf. “Letter,” No. 3) and evokes moral concern.

    11. There are areas in which it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account, for example, in the placement of children for adoption or foster care, in employment of teachers or athletic coaches, and in military recruitment.

    So is this:

    Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.

    All of the above pertains to “homosexual persons” who commit no homosexual acts. Now, for those who do we have the following:

    12. Homosexual persons, as human persons, have the same rights as all persons including the right of not being treated in a manner which offends their personal dignity (cf. no. 10). Among other rights, all persons have the right to work, to housing, etc. Nevertheless, these rights are not absolute. They can be legitimately limited for objectively disordered external conduct. This is sometimes not only licit but obligatory. This would obtain moreover not only in the case of culpable behavior but even in the case of actions of the physically or mentally ill. Thus it is accepted that the state may restrict the exercise of rights, for example, in the case of contagious or mentally ill persons, in order to protect the common good.

    Remember that “objectively disordered external conduct” can be, say, a lesbian couple living together quietly, attending weekly Mass, and sending their children to Catholic school.

    “Homosexual persons,” who keep their orientation to themselves and do not engage in homosexual behavior have limited rights. Openly gay people, according to the Church, may be fired, evicted from their homes, and have their children booted out of school. In a very real sense, the Church teaches that gay people have no right to exist.

    • Bob permalink
      December 13, 2010 9:20 am

      Your point being?

      “Homosexual orientation” is also not, in fact, part of the essence of any person, any more than blindness or deafness or any other disorder is part of the essence of a person.

      All of which is something of a sidetrack from the point I made, which is that “essentialism[*] for me but not for thee” seems to be a key part of the gay polemic.

      [*] Where progressive essentialism is heavily tied to what a person wills for himself, as opposed to what is true independent of what he wills. (It is fundamental to truth that it cannot be willed into what it is not).

      • December 13, 2010 10:18 am

        Bob,

        Is a heterosexual orientation part of the essence of a person? Is gender part of the essence of a person? Is race, color, creed, or national origin part of the essence of a person? Is hearing or seeing part of the essence of a person? I think most gay people probably feel that their sexual orientation is part of their essence, but what difference does it make?

        Not everyone accepts the idea that homosexuality is a “disorder.” In fact, such a belief is probably a minority view, certainly among psychologists and psychiatrists. You can justify anything you want if you start with the right premise. If blacks are inferior, then discriminating against them is justified. If Jews are Christ killers, then anti-Semitism is respectable (for Christians).

        Ultimately, if you aren’t for Christ you are against Him.

        So Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, etc., are “against Christ”? What rights do enemies of Christ have?

        • Bob permalink
          December 13, 2010 10:53 am

          Not everyone accepts the idea that homosexuality is a “disorder.”

          Not everyone accepts the idea that deafness is an objective disorder either. But it is.

          That people – including at times a majority of people – hold incorrect views, is a supremely uninteresting observation.

  15. brettsalkeld permalink*
    December 13, 2010 10:11 am

    I’m sorry for weighing in without having read all of the comments. This is just my first response to Kyle’s initial piece.

    It seems to me that Shea has overshot his mark here and therefore made what little truth exists in his statement unrecognizable. The goal of gay-marriage advocates is the normalization of homosexuality, not the suppression of Roman Catholicism. Now, there may be some overlap here (cf. the closing of Catholic adoption agencies) and there may even be many who think that the suppression or marginalization or Roman Catholicism will be a nice side effect to the normalization of homosexuality, but you would be hard pressed to find a handful of people who support same-sex marriage precisely because it will marginalize the Church.

    What worries me, and here, perhaps, is where I differ with Kyle, is that the narrative used to normalize homosexuality has made opposition to same-sex marriage the moral equivalent of racism. In other words, this is a seen as radically different from our quaint views about divorce and contraception. This narrative is fairly broadly accepted. This actually scares the heck out of me. Ryan points out that the courts in Canada have so far allowed proponents of traditional marriage to continue in their belief without persecution, but I’m not convinced that such a state of affairs is guaranteed. Right now, traditional marriage supporters make up enough of the population that it is simply not feasible to criminalize their views.

    But if we are seen as the moral equivalent of racists, there is no guarantee that the current amnesty will hold up. We need to be very clear about our position. Our best bet is that our views on same-sex marriage come to be seen as just another quaint extension to our quaint little ideas about divorce and contraception. Failing that, the only thing keeping our children out of foster care is the fact that we are too numerous.

    • December 13, 2010 11:05 am

      Brett,

      It was Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston that was asked simply to treat gay couples as no less than the moral equivalent of racists and the Archdiocese said NO, gays are worst than racists.

      • Austin Ruse permalink
        December 13, 2010 1:59 pm

        Was Catholic Charities intentionally placing adoptive children with Nazi’s? That would be news to me….

        • December 13, 2010 2:59 pm

          Austin,

          Catholic Charities of Boston was asked to treat gay couples no worse than racists. They refused and instead ended the program.

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 14, 2010 11:06 am

          No. The Catholic Church was ordered to place children with homosexuals. This violates Church teaching. They were forced to close their doors. there is NO ROOM in the public square for anything other than the homosexual agenda.

        • December 14, 2010 12:26 pm

          Austin, you are wrong.

          The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was not willing to contract with BCC for placement of children who were wards of the Commonwealth if BCC had an upfront policy banning gays from consideration.

          BCC was free to place children as each Catholic Charities social worker deemed in the best interest of the child. And BCC was free to use religious criteria in hiring social workers.

      • brettsalkeld permalink*
        December 13, 2010 4:34 pm

        I’m sorry Kurt, but this has me more confused than enlightened.

        • December 13, 2010 5:09 pm

          Boston Catholic Charities took the position that is was essential to have a formal, written, declared position that no gay person could present himself as a potential foster parent, guardian or adoptive parent of these hard to place children.

          However, they have refused to implement a similar policy towards racists.

          Were children being turned over to racists by BCC? I doubt it. Guardian, foster and adoptive care only follows extensive investigation and consideration by Catholic Charities. The fact such a policy did not exist up front did not mean children were being placed with parents or guardians that were not judged in the child’s best interest.

          Massachusetts made no demand on Catholic Charities to place a child with a person other than whom the caseworker considered to be in the best interests of the child. And BCC had a legal right to hire professionally competent caseworks who demonstrate Catholic values to the satisfaction of the Church.

          A BCC social worker only had to evaluate each prospective guardian or parent on a case-by-case basis to meet the Commonwealth’s requirement for funding.

          BCC should be able to accept a system with faithful Catholic social workers who evaluate placements on a case by case basis leading to few if any placements to gay or racist households even without a formal policy barring them at the beginning of the process. They certainly feel this is acceptable for racists.

          Admitingly, the weak point in this is the reality that most of the conservatives who share the Archdiocese’s views on gay people are unwilling to work at the wages its pays social workers.

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 14, 2010 11:08 am

          The Catholic Church ought to be able to practice its charitable mission without the intrusion of the homosexual agenda.

          Your analysis is nonsense

        • December 14, 2010 12:17 pm

          Well, Austin, I’m intriged that you believe taxpayer dollars are essential to her charitable mission.

    • Kyle R. Cupp permalink
      December 13, 2010 1:54 pm

      There’s a reason I tend to oppose hate speech laws.

    • hazemyth permalink
      December 22, 2010 9:16 pm

      Right now, traditional marriage supporters make up enough of the population that it is simply not feasible to criminalize their views … But if we are seen as the moral equivalent of racists, there is no guarantee that the current amnesty will hold up.

      This seems to imply that racism has been criminalized, which it has not. At least, not without being overturned. No less than the ACLU has defended, successfully, the rights of no less despicable a group than the KKK. Even if Catholic views on homosexuality become just as despised (which I personally doubt), they’re fully protected under our constitution, thankfully.

      Of course, no one wants their views to be unpopular but fears of legal oppression seem overwrought, to me.

  16. December 13, 2010 10:35 am

    Failing that, the only thing keeping our children out of foster care is the fact that we are too numerous.

    Brett,

    The children of racists and white supremacists are not taken away by the state and put into foster care. Racism in and of itself is not illegal in the United States, and neither is expressing opposition to, or even hatred for, homosexuals. I will be very surprised if the Supreme Court doesn’t uphold the right of the Westboro Baptist Church to go around screaming, “God hates fags.” They may put some limits on where such things can be said, but they are definitely not going to take away the right to say them.

    But I think Catholics have to face the fact that they are advocating discrimination against gay people. If same-sex marriage is found to be a right, then Catholics are opposing the rights of of certain people to marry. Just because the motivation is religious, I do not see why that should exempt Catholics from charges of discrimination. People supported slavery and opposed miscegenation and integration on religious grounds. Anti-Semitism had a very solid religious basis. Thomas Aquinas said, “The Jews by reason of their fault are sentenced to perpetual servitude and thus the lords of the lands in which they dwell may take things from them as though they were their own.” Anyone who clings to the view of Aquinas today is a bigot and an anti-Semite, not just a very old fashioned Catholic.

    • Bob permalink
      December 13, 2010 11:25 am

      We need to face the fact that we are advocating discrimination against blind people by not allowing them to drive, too.

      “Discrimination” as some blanket epithet, ignoring the actual truths which obtain in the particular distinctions drawn and the purposes for which they are drawn, is worse than pointless.

      • December 13, 2010 2:10 pm

        Bob,

        What are the “actual truths” when it comes to homosexual men becoming priests, or homosexual men and women serving in the military, or being teachers or coaches. Our military right now wants to get rid of DADT, and some of the most effective armies in the world (including the Israelis) allow gays to serve in the military. Yet the Church maintains it is not “unjust discrimination” to bar gays from the military. This is quite different from allowing people to drive.

        There are a growing number of countries that permit same-sex marriage. Both Canada and Spain have had same-sex marriage since 2005. If people want to make a case against same-sex marriage, it seems to me they need to provide evidence that the harms the predict will actually come to pass.

        By the way, the word discrimination meaning unjustly depriving people of rights and privileges based on race, religion, gender, and so on has been in use for about 150 years. It is a perfectly good word. I don’t think anyone would say we “discriminate” (but justifiably) against blind people by not permitting them to drive. That is simply not how the word is used. To say a particular group is the object of discrimination, or that a group is discriminated against, means they are treated unjustly. It is just foolish to claim we “discriminate” all the time by not hiring blind pilots, or mute announcers, or quadriplegic ballet dancers. Nobody who speaks proper English would call that discrimination.

        • Bob permalink
          December 13, 2010 3:53 pm

          The “actual truths” are that homosexual desires are objectively disordered, that homosexual acts are immoral, and that the longest lived institution on Earth, keeper of the Deposit of the Faith against the gates of Hell, the Roman Catholic Church, affirms these truths.

          I see from your comment below that you openly dissent from Church doctrine on this issue though. I look forward to watching all the progressive Catholics correct you.

    • Austin Ruse permalink
      December 13, 2010 2:00 pm

      Yes, David, the Catholic Church teaches there is such a thing as just discrimination against those who are disordered in the way homosexuals are disordered. Yes. The Church, for instance, holds that it does violence to a child to be “adopted” by homosexuals.

      • December 13, 2010 2:50 pm

        Austin,

        Really? The term adopted in quotes? Its not an actual adoption and should it take 12 years or 14 years for common sense and Catholic morality to prevail, then at that point you will remove this child from his illegitmate “adopted” parents and place him in a real adoption?

        Do you have any idea how cruel and fanatical you are?

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 13, 2010 4:14 pm

          Kurt,

          Did i say the child should be taken away? No.

          What i said was that homosexual adoption does violence to the child and should not be allowed. It is the teaching of the Church which i accept.

        • Kurt permalink
          December 13, 2010 7:46 pm

          If you have a better explanation for why you put the word adoption in quote marks, I woudl like to hear it. It suggested that even if an act was so termed you were not accepting that it was truly an adoption.

          Otherwise my point stands.

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 14, 2010 11:09 am

          You can put your point whereever you like….

        • December 14, 2010 12:13 pm

          chilling.

    • brettsalkeld permalink*
      December 13, 2010 2:48 pm

      For better or for worse, racists and hate-mongers in the US will likely get to keep their children. I live in Canada, where racists do occassionally lose their kids to the state. Shoot, in Germany you can lose your kids for homeschooling. As alarmist as my post looks, it is not so far from reality as it might seem.

      As for discrimination, yes Catholics make a discrimination between the relationship between a man and a woman and that between two men or two women. The question is, is such a distinction morally equivalent to racism. I think it is not. Some people think that makes me morally equivalent to a racist. Forgive me if I worry what happens when Toby slips up and tells the teacher at his public school what I really think.

      • December 13, 2010 3:21 pm

        It’s interesting that Christians in the early Church all but sought out martyrdom, and now Christians are practically paranoid that they will suffer some consequences for expressing a negative opinion about homosexuality. Jesus said, “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Didn’t Pope John Paul II always say, “Be not afraid”? There seem to me to be a lot of very timid Christians. Was it here, or on an other blog, that I read a guy complaining he had to be very careful at the office not to let his opinions about homosexuality slip out? I would say, “Be not afraid!” and for two reasons. First, nothing is going to happen. Second, Christians are supposed to be “soldiers of Jesus Christ,” not wimps. I thought Christians were supposed to . . . .

        . . . . give and not to count the cost,
        to fight and not to heed the wounds,
        to toil and not to seek for rest,
        to labour and ask not for reward,
        save that of knowing that I do [God's] most holy will.

        It seems to strike terror into the hearts of Christians that some bishop somewhere had a complaint filed against him five years ago that apparently was dropped. Would that life for gay people were so fraught with danger. We only have to contend with this:

        Investigators say a group of men calling themselves the Latin King Goonies discovered one of their recruits was gay and had a sexual encounter with a man. The recruit, a 17-year-old, was beaten and sodomized at an abandoned apartment the crew used as a hangout, authorities said.

        Later that day [October 3, 2010], gang members told the 30-year-old man, who was known throughout the neighborhood as “The Queen,” that they were having a party, authorities said. When he arrived, he was tied to a chair, burned, beaten, tortured and sodomized with a miniature baseball bat, police said.

        Two men have pleaded guilty to robbery as a hate crime in the brutual beating of a gay man last year.

        The men admitted to taunting Jack Price and yelling anti-gay slurs before punching and kicking him. It happened after he left a 24-hour deli near his home in Queens in October 2009.

        Price suffered a fractured jaw and ribs, two collapsed lungs, and a lacerated spleen. He spent three weeks in the hospital.

        • brettsalkeld permalink*
          December 13, 2010 4:43 pm

          David,
          I’m not sure how my comments amount to endorsing the abominable treatment of homosexual persons highlighted above, but it is clear that many people will find in my comments evidence that I endorse such things. Thanks for the reminder (and for accidentally proving my point).

          As for martyrdom, I do use my real name on here. My positions aren’t a secret. That doesn’t mean I relish the idea that my children could suffer as a result of my positions. As Hauerwas says, for a Christian to have children in this world is a radical act of hope.

        • December 13, 2010 5:49 pm

          Brett,

          I did not or do not in any way assume you approve of violence against gay people. I was only saying that here (and on Mirror of Justice lately) there have been a lot of fears expressed about Catholics in the United States being persecuted and imprisoned for expressing their views about homosexuality. In saying I think that gay people face real dangers and the dangers some Catholic fear are largely fantasies, I in no way imply that Catholics approve of violence against gay people. I merely point out that gay people have real fears and Catholics who speak out against homosexuality (n my opinion) don’t. I don’t know Canada well, although it sounds like a very benign place. But the United States does not put people in jail even for real hate speech, let alone for religious speech that offends gay people. In all likelihood, the Westboro Baptist Church is going to win in the Supreme Court. In a country that allows people to say “God Hates Fags” to grieving families at military funerals, I think Catholics have little to fear (legally) for opposing same-sex marriage.

          I would point out, though, that even though the Catholic Church condemns all “unjust discrimination,” it also seems to oppose all anti-discrimination laws “even where they seem more directed toward support of basic civil rights than condonement of homosexual activity or a homosexual lifestyle.”

      • Ryan Klassen permalink
        December 13, 2010 3:23 pm

        Perhaps I just have a different sense of the atmosphere here in Canada. I have no worries about my son letting the teachers at his school know about my position on gay marriage. But then again, I don’t see civil gay marriage as a threat to the church. The courts have clearly said that religions are under no obligation to sanction gay marriage and are free to define marriage in the way they see fit.

        Roman Catholic and other Christian schools are free to discriminate based on sexual orientation, so teaching children, even those who are in the public school, that marriage should be between a man and a woman is a constitutionally protected position. I have no doubt that public schools will teach a perspective on gay marriage that the church disagrees with, but they also teach a perspective on religions that the church disagrees with.

        • Thales permalink
          December 13, 2010 4:43 pm

          Ryan,
          I mentioned this above, but you probably didn’t see it in the maze of comments: are you familiar with the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Bishop Fred Henry case?

        • Ryan Klassen permalink
          December 13, 2010 6:28 pm

          Yes, I am familiar. Bishop Henry publicly called for the re-criminalization of homosexual acts. There were two complaints filed against him in 2005 that were dropped after he met with the complainants. I haven’t heard of any attempts to censure him over his views on homosexuality since, but I could be mistaken.

          I agree that human rights commissions in Canada are flawed institutions in many cases, but they seemed to have functioned well in this case.

        • Thales permalink
          December 13, 2010 10:55 pm

          Ryan, so for you, suggesting the legal proscription of homosexuality is a valid reason to have to go through the gauntlet of the Human Rights Commission? Whoa.

        • Kurt permalink
          December 14, 2010 6:49 am

          Thales,

          Yes. A citizen filed a complaint against the cal to round up the gays and put them injail. I suppose among Japanese-Americans you would find a similar reaction to calls to again round them up.

          The Commission did not immediately dismiss the case and this alone brought cries of religious persecution from the expected quarters.

          Before the Commission even begins an investigation, it is mandated to attempt conciliation between the parties. They did. The Bishop particpated and he said he was pleased with the outcome of the process.

          Assuming the Bishop is not a liar, I don’t see a flaw in this process.

        • Ryan Klassen permalink
          December 14, 2010 7:46 am

          Thales, did I say that? Unless you are reading a post that I’m not, I’m unsure how you can attribute that view to me.

          If an innocent man is acquitted, then the justice system is said to have worked. If a complaint was raised against Bishop Henry and the human rights commission dismissed it, I’m unsure how you can say it was an unfair verdict.

          The human rights commissions are certainly deeply flawed institutions and I would support their reform or replacement, but they didn’t unjustly convict or fine Bishop Henry. I disagree with his views on criminalizing homosexuality but I agree that there should be a better forum for dealing with complaints such as those raised against him.

        • brettsalkeld permalink*
          December 13, 2010 4:55 pm

          In many ways I agree with you Ryan. I’m not in a panic that my kids will get the statist propaganda about same-sex marriage. In point of fact, I’m more concerned about the ideas my kids will get about their bodies and human relationships from advertising media than from same-sex marriage proponents. The key difference is that no one seems to think that my opposition to airbrushing, consumerism, pre-emptive war, the unique role of Christ in the economy of salvation, or pre-marital cohabitation makes me the equivalent of a racist.

          The position itself strikes me as rather benign as far as things-I disagree-with-being-the-law-of-the-land go. The narrative used to establish the position frightens me.

          It is entirely possible that Canada has reached equilibrium on this and we have nothing to worry about. But it is also entirely possible that the widespread acceptance of the idea that opposition to same-sex marriage is the same as opposition to interracial marriage will work its way into law in the future.

        • Ryan Klassen permalink
          December 13, 2010 6:43 pm

          I think part of the difference in our viewpoints is that I come from a tradition that is much more comfortable (some might even say prefers) being marginalized by the greater society.

        • December 13, 2010 7:01 pm

          The key difference is that no one seems to think that my opposition to airbrushing, consumerism, pre-emptive war, the unique role of Christ in the economy of salvation, or pre-marital cohabitation makes me the equivalent of a racist.

          Brett,

          And the reason for that key difference is that you are not making it clear by those views that you would be happy to deprive any specific class of people of any rights they currently have. And even if you wanted to, you couldn’t. Who is threatened by your denunciation of consumerism, or air brushing (which hasn’t been done for years, by the way — everything is digital now), or even premarital cohabitation? Nobody. However, same-sex marriage has been a right in Canada for only five years, and it isn’t a right in the United States yet. If advertisers or cohabiters in Canada thought you had a good chance of taking their rights away, they might see your comments as hostile rather than just quaint (or however they see them, if they even pay attention).

          By the way, on this entire issue, it isn’t all about you (plural). I do not pretend to be a historian of the gay rights movement, but I believe it’s reasonably accurate to say that the “professional homosexual movement” had little intention of pushing for same-sex marriage until far in the future. The issue arose because gay couples wanted to get married. It came from the grass roots, not from the activists. Gay marriage as a social and political issue is largely about people who love each other and want to get married . . . and the people who don’t want to let them. And for the Catholic Church, there is no compromise position, such as civil unions or domestic partnerships. The Catholic position is that if two people of the same sex love each other and want to formalize their relationship in any way, they are a threat to the world, like global climate change, and they can’t truly love each other as a man and a woman can because they are not complementary. They should, in fact, never see each other again, because being in each others’ presence is a near occasion of sin.

        • brettsalkeld permalink*
          December 13, 2010 7:29 pm

          Ryan,
          That is probably correct. It would be interesting to talk to you some time about how you feel about that as a parent. I have talked to Mennonites (and others) about martyrdom, but I have never talked about practices that endanger one’s children. That is a pretty existential question for me at this stage of life. Just the other day at Vox Nova, I was pondering how much grief it is worth to have my kids not pledge allegiance to the flag.

        • brettsalkeld permalink*
          December 13, 2010 10:16 pm

          David,
          I would happily deprive (or at least severely restrict) people of their right to access pornography. Is that the equivalent of racism?

        • Ryan Klassen permalink
          December 13, 2010 10:26 pm

          Brett;

          Children are members of the community of faith as well, are they not? If the community is experiencing persecution, the children will share in that persecution as well. To shield them from the persecution is to shield them from membership in the community of faith.

          While I didn’t have children when I lived in the US, I certainly gave the issue some serious consideration, and it’s likely we’ll end up back in the US at some point in the future. I see a refusal to say the pledge of allegiance (and any accompanying persecution) as an opportunity to strengthen the formation of my children as thoughtful followers of Christ, to reinforce their identity as Christians before and above any earthly allegiance. Having said this, I certainly wouldn’t take the situation lightly. You can bet I would be talking to principals, teachers, parents and anyone else I had to about any problems my kids encountered.

          The Anabaptist tradition has dealt with this issue in the US and elsewhere for centuries, and continues to face persecution over it, so there are community resources approaches that have been forged over time. Using opposition to strengthen formation and reinforce identity is one of those long-standing responses. We should talk about this more.

      • hazemyth permalink
        December 22, 2010 9:32 pm

        The question is, is such a distinction morally equivalent to racism[?]

        A common and reasonable question… and one that I try to find a serious answer to, even if it’s often rhetorical.

        Among other reasons, racism is morally despicable because it draws categoric, prejudicial distinctions. It assumes, without any specific knowledge, that a black person is inferior to a white person, that s/he is less capable or of weaker character.

        Attitudes regarding homosexuality approach this failing when they assume, without any specific knowledge, that a gay person or couple is inferior to a straight one, that they are less loving, less healthy, or of less worth to their community.

        Insofar as such things are evident, gay couples can acquit themselves as well as straight couples. Insofar as they are ineffable, they can’t be measured. At they very least, gay persons and couples deserve to be judged on their own merits.

  17. Thales permalink
    December 13, 2010 12:05 pm

    David,

    Discrimination is a word with an extremely negative connotation. It’s an accusation that cuts off reasonable discussion and demonizes the opponent. So you have to be careful when using the word.

    The Catholic church is clear when it says that all people (including those with homosexual inclinations) have human dignity and are entitled to respect and love. But the church is clear that homosexual acts are immoral and that they shouldn’t be encouraged or approved via homosexual marriage. You want to call that “discrimination”? Okay, but don’t do that in order to demonize the Church and to lump its position in with racism. Discouraging someone’s engagement in homosexual acts is very different from disapproving of someone because of his skin color, and there are rational non-religious reasons for that distinction. And there are rational, non-religious reasons for thinking that approving homosexual acts and homosexual marriage in a society is harmful to that society.

    • Kurt permalink
      December 13, 2010 10:27 pm

      Discrimination is a word with an extremely negative connotation. It’s an accusation that cuts off reasonable discussion and demonizes the opponent.

      I am watching a TV program on Hubert Humphrey right now. I am watching tape events of my lifetime of notable conservative leaders defending discrimination using the same arguements conservatives use today on other issues.

      I don’t see any reason why those of us who had the good judgment to identify and object to discrimination when we saw it, should suddenly be silenced when we see it again today. I’m going to decline your request to hold from indentifiying discrimination when I see it.

      The Catholic church is clear when it says that all people (including those with homosexual inclinations) have human dignity and are entitled to respect and love.

      But not a respect and love that allows homosexuals to hold a job in general industry or be free from laws calling for imprisionment.

  18. Ronald King permalink
    December 13, 2010 1:29 pm

    What are the rational, non-religious reasons for thinking that homosexual acts and marriage is harmful to society?
    What has harmed marriage and society more than anything are heterosexual males.

    • Thales permalink
      December 13, 2010 2:47 pm

      Ronald,
      I don’t have space here to elaborate, but briefly, the argument is: it is good for society when new members of society are produced and are raised in a stable, loving environment by a male and female parent.

      • Ronald King permalink
        December 13, 2010 4:08 pm

        Thales, I agree. We do not have that ideal and never have had it, otherwise, we would have a totally different world. Research does show that the child responds best to a loving environment and a loving environment is a stable environment. I still do not know how homosexual relationships are harmful to the society.
        I am still convinced it is heterosexual males who harm society.

        • grega permalink
          December 13, 2010 8:29 pm

          I don’t know I find the moniker about heterosexual males that supposedly do so much harm a bit tiresome.
          In my 45 years of hopping around this fine planet I seem to encounter plenty of very good fathers and husbands and grandfathers and friends – sure we all witness harmful behavior at times – in my experience the harmful male misbehavior seems to balance the harmful female kind.
          As they say it takes two to Tango.
          Not surprisingly I am all for homo marriage and homosexual adoption since I view homosexuals als just as wonderful and flawed as the rest of us. – Just this heterosexual males unscientific POV of course.

  19. December 13, 2010 1:44 pm

    Discouraging someone’s engagement in homosexual acts is very different from disapproving of someone because of his skin color, and there are rational non-religious reasons for that distinction.

    Thales,

    You seem to be missing my point that the Church does not limit itself to disapproving of and discouraging homosexual acts. As I pointed out, male “homosexual persons” are not permitted to be priests no matter how committed to celibacy. I quoted the CDF above saying, “There are areas in which it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account, for example, in the placement of children for adoption or foster care, in employment of teachers or athletic coaches, and in military recruitment.” This is a statement not about homosexual behavior, but about homosexual orientation. A school may take sexual orientation, not sexual behavior, into account and discriminate against teachers or coaches. You don’t like the word discrimination, but the CDF uses it here and approves discrimination, just so long as it is “just.”

    In order for the Church’s position limiting the rights of homosexuals not to be discrimination, the Church must be right. The Church was not right about the Jews. I don’t think the Church is right about gay people. The Church was guilty of anti-Semitism for two thousand years. It is not impossible that it is wrong about homosexuality.

    • Thales permalink
      December 13, 2010 3:22 pm

      David,

      1. I don’t the Church ever took an official anti-Semitic position. I’m sure some members of the Church have been anti-Semitic and have said anti-Semitic things, but I don’t think anti-Semitism has ever been an official Church teaching or belief. It certainly is not Church teaching recently with popes since at least Pius XI speaking out against it.

      2. I now see your point about discrimination and orientation; I had just responded to your Brett comment and I hadn’t realized that your Brett comment was connected to your CDF quote. I still think that one has to be careful in using the word “discrimination.” I guess it’s very unfortunate that “discrimination” has a negative connotation, because if we can talk about “just discrimination” and “unjust discrimination”, then “discrimination” ideally should be a completely neutral word. But it’s not, unfortunately. But if you want to call the Church’s position “just discrimination”, I’m fine with that.

      3. As for the CDF quote, the CDF is saying that discrimination in those areas mentioned (like adoption, etc.) based on sexual orientation is “just” because homosexual orientation cannot be the positive source of human rights and because those who publicly identify themselves by this orientation hold it out as worthy of public approval. So this notion of “just discrimination” follows from the premise that “the Church can never appear to approve, and must discourage, a homosexual lifestyle.”

      • December 14, 2010 9:38 am

        I don’t the Church ever took an official anti-Semitic position.

        Thales,

        Take a look at the online Catholic Encyclopedia entry on Judaism, which reflects Catholic thinking of about 100 years ago. You will find the following:

        The obligation of wearing a distinguishing badge was of course obnoxious to the Jews. At the same time, Church authorities deemed its injunction necessary to prevent effectively moral offences between Jews and Christian women. The decrees forbidding the Jews from appearing in public at Eastertide may be justified on the ground that some of them mocked at the Christian processions at that time . . . .

        It was for the laudable reason of protecting social morality and securing the maintenance of the Christian Faith, that canonical decrees were framed and repeatedly enforced against free and constant intercourse between Christians and Jews, against, for instance, bathing, living, etc., with Jews. To some extent, likewise, these were the reasons for the institution of the Ghetto or confinement of the Jews to a special quarter, for the prohibition of the Jews from exercising medicine, or other professions. The inhibition of intermarriage between Jews and Christians, which is yet in vigour, is clearly justified by reason of the obvious danger for the faith of the Christian party and for the spiritual welfare of the children born of such alliances. With regard to the special legislation against printing, circulating, etc., the Talmud, there was the particular grievance that the Talmud contained at the time scurrilous attacks upon Jesus and the Christians

        History proves indeed that Church authorities exercised at times considerable pressure upon the Jews to promote their conversion; but it also proves that the same authorities generally deprecated the use of violence for the purpose.

        It is an admission (and an attempt to justify and whitewash) persecution of the Jews. I don’t see how it can be read any other way.

  20. Ronald King permalink
    December 13, 2010 3:57 pm

    Austin, I guess you do not understand what I am saying above. It is harmful to someone who has already been harmed to tell them that they are “intrinsically disordered”. That statement supports the evil of emotional and physical violence that has been committed against homosexuals. There is no insight into the harm those words create. The words “intrinsically disordered” lack any sense of compassion and overpower any compassionate statement made before or after.
    If the authorities in the Church or those who have the loudest voices cannot understand the harm of those words then they cannot understand why it can be categorized as hate speech by the victims of those words.

    • Austin Ruse permalink
      December 13, 2010 8:49 pm

      Yes, I read you correctly then. Your belief is chilling and against the Church.

      • Ronald King permalink
        December 13, 2010 9:50 pm

        I am not against the Church. I am against those who are ignorant of the harm they do in the name of ‘truth’. You haven’t said anything that would convince me that you understood what I said.
        What chills you is your thoughts about what I said.

      • brettsalkeld permalink*
        December 13, 2010 10:05 pm

        Chilling?

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 14, 2010 11:10 am

          Chilling, in that Ronald and the homosexual movement watns to equate Catholic belief and practice with hate.

          faithful sons of the church are up in arms.

        • December 14, 2010 12:12 pm

          Was it chilling when Pope John Paul II apologized for Catholic practices that were hateful?

        • Ronald King permalink
          December 14, 2010 1:13 pm

          Yes I am up in arms against people in the church who are motivated by fear and anger when faced with human beings who are rightfully demanding to be accepted and treated with the respect they deserve and not be identified as disordered.
          Look how angry you are Austin when someone tells you that your thinking is disordered. You get up in arms. You become the aggressor just like those you accuse of being disordered.
          If you do not love them then what do you feel towards them?
          If your motivation to speak the truth is not motivated by love, then what becomes of the truth?
          From a faithful son of Christ.

        • brettsalkeld permalink*
          December 15, 2010 8:43 am

          I’m faithful to Church teaching on this question and in general, but Ronald’s comments are far from the most offensive thing in this thread. If faithful sons of the Church listen to Ronald and those he speaks for, we will perhaps learn something about how to present Church teaching as an aid to authentic freedom, and not as one more incomprehensible “Thou Shalt Not.”

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 15, 2010 9:16 am

          JP II did not put it that way. Also, JPII did not call Church teaching “hate speech” as Ron has.

          I look forward to the day that a future pope apologizes for all those phony Catholics who are indifferent to abortion.

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 15, 2010 9:17 am

          Brett,

          It would be a mistake for sons of the Church to consider Church teaching as hate speech. This is what the homosexuals want. They want Church teaching to be considered hate speech and they want it banned or heavily restricted.

        • December 15, 2010 12:07 pm

          Austin,

          No, that is not what homosexuals want. I’ll match an dbetter the number of homosexuals who have told me that is not wanted with the number who have told you they want that.

  21. December 13, 2010 4:05 pm

    Thales,

    Regarding your point 3, the CDF document says nothing about people publicly identifying themselves as having a homosexual orientation. It says based on a homosexual orientation alone, it is just to discriminate against people seeking to adopt, to teach, or to coach. The same is true of the priesthood. The Church is saying it is just to keep people out of the military, out of teaching and coaching positions, and out of the priesthood no matter how strongly they may affirm Church teaching, how committed they are to celibacy, and so on. It is discrimination based on the orientation alone. Whether you want to call it just or not, it is not because these people proclaim themselves homosexual or advocate a “homosexual lifestyle.” Psychological tests and intrusive questioning are used to try to screen “homosexual persons” from the priesthood. I can only imagine the Church would not object to the same techniques used for adoptive parents, teachers, or coaches.

    • Thales permalink
      December 13, 2010 7:57 pm

      David,

      I was looking at paragraphs 10 through 16. Reread it. You’ll see the specific reference to public identification in parag. 14. The rest of the section gives the reasoning for why the CDF believes it is “just” to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation alone. As I said, I think this notion of “just discrimination” follows from the premise that “the Church can never appear to approve, and must discourage, a homosexual lifestyle.”

      Re: screening priests. From the Church’s perspective, homosexual orientation is “is an objective disorder and evokes moral concern.” The way I think about it is if you have a person who is struggling with the disorder of alcoholism, it is prudent not to put him in the vicinity of alcohol. Similarly, if someone is struggling with a homosexual orientation, it is prudent not to put him into the seminary and priesthood.

  22. Kurt permalink
    December 13, 2010 8:46 pm

    if someone is struggling with a homosexual orientation, it is prudent not to put him into the seminary and priesthood.

    Are we back to Father Sirico?

  23. Thales permalink
    December 13, 2010 11:04 pm

    This is a bizarre comment thread. Most of the commenters here seem to disagree with the Catholic teaching on homosexuality. Now that’s fine – if you disagree with Church teaching on this subject, you disagree – but sometimes I wonder whether it would be helpful if commenters made that more clear. Since this is a Catholic blog, my first inclination is to comment based on premises which accept the validity of Catholic teaching and to assume that the other commenter knows where I’m coming from. But maybe I need to assume that most people here don’t accept Catholic teaching on certain subjects, and so start my comments from other premises.

    • Ryan Klassen permalink
      December 14, 2010 8:06 am

      In the interests of disclosure, I am a Christian from another tradition (Anabaptist-Mennonite) who is currently exploring whether faithfulness to the gospel involves returning to the Roman Catholic Church, and whether that can be done while also remaining faithful to my Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition.

      As I understanding it, I agree with the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church on homosexuality, although I am not entirely comfortable with the terminology used. I do not agree that we should require those who are not Roman Catholic to accept and live by Roman Catholic teaching on homosexuality. Wouldn’t that be a matter of prudential judgment along the lines of agreeing with the position of the church on the dignity of the human person but disagreeing with church teaching on the death penalty or war?

      • brettsalkeld permalink*
        December 14, 2010 10:34 am

        It seems to me that Catholic concerns about non-Catholics using artificial birth control should roughly parallel Catholic concerns about non-Catholics not following Church teaching on homosexuality.

        Now, the fact that we aren’t currently fighting to make AC illegal does not imply that we must agree with those who believe that sexual relations between a man and a woman are exactly the same kind of thing as sexual relations between two men or two women, but it should give us some sense of proportionality in the debate.

        • December 14, 2010 11:27 am

          Which I think is the problem with Mark Shea’s assertion. One can hold an orthodox Catholic opinion without campaigning for legal sanctions on those who do not follow the teaching on a matter.

          And what Mr. Shea seems unable to understand, one can object to legal and criminal sanctions against gay people without it being an endorsement of persecution of the Catholic Church.

        • December 14, 2010 11:38 am

          Brett,

          When you say “the fact that we aren’t currently fighting to make AC illegal,” does this imply that it would be appropriate for Catholics to try to legally ban artificial birth control? Don’t people who are not Catholic have a right to freedom of conscience?

        • brettsalkeld permalink*
          December 14, 2010 2:36 pm

          Shoot David, even Catholics have a right to freedom of conscience! ;)

          In all honesty, I didn’t mean to imply anything one way or the other about the legality of AC. I was just working from a fact that we are all familiar with because I think it has important parallels for the issue at hand.

        • December 14, 2010 3:04 pm

          Brett,

          According to the way some people define a “well formed conscience,” Catholics have no meaningful freedom of conscience. But I think those people are wrong. That is, I believe they are not accurately describing what the Church teaches. But Catholics, it seems to me, by reason of the Church’s claims of teaching authority, have a lot less freedom of conscience than people of other faiths. Of course, many Catholics would see this as a benefit of belonging to the Church.

        • brettsalkeld permalink*
          December 15, 2010 8:40 am

          David,
          I agree that the way some people understand the “formation of conscience” actually makes the Catholic insistence on “primacy of conscience” meaningless. (You could see the chapter on conscience in my book if interested. I actually go into some detail on this. ;)

          I wouldn’t say that Catholics have less freedom, but that they have more help in the formation department. I don’t see that as an impediment to freedom, but an aid to it. Though doubtless, when poorly understood, it can function like a limit to freedom.

    • Thales permalink
      December 14, 2010 9:30 am

      I think the reason I made this comment is that for Catholics, marriage is a more special and significant institution than for most other people (including other Christians.) For Catholics, reflections and teachings on the SACRAMENT of marriage and its importance are plentiful: marriage is a sacrament, a way God imparts grace, a reflection of God’s Trinitarian life, a participation in God’s creative act, etc. Because of all this teaching, I think it’s almost self-evident that the sacramental life of marriage cannot be lived in a homosexual union.

      Now when talking about gay marriage on non-Catholic blogs, I can’t appeal to “the sacrament of marriage”. I recognize that the argument against gay marriage, when thinking of marriage as a civic institution and not as a sacrament, is more difficult to make (though still possible). It’s not as self-evident that a homosexual couple can’t participate in civil marriage. But when thinking about marriage as a sacrament, I think it more obvious why the Catholic Church is opposed to homosexual marriage.

  24. Kimberley permalink
    December 13, 2010 11:56 pm

    For faithful Catholics it is sufficient that when the Church proclaims a matter of faith and morals such as its stance on marriage and the sinfullness of homosexual acts that we accept the teaching and take it to heart. If we struggle with a teaching we struggle in private with our confessor. And if we think with the mind of the church we suport the Church’s teaching on marriage in political life as well. The bishops have been very clear on this teaching.

    However in order to evagelize and help the world accept the Catholic Church’s teachings we must present the Church’s teaching in such a way that the message is heard. In my opinion the church should do the following to make sure its message on marriage and the homosexual act is heard:

    1) Always lead with the teaching on the dignity of all women and men regardless of their current state
    2) Teach strongly of the sinfullnes of bashing and bullying or anything that violates the dignity of the individual
    3) Lead on ministering to those with Aids
    4) Soften the rhetoric on instrinsically disordered, one can teach sinfullness in a more acceptable language.
    5) Actively seek out and invite GLBT persons to mass and RCIA without compromising its teachings and making those teachings clear.
    6) Encouraging homosexual and lesbian couples to attend mass making clear the teaching of the church on reception of communion and without compromising the teaching on marriage and homosexual act
    7) Emphasize the joy that priests can experience through a life of celibacy
    8) Help families of GLBT persons with presenting the church’s teaching
    9) Stop the farce of annullments of long married persons. If you are married for 13 years and have three children you cannot get an annullment.
    10) Celebrate marriage. Seeing a mand and woman married for 60 years surrounded by dozens of children and grand children need to be held up as examples of the blessings of children.
    11) Preach against divorce and adultery regularly.

    • December 14, 2010 1:15 am

      “Soften the rhetoric on instrinsically disordered, one can teach sinfullness in a more acceptable language.”

      I don’t see how much more softly it could be expressed, without changing the meaning of what is being said. It’s “disordered”, meaning it’s out of order, it’s not the way we’re made. And it’s “intrinsically” disordered, meaning it’s disordered always and everywhere, regardless of context.

      Those are just the facts. If you want to “not compromise” the Church’s teachings, then you have to be able to state them plainly.

      That being said, I don’t think the Church goes around hammering the “disordered” thing. (Have any of us ever heard “intrinsically disordered” as part of a homily?) In fact I wonder whether those who oppose the Church’s teaching emphasize it more often than those who affirm it.

      • December 14, 2010 9:27 am

        Angelius,

        Besides homosexual acts, what others do the Church describe as “acts of grave depravity”?

        • December 14, 2010 2:12 pm

          David write, “Besides homosexual acts, what others do the Church describe as “acts of grave depravity”?”

          That quote comes from the Catechism, at 2357. However, the Catechism states that it is scripture which describes them that way. The whole sentence reads, ‘Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”‘

          The Catechism doesn’t describe any other sin with that exact word. However it does have this to say:

          “The murderer and those who cooperate voluntarily in murder commit a sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance.” 2268

          Note that homosexual acts are not said to “cry out to heaven for vengeance”.

          “Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.” 2352

          So homosexual acts are not the only ones that are “gravely disordered”.

          “2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.”

          So masturbation, fornication and pornography, as well as homosexual practices, are gravely contrary to chastity.

          “Idolatry is a perversion of man’s innate religious sense.” 2114

          So homosexual acts are not the only perversion condemned by the Church.

          “They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” 2358

          The Catechism doesn’t call for adulterers or murderers to be treated with “respect, compassion and sensitivity”. Only homosexuals.

          But would anything satisfy you other than an outright statement that homosexual acts are fine and dandy?

        • December 15, 2010 12:04 pm

          We have been very lax in imposing legal penalties on masturbators.

        • December 15, 2010 1:54 pm

          Agellius,

          You will not find the words “grave depravity” describing homosexual acts in the Bible. Those are the words of the authors of the Catechism.

          Note that homosexual acts are not said to “cry out to heaven for vengeance”.

          Actually, you are incorrect here. Sodomy has traditionally been considered as one of the sins that cries out to heaven for vengeance (see Genesis 18:20-21). Many would argue that homosexual acts are not the sin of Sodom, but that is another discussion.

          But would anything satisfy you other than an outright statement that homosexual acts are fine and dandy?

          No need to be snarky. What I would love to see in the short term is for the Church to treat gay people with the sensitivity and compassion as Pope John Paul II advocated in an address he gave that I cannot now find the link to. Welcome them in parish life, keep them engaged with the Church, urge them to attend Mass (but not receive communion), and (implicit but not exactly stated) allow them to be themselves in public rather than pretend to be something they are not. I do honestly think that in the very long term, there will be some developments in Catholic sexual morality that will permit same-sex couples to live openly in monogamous relationships, but that may not be for a very, very long time.

    • Kurt permalink
      December 14, 2010 6:37 am

      Kimberly,

      That is a long way off from the ‘status quo’.

  25. SAF permalink
    December 14, 2010 11:04 am

    Agellius, here in the Diocese of Arlington, I hear about the “intristic disorder”, the “contraceptive mentality” etc. in at least two out of every four homilies.
    Arturo and brettsalkeld, I’m struggling with the same questions.

    • December 14, 2010 2:28 pm

      “Etc.”? What exactly is that meant to encompass?

    • Austin Ruse permalink
      December 14, 2010 5:38 pm

      You must be blessed with the sermons of Paul Scalia! Yes, Arlington can be very different but it is far from the norm.

  26. digbydolben permalink
    December 14, 2010 12:33 pm

    There was once a time when an obviously same-sex-attracted genius and saint could remain true to his vows of celibacy and at the same time make a mighty contribution to your Church:

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/dec/23/hero-church/?page=1

    Do you understand what you and your Pope Ratzinger have done to yourselves by excluding his kind from the sacerdotal state? Read his biography. It is abundantly clear that his “special friendships” and mannerisms would have caused him to be labeled as one of the “intrinsically disordered.”

    • December 14, 2010 1:49 pm

      Digby:

      You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding. If one is “true to his vows of celibacy”, then he is not engaging “intrinsically disordered” sexual practices.

      People are never judged as intrinsically disordered, only sinful practices are. If you take away the practices there is no sin.

      • December 15, 2010 12:02 pm

        Is it same-sex attraction that is disordered or is it sexual acts that are not open to conception like oral sex by a married couple that are disordered?

        Are contraceptists like George and Laura Bush disordered?

        • December 15, 2010 2:24 pm

          Kurt writes, “Are contraceptists like George and Laura Bush disordered?”

          Not they themselves, but their contraceptive acts are disordered, yes, of course.

          The Catechism says (at 2370), “‘every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible’ is intrinsically evil”.

        • December 15, 2010 3:44 pm

          Agellius,

          Don’t you think we have done a poor job in explaining that George and Laura Bush practice the same disordered sexual acts as Elton John?

    • Austin Ruse permalink
      December 14, 2010 5:37 pm

      And it is fairly common for the intrinsically disordered to retroactively claim many as their own, like Abraham Lincoln. They do this especially with those who cannot defend themselves, ie, the dead.

      • Ronald King permalink
        December 14, 2010 7:16 pm

        Austin, Why are you so caustic?

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 14, 2010 8:26 pm

          Is that an ad hominem question?

        • Ronald King permalink
          December 15, 2010 8:52 am

          The question is based on your comments. Read them

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 15, 2010 9:39 am

          I say, I say, I say, that’s a joke, son! (to be read in the voice of “Foghorn J., I say, Foghorn J. Leghorn”)

      • digbydolben permalink
        December 14, 2010 7:46 pm

        Excuse me, you two above. You apparently haven’t been reading the exclusions from the sacerdotal state that have recently been formulated by the hierarchy of your Church: one doesn’t have to “do” anything in order to be defined as “intrinsically disordered”; one only has to have an attraction to one’s own sex–and, apparently, to be honest about that attraction. Newman was very open about the the intensity and the exclusivity of his emotional attachments to men.

        • December 15, 2010 2:20 pm

          Digby writes, “One doesn’t have to “do” anything in order to be defined as “intrinsically disordered””

          You apparently don’t understand the meaning of “intrinsically disordered”. No *person* is ever judged by the Church to be intrinsically disordered. If I were judged that way, that would mean I was disordered merely by virtue of being Agellius. What are judged as intrinsically disordered are certain acts or tendencies — which again are not restricted to homosexual acts or tendencies.

          A person who has a tendency to intrinsically disordered acts, which is so deeply ingrained that he identifies himself with that tendency, would be unsuitable to the priesthood, no matter what the disordered acts might be — but particularly if he considered the acts not to be disordered at all. Again, this is not limited to homosexual acts. A person who identified himself primarily as a philanderer or a masturbator, and was proud of same, would also be unsuitable.

          The only reason the Church issued a document specifically addressing homosexuality, was because there was so much controversy about it, and so many calls inside and outside the Church to treat homosexuals the same in every way as heterosexuals — basically the same reason Pope John Paul II had previously issued “Ordinatio sacerdotalis”.

        • December 15, 2010 3:30 pm

          No person? People with same sex attraction are not disordered. Infertile sexual acts are disordered, correct?

        • digbydolben permalink
          December 16, 2010 6:09 am

          Now you are playing with semantics in a way that reveeals itself to be vicious in its discrimination.

          The vagueness in your definition of “disordered,” i.e. that it simply means “sinful,” suggests that

        • digbydolben permalink
          December 16, 2010 6:18 am

          …And, if “disordered” simply means “sinflul, that means that EVERYBODY is ineligible for the sacerdotal state, unless and until they do public penance for their “disordered” state.

          But you’re not going to require the “George Bushes” who convert to Catholicism and who aspire to become priests, to do “public penance,” admit their “disordered ” tendency before admitting them to sacerdotal orders, are you?

  27. Austin Ruse permalink
    December 14, 2010 8:27 pm

    Dig,

    Yes, and Lincoln slept with his law partner. Yep. HOMO!

    • digbydolben permalink
      December 15, 2010 10:18 pm

      Well, actually he did much more than “sleep” with him; he wrote him letters that, in our twenty-first century context, would definitely be considered billets doux.

      (I agree that it’s wrong to judge those letters by “our context”; however, the emotional responsiveness that those letters, the letters of John Henry Newman and those of Gerard Manley Hopkins clearly demonstrate that no woman could ever have generated THAT level of passion in the writers–so that’s what I call “same-sex-attracted.”)

  28. SAF permalink
    December 15, 2010 7:20 am

    Agellius, the “etc.” was meant to encompass abortion, contraception, euthanasia, and homosexuality- with an emphasis on our priests’ insistence that any failure to vote in favor of DOMA-type legislation would require repentance and a trip to the confessional.
    Regardless of what I think about any of those oft-repeated subjects, it is refreshing when our one foreign-born priest delivers the homily. He tends to talk about the gospel reading.
    I’ve heard of Father Scalia but have not heard him say Mass or give a talk.
    Yes, Austin, in many ways this diocese is wonderful. I assume you’re not one of the “can’t wait ’til all those old hippie social-justice types die off” and can understand why I say the balance is a little off here. In my parish (and the 2 0r 3 others I occasionally attend) the “etc” is ALL we hear.

  29. Ronald King permalink
    December 15, 2010 10:35 am

    Austin, Your reading of what I wrote is mistaken. You read what you want to read.
    Your insight into another person’s suffering who differs from you and is opposed to you is extremely limited. You seem to only understand the dynamics of political power and lack the historical awareness that political power will always result in emotional and physical violence.
    I am constantly disappointed when someone of high intelligence in our faith does not see the human and spiritual dynamics of suffering and the proper treatment of that suffering.
    It’s like that commercial that has an ex-drill instructor doing psychotherapy and he throws the kleenex box at the guy in pain and calls him a namby-pamby. He is angry at the victim and does not understand how the victim became a victim and consequently he piles on.

    • Austin Ruse permalink
      December 15, 2010 12:43 pm

      So, Ronald, you are not saying Church teaching that homosexuality is disordered is hate speech? I apologize is i got that wrong.

      • Ronald King permalink
        December 15, 2010 4:28 pm

        What I am saying, Austin, is that it can be interpreted as hate speech. We know very little about human development in the nature v nurture area. Consequently, to call same-sex love disordered is speaking from ignorance rather than wisdom.
        One of the things I want to do is go through the catechism page by page and separate statements that portray love from the statements that are not love.
        The developing child is so open and sensitive to any perceived sense of not being good enough that one experience of negative emotional criticism can imprint on the brain what analysts call “the basic fault”. What that means is that this human being does not think that she or he has a particular problem but that she or he is created wrong. Defenses are developed early to prevent conscious awareness of this dilemma and to prevent others from being aware of it.
        However, there is a constant state of low level anxiety and depression associated with the unresolved “basic fault”. Thus, drug companies have made billions treating the symptoms. And I have made less than billions treating the same symptoms.
        What is interesting is this syndrome tends to be more prevalent in western industrialized cultures theoretically due to narcissistic parents and the glorification of independence and individualism.
        The Church seems to be populated with good people who have not resolved the basic fault. The consequences can be disastrous.

  30. December 15, 2010 2:42 pm

    David writes, “What I would love to see in the short term is for the Church to welcome [homosexuals] in parish life, keep them engaged with the Church, urge them to attend Mass (but not receive communion), and (implicit but not exactly stated) allow them to be themselves in public rather than pretend to be something they are not.”

    I would go further than you and allow them to receive communion. Because unlike you apparently, I don’t assume that just because someone has homosexual tendencies, that he is also engaging in homosexual acts. For the same reason I don’t ask someone who is apparently a homosexual not to “be himself” or “pretend to be something he is not”. I accept people at face value unless I have specific reasons to think otherwise. Therefore if an apparent homosexual presented himself for communion, I would give it to him (if I were a minister), unless he were blatantly and publicly announcing that he was violating or opposed to Church teaching.

    Naturally I want homosexuals to attend mass and “be engaged” with the Church. I also want them to do penance and strive for personal holiness, like anyone else, as the Church has expressed over and over.

    • December 15, 2010 5:48 pm

      Agellius,

      You made a very significant change in what I said. I said I would like to see the Church welcome gay people. You changed that to homosexuals. They mean two different things to me. A gay person is someone with a homosexual orientation who is self-accepting and who identifies with other gay people. When I say the Church should welcome gay people, I include same-sex married couples and other people who are openly gay. The Church welcomes those who are divorced and remarried, who are in the eyes of the Church unmarried people cohabiting. I believe the Church, even though it considers gay people to be “sinners,” could welcome them in the same way as it welcomes the divorced and remarried.

      The Church advises celibate “homosexual persons” to keep their orientation a secret if they are involved in parish life. I am saying the Church should welcome non-celibate gay people to participate in parish life to the same extent they welcome divorced and remarried people. There are a few parishes I have heard of that do welcome openly gay people. It is certainly not the norm.

      I am saying I think it is perfectly possible for the Church to accept gay people on this basis without changing the Church’s teaching on sexuality at all. I don’t agree with that teaching, and I wish the Church would change its teaching, but even if it doesn’t, I think it can welcome openly gay people in the same way John Paul II recommended welcoming the divorced and remarried.

      • December 15, 2010 7:43 pm

        David:

        I see your point now. I was not clear on it before.

        The problem I see with your position as most recently stated, is that people who are participating in ongoing homosexual sexual relationships, so long as they are unrepentant, are in a state of mortal sin. The Bible clearly states that Christians are to have nothing to do with unrepentant sinners. (I refer you to Mt. 18:15-18 which is one of several similar passages and the only one I can remember off the top of my head.) Accepting those who are openly living in a state of mortal sin, as if everything was fine, would be bad on multiple levels.

        First, it would give the impression that the Church had no problem with people living in a state of ongoing mortal sin, which might imply that the Church saw no danger in such a state. This could lead others who otherwise might resist sin, to think that committing sin is no big deal, thus endangering their souls.

        Second, it would be highly uncharitable to the “gay” people themselves, in that it would encourage them to continue living in mortal sin, rather than constantly admonishing them to repent. The point of which, of course, is not to be mean to sinners, but to show Christians how vital it is to avoid sin, and also to show the sinners themselves how serious their sin is, since it cuts them off from communion with the Church.

        To me, your position only makes sense if you believe that homosexual acts are not mortal sins. Since the Church teaches that they are mortal sins, I cannot possibly agree with what you suggest. To do so would strike me as unbelievably cruel. It would be like suggesting that there is no need to preach the Gospel in order to save souls, but rather to let those who are mired in sin remain so, for now and eternity, and in the meantime pretend that everything is fine.

        I can’t comment on your statement that the Church welcomes divorced and remarried people since I don’t know where you get that from.

        • December 16, 2010 11:32 am

          I can’t comment on your statement that the Church welcomes divorced and remarried people since I don’t know where you get that from.

          Read Address of His Holiness John Pope John Paul II to the Pontifical Council for the Family, Friday, 24 January 1997.

          Also see this from Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan:

          We also offer encouragement to those who have divorced and remarried civilly. Although the Church cannot recognize such subsequent unions as valid marriages, she hopes that people in this situation will participate in parish life and attend the Sunday Eucharist, even without receiving the Sacrament.

          Also, from the Catechism there is the following:

          1651 Toward Christians who live in this situation [divorced and civilly remarried], and who often keep the faith and desire to bring up their children in a Christian manner, priests and the whole community must manifest an attentive solicitude, so that they do not consider themselves separated from the Church, in whose life they can and must participate as baptized persons:

          They should be encouraged to listen to the Word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts for justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace.

          Part of that is taken from John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio. This, which appears under the heading Divorced Persons Who Have Remarried, is a more complete version:

          Together with the Synod, I earnestly call upon pastors and the whole community of the faithful to help the divorced, and with solicitous care to make sure that they do not consider themselves as separated from the Church, for as baptized persons they can, and indeed must, share in her life. They should be encouraged to listen to the word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts in favor of justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace. Let the Church pray for them, encourage them and show herself a merciful mother, and thus sustain them in faith and hope.

          It is crystal clear that the Church invites the divorced and remarried — who are presumed to be living in a state of mortal sin — to be active participants in parish life without hiding the fact that they are indeed divorced and remarried. The Church does not demand that their situation be kept secret. They may not receive communion, and they may not go to confession unless they are ready to “regularize” their situation in some manner, but they are not treated as pariahs. Everything you say above about excluding gay people from participation in parish life could in theory be said about the divorced and remarried, but it is not.

        • Thales permalink
          December 16, 2010 1:34 pm

          David,

          My .02 off the top of my head:

          One distinction between a heterosexual couple living “in sin” and a homosexual couple living together is that if the impediments to the first can be removed, the couple’s relationship can be approved and blessed by the Church, and the couple can fully rejoin the community, have Eucharist, etc. Even if the impediments are not removed, the relationship is the type of thing that could be approved by the Church, were the circumstances different.

          For the homosexual couple, it’s the type of relationship that can never be approved by the Church.

          Having said that, I personally don’t have a problem with homosexuals being partially welcomed to the Church community in the way that your quotation describes for heterosexual couples “living in sin”. It wouldn’t surprise me if some bishops took a similar approach to homosexuals as they do people “living in sin”. But for both, there is a prudential balancing line between being welcoming and understanding and loving of the sinner, and of appearing to approve the sin.

        • December 16, 2010 5:17 pm

          The problem I see with extending the same invitation to unrepentant “gay” (as you defined it) people, is that it would then leave no grounds for not extending the same invitation to unrepentant unmarried, cohabiting heterosexuals. And if them, then no grounds for excluding unmarried, non-cohabiting heterosexuals. And if them, then unrepentant masturbators. And so on.

          I can’t say with any authority why JP2 and some of the bishops made an exception in the case of divorced and remarried persons. But it seems to me, that one difference between them and gay couples, is that homosexual sex is intrinsically disordered, i.e., it’s disordered regardless of circumstances. Whereas heterosexual sex is not intrinsically disordered, but is only sinful in certain circumstances, i.e. when people are not married.

          Circumstances can sometimes be, from our fallible human perspective, ambiguous. Someone could conceivably believe, in good conscience, that he was not sinning by re-marrying, because his first marriage was invalid. But it’s not possible to be mistaken about homosexual sex: It’s always sinful regardless of circumstances, and one can only believe otherwise by completely disregarding the Church’s moral teaching on the matter.

          However that’s only my speculation about why the Church singles out divorced/remarried couples for special treatment.

          The pertinent point, in the context of this discussion, is that homosexual couples are not uniquely excluded from this invitation to participate in parish life. Unrepentant unmarried, cohabiting heterosexuals are also excluded, as is every other brand of unrepentant sexual sin, and for that matter every brand of mortal sin, period (note that unrepentant bank robbers also are not extended an invitation to participate in parish life).

          It’s not a situation where everyone is extended an invitation to participate in parish life, regardless of the sinfulness of their lifestyles, with the single exclusion of homosexuals. There is not some club of welcomed mortal sinners from which homosexuals are the only ones excluded. Rather, it’s the other way around: No one who is openly engaging in sinful behavior receives such an invitation. People who sin homosexually are in the same club as any other mortal sinner. The single exception is divorced and remarried couples.

        • Dan permalink
          December 16, 2010 3:04 pm

          To me, your position only makes sense if you believe that homosexual acts are not mortal sins. Since the Church teaches that they are mortal sins, I cannot possibly agree with what you suggest.

          An act cannot be a mortal sin. It is one of three components that constitute mortal sin. A sexually active homosexual that does not possess full knowledge that his act is wrong, and act with full consent in doing so, is not committing a mortal sin.

        • December 16, 2010 6:11 pm

          Yes, I know. I was talking in shorthand. It’s a mortal sin in the sense that if he were doing it publicly and proudly, and refused correction, he would be (or at least should be) excluded from receiving Communion, even if no one knew the exact degree of internal awareness and consent that he possessed; and others would be justified in worrying over the state of his soul should he die unrepentant. But that’s too much to say every time.

  31. December 15, 2010 2:46 pm

    David:

    By the way, I stand corrected about the “sins crying out to heaven”. However I did say that the Catechism doesn’t state that homosexual acts cry out for vengeance. In other words, the Church is not actively teaching that concept. If God’s word says it, I can’t help that.

  32. December 15, 2010 5:35 pm

    Kurt asks, “Don’t you think we have done a poor job in explaining that George and Laura Bush practice the same disordered sexual acts as Elton John?”

    Absolutely! I think it’s scandalous how seldom the Church preaches against birth control.

    • digbydolben permalink
      December 15, 2010 7:38 pm

      But I presume that you would NOT bar from the sacerdotal state a “George Bush” who had practised contraception, whose wife had then died and who subsequently wished to become a priest, but who refused to express contrition for his publicly-known “sin” with his dead wife, and do “penance” for it.

      You and your ilk are amazing: you can’t even recognise the hateful cruelty of your discriminations. Ronald King should be treating all of you homophobic Catholics; you certainly need “help.”

      It’s fortunate, however, that your own sons and daughters are deserting your position en masse. I KNOW this is true, because I taught, not so many years ago, in a Roman Catholic high school in America, and I can assure you that NOTHING draws the excoriation by Catholic youth of their theology teachers’ positions so much as this one issue. It’s decimating the ranks of Catholic youth.

      • December 16, 2010 12:33 pm

        Digby writes, ‘But I presume that you would NOT bar from the sacerdotal state a “George Bush” who … refused to express contrition for his publicly-known “sin” with his dead wife, and do “penance” for it.’

        Your presumption is incorrect. I would bar anyone (that is, if it were up to me) who had publicly made known, and defended, a sinful practice, and later refused to publicly retract it, regardless what the sinful practice was.

        A priest has to be a teacher of morals. It would be wrong to ordain someone who refused to repent of his sins and submit to Catholic moral teaching in any way.

      • December 16, 2010 12:47 pm

        Kurt writes, “It’s fortunate, however, that your own sons and daughters are deserting your position en masse. I KNOW this is true, because I taught, not so many years ago, in a Roman Catholic high school in America, and I can assure you that NOTHING draws the excoriation by Catholic youth of their theology teachers’ positions so much as this one issue. It’s decimating the ranks of Catholic youth.”

        It’s also fortunate that the Church does not define morals based on popularity.

        Anyway, this only shows the danger of making generalizations based on personal experience. Though it may disturb you to learn of it, I know of a national association of Catholic high schools which are devoutly loyal to the Magisterium. My kids attend one of these schools, and the students there absolutely *love* being taught the Faith in its full, unwatered-down form. They are joyful and enthusiastic about their Faith.

        These are the young people who are going to have lots of kids (since they won’t use AC) and a strong influence on the Church of the future. Whereas those who excoriate the Church for its moral teachings are not nearly as likely to stick with it the rest of their lives.

        • December 16, 2010 1:42 pm

          Agellius,

          If I ever taught in a Catholic school, they failed to send me a paycheck. Could you get this corrected for me?

        • December 16, 2010 5:56 pm

          Kurt:

          Sorry, I confused you with Digby.

  33. December 15, 2010 5:59 pm

    Kurt asks, “Infertile sexual acts are disordered, correct?”

    No. Where do you get that idea?

    • Kurt permalink
      December 15, 2010 8:01 pm

      You.

      Contraceptive sex, oral sex — disordered. I could give some other examples of infertile sexuak acts, but I’m not sure the moderators would allow it.

      Well, Agellius, like you I look forward to the day when the names George and Laura Bush are mentioned and the first response from faithful Catholics is “performs sexually disordered acts”. Between themselves, that is. Not with Elton John.

      • December 16, 2010 12:27 pm

        Has anyone else noticed that “I look forward to the day” has become a common phrase in this thread? ; )

        Anyway, Kurt says that he got the idea from me that all infertile sex is disordered. If I ever said such a thing, I would appreciate it if you would show me where.

        Others may correct me, but the only kinds of sex that I know of, which the Church teaches are disordered, are masturbation; sex between unmarried persons; and sex in which artificial means are employed to thwart conception during intercourse.

        • December 16, 2010 1:44 pm

          So we are good with oral sex?

        • Dan permalink
          December 16, 2010 2:02 pm

          I would clarify that sex between unmarried persons is not disordered; it is immoral and imprudent, but it is a teleologically correct use of the reproductive faculties.

        • Dan permalink
          December 16, 2010 2:03 pm

          Assuming of course that disordered is not defined so broadly as to encompass an imperfect human relationship. If we go that far, a lot of what occurs in daily life is disordered.

        • December 16, 2010 5:57 pm

          Dan:

          Thank you for the correction.

        • Kurt permalink
          December 16, 2010 6:53 pm

          all types of sex between unmarried persons or only certain sexual acts?

        • brettsalkeld permalink*
          December 16, 2010 9:17 pm

          I would suggest that only sex is sex. Masturbation, from my point of view, does not seem to be sex.

          Whether other things, more or less like sex, are disordered is a different question. The only kind of sex that I can see being disordered is contracepted sex (either via withdrawal or some form of AC). The other things aren’t sex and require a different analysis.

          Furthermore, the tendency to evaluate anything involving a male orgasm as sex per se strikes me as fatally flawed. First of all, women have every right to be included in the equation. Secondly, such analyses would seem to lead to quite different conclusions about masturbation and same-sex relations for women than for men. I think that would be foreign to the thinking of the Church on this question.

  34. December 16, 2010 12:39 pm

    Digby writes, “Now you are playing with semantics in a way that reveeals itself to be vicious in its discrimination.”

    I may be vicious, but at least I don’t use words like “ilk” to describe my opponents. : P

    Digby writes, ‘if “disordered” simply means “sinflul, that means that EVERYBODY is ineligible for the sacerdotal state, unless and until they do public penance for their “disordered” state.’

    I concur that no one should be ordained who is not willing to acknowledge and repent of his sins. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a public confession. A regular, confidential confession would do in most cases. A public acknowledgment and repentance would be due if the person had publicly made known his sin and tried to defend it. (IMHO)

    • December 17, 2010 12:05 pm

      Father Sirico seems not to have met the test you write of. At this point, what is the appropriate response to him and his situation?

  35. December 17, 2010 4:08 pm

    Because I’m having a slow day, I just had time to read many of what were, when I started, the 204 comments on this thread. I am again struck by the impression that when we are dealing with conservative Catholics (as with fundamentalist Protestants, ultra-Orthodox Jews, or militant Muslims), the more devout the member of any of these groups feels himself to be, the more driven by a real fear of, and hatred for, members of every other group he either deliberately or inadvertently shows himself to be. The ones who express their love for the Other are, almost without exception (and the exceptions tend to be saintly) those whose religion has been heavily “tainted” by Humanism.

    • brettsalkeld permalink*
      December 17, 2010 4:42 pm

      Maybe “feeling” oneself to be devout does not have a whole lot to do with devotion.

    • December 18, 2010 12:59 am

      Rodak:

      I have seen a lot of “real fear of, and hatred for,” political and religious conservatives on this blog. I have not noticed that those who display this kind of fear and hatred consider themselves particularly devout.

      • Kurt permalink
        December 18, 2010 4:25 pm

        My fear of the Religous Right is that they alienate folks from the Christian faith and from just causes such as protection of the unborn. But as I watch the Senate repeal DADT and send it to the President, I have little fear as to their long term effectiveness on public policy issues I disagree with them on.

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 18, 2010 6:56 pm

          The death of the religious right. Wow. That’s news….. Ahhhhhh….circa 1975.

        • brettsalkeld permalink*
          December 18, 2010 11:17 pm

          My fear is their lack of effectiveness on issues I DO agree with them on.

        • Kurt permalink
          December 19, 2010 9:58 am

          They do seem to be masters at that.

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 19, 2010 4:50 pm

          Let me see….let’s look at abortion: in favor —- all of the mainstream media, the entire legal establishment, the entire medical establishment, all of academe, hollywood, etc etc etc. Agasint? The Christian right. Result? More Americans NOW call themselves pro-life than pro-choice and most Americans believe most abortions should be illegal. You should be so effective in anything you work on, boys.

          When Roe finally falls and the starts staring rolling abortion up, the left will avhe been almost totally absent.

        • brettsalkeld permalink*
          December 20, 2010 9:35 am

          Austin,
          I sure hope you’re not identifying me with the left. Apart from agreement on a couple issues, they make me cringe.

          Also, you can add me to the list of those against abortion. You’re not so alone. But that doesn’t mean you can identify me with the right. Apart from agreement on a couple issues, they make me cringe.

        • brettsalkeld permalink*
          December 20, 2010 10:26 am

          On further reflection, I thought it worth pointing out that I am a member of pretty significant group that you left out of your “against” tally.

          Judging from its positions on pre-emptive war, global warming, the death penalty, immigration etc., it certainly is not coterminous with the Christian right, but it is clearly anti-abortion. It’s called the Catholic Church. I highly recommend it.

        • Kurt permalink
          December 20, 2010 1:17 pm

          And a third of those who call themselves “pro-life” voted for Obama!

          The pro-life movement’s greatest failing is the millions of voter who are against abortion but terrified at the thought of putting the Right-to-Life leadership anywhere near political power.

    • Thales permalink
      December 18, 2010 9:17 am

      [Shrug]. I dunno, Rodak. I just like seeing the Catholic position, whether one agrees with it or not, stated correctly. (And, I might add, in my belief, the Catholic position is quite “loving of the Other”.)

  36. Austin Ruse permalink
    December 17, 2010 5:35 pm

    Rodak,

    That is some right goofy dime store psychologizing, babe. But the funny thing is, the theme of this blog is that Minion, Henry et al are the real orthodox around here and not guys like me and the others you feel rather superior to.

    • Austin Ruse permalink
      December 17, 2010 9:51 pm

      you sure you and Ron aren’t in practice together? He too is quite fond of diagnosing people in comboxes.

      • Ronald King permalink
        December 18, 2010 9:34 am

        Austin, it is snowing on this beautiful Saturday morning and we are getting ready for the 32nd year of the Cable Bridge Run that brings about 2,000 people together in our small community to celebrate Christmas with a 5k or 10k run. I placed about 5 years ago before things started going south. So today I am going to walk it with my wife and have fun in the snow.
        It is going to be CHILLING:)
        MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD’S LOVE TO ALL.

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 18, 2010 10:25 am

          You sure showed me, Ronald! Stomped me with a Merry Christmas. You are tricky, sir!

  37. December 17, 2010 7:02 pm

    Thanks, Mr. Ruse: I rest my case.

    • Austin Ruse permalink
      December 18, 2010 9:41 am

      Drat, Rodak…you got me again!

  38. Austin Ruse permalink
    December 19, 2010 8:00 am

    Chapter and verse of what the homo-agendists are doing, from today’s Wash Post:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/17/AR2010121702528.html

    • Ronald King permalink
      December 19, 2010 10:06 am

      What feelings do you think motivate the pro and anit forces?

      • Austin Ruse permalink
        December 19, 2010 4:45 pm

        Feeling…oo wa oooooo ooooo…feelings….not everything is feelings, Ron.

        • Austin Ruse permalink
          December 19, 2010 4:54 pm

          But, to take your quesiton totally seriously….I suspect the pro’s are motivated by love and the anti’s are motivated by hate. Do i get an A, Dr. Ron?

        • Ronald King permalink
          December 20, 2010 9:50 am

          You get an A for disrespect.

  39. December 20, 2010 5:57 pm

    Kurt writes, “The pro-life movement’s greatest failing is the millions of voter who are against abortion but terrified at the thought of putting the Right-to-Life leadership anywhere near political power.”

    Of course that cuts both ways: A lot of people sympathize with liberal economic and political aims but can’t bring themselves to vote Democrat because of their rigid posture in favor of baby-killing.

    • Kurt permalink
      December 20, 2010 7:51 pm

      There is truth in that, Agellius. There is large body of Americans who support the liberal vision of economic justice and civil rights while strongly opposed to abortion. They are mostly unattached strongly to either party. Giving them opportunities to fully vote their conscience is a worthy effort, in my opinion abd something I have tried to work for. I welcome any assistance others are willing to give.

      • brettsalkeld permalink*
        December 20, 2010 10:12 pm

        Count me in!
        I’m not American, but I could vote for neither party for precisely this double-edged sword.

        But give me a pro-life Democrat or a Republican like Cao . . .

        • Kurt permalink
          December 21, 2010 9:57 am

          God bless you, Brett. Were you an American, I would say in response that our problem is that TOO MANY want to BE GIVEN a pro-life Democrat or a Republican like Cao. TOO FEW are willing to join either political party and work and develop and nurture such leaders and offer themselves to serve as precinct captains and committeemen and party leaders.

  40. December 20, 2010 6:10 pm

    I’m kind of hoping–taking a clue from his last name–that Mr. “Ruse” is playing a Stephen Colbert-type game in which he ridicules right-wing hate mongers by pretending, in an absurdly hyperbolic manner, to be one.
    Am I right, Austin, old friend?

    • Austin Ruse permalink
      December 21, 2010 10:47 am

      Rodak,

      You really have my number. You are a master.

  41. December 21, 2010 6:33 pm

    Aw, shucks! It wahrn’t nuthin’!

Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 892 other followers

%d bloggers like this: