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Prop. 8 Opposition Turns Ugly

November 12, 2008

 

Prayer had just finished when men and women stood up in pockets across the congregation, on the main floor and in the balcony. “Jesus was gay,” they shouted among other profanities and blasphemies as they rushed the stage. Some forced their way through rows of women and kids to try to hang a profane banner from the balcony while others began tossing fliers into the air. Two women made their way to the pulpit and began to kiss.

More. Nor, I’m afraid, can this just be written off as an isolated incident. As Natalie noted a few days ago, the success of Prop. 8 has stirred up a lot of anti-Mormon feeling, so much so that Bishop Weigand (who used to be Bishop for Salt Lake City) issued a statement defending the LDS church and calling on Catholics to “stand in solidarity with our Mormon brothers and sisters in support of traditional marriage – the union of one man and one woman – that has been the major building block of Western Civilization for millennia.” Last week at a rally to protest support of Prop. 8 by members of the LDS church, gay activities hurled racial epithets at blacks attending the rally (and who, ironically, were therefore on their side on the question of same-sex marriage) According to one account:

It was like being at a klan rally except the klansmen were wearing Abercrombie polos and Birkenstocks. YOU N*GGER, one man shouted at men. If your people want to call me a F*GGOT, I will call you a n*gger. Someone else said same thing to me on the next block near the temple…me and my friend were walking, he is also gay but Korean, and a young WeHo clone said after last night the n*ggers better not come to West Hollywood if they knew what was BEST for them.

 

UPDATE: It appears that the group behind the attack on the church in Lansing, Back Bash, is not in favor of same sex marriage, which it considers an “oppressive” institution “heteronormative assimilation.” Thus, despite the timing of the attack, it is unlikely that it was related to the passage of Prop. 8. I regret the error and thank David Nickol for the correction.

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197 Comments
  1. David Nickol permalink
    November 12, 2008 11:01 am

    BA,

    Over on dotCommonweal, one of the contributors posted a few videos of people at McCain rallies making racist statements and other off-the-wall remarks, and the liberals said, “How ugly,” and the conservatives were outraged that anyone was trying to imply this said anything bad about the McCain campaign itself. I suspect that will be the reaction here. Those who are opposed to same-sex marriage will say how terrible its proponents are, and those who are in favor of it will say what you are pointing out is unfortunate but isolated.

    The paragraph you quote about racist behavior is, of course, appalling, but it is from last week, and you quoted it already.

    I note that the announcer in the clip you post says, “There is, quite honestly, a lot of anger and a lot of hate on both sides.”

    What are you trying to tell us here? That there is anger and hate only on one side?

  2. S.B. permalink
    November 12, 2008 11:11 am

    As MM would say, and as he has shown by his own voting patterns, pro-lifers should stop teaming up with the Chamber of Commerce and instead team up with these folks. Clearly a strategy for success.

  3. blackadderiv permalink
    November 12, 2008 11:13 am

    I note that the announcer in the clip you post says, “There is, quite honestly, a lot of anger and a lot of hate on both sides.”

    He did say that, but in the clip at least all the anger and hate seems to be coming from one side.

    The view of many on the left is that opposition to same sex marriage is hatred by definition. One needed behave badly, yell or break things or anything like that. The mere fact that you hold the position is proof enough. And there is a natural human tendency to think that if your opponents are simply wicked and motivated by hate that this frees you to behave however you wish towards them.

  4. joseph permalink
    November 12, 2008 11:17 am

    First, who gives a crap about the McCain campaign? He lost. For Catholics who voted for him as a means to oppose Obama (in other words, by default), the name ‘McCain’ was wisked away by the wind like dust after the election. There are no loyal McCain-heads here.

    Second, let’s compare:
    People at that senator’s rallies making racist statements and other off-the-wall remarks. compared to all of the examples given by Blackadder. Yeah, I can see where racist statments and goofy remarks at a senator’s rally can be compared to the pushing and shoving of an 80-year-old woman, while screaming in her face. I can also see how it compares to them stripping her of her Cross and trampling it on the ground. Not to mention all of the other “minor” incidences.

    Perspective, buddy.

  5. November 12, 2008 11:18 am

    I think the difference between those McCain rallies and this, David. Is that these activists disrupted a service, and at the McCain rally they weren’t necessarily disruptive, even if they didn’t represent the McCain/Palin line on the subject.

    And I’m being charitable to McCain/Palin here, because I’m not sure that that wasn’t the case on the Palin end.

  6. November 12, 2008 11:29 am

    SB,

    If you want to keep up with the petty, snivelling, and vindictive swipes against me, at least have the basic courage and decency to do so on my own posts. You embody everything that is sick with the Catholic right. You disgust me.

  7. David Nickol permalink
    November 12, 2008 11:42 am

    The view of many on the left is that opposition to same sex marriage is hatred by definition. One needed behave badly, yell or break things or anything like that. The mere fact that you hold the position is proof enough. And there is a natural human tendency to think that if your opponents are simply wicked and motivated by hate that this frees you to behave however you wish towards them.

    BA,

    The view of many on the left is that opposition to same-sex marriage is unjust discrimination, a view I am willing to defend, although I think civil unions are acceptable in lieu of same-sex marriage. But in Florida, we just got a ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions. (And of course the Catholic Church is opposed to both.)

    It is not unthinkable that the Mormon Church could be a party to unjust discrimination:

    But from 1848 until June 8th, 1978, Black Mormons were “banned” from the priesthood (which all male Mormons over 12 hold), and from worshipping in Mormon Temples. This was called “The Priesthood-ban”. During those 130 years (1848 to 1978) Mormon Church leaders taught, as official Church doctrine, that Negroes were the “cursed” children of Cain, that the Mark of Cain was a black skin, and that Negroes were “less valiant” in the War in Heaven (a battle between Jesus and Lucifer before this planet was created in which all human spirits were involved).

    In my opinion, there is no excuse for disrupting anyone’s religious services, or calling ugly names, or racism. But I don’t see that the Mormon Church or the Catholic Church should be immune from criticism from people who support same-sex marriage.

    Not to bring abortion into every discussion, but I would say the pro-life movement is far more prone to demonize those who are pro-choice than the pro-gay-marriage is to demonize religious opponents of same-sex marriage.

  8. November 12, 2008 11:43 am

    Posts like this bring out the ‘fag hag’ in me (or whatever a male pendant would be called) While this is rather childish, and counterproductive, curtailing people’s rights should be met with resistance. One need only recall Stonewall, when a bunch of ‘sissies’, ‘butches’ and ‘queers’ stood up to the police on Christopher Street in NYC. In that context, it is worth noting that back then (the 60s) gays could be arrested and harassed without consequences – it was actually the Mafia that ran gay bars (as per usual. see also: booze, drugs, prostitution) In any case, it’s only a matter of one generation until we’ll be wondering why anyone ever opposed equality. And maybe California should stop allowing 50.1% of the people to amend the constitution but rather follow the federal example. If mob rule hadn’t be curtailed in ages past, slavery and segregation would have lasted much longer. One need only imagine the people of Mississippi voting on the rights of blacks (who in an ironic turn largely voted against equal rights for gays) back in the day.

    Of course the Catholic church will never assent, but that won’t really matter in a decade or two. Mind you, it also shouldn’t be forced to perform gay weddings. But, it should stick to running its own business. Except for Poland, it already is inconsequential in Europe, heck Spain has gay marriage. In addition, European clergy, on the average, is nowhere near as inflammatory as American. Your only hope in the USA is to import more uneducated people. The young, the educated, those who don’t live in Podunk (yes, there are many such counties in California) overwhelmingly support equal rights. It should be noted, that the church not only opposes gay marriage but also civil unions, except for a handful of priests and bishops, who have a tendency to get fired, like one priest up here in NorCal. The majority of Catholics isn’t the problem, it’s the hierarchy of yes-men.

    On a related note, I wonder how Morning’s Minion squares his European ‘flair’ with this American reactionary phenomenon – after all, it’s the very people he can’t stand (Evangelicals, conservative Catholics) who oppose gay rights the most fervently. Overall, no country in the West (except for Poland – as my Polish doctor said “We exchanged red lice for black bats) has such a high percentage of reactionaries and unadulterated hicks as the USA. On the other hand, no one has as many politically correct ‘Puritans’ either. Regular liberals tend to be nicer people, with some really bad ideas. Of course, the majority is just as ditto-headish as the Right. In America, the politics of hysteria is the usual fare. As I said to my in-laws, on even days I hate Republicans more, on odd ones Democrats.

  9. David Nickol permalink
    November 12, 2008 11:51 am

    adamv,

    I am perfectly willing to condemn demonstrators who interfere with other people’s rights, or disrupt services, or try to intimidate people, or use hate speech. I am just not willing to let them be taken as typical of all who support same-sex marriage.

  10. November 12, 2008 11:54 am

    This post is Dononue-esque.

    Christians over-advertising their apparent martyrdom is always unappealing.

  11. David Nickol permalink
    November 12, 2008 11:58 am

    joseph,

    Is it your point that this regrettable incident just goes to show what gay people, or proponents of same-sex marriage, are all really like? About 47 percent of the voters voted against Proposition 8. Are they all out marching and roughing up old ladies?

  12. S.B. permalink
    November 12, 2008 12:02 pm

    MM — after viewing the bad behavior of your fellow Democrats, I’M the one who disgusts you, merely because I pointed out the ridiculousness of your belief that pro-lifers should be more comfortable in the Democratic party than in the Republican party? Well, now. Your reliance on empty rhetoric rather than substantive argument is confirmation that I struck a nerve. Thanks!

  13. November 12, 2008 12:02 pm

    Being like Donohue is bad for one’s blood pressure. Some day his head will explode in ‘Scanners’ manner.

  14. Natalie permalink
    November 12, 2008 12:04 pm

    It’s gotten bad here, and I sadly wouldn’t be surprised if it gets worse. There were similar protests outside Saddleback Church, as well as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in LA. I know many people that voted in favor in prop. 8 that wanted to hold a counter demonstration, but chose not to because frankly they were worried about their safety.

    And blackadderiv’s assertion that many of the left believe opposition to same-sex marriage is based on hate, (as well as opponents’ so-called failure to recognize love between same-sex couples), is spot on.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27650743

    Taken from Olbermann’s special comment:

    With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate… this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness—this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness—share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

    You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate.

  15. S.B. permalink
    November 12, 2008 12:06 pm

    And, by the way, if what I wrote was a “petty, snivelling, and vindictive swipe” against you, even more so is everything you write about the pro-life movement. That is, maybe it’s not fair to cherry-pick the worst thing you can find about the other party and then denounce [pro-lifers or MM] for being part of that party’s coalition of voters.

    If you can bring yourself to have any sense of perspective and self-awareness, you’ll know that I’m right.

  16. November 12, 2008 12:18 pm

    Hmm for once Olbermann isn’t annoying.

    I don’t think your opposition is, on the average, based on hate (it is in many cases, but not among the bloggers here – I’d hope at least) but based on intolerant beliefs that don’t appear as such to those holding them – after all, they believe them to be the word of God. Generally, most people are decent to their kids and friends, while advocating unjust or even horrid things because their ideology or religion has trained them to do so. As Nietzsche said, insanity is rare in individuals, but the rule in groups, nations and epochs. Granted, opposing gay rights today is not the same as favoring slavery, but it wasn’t that long ago that people like that wanted to lock up gays – or kill them, if we look to the Hebrew Scriptures. Leviticus, that most charming of books, demands just that, as do many in Islam – who, I am sure, love their children (well unless they’re gay or girls who don’t comply, again a result of collective mores).

  17. Frank permalink
    November 12, 2008 12:32 pm

    No excuse for disrupting religious services? Bullshit! The Mormons and most Christians hold nothing sacred in the lives of gays lesbians. Christians have even picketed at the funerals of gay men calling for them to be damned to Hell. During the Proposition 8 campaign Mormons engaged in a modern, anti-gay version of the Blood Libel by saying that gays “recruit” children.

    This is LDS spokesman Marvin Perkins engaging in this Blood Libel at a Prop 8 Klan rally on Catholic Church property.

    This is why I unreservedly support these anti-LDS church protests.

  18. November 12, 2008 12:58 pm

    Obviously this underscores that gun control advocates need to take a hard look at some of their associations, and perhaps issue a strong rebuke to pro-same sex marraige advocates.

    The hypocrisy inherent in such associations drives people away from the cause. Faiure to disown them will reveal what such advocates’ real priorities are.

  19. G Alkon permalink
    November 12, 2008 1:27 pm

    SB,
    keep up the fine work!

  20. Frank permalink
    November 12, 2008 1:35 pm

    Has the bishop in Sacramento gotten around to criticizing Christian anti-gay protesters how regularly call gays “sodomites,” throw bags of shit at them? Has he condemned the Christian anti-gay murder of last summer?

  21. November 12, 2008 1:49 pm

    If only these people would stop engaging in a divisive culture war mentality…

    Yes, I rather fear things will gut uglier before they get better. Gay marriage supporters insist on a cultural definition of marriage which would, if accepted, destroy the definition of marriage held by Christians. Someone’s culture is going to have to lose in that battle, and no one like having their culture destoryed.

    On the bright side, for Christians, we have reality on our side. The human person simply is not what advocates of this sort of cultural/moral relativism think it is. And no culture in history has long sustained something like “gay marriage”.

    If gay marriage advocates get what they want, in a generation they will find that they have destroyed the relevance of marriage in their segment of the culture and move on to something else.

  22. David Nickol permalink
    November 12, 2008 1:52 pm

    Although I disagree with Frank about disrupting religious services, he does make it clear that things were already ugly in the campaign against Proposition 8, and didn’t just “get ugly” after its passage. Charges that gay people recruit children are false and inflammatory. And even if gay people did recruit, wouldn’t same-sex marriage make that less likely rather than more? Rhetoric like what is in the clip Frank links to is bigotry pure and simple.

  23. jonathanjones02 permalink
    November 12, 2008 2:01 pm

    The view of many on the left is that opposition to same sex marriage is hatred by definition.

    Bingo, we have a winner.

  24. blackadderiv permalink
    November 12, 2008 2:07 pm

    Note to Digby: Reposting 1000+ word comments from some other Internet discussion on the history of Christian views on homosexuality is not an appropriate use of the comments thread. If you want to try and make your points in a concise and civil manner, you may do so.

  25. Frank permalink
    November 12, 2008 2:12 pm

    Opposition to any form of domestic partnership is ipso facto hatred.

  26. Nathan permalink
    November 12, 2008 2:13 pm

    I am wondering why aren’t we hearing about violent protests against churches in Arizona and Florida that also passed bans on same-sex marriage. I googled and couldn’t find anything about the hatred, name-calling, violence that is happening in California. Or what about protests against the other 27 states that have passed banns on same-sex marriages over the last 10 years. When California passed a ban on same-sex marriage 8 years ago, there wasn’t this level of ugliness. What is different now? What is different about California?

    As was discussed elsewhere in this blog, violence is not the answer to solved disputes. I believe advocates for same-sex marriage are doing their cause a great disservice by acting like what they accuse others of being – bigots. There are also maligning the rest of the members of the cause because now people will think all proponents for same-sex marriage are that mean just like people now think all mormons anti-same-sex marriage. It is a slippy-slope when we make generaliations and refer to people by categories (gay, mormon, etc…) and fail to realize that they are just unique fallible humans like ourselves.

  27. digbydolben permalink
    November 12, 2008 2:14 pm

    Note to BlackadderIV: Only a part of that post of mine is a reposting from “some other Internet discussion”–which happened to be MY “internet discussion.”

    And I am not in the habit of being “civil” to bigots: they don’t deserve it.

    [In my experience you’re not in the habit of being civil to anyone. – ed.]

  28. November 12, 2008 2:17 pm

    I think what’s different about California is that it had same sex marriage for some time, and the referendum took it away, which is probably harder to take than affirming the existing regime.

  29. David Nickol permalink
    November 12, 2008 2:17 pm

    Gay marriage supporters insist on a cultural definition of marriage which would, if accepted, destroy the definition of marriage held by Christians.

    DarwinCatholic,

    I don’t see that a change in the definition of marriage in civil law would change the Catholic definition of marriage as a sacrament and an indissoluble union of a man and a woman. Marriage as it is practiced by most people in the United States, as well as most Christians, is not in accord with the Catholic understanding of marriage. What has changed for the worse in The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Norway, South Africa, and Spain?

  30. Nathan permalink
    November 12, 2008 2:22 pm

    JohnMcG –

    California has only had same sex marriage for about 3 to 4 months. This happened because in June the California Supreme Court (4 to 3) overturned the 2000 initative passed by 61% of the voters that banned same-sex marriage.

    So, why don’t proponents of same-sex marriage just put it back on the ballot and make their case to the people?? I don’t understand the violence and anger; I think it is doing a disservice to their cause.

  31. blackadderiv permalink
    November 12, 2008 2:28 pm

    I am wondering why aren’t we hearing about violent protests against churches in Arizona and Florida that also passed bans on same-sex marriage.

    My guess is this is because they really expected to win in California. If the population of even one of the bluest states in the union can’t be counted on to support same sex marriage, then this kind of deflates the left’s triumphalism on the issue.

  32. Mike J. permalink
    November 12, 2008 2:28 pm

    What I think is somewhat telling is the nature of this “debate”. No where are people discussing the reasons for such debates, instead we’re focusing on a perceived injustice. Is it unjust discrimination? What logic actually leads to that labeling? This is what ought to be discussed if this actually is a blog about Catholic social teaching in the public square.

    The lack of logic and reason was highlighted recently on MOJ:
    http://mirrorofjustice.blogs.com/mirrorofjustice/2008/11/reason-logic-an.html

  33. November 12, 2008 2:29 pm

    Nathan,

    I’m not excusing it, just noting that taking something away is more likely to bring about a strong reaction than re-affiriming that something isn’t going to happen.

  34. G Alkon permalink
    November 12, 2008 2:32 pm

    It is more than possible to commit murder in a civil fashion.

  35. Frank permalink
    November 12, 2008 2:32 pm

    Nathan,
    The advertising campaign on Prop 8 was an ugly, “They’ll recruit your children,” campaign reminiscent of a Medieval Blood Libel. Members of the LDS church paid for 77% of it. They deserve the public criticism they’re getting. I don’t support assault or property damage, but I do support protests at Mormon temples, which are rarely used religious structures. Weekly worship occurs elsewhere. Mormon temples are for marriages, and it’s perfectly just to impede marriage for a group that’s made it impossible for you.

  36. Frank permalink
    November 12, 2008 2:39 pm

    Certainly, opposition to all and every form of domestic partnership right is not only discrimination but murder. Forcing 5% of humanity to have inferior insurance coverage, which is what complete opposition to domestic partnerships does, will kill certain members of that group.

    If a husband and wife both work and the husband loses his job, he can depend on his wife’s insurance coverage. For a gay couple, in the absence of domestic partnership, the one out of work is relegated to inferior insurance (Medicare) which probably won’t pay for the treatment needed to save his life.

    The Catholic church’s opposition to even this small display of humanity to gay people is simply murderous.

  37. Frank permalink
    November 12, 2008 2:40 pm

    Let’s also remember that the architect of this comprehensive opposition to domestic partnership is Pope Benedict XVI and that he lives in a domestic partnership in his Vatican apartment with Msgr. Georg Ganswein.

  38. blackadderiv permalink
    November 12, 2008 2:44 pm

    Frank,

    So your saying that if Benedict loses his job as Pope, he can use Msgr. Ganswein’s insurance?

  39. November 12, 2008 2:53 pm

    Frank,

    Of course, in the last generation the claim that exansion of gay rights would lead to demands for same sex marraige was considered libelous hyperbole. Not so much now.

    Your contention of “murderous” is absurd — if you are saying it is “murderous” for married people to benefit from their spouse’s insurance but not same sex couples, what about singles or widows? Why must one be in a committed romantic relationship to receive this benefit? What about orphans?

    Must singles and widows and children be in a relationship called marraige in order not be in a murderous condition?

  40. digbydolben permalink
    November 12, 2008 3:05 pm

    Here’s why I think you’re a “bigot,” BlackadderIV:

    The information I used to comment on your blog entry is probably the most telling exegetical argument that there is absolutely NO prohibition against homosexuality in the New Testament, other than in the writings of Paul. The story of the centurion and his pais, or “boy-slave” and their relationship, which was defined by ROMAN LAW AND CUSTOM as being one of older male and younger male lover, combined with the most accurate translation of “born eunuchs,” from the Scripture passage in Matthew, indicates STRONGLY that Jesus Christ–unlike the Pharisees such as Paul, and the temple priests–had no strong reservations against the phenomenon mis-called by the quack-term “homosexuality.”

    You don’t want your readers to know this, and THAT is the reason for your deletion of my post–not because of its length (there’ve been longer at Vox Nova) or because SOME of it is re-posted from another website (where much of the posting was ALSO originally contributed by me).

    And such censorship of a valid and germane comment does, indeed, qualify you to be designated a “bigot.”

  41. radiofreerome permalink
    November 12, 2008 3:11 pm

    john, when is the last time the Vatican campaigned to take away the rights of widows and orphans?

  42. November 12, 2008 3:11 pm

    Frank,

    To take things another way, I have access to good healthcare by virtue of my employment with my employer.

    If my employer fires me, is it “murderous” because I am then denied access to this health care? Is it “muderous” that people who do not work for my company are not considered “employed” and are therefore denied access?

    Certainly not.

    That people do not have access to health care is a problem, one for which the Church has advocated several solutions. That same-sex marraige is not among them does not make it murderous.

  43. November 12, 2008 3:13 pm

    radiofreeone,

    What Frank is arguing is that the Church and the state should privilege members of same sex couples over widows and orphans. That membership in a same sex couple should entitle one to resources that would be unavailable to widows and orphans.

    And “take away the rights” is begging the question, but you already knew that.

  44. Steve permalink
    November 12, 2008 3:16 pm

    So, why don’t proponents of same-sex marriage just put it back on the ballot and make their case to the people??

    Because if it can’t pass in the progressive republic of California in an election where very anti-conservative sentiments are present – when and where else can it pass? It’s only hope is through the will of the monarchary (if that be a word;) or the court, iow’s.

  45. David Nickol permalink
    November 12, 2008 3:28 pm

    Here is an essential question, or so it seems to me. If something is based on religious doctrine, does that mean it is not bigotry? Did the exclusion of blacks from the Mormon “priesthood” (which every white male age 12 or over participates in) on the grounds that they were descendants of Cain, and the mark of Cain was black skin, qualify as bigotry? Or is it a religious belief to be respected by everyone, including blacks themselves?

    Christianity and the Bible were used to justify slavery, and I am sure quite sincerely, by many prior to the Civil War. They could quote Augustine and Aquinas to bolster their case. And some popes had even owned slaves. Was it unfair to challenge sincerely held religious beliefs in favor of slavery?

    If you look in the Online Catholic Encyclopedia (the one that’s about 100 years old), you will find extremely condescending statements about black people and women, and you will find the Jew referred to as “enemies of Christ.” Of course, it is from another era, but are we to take the position that it was true 100 years ago and not today? (Isn’t that moral relativism?)

  46. blackadderiv permalink
    November 12, 2008 3:38 pm

    David,

    Bigotry used to refer to the manner in which a person held a belief rather than to the content of the belief itself (ironically, the word bigot seems to have originated as a religious and ethnic slur.) In recent years it has become more common to refer to particular beliefs as bigoted, regardless of the manner in which they are held. Since the term used to be applied most commonly based on religious belief, I don’t think you can say that the religious basis of a belief exempts it from being bigoted. One must be careful, however, not to overextend analogies.

  47. November 12, 2008 3:39 pm

    Here is an essential question, or so it seems to me. If something is based on religious doctrine, does that mean it is not bigotry?

    That would be an essential question if anyone were advancing the argument that Mormon opposition to same-sex marriage is not bigotry because it is based on the LDS’s doctrine.

    As it is, it is just a neat strawman for you to knock down.

  48. digbydolben permalink
    November 12, 2008 3:45 pm

    And Vox Nova readers may now go HERE to read the Scriptural exegesis that BlackadderIV will not permit you to read on his blog:

    https://vox-nova.com/2008/11/08/utah-and-mormons-taking-heat-for-prop-8/#comments

  49. radiofreerome permalink
    November 12, 2008 3:49 pm

    What john is arguing is that the state should discriminate against the orphans and widowers of gay.

  50. November 12, 2008 3:52 pm

    “Here is an essential question, or so it seems to me. If something is based on religious doctrine, does that mean it is not bigotry?”

    David, “bigotry” is, in languages I can think of, a religious phenomenon. the word “bigott” and “Bigotterie” in German denotes exaggerated religious devotion and narrowmindedness stemming from it. Overtly and overly pious, devoted to religion and religious leaders. The goal is to impress others with how holy one is. A related term is “Scheinheiligkeit” which literally means fake holiness. A Viennese term also comes to mind, Kerzlschlicker, which means “candle swallower”.

    The meaning in English is quite different. The origin of the word is French, where it also denotes a religious hypocrite. It may have come from the word for God, “Gott” (French and German used to be more alike), someone who claims God is on his side, or swears by God. Another explanation is that it referred to the Visigoths, who, after adopting Catholicism, were ardent persecutors of non-Catholics.

    Of course not. There is no double standard, or at least there shouldn’t be. Religious opinion should never be more protected over other forms of opinion, nor should government treat it favorably – such as ‘faith based initiatives’. There is no reason to treat religious values differently from other values.

    In this country, religions are left to their own devices when it comes to reasons for firing people – being gay, living “in sin” etc. are fine, whereas it’d be punished in secular business. That seems unfair. Of course, the government engages in the same behavior, when it fires people for being gay – which is an injustice of the highest order. You could have the Medal of Honor and they’d still discharge you. I’m sure Minion appreciates the commonalities of Catholic and military rules :-P

  51. November 12, 2008 3:59 pm

    David,

    I’ll certainly agree that the state of marriage in the US is not in keeping with the way it is definited in Catholic teaching — it is an institution already somewhat in tatters.

    However, it currently retains a clear resemblance to its natural function in our species, that of providing semi-permanent mate pairings for the purpose of raising families. A move to same sex marriage would (while same sex couples would obviously make up on an infinitessimal percentage of marriages) clearly define marriage not as a mate pairing but as a pairing defined only by affection.

    Certainly, that doesn’t keep Christians from continuing to live out marriage as they believe it to be — but it would very much mean that the culture would then belong to the gay marriage view of what marriage is, while Christians lived out their own definition of marriage in a hidden sub-culture trying to live against the cultural tide.

    Frank,

    There are lots of relationships which do not result in automatic insurance coverage — it’s hardly murderous, it’s just a fact of life. I have a brother, for instance, who because of certain mental problems will probably never hold a job with insurance — though he’s not legally defined as disabled. (Mostly because he refuses to be so classified.) When he eventually becomes a part of my household rather than my mothers, I’ll be having to pay for his insurance out of pocket, because my work coverage is not set up to cover a sibling who happens to be an adult dependant. Is that murderous? Certainly not. It’s just life. One is not owed insurance coverage simply because one loves someone else.

  52. November 12, 2008 4:05 pm

    The content of religious belief is, per se, inconsequential. What matters is how its followers act. No one is hurt by Catholics believing God got a woman pregnant, the problem starts when Catholics, Muslims etc. start persecuting others because they are different. The Catholic church hasn’t exactly been the beacon of liberty throughout history. Nowadays, due to lack of secular power, it is relegated to getting people to vote its way. Discrimination, curtailing of rights is a frequent guest in such efforts. The people who are/were more interested in actually important matters, such as war, poverty, exploitation etc. are rather a dying breed, literally. They usually cared less or little about banning gays, contraception and the like. Admittedly, I can say from memory that their liturgies can be rather painful. Those with the good music, on the other hand, always seem to be one step away from digging up Generalissimo Franco (who is still dead).

    The only reason why I still post comments – since I haven’t darkened the doorstep of a church in a long time – is because the church continues to try and infringe upon the rights of myself, friends and family – and if they had more influence, they’d do so on many more levels, one need only look at Ireland in the past. Now, Dublin has 2 new priests.

    Vox Nova is a case sui generis – most are ‘liberal’ when it comes to various policies but reactionary/faithful when it comes to sexual mores, which is rather unusual. The person I have “hope” for is Michael I. Many things already go against his grain.

  53. David Nickol permalink
    November 12, 2008 4:12 pm

    That would be an essential question if anyone were advancing the argument that Mormon opposition to same-sex marriage is not bigotry because it is based on the LDS’s doctrine.

    John McG,

    Are you saying, then, that Mormon opposition to same-sex marriage is bigotry? Or are you saying that Mormon opposition to same-sex marriage is not based on Mormon doctrine? I would say that Christian opposition (including the Mormons) is based on Christian doctrine — “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”

  54. November 12, 2008 4:30 pm

    Digby,

    Fear not, all of us with Episcopalian friends ran into the “exegesis” that you’re so eager to share long, long ago — and know the case it attempts to make for a New Testament fondness for homosexuality is very thin indeed.

  55. November 12, 2008 5:02 pm

    David,

    I am saying that this was not the topic of conversation, and you chose to shift it to something more favorable.

    I will say that there is a non-bigoted case against same-sex marriage. Whether Mormons oppose it on that basis is beyond my ken.

  56. Frank permalink
    November 12, 2008 5:04 pm

    DarwinCathoic,

    Who are you to tell me that I am not entitled to equal compensation from my employer? I demand equal compensation for equal work. To say that I should be given less is a Sin that Cries Out to Heaven for Vengeance. ;-)

    So, bugger off.

  57. November 12, 2008 5:27 pm

    Frank,

    You already are entitled to equal compensation. If you marry someone of the opposite sex and have children, you can have a gaggle of little dependants covered on the company plan just like anyone else. And, for good measure, if some hetero employee demands that the company cover some friend of the same sex, the company is perfectly free to turn him down. What you’re asking for is to be treated differently, not treated the same.

    So, bugger off.

    Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo,
    Aureli pathice et cinaede Furi,
    qui me ex versiculis meis putastis,
    quod sunt molliculi, parum pudicum.
    Nam castum esse decet pium poetam
    ipsum, versiculos nihil necesse est;
    qui tum denique habent salem ac leporem,
    si sunt molliculi ac parum pudici,
    et quod pruriat incitare possunt,
    non dico pueris, sed his pilosis
    qui duros nequeunt movere lumbos.
    Vos, quod milia multa basiorum
    legistis, male me marem putatis?
    Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo.

  58. November 12, 2008 5:39 pm

    Blackadder – I agree that the conduct of the protesters you describe is reprehensible.

    I confess I’m not sure what the point of this post is, however. If it is just, “Some people have done bad things as a result of not liking the result on Prop 8. Period.” – then, again, I have no problem with that.

    If, however, you are making an argument from those facts, please be clearer on what your argument is.

    Are you just making an appeal to your Catholic brothers and sisters to “stand in solidarity with our Mormon brothers and sisters in support of traditional marriage – the union of one man and one woman – that has been the major building block of Western Civilization for millennia.”?

    If so, what role does the inappropriate behavior of some protesters have to do with that? Are you making a call to arms? Are you using the behavior of these protesters to attempt to illustrate the menace of all people who oppose Prop 8?

  59. November 12, 2008 5:39 pm


    Who are you to tell me that I am not entitled to equal compensation from my employer? I demand equal compensation for equal work. To say that I should be given less is a Sin that Cries Out to Heaven for Vengeance. ;-)

    Again, wouldn’t the same apply to the single or widowed worker?

  60. Nathan permalink
    November 12, 2008 6:36 pm

    DarwinCatholic and John – excellent points! I love the line – “one is not owed insurance coverage simply because one loves someone else.”

    An examply is that I cannot cover my serious ailing mother on my work insurance. I love her. She loves me. She lives with me.

  61. November 12, 2008 6:41 pm

    Who are you to tell me that I am not entitled to equal compensation from my employer? I demand equal compensation for equal work.

    If you don’t think you are receiving adequate compensation, I suggest you take it up with your employer.

  62. Frank permalink
    November 12, 2008 6:48 pm

    DarwinCatholic, Under your concept of civil equality, Saudi Arabia has freedom of religion since everyone is entitled to be the approved kind of Muslim.

  63. November 12, 2008 6:48 pm

    Matt,

    Res ipsa loquitur.

  64. Frank permalink
    November 12, 2008 6:49 pm

    John,

    The point of a domestic partnership is that it should apply to the single or widowed employee. This is one of the reasons why I see it as better than gay marriage.

  65. November 12, 2008 7:27 pm

    Matt,

    Res ipsa loquitur.

    Which translates to something like, “it talks.” I’m still at sea, Blackadder, I’m afraid.

  66. Br. Matthew Augustine Miller, OP permalink
    November 12, 2008 7:35 pm

    Matt,

    It translates as “It speaks for itself”.

  67. November 12, 2008 7:41 pm

    Thank you, Brother Matthew. My latin is, let’s say, cognate-dependent ;)

    Blackadder – so you’re saying sort of, “If I have to explain it, there’s no use talking to you” or something? In other words, you’re not interested in answering my questions? What is it you lawyers say? “Unresponsive! Move to strike, your Honor!”

  68. November 12, 2008 8:02 pm

    Frank,

    Well, I don’t believe that Saudi Arabia claims to provide religious freedom to be anything other than Muslim, so they’re not exactly engaging in false advertising, are they.

    Similarly, no society has ever long sustained a definition of the marriage/family unit other than one which defines marriage as being a mate paring between a man and a woman (or sometimes women). So it should hardly surprise anyone if when benefits are offered to “spouses” they are only extended to people of the opposite sex to whom one is currently married.

    Your complaint is along the lines of saying, “How dare you say I can’t keep a water bison in my apartment. The rental policy says you allow dogs and cats.” But, of course, a water bison is not a dog or a cat.

    I will say this for you, though: It strikes me as one of the injustices of a mass society that everything must be cookie-cuttered because of a lack of specific information. In a sufficiently personal situation, your household would simply be your household, and it in one case that included a man’s wife, three children and mad Aunt Harriet, and in another it included a man and his very good friend who had always lived with him, and in another case it included a bother and sister, all well and good. But in a mass society the people who decide how to distribute benefits don’t know any of the people involved and what the real household arrangements are, and so they stick to templates: you can cover a spouse and any children up to 20. (Or at the company I work for: You can cover yourself, any other other adult living in your home with you, and any dependant children that you have.)

    It does strike me as in some ways regretable that we don’t have good ways to treat households as what they are, but redefining marriage strikes me as a bad and incredibly destructive way of trying to get around the problem.

  69. November 12, 2008 8:54 pm

    Frank said:
    Opposition to any form of domestic partnership is ipso facto hatred.

    I find it interesting that there’s some sort of claim that marriage is some sort of civil right. It isn’t. It isn’t a civil right for straights, and it isn’t a civil right for gays. Civil marriage has zero to do with love, it is all about responsibilities and property rights.

    Society sees a benefit in stable nuclear families (mother who’s a woman, dad who’s a man and one or more children) as the cornerstone of civic life. Producing more taxpaying, law abiding, citizens is of benefit to society. Extending additional benefits to those who do so is beneficial to society as a whole.

    That was when marriage was actually marriage, and there were real penalties for bailing on the covenant. Now it’s easier to get out of a marriage than it is a car lease, and it’s probably the only contract where one party can unilaterally dissolve it without too much pain and suffering. Instead of “until death do us part”, it’s “until unhappiness do us part”.

    But that having been said, marriage has had a distinct cultural definition for millenniums, and just recently have gayfolk tried to legalistically weasel the language to give themselves new “rights”.

    California tried to stop it with legislation. Activist judges overturned the legislation. They again tried with prop 8. It passed. Gayfolk are going to have to get over it. Californians have decided that there is no right for gays to get married (or polygamists, or bestiality proponents, or family members, or any other combination or permutation of beings).

    There are choices. Peaceably gather enough signatures to put their own gay marriage proposition on the ballot, live with the law as it stands or move.

    I don’t promote any violence or discrimination against gays in every aspect of their lives. I do draw the line at getting married. I reserve that for a man and a woman.

    Prop 8 is going to be the blueprint for how other states (and possibly the whole country) can deal with activist judges legislating from the bench.

  70. November 12, 2008 9:00 pm

    Matt,

    We are not in one of your American courtrooms, as the Soviet Ambassador would say.

    Seriously though, not every post has to have a hidden agenda.

  71. November 12, 2008 9:02 pm

    Fair enough, BA.

  72. November 12, 2008 11:09 pm

    YOUR marriage isn’t redefined by gay people getting married. Of course, the realvreason is that gay relationships are viewed as unholy, otherwise the fundies wouldn’t talk about “protecting the sanctity of marriage” – from those icky gay people.

    Three cheers for the state of Connecticut, where today the first gay couples got married. Soon enough we’ll have another north south division – with the hick states leading the way in combating “the gays”. The company should be getting more and more embarrasing. Unreconstructed rednecks, macho culture residues, eg among blacks and hispanics, Mormons, Muslims, James Dobson and hardcore Catholics. Well, in heaven all the interesting people are missing.

  73. November 12, 2008 11:24 pm

    … Of course even the “hick states” are changing, take for example Virginia. The success of the cause is a foregone conclusion. In just forty years, the changes have been dramatic. Ten years ago, “Ellen” was a scandal, now she hosts one of the most popular talkshows. Equality for gays is just a later arrival, with women and blacks having come before. Women’s rights were laughed at once, too. What I recommend to every gay person is to “come out”. That is the best “weapon”. Look at Dick Cheney. It’s one thing to deny “the gays” equality. Quite another to deny one’s daughter’s. Not that it’s have much impact ok hardcore believers – they actually think they’re doing them a favor – in
    Light of “hell” etc. Of course the only hell is that on earth, prepared by those true believers. Self-flagellation, self-rejection by gay Catholics is a truly said spectacle to behold. But, that grip has loosened drastically. No longer can a Joycean priest scare many kids with “the stench!”.

  74. David Nickol permalink
    November 12, 2008 11:54 pm

    BA,

    After delving more deeply into the first story (the events in Lansing, Michigan), I have to say that you create the impression — entirely false — that what happened had something to do with Proposition 8. There is absolutely no sign of that in any of the news coverage of the incident. In fact, based on the protesters’ agenda, it simply can’t be the case. The story you link to is titled Michigan liberals attack Lansing congregation in the middle of Sunday worship. However, the “liberals” being referred to are actually a group called Bash Back, a self-styled queer anarchist group. This is from their web site:

    POINTS OF UNITY
    Members of Bash Back! must agree to:
    1. Fight for liberation. Nothing more, nothing less. State recognition in the form of oppressive institutions such as marriage and militarism are not steps toward liberation but rather towards heteronormative assimilation.
    2. A rejection of Capitalism, Imperialism, and all forms of State power.
    3. Actively oppose oppression both in and out of the “movement.” All oppressive behavior is not to be tolerated.
    4. Respect a diversity of tactics in the struggle for liberation. Do not solely condemn an action on the grounds that the State deems it to be illegal.

    They are not at all representative of groups promoting same-sex marriage, which they specifically reject.

    Also, in the news coverage of the event, other gay organizations in the area condemned the incident. (And rightly so, I might add.)

    What justification can you give for using the story and photo in a post titled “Proposition 8 Opposition Turns Ugly”? It would be just about as fair for me to use Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church (of godhatesfags fame) as representing Christianity.

  75. digbydolben permalink
    November 13, 2008 12:44 am

    DarwinCatholic:

    Of course, it is the modus operandi of Catholic bigots like you to distort EVERYTHING: that information nowhere implies a “New Testament fondness for homosexuality.” What it DOES suggest, however, is that the authors of Scripture did not think that a certain kind of sexual behaviour was per se “disordered,” as the modern Catholic Church teaches. Instead, they probably did what Christ did: always examine the context of the behaviour.

    And Anglicans aren’t considered to be proper Scriptural exegeticists? Sometimes the god-awful narrowness and provincialism of you so-called “Catholics” are so risible as to actually DESERVE the treatment they get from the ilk of the Monty Python crew!

  76. November 13, 2008 1:06 am

    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

  77. Ressourcement permalink
    November 13, 2008 3:09 am

    Let the culture wars begin.

  78. digbydolben permalink
    November 13, 2008 4:29 am

    Ah, yes, “ressourcement,” I’m not surprised that people like you long, with all your hearts, for “culture wars.”

    What I suspect you’re now going to get, unfortunately for your American society, and for the truly pressing economic and geo-political problems that truly DO threaten your stability and viability, is a “civil rights struggle” of enormous scope, in which the proponents of “gay rights” rally all “progressive” elements of your society to their side, in the name of “equality” and “justice,” and eventually WIN.

    Judging by the sentiments of my students, both in America (recently in a CATHOLIC school, no less!) and here in Europe, you’re going to lose this one, and so decisively that you, like the segregationists of yore, will be unfairly demonized for the harshness of your cruelty and intolerance (which really are palpably evident to everyone).

  79. David Nickol permalink
    November 13, 2008 9:37 am

    A quick note in case people aren’t reading the long message I posted above. The sensational photo and the accompanying story about the attack on the church in Lansing, Michigan, have nothing to do with the protest against Proposition 8. It is at best misleading to include them under the heading “Prop. 8 Opposition Turns Ugly.”

  80. Steve permalink
    November 13, 2008 9:43 am

    Three cheers for the state of Connecticut, where today the first gay couples got married. Soon enough we’ll have another north south division – with the hick states leading the way in combating “the gays”.

    The “North” we be comprised of court justices. The “hick” states are those states that the people are allowed to decide, including California.

    By the way, don’t cheer the “state” of Connecticut. Connecticut doesn’t want gay marriage. It repeatedly failed in the legislature every time is was brought up, and the legislature is overwhelingly liberal. It took four robed masters to circumvent the will of the people. Cheer them.

  81. Steve permalink
    November 13, 2008 10:16 am

    Judging by the sentiments of my students, both in America (recently in a CATHOLIC school, no less!) and here in Europe, you’re going to lose this one, and so decisively that you, like the segregationists of yore, will be unfairly demonized for the harshness of your cruelty and intolerance (which really are palpably evident to everyone).

    In actuality, in less than 50 years Europe will be Muslim. I’m not sure… Do Musilms allow that sort of thing? Moot.

    Why do we think that history will keep on going as it is today, anyway?

  82. November 13, 2008 10:56 am

    Courts are the places for people’s rights, not mob rule. Brown v. Board of Education and all. Not even the courts can be trusted of course (Dred Scott) but more so than ‘the people’.

    The campaign by the various holy rollers against gay marriage was despicable, morally and intellectually retarded on every level, but it obviously impressed the pious, uneducated and homophobic, although 10% less than last time. As I’ve said, it’s only a matter of generational change until there won’t be enough bigots who flock to a website called “ProtectMarriage.com”.

  83. November 13, 2008 10:56 am

    Digby,

    Anglicans can certainly be very good scriptural exegetes. That’s why I agree with my Anglican friends who were dealing with this “exegesis” of yours ten years ago — and rejected it as both bad exegesis and also bad history.

    One can go back and forth as to whether the Centurian’s servant was a homosexual lover. I really don’t see why Jesus should have refused to cure someone merely because he was involved in a relationship of a sort that was actually quite common in the Roman world. After all, He was also quite friendly with the woman who “had had five husbands, and the man you are living with now is not your husband.” That Christ cured the centurian’s servant really means little either way. The Church has always condemned homosexual activity. You yourself admitted that Paul did so, and he’s one of the major authors of the New Testament. The Early Fathers did the same.

    Further, you don’t really seem to get how the Roman’s saw homosexual activity. They saw what they considered the “male” side of a relationship as being acceptable so long as it didn’t distract a man from also heading up a family and producing heirs. (Augustus actually passed laws requiring the nobility to marry by a certain age in order to combat what he saw as excessive immorality among the equites and senatorial class.) However the party who “took the woman’s part” was universally scorned, and thus these relationships were never equal and indeed were socially seen as semi predatory. The difference being that the Romans had no problem with the predator in a predatory relationship, but they scorned the prey.

    What do they teach in schools these days…

    Naus,

    Your cultural triumphalism makes little historical sense. At no time in history has homosexual “marriage” been a norm, though homosexual activity has increased and decreased in profile repeatedly over the centuries.

    What makes you think that this time is so unlike any other time and place?

  84. November 13, 2008 11:15 am

    “At no time in history has homosexual “marriage” been a norm, though homosexual activity has increased and decreased in profile repeatedly over the centuries.”

    Neither has equality for women. Many things unthinkable 100 years ago go without saying now.
    Not to mention that scorning at “taking the woman’s part” is of course bloody sexist – the notion is common across cultures. Until recently, woman was the ‘nigger of the world’, and still is in most parts, along with gays. The reason being that men tend towards being insecure little boys, homicidal ones at that, only the scared need to oppress others. The foul attitude towards women, and gays – it tends to go hand in hand – is stronger among less educated population segments, black culture is a classic example, being overly sexist, macho and homophobic. Mothers get stuck with the children – the ‘who’s my daddy’ phenomenon, aka ‘my baby’s daddy’. Homosexuality tends to be quite closeted there, as it is in Latino populations. In general, the most homophobic are also the most prone to crime and the least educated.

    The rise of women is VERY recent (heck, MZ still holds the title to his wife), the rise of gays even more so. Of course, that can change. Fascism is always a possibility.

  85. joseph permalink
    November 13, 2008 11:19 am

    Gerald,

    I guess the clips provided by BA don’t reflect a sort of Fascism? Not even a wee bit? Hmm? There was alot of cross stomping in Fascist states. It seems to me that you would prefer Fascism.

  86. November 13, 2008 11:52 am

    Yeah, well, “equality” for women in the modern sense is a pretty a-historical thing as well. Though your claim that women have always been radically oppressed is ignorant and false. Women have traditionally had a different place in society from men. In some societies the label ‘oppressed’ would fit pretty well, in others not. But it’s normal, given what our species is and how it works, that social/cultural roles for men and women should be somewhat different. We’re a sexually dimorphic species that reproduces sexually and has a long social rearing period.

    See, this is the thing that I don’t get: You’ve rejected religion, and yet you have a very strongly progressive ideal of what the human person is and how it’s supposed to function. An ideal which is not rooted in biological reality or in history. So what’s it rooted in, other than that you like the idea?

    Personally, I’m a biological realist. I think that the nature of our species serves as a center of gravity which will always draw cultures back towards a certain mean. Being a Catholic, I think that mean is both chosen by God and that there are certain tendencies in the human person which are the result of sin, and which we must strive to overcome in order to become more like God. But you can’t simply remake cultures to approach some ideal for human nature not rooted in biological and moral reality. Numerous cultures have headed off in various directions based on their own conclusions, and eventually either there’s a pendulum swing in the other direction, or the culture breaks down. But you can’t change human nature.

  87. digbydolben permalink
    November 13, 2008 11:57 am

    DarwinCatholic:

    I do not claim to be a good Scriptural “exegete.” However, any reader of this blog entry can go here:

    https://vox-nova.com/2008/11/08/utah-and-mormons-taking-heat-for-prop-8/

    …and decide if the information I presented is “bad” social or linguistic “history.” Cantarella, for instance, is considered to be THE expert on Graeco-roman sexual practices. The enormous weight of evidence tends to support the idea that Christ’s centurion WAS a pederast, and all the philological evidence tends to support the interpretation of the “born eunuchs” as being an unmistakable reference to congenital, or “hot-wired” “homosexuality.”

    I feel that you know this, too, and that you are seeking to shore up an indefensible misrepresentation of these historical facts in order to bolster your inherited bigotry, which matters more to you than the words or the example of your so-called “Saviour.”

  88. Steve permalink
    November 13, 2008 12:05 pm

    There is nothing sacrosanct about the courts. They are no more trustworthy, or untrustworthy, than you and I. Brown vs. Board and Dred. Allowing the courts to rule may presently bode very well for some ideologies, but be careful what you wish for. What comes around…

  89. S.B. permalink
    November 13, 2008 12:06 pm

    “Digbydolben” (since you put other people’s pseudonyms in scare quotes), there’s no “enormous weight of evidence” other than the mere fact that the Greek word “pais” was used. But that very word was often used to describe Christ himself . . . i.e., as a servant of the Father. It was also used to describe King David (as God’s “servant”) and Israel itself.

    I almost hate to mention that, because you’re probably now going to claim that this means that Christ himself and King David were victims of pederasty from God the Father.

  90. November 13, 2008 12:14 pm

    Digby,

    Your link just points to this blog post.

    Taking you to mean Eva Cantarella at Milan, I don’t think it would be accurate to call her “the expert” in Greco-Roman sexual practices, especially because her whole schtick taking a revisionist approach to applying classical cultural norms and legal prescidents to modern questions.

  91. November 13, 2008 12:21 pm

    Well, the nice thing about Obama winning, despite my not liking him – at least for the time being, is that you’re SOL re: courts.

    Well, there’s things that never will be right I know,
    And things need changin’ everywhere you go,
    But ’til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
    You’ll never see me wear a suit of white.
    Ah, I’d love to wear a rainbow every day,
    And tell the world that everything’s OK,
    But I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
    ‘Till things are brighter, I’m the Man In Black.

  92. November 13, 2008 12:32 pm

    I do think that homosexuality is incompatible with Catholicism (the vast number of gay priests and bishops notwithstanding – they’re either self-loathing or shut up so as to not lose their job). I view the effort by Catholic gays to fight on religious grounds thoroughly futile. Running into the same wall, when there’s a door right there to get out. The hierarchy will never give in. If you still want Christianity, go to the Episcopalians, they’re, on average, pretty easygoing and have better liturgies, vestments, music – must be all those gay refugees ;-) Sure, they’re a little loopy, but benign. For women who want to be priests, the same applies. Why bother fighting an unwinnable fight ? Not that I’m Episcopalian or anything else, it’s just where we’ll go cause my wife likes Christmas carols. Grace Cathedral in San Francisco has excellent music.

  93. Steve permalink
    November 13, 2008 12:36 pm

    SOL? Perhaps.

    This much, O heaven—if I should brood or rave,
    Pity me not; but let the world be fed,
    Yea, in my madness if I strike me dead,
    Heed you the grass that grows upon my grave.

    If I dare snarl between this sun and sod,
    Whimper and clamour, give me grace to own,
    In sun and rain and fruit in season shown,
    The shining silence of the scorn of God.

    Thank God the stars are set beyond my power,
    If I must travail in a night of wrath,
    Thank God my tears will never vex a moth,
    Nor any curse of mine cut down a flower.

    Men say the sun was darkened: yet I had
    Thought it beat brightly, even on—Calvary:
    And He that hung upon the Torturing Tree
    Heard all the crickets singing, and was glad.

  94. digbydolben permalink
    November 13, 2008 12:59 pm

    This is what I think about the passage of the Proposition 8 referendum in California:

    I don’t think any effort should be made by the proponents of “civil rights for ‘gays’” to overturn the result of the referendum in the courts. The 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education created a backlash in the Southern United States that eventuated first in “forced busing” to desegregate the public schools and then, ultimately, in the re-segregation of public schools in the American South that continues to this day. No minds and hearts are changed by judicial or legislative fiat, or coercion by plebiscite. Minds and hearts are changed by honest discussions and reasoning together among neighbours, and it’s minds and hearts that must be changed for “homosexuals” to achieve justice in a democratic society.

    If “gays” want their “civil rights,” they must honestly and straightforwardly assert their true identities in every aspect of their lives, including employment, family relationships and political and religious associations. They must come to understand the crucial role that non-violent civil disobedience and a willingness to suffer its consequences play in creating democracy.

    In other words, they must commence a civil rights struggle immediately that has no announced goal other than the liberation of themselves and their straight brothers and sisters from the mental enslavement of sexual stereotypes and categories, and they must insist on their right to the same free and open associations, including “marriage,” that so-called “straights” enjoy. They must abandon all claims to any special considerations under the law, such as protection from so-called “hate speech” or from “preferential treatment” in hiring, and make it clear that all they’re demanding is recognition of their existence, their uniqueness and their right to be left alone to find happiness in their own way.

    Also, they must not seek to “redefine” the “heterosexuals’” marriage convention with its archaic legal status, but should seek to create something new, such as “pacts of eternal friendship.” Part of that struggle to achieve full acceptance of their unions must be an attempt to persuade “straights”—including religious “straights”—that maintaining a legal status for so-called “marriage,” which involves tax “protections” for anything other than dependency relationships is unjust and subversive of REAL sacramental marriage, which is the exact opposite of the serial monogamy of “marriage musical chairs” engaged in by the so-called “moral majority” of American pagans.

    If the part of the American population that is “homosexual” can prove themselves equal to THIS kind of Gandhian struggle, they will be able to edify us all regarding the meaning of true “participatory democracy.”

  95. David Nickol permalink
    November 13, 2008 2:37 pm

    If the centurion’s servant was a slave rather than (or in addition to) a sexual partner, why didn’t Jesus say, “I’ll cure him, but you have to free him. Slavery is wrong.”

  96. November 13, 2008 3:10 pm

    Christ and the Apostles seem to have worked with what they found in place as regards to policial/social institutions. In the Letter of Philemon we have Paul sending a runaway slave _back_ to his master — though at the same time reminding the master that Onesimus is his brother in Christ.

    In that context, I’m not clear where you’re going with the question…

  97. David Nickol permalink
    November 13, 2008 5:54 pm

    DarwinCatholic,

    I am not sure where I am going, actually. But we seem to have concluded that slavery is wrong, and if I am not mistaken, an intrinsic evil. It seems odd that Jesus would have cured someone’s slave, which at the time would have been like refurbishing a piece of property. However, we seem to have no problem with the idea that Jesus cured a slave. But it is apparently deeply offensive that Jesus might have cured the Centurion’s homosexual lover. Why would we be perfectly comfortable with the fact that Jesus and his apostles, in that time and place, clearly did not condemn the institution of slavery, but be appalled by the idea that he might have been overlooking Roman sexual practices which the Romans thought no more wrong than they did slavery?

    Jesus didn’t, but the way, work with what he found in place when it came to marriage.

  98. S.B. permalink
    November 13, 2008 6:13 pm

    I think your real beef is with “digby,” in that his argument is exactly equivalent to saying that because Jesus failed to condemn slavery in that instance, he was therefore positively approving of slavery as a good thing.

  99. David Nickol permalink
    November 13, 2008 6:46 pm

    S.B.,

    How could Jesus or Paul materially cooperate with the intrinsic evil of slavery?

    I think the answer to Jesus and the question of slavery has to be something other than that they worked with what he found in place.

    Also, the God of the Old Testament is depicted as giving endless lists of rules that make absolutely no sense (e.g., shellfish being unclean), so the idea that God gradually brought his people to an understanding of right and wrong is an unsatisfactory explanation. People didn’t have to understand God’s commands. They just had to obey them.

  100. david permalink
    November 13, 2008 7:02 pm

    Can we please stop equating perverse sexuality with race and gender? Is beastiality the next frontier?

  101. November 13, 2008 7:11 pm

    Actually, shellfish arguably were pretty unclean given the sources and methods the ancient Israelites had available for shellfish… Probably saved a few lives that way. Ditto with pork.

    But I digress…

    I don’t know quite where you got this, but let me reiterate: It seems to me entirely possible that Christ cured the homosexual lover/servant of the Centurian. (Given Roman sexual mores, we’re not talking about anything like a marriage of equals or “lovers” in the modern sense.) I don’t know, and I’m not convinced it’s definitely so, but I have not objection to the idea.

    I don’t see why that would prove Digby’s point, though.

    Jesus saved the life of the woman caught in adultery and hung out with the Samaritan woman at the well — heck he was accused by his critics of spending time evangelizing prostitutes.

    I think you’re also off that healing a slave would have been the same as mending a piece of property. The Romans certainly bought and sold slaves and treated them badly at times, but they didn’t have the idea that slaves weren’t just people too. (Indeed, it was pretty easy for an “ordinary person” to end up being enslaved.) Certainly, I don’t see why we would think that Jesus and the disciples would fall into thinking that slaves were not sons of God just as worthy of dignity as they themselves.

  102. David Nickol permalink
    November 13, 2008 7:33 pm

    DarwinCatholic,

    I personally wouldn’t make too much of it even if we knew with some certainty there was a sexual relationship between the centurion and his servant. So I think we are in agreement on that. Although a lot more has been based on a lot less. (For example, the claim that at Cana, Jesus raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament.) But nevertheless it is an intriguing story, and I will have to consult my commentaries tonight.

    Oh, and by the way, the picture and story that BA began with has nothing to do with protests against Proposition 8. If people have read my previous two messages pointing that out, no one has commented.

  103. November 13, 2008 8:33 pm

    Well, I haven’t seen pitch-fork wielding mobs in Massachusetts or Connecticut. Of course, those are pretty laid-back places, except when it comes to the Sox. It’s much easier to rabble rouse in the backwaters. In California, none of the interesting counties went for Prop. 8. Fresno did, yay. There’s a metropolis for ya. Apple donated against Prop. 8. For that reason and their general awesomeness I shall make a pilgrimage to Cupertino.

    Digby – the ‘backlash’ against blacks is not comparable to what happens when gay marriage is legalized. There are less bigots around now, and other than religious extremists no one would raise a finger to mess with people’s rights. If you put it up on election day it’s another story, esp. with that despicable Catholic/Mormon/Evangelical campaign. I guess if there were more Muslims in Cali they’d have joined that unholy alliance.

  104. November 13, 2008 11:42 pm

    YOUR marriage isn’t redefined by gay people getting married. Of course, the realvreason is that gay relationships are viewed as unholy, otherwise the fundies wouldn’t talk about “protecting the sanctity of marriage” – from those icky gay people.

    I’m going to assume you’re talking to me, Gerald. I’ll try and make this easy for you to understand. Every few years, I get a dog license for my dog. If a cat owner wants to get a dog license, they can’t, because dog licenses apply to dogs and not cats. As much as a judge might like to do something like this, they can’t declare a cat to be a dog, even if the wording in the statute referrs to an “animal”. It is a dog license, and everyone knows it only applies to dogs.

    Should you want cats to be licensed in a similar way, you can legislate a “cat license” which would be equivalent to a dog license, or you can redefine dog licenses into “animal licences” to encompass cats (and maybe other animals).

    You need to do the same with a marriage license. An group of activist judges can’t unilaterally declare that the meaning of marriage over the last few millenniums is not correct even if the statute referrs to “persons”. Everyone knows what a marriage is (except a relatively small number of gay activists).

    And civil marriage is not sacred. As a matter of fact, it’s not even designed to be permanent. It is easier to get out of unilaterally than a car lease. But the definition is set. You want to change it, go through your lawmakers. Activist judges just tick off the people and make them want to do things like… well… amend their state constitutions.

    Three cheers for the state of Connecticut, where today the first gay couples got married. Soon enough we’ll have another north south divsion – with the hick states leading the way in combating “the gays”. The company should be getting more and more embarrasing. Unreconstructed rednecks, macho culture residues, eg among blacks and hispanics, Mormons, Muslims, James Dobson and hardcore Catholics. Well, in heaven all the interesting people are missing.

    Don’t cheer for the state of Connecticut. They didn’t do anything, a few activist judges did it. This is probably going to trigger a constitutional referrendum like California’s and then the definition of marriage will be enshrined in constitutional law in Connecticut for the next couple hundred years.

    As far as these protests go, someone else stated that if there was a way to donate money to these gay protest groups to continue their protests in churches without sinning she would do it. I tend to agree. These jokers are one of the best things to happen to the traditional marriage movement that I’ve seen.

    I’m heartened that blacks came out 75% for Prop 8. Their dedication to family bodes well for the rest of the country.

  105. grega permalink
    November 14, 2008 12:11 am

    Good to see Gerald that after all the hate you directed towards our fine newly elected President Obama the last year – oh mein Gott
    you seem to slowly come around…Amazing .. I like it.
    If you ask me you do not do yourself a favor by now turning your proven capacity for
    extensive in-tollerance and hate towards other targets.
    Now in season in Gerald world: The catholic church is terrible.
    Come on man the world is not black and white.
    Of course it will take many decades until homosexuality will be yesterdays news.
    Yes we have to bother to fight this little battle – you say your part – the various churches say what they feel they have to say – you and the many rather well connected and flush homosexuals will win because your arguments are the better ones – and yes it certainly helps to have history on your side.

  106. grega permalink
    November 14, 2008 12:27 am

    Tony,
    next time you register your dog why don’t you register your red herrings as well.

  107. digbydolben permalink
    November 14, 2008 12:54 am

    So, remember this, my dear little Catholic homophobe friends: as you repeat the line at your mass, “Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed,” it’s a paraphrase of “Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and the boy who is my lover and slave shall be healed.”

  108. Bill permalink
    November 14, 2008 3:00 am

    Tony:

    Here’s a news flash for you: The Connecticut constitution can be changed by constitutional convention. People opposed to gay marriage forced a publc vote to hold such a convention after the Connecticut Supreme Court issued its ruling. The vote was a decisive NO. If the court opened the door to gay marriage, the people of CT kept it open.

    Here’s another news flash: Of the seven judges on the CA Supreme Court, six were appointed by Republicans.

    Activist judge: a jurist issuing a ruling conservatives don’t like.

  109. MPX permalink
    November 14, 2008 3:43 am

    Tony – unlike cats and dogs, homosexuals and heterosexuals aren’t different species. Stop treating them like subhuman deviants and maybe they won’t be angry.

    And yes, it’s clear by all of the bestiality and incest comparisons that opposition to same sex marriage is bred out of hate.

  110. blackadderiv permalink
    November 14, 2008 8:06 am

    Oh, and by the way, the picture and story that BA began with has nothing to do with protests against Proposition 8. If people have read my previous two messages pointing that out, no one has commented.

    Perhaps this is because they’ve looked at the post itself more recently than you have.

  111. Steve permalink
    November 14, 2008 8:09 am

    Well, I haven’t seen pitch-fork wielding mobs in Massachusetts or Connecticut.

    Because they aren’t allowed to wield forks.

    The people of Massachusetts had a campaign going to put the issue on a ballot. They had plenty of signatures. A court threw it out.

    In Connecticut there is no recourse. There is no right to initiave or referendum. There was a mandatory question on the ballot in this past election to determine if a constitutional convention should be convened where a right to initiative would have been pushed, but special interests, afraid of losing tax dollars, dumped big $$$ for the “vote no” campagin.

    The only hope for gay marriage is/was the Conn courts. The legislature is liberal, but they are afraid of the public backlash. They are glad the court forced it.

  112. Steve permalink
    November 14, 2008 8:37 am

    Just to back up my previous post on the Connecticut constitutional convention vote…

    The “vote yes” campaign was out spent by the “vote no” campaign 83:1. Yet 41% of CT residents still voted yes.

    And by the way, the constitutional convention question was not just about gay marriage. The main idea of the convention was to promote a right of initiative and referendum. Connecticut is controlled by special interests, and many wanted to give the people more say on a host of issues besides gay marriage – like eminent domain, property tax (and taxes in general,) term limits, immigration reform, etc. Trying to frame the constitutional convention vote as some sort of referendum on gay marriage is a caricature of reality – to put it mildly.

  113. joseph permalink
    November 14, 2008 8:59 am

    Steve,

    …the constitutional convention question was not just about gay marriage. The main idea of the convention was to promote a right of initiative and referendum. Connecticut is controlled by special interests, and many wanted to give the people more say on a host of issues besides gay marriage – like eminent domain, property tax (and taxes in general,) term limits, immigration reform, etc. Trying to frame the constitutional convention vote as some sort of referendum on gay marriage is a caricature of reality – to put it mildly.

    I live in Connecticut. What you said above is true. Another factor was that it seemed only Catholics new that “YES” on Question 1 would have opend the door to referendum in opposition of the Supreme Court’s decision. I attended several parishes in the month leading up to the election and, in every one of them, included in the homily was an instruction that “Catholics must vote ‘YES’ on Question 1”. As I’ve stated before, most people in Connecticut are straight-ticket Dems who don’t even bother to find out which politicians are running for office in their district (this was proven by the wrong ballot debacle in Milford). The citizens holding up Democratic candidate signs outside of polling places were also holding up “Vote NO on Question 1” signs with no explanation. The actual question itself on the ballot did not describe what issues fell under the umbrella of the convention. Many voters just towed the party line without bothering to ask questions. I know this because there are some elderly neighbors on my street who are straight-ticket Dems that oppose gay marraige, but they predictably voted “NO” because that was what their party was asking them to do. They really hadn’t a clue.

  114. David Nickol permalink
    November 14, 2008 10:16 am

    I believe in all the countries where same-sex marriage is legal (Canada, Spain, Belgium, The Netherlands, South Africa, and Norway), it has been the result of legislation, not “activist judges.”

  115. November 14, 2008 10:40 am

    David,

    Linguistically, there’s really no way to know one way or the other what the Centurian’s relationship to the servant was — other than that he was his servant. (Though side not to Digby: The quote in mass an in the Bible is more litterally: “I am not worthy that you should come under my roof” — see what meanings your fevered imagination can come up with for that one.)

    What I was forcefully pointing out does not hold water is the claim which has been circulating for twenty years or so now that this somehow proves an early Christian acceptance of homosexuality which was only erased by later “puritan” forces in the Church. On that, the evidence is all to the contrary.

    I think you’re shortchanging the theology of marriage by thinking that it’s all based on Christ’s presence at the marriage at Cana. There are a number of other scriptural quotes which are generally pointed to, “What God has joined let no man sunder” being one that springs readily to mind. And of course “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church”. But there’s also a lot from the early Church Fathers that’s drawn on. Obviously, Catholics don’t go into Sola Scriptura, so even when the number of scriptural references are very thin (purgatory) its simply not a matter of “it all hangs on this verse” but rather a judgement based on the sensus fideli and Tradition.

  116. November 14, 2008 10:55 am

    David Nickol, passed by the legislature. Soon to follow in Austria. There are only a few irascible true believers left. Of course, if they don’t curtail Muslim immigration, things could get pretty ugly for gays, women, well, everybody except the nuts. There are no homegrown fanatics like here on a religious level.

  117. Bill permalink
    November 14, 2008 11:00 am

    Steve:

    My error on “forcing a vote.” The question on a convention is automatic every 20 years.

    That figure of 83:1 No:Yes support (if accurate) only includes money spent until mid-October. Then a big chunk of money on the ‘Yes’ side came from the Connecticut Catholic Conference, and as Joseph notes, the Catholic church was urging people to vote no. If the vote on the conference wasn’t only about gay marriage, it was the biggest issue.

    BTW, gay marriage was approved, twice, by the California legislature, only to be vetoed both times by Gov. Schwarzenegger.

  118. November 14, 2008 11:07 am

    So for that they do have money.

  119. Steve permalink
    November 14, 2008 11:17 am

    Boy, I used to think that they were intolerant & crazy. It’s good that we have these fine examples of normalcy to prove bigots like me wrong. /sarcasm

  120. Steve permalink
    November 14, 2008 11:27 am

    My bad. I didn’t watch the video on the top of the post. Didn’t know it was there…

    I get the dope tag for the day.

  121. November 14, 2008 11:44 am

    Yup, the attitude in this comment section is exactly like the protesters who are against Prop 8. No big surprise.

  122. Steve permalink
    November 14, 2008 11:48 am

    Oh yes. Posting and commenting on a video about the craziness of the vote no mob assaulting an old lady is *exactly* like the “protesters” that assaulted the old lady. We’re busted.

  123. c matt permalink
    November 14, 2008 12:24 pm

    I don’t quite get it. If the big reason for SSM is to get the same benefits, then why not just take it up with your insurance company or employer? Both are matters of private contract, and if you want the coverage, ask for it. If they don’t give it, switch jobs or carriers. In fact, don’t a lot of the more progressive companies already offer those benefits? Have you people not heard of a friggin’ will? – put your significant other in it. It’s not that hard.

  124. Steve permalink
    November 14, 2008 1:04 pm

    Of course, if they don’t curtail Muslim immigration, things could get pretty ugly

    That’s a fact. But don’t hold your breath about curtailing immigration. I hear in Germany the state is paying German women something around $7000 per child per year to have babies, and it still isn’t working. They need drones.

    It might just be that in a generation or so, the triumph of the gay rights movement will only make it that much more easy and efficient for the new European majority to find them, to put it subtly.

  125. Steve permalink
    November 14, 2008 2:01 pm

    Tony,

    If I misinterpreted your 11:44 post, I apologise.

  126. digbydolben permalink
    November 14, 2008 4:02 pm

    ”Linguistically, there’s really no way to know one way or another what the Centurion’s relationship to the servant was—other than that he was his servant.”

    Watch how DarwinCatholic spins and spins in order to maintain the bigoted, homophobic line that is part of his bailiwick: there was no reason for there to be “SERVANTS” among the Roman officer class occupying 1st century Judea. It is quite clear from the LANGUAGE of that passage that the “servant” was a SLAVE, and ALL classicists now know what was Roman LAW AND CUSTOM regarding sexual congress by Roman masters with their slaves.

  127. S.B. permalink
    November 14, 2008 4:47 pm

    And NOW I’m capitalizing RANDOM words, and that’s how you KNOW that what I’m saying is TRUE, even though it’s ENTIRELY an assumption (WISHFUL thinking, probably).

  128. November 14, 2008 5:01 pm

    Why yes, Digby, a servant would almost certainly have been a slave for a Roman centurian serving in first century Judea. So?

    And yes, it was certainly well within Roman law for a master to demand sexual services from his slaves — whether they liked the idea or not. Whether a given master did so was completely up to him. He could also beat his slaves for any or no reason. And he could even mistreat them to such an extent that they “accidentally” died.

    However, it’s no more clear whether or not the centurian in question used this particular slave for sexual gratification that it is whether he routinely beat him.

    And as I said: What I dispute is not that there might imaginably have been a relationship such as you are so fascinated by between the centurian and his servant, but rather that even if that were the case that would suggest New Testament approval of homosexual conduct. The record of the NT and the early fathers is quite clear on homosexuality, and attempts to make it sound like the condemantion of homosexual acts as sinful is some sort of latter addition find themselve wrecked upon the facts.

  129. digbydolben permalink
    November 14, 2008 5:22 pm

    You are so sly, disingenuous and mealy-mouthed, DarwinCatholic–again, spinning and spinning, in order to protect your bigotry from the most obvious conclusions about this particular Scripture passage–which are, as follows:

    A) Even if, by some RARE happenstance, this particular centurion wasn’t enjoying the relationship with his boy-slave that was NORMAL for Roman men, EVERYBODY in the crowd of Jews would have presumed that the pais was the Roman’s lover and would have expected Christ to have REFUSED to heal him for that reason alone. The Jews were very well aware of the sexual practices of their Roman masters.

    B) And even if Christ didn’t bother to meet the “holier than modern Fundos'” bigoted expectations, He would have been expected by them AT LEAST to have said to the centurion what He said to the woman taken in adultery: “Go and sin no more.” The fact that He didn’t speaks volumes about His attitude toward the centurion’s presumed relationship with his slave.

    C)The fact that He didn’t meet this expectation is evidence not only of His willingness to “give scandal” to the Jews’ religious bigotries, but also of His “liberalism” (as the article I quoted states) regarding a whole spectrum of sexual behaviours.

  130. Steve permalink
    November 14, 2008 5:47 pm

    Digby,

    How do you reconcile the fact that Jesus condemned adultery? If unmarried heterosexual acts are condemned, then how can homosexual acts, especially in the context of the Roman and his slave (obviously unmarried) be licit?

  131. digbydolben permalink
    November 14, 2008 5:53 pm

    EXACTLY, Steve: you’re PROVING my point FOR me; WHY didn’t Christ say to the centurion, “Go and sin no more”? Or WHY didn’t He at least refuse to have anything to do with him, if the Jews He ministered to or if He Himself were so antagonistic toward homosexual relationships?

    The fact is–as is borne out not only by this story, but by His complacent attitude toward the “born eunuchs”–He WASN’T so hostile to this or any other “deviant” (I use the word non-pejoratively) sexual practices as His modern day followers are.

  132. November 14, 2008 6:07 pm

    So this brilliant argument that you’re trying to link to is:

    -Because the centurian legally could have used his slave as a sexual tool
    -Therefore he and all other Roman’s with slaves must have always used all their slaves as sexual tools
    -Therefore the Jews must have expected Christ to refuse to heal the slave (for that reason — not because he was a Roman oppressor)
    -Therefore Christ choosing to heal the slave must have implied an endorsement of “liberal sexual mores”.

    We have a word for agumentation liked that: idiotic

    However, while you’re at it, you might try this one, which I picked up from an Episcopal friend:

    Maybe Ruth and her mother-in-law were actually lesbian lovers, so the entire book of Ruth was actually a paen to the virtues of same sex love, indeed highlighting it as more pure than the “purely utilitarian love” between Ruth and Boaz.

    Google around a bit and you’ll find some great stuff on the theory. It should be just your level…

  133. S.B. permalink
    November 14, 2008 6:24 pm

    So your claim is that Jesus implicitly approved of sexual slavery and rape.

  134. S.B. permalink
    November 14, 2008 6:25 pm

    So your claim is that Jesus implicitly approved of sexual slavery.

  135. S.B. permalink
    November 14, 2008 6:26 pm

    It’s somewhat troubling that none of the VN liberals ever disagree with digby’s defense of pederasty.

  136. Steve permalink
    November 14, 2008 6:59 pm

    I’m sorry Digby, but I’m not proving your point. You didn’t even answer my question, even when you used caps.

    I honestly mean no offense, but your perspective is nonsensical.

  137. November 14, 2008 10:24 pm

    “It’s somewhat troubling that none of the VN liberals ever disagree with digby’s defense of pederasty.”

    Well, he should be made a Catholic bishop then, fit right in.

  138. David Nickol permalink
    November 14, 2008 11:40 pm

    How do you reconcile the fact that Jesus condemned adultery? If unmarried heterosexual acts are condemned, then how can homosexual acts, especially in the context of the Roman and his slave (obviously unmarried) be licit?

    Steve,

    What was Jesus condemning when he condemned adultery?

    According to Dictionary of the Bible, by John L. McKenzie, S.J., “The Hebrew morality of adultery rested upon the primitive conception of the wife as the property of the husband. Only the rights of the husband could be violated. Hence illicit intercourse was not adultery if the woman were unmarried. The wife and her partner could violate the rights of her husband, but the wife had no rights which her husband could violate.”

    Now, that is in reference to the Old Testament, but I don’t know that anything had changed along these lines at the time of Jesus. So it seems to me quite probably, under Jewish law, that a married man could have a sexual relationship without it being adultery, because according to the Hebrew conception of marriage and adultery, it was impossible to “cheat on your wife.”

    Whether or not my analysis holds up, I think you are projecting back a contemporary understanding of marriage and adultery to a time when the understanding was quite different. Although marriage is now a sacrament, it did not involve religion at all in Old Testament times. Again, from Dictionary of the Bible, “Marriage in Israel was neither a religious nor a public concern; it was a private contract, and it is this conception which leaves so little room for it in Hebrew law, which deals only with exceptional cases. The contracting parties were not the bride and groom but the families, i.e., the fathers of the spouses; the brothers of the bride had the disposal of the girl if the father were dead.”

    There was essentially no marriage “in the Church” for about the first thousand years of Christianity, and it wasn’t until the Council of Trent in the 16th century that a marriage ceremony performed by a priest was a requirement. For most of the history of the Church, marriage was civil, not religious.

  139. Steve permalink
    November 15, 2008 12:36 am

    David Nickol:

    So it seems to me quite probably, under Jewish law, that a married man could have a sexual relationship without it being adultery, because according to the Hebrew conception of marriage and adultery, it was impossible to “cheat on your wife.”

    Jesus:

    I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

    Matthew 5:28

  140. digbydolben permalink
    November 15, 2008 1:56 am

    Oh, for God’s sake, you homophobic idiots, I’m not “defending” pederasty, “sexual slavery,” or even Jesus Christ’s putative “liberalism.”

    I’m just trying to wake some of you up to the fact that in the historical epoch of New Testament times they had different ideas regarding what was conventional sexually, and to the fact that Jesus Christ, even if He WAS the “Messiah” or a deity in a Trinity, was ALSO a product of those times.

    I actually think He had much more pressing concerns during the time of his teaching “mission”: He thought that the world was about to end and that the “lost sheep” of Israel had to at least MINIMALLY conform to the Law in order to escape perdition. This appears in the anxious tenor of all of His preaching, and it’s quite different from what the “Church” teaches–or even what Paul distorted those preachings into.

  141. digbydolben permalink
    November 15, 2008 3:48 am

    Gerald:

    I wouldn’t “fit right in” with the Catholic bishops’ hypocrisy regarding “pederasty,” because I believe that “pederasty” is a terrible thing, and that an open and honest “homosexual lifestyle” need not be.

  142. S.B. permalink
    November 15, 2008 10:40 am

    So now “digby” says that pederasty is a “terrible thing,” even though his whole point up to now has been that Jesus approved of the Roman centurion’s (alleged) pederasty by not condemning it.

    I think poor “digby” is just confused.

  143. David Nickol permalink
    November 15, 2008 10:52 am

    Steve,

    Matthew 5:28 does not make the point I think you are trying to make. I did not say that under Jewish law a man could not commit adultery. I said he could not “cheat on his wife.”

    Any man, married or unmarried, who had sex with a married woman was committing adultery. However, a married man who “cheated on his wife” and had sex with an unmarried woman was not committing adultery.

    Matthew 5:28 clearly cannot be taken to mean that an unmarried man who who looks at an unmarried woman with lust commits adultery with her in his heart, because there can be no question of adultery when both parties are unmarried. Therefore, for the sake of making any sense at all of this passage, you have to assume that at least one of the parties is married. But Jesus doesn’t say which one.

    I will go out on a limb and say I don’t think Jesus specifically addresses the case of a married man having sex with an unmarried woman. However, you might be able to infer something from Jesus’s statements about divorce and remarriage.

    In any case, to repeat what I said in my earlier message, “Whether or not my analysis holds up. I think you are projecting back a contemporary understanding of marriage and adultery to a time when the understanding was quite different.”

    By the way, under Jewish law (Halakha) even today, if a married man has sex with an unmarried woman, it is not adultery. It is, however, strongly condemned.

  144. David Nickol permalink
    November 15, 2008 11:00 am

    S.B.

    I think one would have to sound Digby out on whether he is referring to pederasty as practiced by the Greeks and Romans as a “terrible thing” or whether he is talking about the practice in our own culture. Today we think of polygamy as a “terrible thing,” but we do not condemn Abraham, or Solomon, or David for having multiple wives.

    The Old Testament is filled with “terrible things” that we would certainly condemn if they were taking place today, but it doesn’t make sense to condemn them in their time and place, otherwise most of the heroes and heroines in the Bible were guilty of “terrible things.”

  145. S.B. permalink
    November 15, 2008 11:16 am

    So your point is that “digby” could be arguing that: 1) Jesus implicitly approved of the Roman centurion’s (alleged and speculative) practice of sexual slavery and pederasty, but 2) the ancient practice of pederasty and sexual slavery is closely analogous not to today’s pederasty, but to today’s “open and honest” homosexual relationships. That would be an . . . interesting argument to make.

  146. Mike J. permalink
    November 15, 2008 12:21 pm

    Wow, with all this scriptural literalism and proof-texting, I almost thought this was a Protestant blog and we didn’t have a Magisterium.

    The problem with many of these arguments is that they assume that what is in the Scriptures is *all* that was ever said – that there can’t be any other words from Christ’s mouth than the ones recorded. He was a quiet man, indeed, but if that were true, we should have given up the “Catholic” project a long time ago since there are scads of things not explicitly stated in scripture that are part of the Tradition.

    -Mike J.

  147. David Nickol permalink
    November 15, 2008 2:28 pm

    Going back somewhat toward the initial issues raised, The New York Times has a story titled Mormons Tipped Scale in Ban on Gay Marriage, which describes how deeply involved Mormons were in the battle to pass Proposition 8. It appears it could not have passed without them.

  148. David Nickol permalink
    November 15, 2008 3:46 pm

    Wow, with all this scriptural literalism and proof-texting, I almost thought this was a Protestant blog and we didn’t have a Magisterium.

    Mike J,

    Imagine! Catholics reading the Bible and discussing it! As if they couldn’t just check with the Magesterium to find out what they are supposed to think! The Bible should never have been translated!

  149. November 15, 2008 5:56 pm

    I haven’t read through all the comments here. I figure they would infuriate me. Perhaps you’ve already talked about this:

    “Jesus was gay,” they shouted among other profanities and blasphemies as they rushed the stage.

    Saying “Jesus was gay” is “profane”? “Blasphemy”? Really?

    Um, no, it’s not.

  150. David Nickol permalink
    November 15, 2008 6:38 pm

    Michael,

    I think the assumption has to be that Jesus had no sexual orientation and no sexual impulses or feelings. It’s not that I believe that. It’s just that everyone would be outraged if you attributed any kind of sexuality and perfectly normal sexual experience to Jesus, so it’s better just to pretend there was nothing there.

  151. David Nickol permalink
    November 15, 2008 6:45 pm

    Michael,

    I should have added that there is a book I hope some day to get around to reading titled The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion by Leo Steinberg.

  152. November 15, 2008 7:26 pm

    David – I think you’re right. And the idea that Jesus had no sexual orientation and/or impulses is, of course, heretical.

    I’ve looked at that book online before; looks fascinating.

  153. November 16, 2008 2:39 am

    digby – I was being facetious.

    It was very strange for a man not to be married in Jewish
    Society. Maybe his wife suffered the same fate as his siblings.

  154. digbydolben permalink
    November 16, 2008 2:46 am

    Steinberg’s book is magnificent, and there’s a theological point that goes along with it: Steinberg delineates an idea that the theology of the High Renaissance in Italy saw the best expression of the Incarnation of Christ because it included the sexuality of Christ and that absolutely guileless and wholly idealistic imagery of it such as an erect penis on the figure of the Risen Christ was welcomed by the cultivated humanists who led the Church in those days.

    In the wake of the new puritanism sparked by the Protestant Reformation, however, the Catholic Church grew panicked at such ideas and imagery and began to try to be “more Protestant than the Protestants.” This was the time when the nudity of Michelangelo’s “Last Judgment” fresco was “cleaned” at the insistence of the first and last Grand Inquisitor to occupy the papal throne before the present incumbent, Paul IV Caraffa.

    Steinberg suggests that the loss to Catholic theology and culture have been enormous, and, to extrapolate a little from his ideas, I think that the puritanism you can see in this thread, in which the minor aspect of Jesus’s relative indifference (pace SB, not “approval of”) to a sexual peculiarity of his times creates such a stir among people who have confused religious culture with actual faith (which, although I have almost none myself, I have always been able to recognise instantly).

  155. November 16, 2008 2:58 am

    It was very strange for a man not to be married in Jewish Society.

    Generally true, yes. But then of course you also have the Essenes who were largely celibate. It’s interesting that many “reinterpretations” of the life of Jesus will make the claim that Jesus must have been married since he was Jewish and then on the other hand claim that he was very much influenced by the Essenes.

    It’s also strange that they tend to want to portray Jesus as “just your average Jewish male” in this one particular area of his life, when the overall trajectory of his life obviously shows that he did all sorts of strange things that got him killed in the end.

  156. November 16, 2008 12:05 pm

    Some of the Essenes were. They apparently were a bit like Opus Dei (minus albino monks) with a celibate and married population. Contemporary interpretations of them seem to have fallen prey to kitsch – much like many “Eastern” things. Associating Yoda and David Carradine, lotus ponds and New Age music with Buddhism, for example. I just read an interesting book you (Michael) might like – “Hardcore Zen” by Brad Warner (punk rocker/Zen ‘priest’) that, uh, is quite different from that =)

    Whether Jesus was married or not, had siblings or not ( I believe Protestants accept that, on the average) is per se irrelevant, it’s just that, in conjunction with (the claim of) Mary’s never having had sex it says a lot about Catholicism’s odd take on sex – somewhere torn between celibacy and fertility ‘worship’. Celibacy is ‘better’ but ya kinda need fertility to produce more celibates :-P

    To return to the original subject. Apart from the fact that ‘the people’ should not be allowed to amend constitutions, let alone by simple majority, I am quite confident that our California Supreme Court will right this wrong. By the time it comes around again for a Prop., a sufficient amount of the no-vote will have succumbed to old age while more young people will be able to vote who today already embrace equality. One love :o)

  157. November 16, 2008 12:08 pm

    Yeah I’ve heard of “Hardcore Zen.” Sounds interesting. I’m about finished with a book you might like, Gerald: “Jesus Acted Up: A Gay and Lesbian Manifesto” by Robert Goss.

  158. November 16, 2008 3:52 pm

    That I haven’t seen before :) I have a book called “Jesus for the Non-Religious” that’s quite interesting.

  159. November 16, 2008 4:27 pm

    Eh, I’m not too into Spong.

  160. Mike J. permalink
    November 17, 2008 12:05 am

    “Mike J,

    Imagine! Catholics reading the Bible and discussing it! As if they couldn’t just check with the Magesterium to find out what they are supposed to think! The Bible should never have been translated!”

    Thank you for amplifying the argument I never made!

    I was pointing out that much of the discussion seemed to be occurring in a vacuum with respect to the manner in which Catholics are supposed to read scripture and receive Divine Revelation (i.e. along the lines laid out in Dei Verbum). It’s a tad more nuanced than the direction you took in your response to my comment.

  161. David Nickol permalink
    November 17, 2008 11:12 am

    It’s a tad more nuanced than the direction you took in your response to my comment.

    Mike J,

    You are right, and I was wrong. I apologize. Almost every time I use sarcasm, I regret it. There should be a sarcasm filter that prevents such posts from appearing.

    I will say, though, because I am by nature defensive, that I was relying for my argument to a certain extent on Dictionary of the Bible, by John L. McKenzie, S.J., which has an Imprimatur.

    Also, I am resentful that my Catholic education (grade school and high school, 1953-1965) involved almost no reading and interpretation of the Bible. I was never required to own a Bible, even in high school. And I have found it ironic that my Protestant father had a copy of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible which I was not supposed to look at, but nowadays it is widely used by Catholics, and I believe it was even the version the pope used when quoting the Gospels in Jesus of Nazareth.

  162. Mike J. permalink
    November 17, 2008 2:19 pm

    David,
    Sarcasm is, indeed, a tricky beast on the internet. I will say that my criticism wasn’t directed at your arguments, per se, but rather at some of the dubious proof-texts and (eise)exegetical works that were quoted above. Your own arguments are pointing out the flaws in those approaches.

    I can sympathize quite well with your resentment at Catholic Education. I went through in our glorious post-Vatican II system also doing the full 12 years of grade+high school (1985-1997) and the bible was missing to a large degree. It took meeting my wife who attended a charismatic evangelical church to get me reading Scripture, and then when I returned to the Church and my wife converted, it was because I realized all of the difficulties in interpreting sans Tradition or a Magisterium. It was a rather circuitous route to learn something I should have been taught much, much sooner.

    The RSV is the preferred translation it seems. It’s quoted in the Catechism and most of B16’s encyclicals and books use it as opposed to NAB. For something that’s supposed to be proclaimed at the lectern, the NAB just falls flat, in my opinion. Neither of them are used for the psalms of the Liturgy of the Hours, for that we need a product from England: the Grail translation. If only we could get some more Anglican aesthetics into the Latin rite!

    Peace,
    Mike

  163. November 17, 2008 2:36 pm

    Is beastiality the next frontier?
     
    No, silly. It’s polygamy, then child brides and boy toys, then incest, and then bestiality. Didn’t you get the memo?

  164. November 17, 2008 4:17 pm

    One can only hope that both the posters were kidding:

    “Is beastiality the next frontier?

    “No, silly. It’s polygamy, then child brides and boy toys, then incest, and then bestiality. Didn’t you get the memo?”

    Of course they might not be kidding. I’ve heard similar arguments from some. I believe that idiot Rick Santorum made it as well. “Slipper slope”, they call it. With the same right one could say that sex between men and women is just a notch about getting it on with Fido. I don’t think those pious souls even grasp how offensive they are.

    Re: Spongebob ;-) He has some good points but tends towards gooey sentiments frequently. I DO prefer Hardcore Zen.

  165. Steve permalink
    November 17, 2008 10:10 pm

    More fine examples of normalcy to prove the “bigots” wrong.

    Am I alone in begining to wonder if the vice of uncontrolled homosexuality is something that severly damages the moral direction of men? These people are scary nuts. They should be locked up. I pray that all active gays are not this violently corrupted, but I am beginning to fear the worst.

  166. November 17, 2008 11:13 pm

    I don’t think those pious souls even grasp how offensive they are.

    Translation: I have no way to refute the slippery slope argument — especially in light of those who correctly predicted the coming of legalized gay marriage and adoption back when gay advocates were calling such notions a vicious lie fabricated solely to discredit them — so I’m just going to shout how mean and offensive the other side is and hope no one notices.

  167. November 18, 2008 2:58 am

    Only a moral retard would view gay marriage as a step towards beastiality. Come to think of it, places with actual beastiality (nervous sheep, goats, cows…) tend to be pretty homophobic.

    In any case, my wife and I are on the side of equality for our friends and family. In the end, these things prevail. Nobody would have thought a black man could be elected president four decades after not being allowed to drink from the same fountain.

  168. Steve permalink
    November 18, 2008 6:49 am

    Only a moral retard would view gay marriage as a step towards beastiality.

    If your moral retard test has the violent beasts (represented in the above videos) as part of its “normal” criteria, then count me in as a retard please.

  169. digbydolben permalink
    November 18, 2008 10:48 am

    Well, Steve, your Catholic Christianity would supposedly posit that no human being is a “beast” no matter how violent he becomes…Which goes to show how spurious your “Catholic Christianity” is.

  170. November 18, 2008 10:58 am

    With the same right one could say that sex between men and women is just a notch about getting it on with Fido. I don’t think those pious souls even grasp how offensive they are.

    Back in the old testament, the prophets were pretty offensive. As a matter of fact, so offensive that the people they were trying to help usually tried to murder them (when they weren’t banishing them).

    But then as a recent humanist revert, Gerald, you probably don’t hold the Bible in very high accord.

    It is a spiritual act of mercy to “admonish the sinner” and “teach the ignorant”. I’m trying to do both.

    As far as prophetic, you might want to read Humanae Vitae. Pope Paul VI was prophetic as to what the contraceptive mentality would buy this society. And there is no more contracepted sex than homosex.

    So when married sex between a husband and wife open to children is correct, everything else is incorrect in various degrees. You’ll have to excuse me for believing that condoning one incorrectness might lead you to condone another incorrectness.

  171. November 18, 2008 11:16 am

    Wow, such hypocrisy from the enlightened among us. You’d think he’d be a little more concerned with how his children will look back on his bigotry, given that the tide of progress is sweeping his kind away. And here he is reduced to using the r-word. (I wonder what Gerald calls Obama in private?)  Then again, I suppose it doesn’t matter which other groups one steps over so long as his and his wife’s pet faction (no pun intended) gets a leg up.
     
    Come to think of it, places with actual beastiality (nervous sheep, goats, cows…) tend to be pretty homophobic.
     
    Really? What about ancient Rome and ancient Greece? In fact, I suspect a fair number of those storied ancient cultures we keep hearing about that saw nothing wrong with homosexuality weren’t too particular about other ways of relieving one’s urges. There’s also modern-day Tijuana, though you’d know more about that than the rest of us would. Finally, a subculture of men who risk death by positioning themselves under randy horses (it was all the rage at Sundance, you know — so courageous and bold and transgressive, the critics said) don’t strike me as particularly heterosexual. But as long as we have you to tell us there’s no connection whatsoever, and to let us know when to keep our minds shut, I suppose that should be more than enough.

  172. Steve permalink
    November 18, 2008 11:57 am

    Digby,

    If some choose to act like beasts, there isn’t much I can do about that. I pray for them, but if they go anywhere near my family, they ought first to consider that we are well armed.

  173. David Nickol permalink
    November 18, 2008 5:17 pm

    I pray for them, but if they go anywhere near my family, they ought first to consider that we are well armed.

    I can almost hear you saying, “Make my day.”

  174. Steve permalink
    November 18, 2008 5:37 pm

    I can almost hear you saying, “Make my day.”

    I can quite clearly hear you saying, “I’m an oracle. Step into my parlor.”

  175. November 19, 2008 3:20 pm

    The only time I still write something online is when it comes to equal rights, with gay rights being the issue at hand of course. Other than that, I’ve become serenely disinterested.

    After someone suggested that the next step from gay marriage would be beastiality and mentioned that he was well-armed – and basing his beliefs on the bible – and thus doing people a favor by ‘admonishing the sinner’, I responded:

    Well, we love our three cats, but not in that way. Nor do our married gay relatives. Some of us ‘fag lovers’ are well-armed, too. We have a .45 with Federal HydraShok ammo and laser sights. Not to mention combat knives, hatchets, baseball bats….My wife’s a good shot as well.

    Basing anything on the Hebrew Scriptures because one affirms its inerrancy is of course an absurdity, unless one is willing to stone people – then again, I bet some here would love to. You also should affirm having slaves, concubines, genociding a bit among your neighboring tribes etc. – all sanctioned by “G-d”. For some reason, he always was in a bad mood.

    ‘Admonishing the sinner’ is a favorite pastime among the overly pious. I mean, everybody needs a hobby but still :-P Curiously, such admonishing always targets matters sexual, not, say, being a complete, intolerant bastard.

    It is pointless to argue within Catholicism, the rejection of all but self-flagellating, self-rejecting homosexuals is a firm part of it. It’s also of no interest what others believe lest it curtail others’ rights. The sheer idiocy of the claims – they’ll teach our children about the gays in school ! As if it would or could ‘recruit’ kids. What, the existence of gay people has to be kept from them ? It reminds me of Lucy’s pregnancy that was not shown on tv. As if that meant it didn’t exist. I guess the connection was “Pregnancy means sex. Dear god, sex! We must not talk about that.”

    Anybody who thinks of relationships, not one-nighters, as merely ‘following one’s urges’ degrades himself and others. Any person is capable of love, whether it’s directed towards one’s gender or towards the opposite, makes no difference. This is obvious pretty much anywhere in the West, except for the not-so-desirable parts of the USA and among America’s religious conservatives. I can understand why digby bailed :D

    I suggest looking at oneself with the help of some tough-love Zen, laughing with Nietzsche, kicking back with some Buena Vista Social Club and shedding a tear or twenty with Puccini. One tends to worry less about the ‘devious influence’ of ‘the gays’ or any other ‘hot button’ issue following that prescription.

    For those who claim to follow Jesus, engaging in self-reflection might be more productive – and prescribed – than finding people to pester and persecute – as proscribed. As the Buddha relayed – and Nietzsche as well – question everything, including him. Adopting someone else’s system of beliefs can never be fully true to oneself. Adapting beats adopting. Conforming to something external will always fall short. It’s not about what you follow, but what you leave behind, let go of. Such reduction will not lead to the absurd but to the essential. No one needs to discriminate against others, it will only hold her back. In general, valuing one thing over another can carry in it the seed of murder. So does silence in the presence of injustice. Theodor W. Adorno wrote that the conversation with a man on a train, with whom one agrees on a few things so as to avoid an argument, when one knows that they will lead to murder, already constitutes treason.

    Why is this a concern for me ? I’m not gay. Sure, I have gay friends and relatives, but that is not the point or the reason. Rather, to quote Booker T. Washington, “One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.” Granted, not being able to get married is a much smaller injustice than slavery, but an injustice doesn’t depend on degree for its existence. Ironically, the vast majority of black people, partly because they feel that gays are taking away a monopoly from them, partly because of the dual forces of religion and a highly destructive macho culture, oppose equal rights for gays.

    To paraphrase Robert Kennedy paraphrasing G.B. Shaw,

    “Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say “Why the f*** not?”

    We should be happy, rather than fear- or hateful, when two people want to spend their lives together, rather than ‘admonishing’ them, let alone vote against their rights. As Bob Marley said, One Love.

  176. digbydolben permalink
    November 19, 2008 4:15 pm

    Gerald, I can see now that, despite your irrational hatred of Obama (which I predict, now, will change, when you watch how he governs), you are obviously a gentleman and a humanist.

    Your kind of “humanism” was once the most glorious part of the Roman clergy’s tradition. I “bailed” because it–the intellectual tradition of Newman and Aquinas and Teilhard de Chardin–has been effectively renounced by a hierarchy who demonstrate their dearth of faith by their fear of the change that is normal in history and a part of human nature.

    I, too, am not “homosexual” (to the extent that that word, or the word “heterosexual” has any meaning), but I have friends whom I love dearly who would define themselves using that terminology. They have good lives and their unions are life-enhancing and beneficial to themselves, to their children and to their communities. I, like you, will NOT stand by and watch them villified by barbarians who camouflage their atavistic hatreds and their lust for violence under the ancient, sacred rubric of “Catholicism.” The life and teachings of Jesus Christ are made a mockery of by these people.

    But what you have written says it all, much more beautifully than I can write. Thank you.

  177. Jeremy permalink
    November 19, 2008 4:50 pm

    I, too, am not “homosexual” (to the extent that that word, or the word “heterosexual” has any meaning),

    That part has been bothering me recently. I also don’t think the range of human sexuality can be properly bounded by straight and gay, however, we essentially created a legal class based on a person’s desires, and are now the courts are forcing society to change in rather drastic fashion to accommodate those desires. If that doesn’t that strike you as slippery slope, what does?

  178. November 19, 2008 5:13 pm

    :) Glad you liked it. It doesn’t do much, but regardless one has to take a rise against a sea of troubles and, just maybe, by opposing end them. Who needs the f***ing slings and arrows of outrageous fortune ? I believe that’s Shakespeare in the Urtext =-)

    As far as Obama goes, it’s more the cult around him that irks me. How he’ll do, we’ll see. Certainly the Republicans deserved to get kicked out. I’m just no fan of either party, for different reasons. Both parties are intrusive – as I say, school busing versus school prayer. While I find the black population’s overwhelming rejection of gay rights (that’s as tough a group to come out to as you’ll find) lamentable, it certainly is impressive that a (half)black (the fact that black erases any other ethnic heritage is something that’ll disappear eventually) man was elected. Actually, with many, his ‘blackness’ helped, due to the self-rewarding feel-good kick one got out of it. Nonetheless, the country has come far, from Bull Connor to President Obama.

    I predict it’ll be the same with gay folks, it’s already changed drastically. The ‘fate’ of Ellen Degeneres alone is a huge indicator. From scandal and boycotts by some backwater states to celebrated talkshow hostess. Europe’s already won over for the most part. So are the kids and teens (must be that devious influence in school ! heh).

    Nobody should care about others’ harmless characteristics. The ‘filing’ of people into neat little drawers is the doing of the intellectually feeble and fearful. Life is too complex to fit into any of them, unless one squeezes oneself in. Nobody should be assigned to or assign herself to a pre-existing role. Black opera singers, female race drivers, what have you. What is important is to free oneself from these ballasts of history and, as Nietzsche said, become what one is. Or the famous dictum by Simone de Beauvoir that nobody is a born a woman – or a man, or whatever. To accept a dictated role begrudgingly, let alone willingly, already means defeat. Taking shortcuts in judging others,or reducing them to a particular feature is convenient but disgraceful. To overtake others’ stereotypes, internalize them is tragic, and it’s exactly what a big segment of the black population did – if you think what was always said about them, you’ll see that they now have adopted it as virtues and being bona fide black ! Having been told for ages that they’re stupid, many now say studying is for whites and those who do it are ‘oreos’. Having been told that they’re promiscuous, they create the ‘my baby’s daddy’ phenomenon. It truly is a cruel irony, and especially so since these changes largely occured after the civil rights movement’s big achievements.

    As an aside, I’m much more serene because I no longer get the exactly wrong medication. Needless to say, I have a new doctor who saw that I was showing behavior and thought patterns that can loosely (since there is no exact cookie cutter for these things) be surmised under ADHD/OCD and Bipolar Disorder (kissing cousins, if you will) . That explains the Closed Cafeteria, heh. A manic phase of the first order – when manic, everything that seems to be a ‘buzz kill’ becomes the enemy. And obsession to that, and you get an indefatigable ankle-biter. Turns, out I just needed some adjustments to ‘let go of my bad self’. The difference between before and after is that ‘my bad self’ only does cameos these days. Having gone through with this ‘spring cleaning’, inflammatory blogging became quite literally unthinkable. It truly is fascinating how the mind works, what perverse patterns of rewarding it develops. And all that time, we think that this is who we are, this is what makes us us. A Zen master would whack one over the head. To quote Bruce Springsteen, ‘everything that seemed so important just vanished right into the air’.

    All that we cling to, the lines we don’t want just drawn but cemented in the sand, that’s all just fear of losing control. The most fearful are also the most violent. This is true with many in religions. One’d think true believers would be happier than many are, less concerned about what others do that doesn’t impact them (outside of paranoia, that is). As Bertrand Russell said, “they don’t celebrate their faith, they mourn it”.

    Of course, now that I am in nobody’s corner I don’t really have a market :) Which is not a problem, since I am a photographer and focus (pardon the pun) on that. The difference in inspiration, concepts, results has been staggering.

    “All that you can’t leave behind” should fit into carry-on.

    I’ll close with Bruce Springsteen:

    There were ghosts in the eyes
    Of all the boys you sent away
    They haunt this dusty beach road
    In the skeleton frames of burned out Chevrolets
    They scream your name at night in the street
    Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet
    And in the lonely cool before dawn
    You hear their engines roaring on
    But when you get to the porch they’re gone

  179. November 19, 2008 5:21 pm

    If ‘gay’ people are a legal class based on sexual desire, so are ‘straight’ people. Of course, neither are. To reduce love to lust, sex, desire (which is common in all varieties of humans) – while they are of course not unrelated – is only ‘fair’ if one applies it to one’s on demographic group, too. Love has many facets, the sum of which is greater than its facets, and no checking-of-boxes can do it justice. Not that it makes gay people special, noble, free from crap and prejudice. They’re just like everybody else – which is exactly the point that has to be driven home. They can be just as insufferable as you are, so shut the *$#! up :o) How’s that for a plea for equality.

  180. Jeremy permalink
    November 19, 2008 5:53 pm

    they can be just as insufferable as you are
    I’ll have to check with my wife on that and get back to you.

    Love has many facets, the sum of which is greater than its facets, and no checking-of-boxes can do it justice.
    Precisely why it makes little sense to rewrite marriage laws based on love. Unless of course, you are ready to dispense with the antiquated institution entirely?

  181. November 19, 2008 6:20 pm

    “you” as in “me and you”, not singling YOU out :P

    i love being married (hi honey), everybody should be able to get married :)

  182. November 19, 2008 7:08 pm

    First of all, Gerald, the person who first asked if bestiality was the next frontier was not the same as the later poster admonished gay protesters that he was armed, but facts don’t seem to be your forte these days. Secondly, bestiality was actually put last in line of a fairly long list of expanding circles of what society presumes to dictate as to who or what people are allowed to love as they choose. Hmm… note how that last sentence was phrased and ponder a moment where else you heard something similar. (It is also worth noting, that the actual next item on that list, polygamy, was made all but inevitable once society gave up prosecuting adultery, so that gays can hardly be blamed for that, but I digress.)
     
    For now, there’s still plenty more we have to plan out, if we’re going to put you on the right side of what your children might think one day, and really, what in life could be more important than that? Because when you look at the heavens with a telescope, you’ll see it’s not just boy-toy Gannymede who is rotating around his sugar daddy Jupiter, there’s also that bull-hussy Europa. Oh, what a size queen she must have been! And just think of the colorful float they’ll make to honor her in the pride parades. How educational that will be for the children! (Interestingly, even the seduction of Gannymede is often depicted as taking place when Jupiter/Zeus was in the form of an eagle.)
     
    By the way, did Jesus ever explicitly condemn bestiality? Because gay rights advocates sure do make a big deal about things like that, as I recall. And even as we speak, the same crackpot academics that according to digby are having a field day with centurions’ servants, are no doubt gleefully rattling out long essays on the many instances of shepherds in Biblical and classical texts and what all that should mean to us. Because, c’mon, everyone knows what shepherds do in their free time, don’t they, digby?
     
    Finally, Gerald, let me add that I really do look forward to more of the delicious irony that comes from being called intolerant and offensive by someone who throws around the r-word the way you do. (Did your counselor wife, in recounting for you the gory details of the pain caused by hurtful homophobic words, never bother to give you a rundown on the r-word? Why is that, do you think? Is concern for non-homophobic bigotry above her pay grade?)

  183. Steve permalink
    November 19, 2008 10:09 pm

    Gerald,

    What HA said.

    And, when I mentioned the fact that I was armed, in was in the context of the quite voilent intentions of those in the videos posted above. The fact that they are armed is a foregone assumption, and, if true, a very scary assumtion at that. Since *they* are the aggressors, it would seem that you are suggesting that they are not only going to practice mob intimidation, but kill those that happen to disagree. Judging by the behavior presented, I would not be at all surprised.

  184. digbydolben permalink
    November 20, 2008 12:29 am

    Here’s the truth about those “peaceful Christians” being “attacked” by the rabid gay “beasts”:

    I watched Bill O’Reilly last night interview actor Kirk Cameron on marriage equality, an interview in which Cameron said that civil marriage is not susceptible to any change because it is ordained by God. Like many of his fellows, Cameron sees no distinction – because there can never be a distinction for fundamentalists – between civil and religious law. To his credit, O’Reilly asked all the right questions of Cameron, but he kept showing that Youtube of a confrontation in the Castro district, as the bars closed. O’Reilly has not shown any images of the hundreds of totally positive, peaceful protests that went on across the country last Saturday. But that clip, like the Jeremiah Wright clips, are being shown over and over again on Fox to polarize the debate, and to whip up fear among conservative Christians.

    But who were those people who decided that immediately after the bruising Prop 8 battle, it was necessary to go into the Castro district to urge homosexuals to repent at the very moment on a weekend night when many bar patrons in a nightlife district would be inebriated or otherwise feisty?

    The prayer push was totally within their rights, of course, and should not have been impeded. But I think we can say it was not exactly tactful at such a raw moment. As one of their overly-angry protestors put it, “Why here? Why now?’ Well: you get some idea by watching where one of them ended up soon after, at an event in Kansas hosted by Christian Dominionist, Lou Engle, of Joel’s Army. He is an advocate of total religious war against “demonic” gay people. And one of the young women who went into the gay neighborhood that night calls for a “mass exodus from the demonic influence of the Castro.” Dominionists want an end to the Constitution and reimposition of Biblical law. They truly are the American Taliban. And when they go looking for a religious war, Fox News is there to help them.

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/11/those-peaceful.html

    You, “Steve” and “HA,” are running dogs of a movement that really doesn’t have a shred of “Christian” decency, tact or compassion about it: you attack your opponent where he’s weakest—drunk and depressed, and are absolutely unscrupulous about tactics because you know no honour.

  185. November 20, 2008 2:35 am

    Someone seriously interviewed KIRK CAMERON ? He’s like a painful growth.

    The nuts in this country, I tell ya.

  186. David Nickol permalink
    November 20, 2008 10:55 am

    The fact that they are armed is a foregone assumption, and, if true, a very scary assumtion at that. Since *they* are the aggressors, it would seem that you are suggesting that they are not only going to practice mob intimidation, but kill those that happen to disagree. Judging by the behavior presented, I would not be at all surprised.

    Steve,

    You are making some rather wild assumptions based on no evidence. As best I can find from reading the news stories on Google, there were only 7 arrests (all in Los Angeles) and I can’t find any evidence that there were any injuries.

    The video shows a rather ugly mob, and I don’t approve of intimidating little old ladies or stomping on crosses, but how in the world do you arrive at the conclusion that the gay protesters were armed and intent on killing people? How many people have been killed so far by gay protesters since the Stonewall Riots in 1969? Certainly none that I have ever heard of. On the other hand, plenty of people have been beaten or killed just for being gay.

  187. November 20, 2008 1:00 pm

    i love being married (hi honey), everybody should be able to get married :)

    Everyone is able to get married. All they have to do is find someone of the opposite sex that will have them.

  188. David Nickol permalink
    November 20, 2008 1:52 pm

    Everyone is able to get married. All they have to do is find someone of the opposite sex that will have them.

    Tony,

    Surely you are not recommending that men or women with “deep seated homosexual tendencies” should enter into heterosexual marriage, are you?

  189. digbydolben permalink
    November 20, 2008 4:12 pm

    Oh, yes, David, be assured, that IS what he’s suggesting. Not only that, but that the MALE in the situation, as far as he is concerned, should “fool around” with some submissive, self-hating “boy toy” (as he would term it), never be honest about his natural desires with his wife or children, and keep the patriarchy and the code of “macho” sexual ethics dominant with lies and hypocrisy. All would be right, then, in his horrible little world of “scaring boys straight” and keeping women “silent in church.”

    What is horrifying to contemplate, however, is the state of frenzied insanity that will overtake such individuals when they realise, in ten or twelve years, that their own sons and daughters have thoroughly deserted their weltanshaung. I truly DO dread the ferocity of their “backlash” in that period of American history.

  190. Steve permalink
    November 21, 2008 8:22 am

    how in the world do you arrive at the conclusion that the gay protesters were armed

    It was suggested by Genrald:

    Some of us ‘fag lovers’ are well-armed, too.

    But judging by their obviously violent intentions, it would be safer, for the sake of personal safety, to assume that they are armed.

  191. David Nickol permalink
    November 21, 2008 9:12 am

    But judging by their obviously violent intentions, it would be safer, for the sake of personal safety, to assume that they are armed.

    Steve,

    Obviously violent intentions? How do you account for the fact that there have been nationwide protests by thousands of demonstrators since Proposition 8 passed, and the total number of arrests I can find is 7 (in Los Angeles) and there have been no injuries reported.

    Once again, how many people have been killed by gay demonstrators? And how many gay people have been harassed, beaten, or killed just because they were gay?

    Soccer fans are a much more violent bunch than gay protesters. Make sure if you go to a soccer game that you’re well armed.

  192. Steve permalink
    November 21, 2008 9:25 am

    Yes, quite obviously. If it weren’t for the police presence in this video, for example, I wonder what would have happened…

    It also seems to me that some of these protesters could have been arrested, and that the police themselves were afraid. I’m sorry, I just don’t buy into the spin that most of these protesters are standing in circles singing kum-by-ya.

    And you’re right. Only a nut would go to one of those soccer games. They act like beasts there too.

  193. November 21, 2008 9:44 am

    Soccer is for Communists, clearly. They’re probably gay, too.

  194. Steve permalink
    November 21, 2008 10:05 am

    Indeed. Just leave me to my peaceful, right-field Fenway bleachers.

  195. November 21, 2008 11:45 am

    Well, who knew, Steve has a redeeming feature :P You should see my Soxmobile.

  196. Frank permalink
    November 23, 2008 1:56 pm

    The group singing and praying were affiliated with Joel’s Army, a Christian jihadist group who believe that “God” wants them to make converts through violence. All in all, the gay protesters should have been more disciplined and should have shown more physical restraint. I have no problem with their message to the Christofascist scum they were dealing with.

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