The Failure of Our Gay Marriage Arguments

Unless you’re willing to assert that homosexual behavior is immoral or unnatural (or both), you’ll have a hard time making an effective case against same-sex marriage (SSM). It won’t be impossible, just exceedingly difficult. Perhaps you’ll be able to reinforce the convictions of those who, like yourself, are already opposed to SSM. But you won’t change any minds among those who favor it, and you won’t win many converts among the undecided.

I say this as one who has been arguing in print against the gay movement for the past 25 years. Never have I asserted that homosexual behavior is immoral or unnatural. I set that question aside, confining myself instead to the social consequences that would follow from giving moral and social approval to homosexual behavior — from giving it, so to speak, society’s Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. My arguments, some of them overlapping with one another, have been as follows:

  • When law and public opinion give their endorsement to homosexual behavior, they implicitly condemn those who disapprove of such behavior, namely traditional Catholics, Protestants, and Jews.
  • The push for SSM is — at least de facto, if not deliberately — an attempt to destroy traditional Christianity.
  • The drive for SSM is but the latest stage of the sexual revolution, and at every one of that revolution’s earlier stages (casual fornication, unmarried cohabitation, out-of-wedlock childbirth, abortion), it has served to undermine marriage; why would any reasonable person imagine that this latest stage will be any different?
  • SSM is the reductio ad absurdum of marriage. If persons of the same sex can get married, doesn’t marriage then mean anything — and nothing?
  • Marriage was instituted for the begetting of children, something that two persons of the same sex cannot do.
  • A growing child has a profound psychological need for a mother and father. Two mothers won’t do, and neither will two fathers.
  • The undermining of marriage has had disastrous consequences for millions of children who have grown up fatherless (and usually in poverty). These consequences, while bad among all racial groups, have been worst among African Americans — in some cases frustrating the movement toward socioeconomic parity between black and white.

Now, I happen to believe these are good arguments and that they should be persuasive, even among those who don’t feel that homosexual behavior is immoral or unnatural. But, in practice, I find that the arguments don’t persuade anyone who is not already convinced.

And no wonder: If homosexual behavior is neither immoral nor unnatural, why should anyone object to it? And if it is unobjectionable, why should persons of the same sex be banned from marrying one another? On the other hand, if homosexual behavior is immoral or unnatural, then of course it is also objectionable. It should be discouraged at least by public opinion, and perhaps also by law; and by no means should SSM be allowed.

 

Why have many of us in the anti-SSM camp been unwilling to deploy the argument that homosexual behavior is immoral/unnatural? For one, we have been intimidated by the gay movement’s very formidable propaganda machine. If you say — indeed, if you even hint — that there may be something wrong with homosexual behavior, you will immediately be labeled a “homophobe” and a “bigot,” guilty of “hate speech.” For another, we are reluctant to hurt the feelings of persons we know, in some cases good friends: gay persons themselves, or their parents and relatives.

Perhaps most important, we want to argue from premises shared by everyone. If we argue that homosexual behavior is sinful, we would usually be arguing from Judeo-Christian premises; and although at one time these would have been shared by most Americans, this is no longer the case.

If, on the other hand, we argue that homosexual behavior is unnatural, we are arguing from ancient philosophical premises derived from Aristotle and Stoicism. According to Aristotle, those tendencies are natural that are common to all, or almost all, members of a species; if some individual members of a species deviate from these tendencies, these deviations are considered unnatural. According to Stoicism, nature is a manifestation of God; the study of nature, therefore, will uncover the will of God. Combine those philosophies, and homosexual behavior is seen as unnatural and contrary to the will of God.

But who has time, prior to denouncing homosexual behavior as immoral/unnatural, to explain the philosophy of Aristotle and the Stoics? And even if you take the time to explain, who will listen? Who will be deterred from supporting same-sex marriage because it conflicts with the philosophy of some Greeks who lived more than two millennia ago?

And so we forgo the immoral/unnatural argument, trying instead to win the argument by focusing on the probable social-psychological consequences of SSM. But in the long run, that argument seems doomed to fail: Polls show a very clear majority of the younger generation has no objection either to homosexual behavior generally or to SSM.

We may not change many minds, regardless of which approach we take. But by focusing on the argument that homosexual behavior is immoral/unnatural, we will at least stiffen the opposition to same-sex marriage among religious and philosophical traditionalists. If we table that argument, we will have played into the hands of our opponents. By our silence, we have virtually conceded that homosexual behavior is neither immoral nor unnatural — and, by extension, we have all but conceded that same-sex marriage is appropriate, too.

By

David R. Carlin Jr. is a politician and sociologist who served as a Democratic majority leader of the Rhode Island Senate. His books include "Can a Catholic Be a Democrat?: How the Party I Loved Became the Enemy of My Religion" and "The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America." Carlin is a current professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island at Newport.

  • Gian

    A large part of the blame must rest upon the so-called Conservatives. They did not oppose Contraception and Divorce strongly enough.

    Homosexual behaviour may be morally unobjectionable yet wholly unsuited to marriage. The ancient Greeks and modern Pashtuns do not have the same urge to same-sex marriage. I think the previous generation of American homosexuals would have found this enthusiasm for marriage absurd.

    In fact, it may be a perversion of Conservatism that is giving us this absurdity. Were the conservative blabbering about civilizing and other benefits of marriage a little less loud, the homosexual activists might not had found the inspiration.

    • Cord Hamrick

      Stretching it rather thin, Gian.

      I grant that conservatives are sinners and poor moral examples, and, because of the splintering of Christian unity in 1054 and 1517, morally confused about contraception and divorce.

      But surely if we assign them blame, we should assign proportionally more blame to left-liberals, who firmly and loudly advocate the enshrining of sin under the name of a sacrament?

      I mean, if on the one hand you have a man who admits the rightness of a moral principle but fails to live up to it, and on the other hand you have a man who shouts to the rafters that sin is not sin and that what is morally wrong is, in his view, morally right and laudable…? Between the two, which one is worse?

      At the very least, “a pox on both their houses” would be a more reasonable comment than singling out folk who are wishy-washy and double-minded as if they were a bigger problem than their political opponents, who willingly take it upon themselves to be apostles of hell’s gospel.

      I know you disagree economically with conservatives. Fine.

      But it seems an odd strategy, to try to score points against the religious right, in pursuit of your ongoing debate with the economic right.

  • Michael PS

    Look at the French experience.

    Here we have a country that, in the first line of its constitution proclaims its attachment to the Rights of Man and goes on to define itself as a secular (laïque) Republic, a country, moreover, that abolished its laws against blasphemy, sodomy and witchcraft, by the same resolution and without debate, on 26 September 1791. Nevertheless, the highest courts of that country – the Court of Cassation and the Constitutional Council – upholding the unanimous decisions of the lower courts, have rejected the supposed right to SSM, based on considerations of equality. They have declared that the different situations of same-sex and opposite-sex couples means that confining marriage to the latter falls within the legislature’s margin of appreciation, finding that its “specific and non-discriminatory character was the result of the fact that nature had limited potential fertility to couples of different sexes… Clearly, same-sex couples whom nature had not made potentially fertile were consequently not concerned by the institution of marriage. This was differential legal treatment because their situation was not analogous” In so deciding, they merely echoed the all but unanimous opinion of the country’s professors of private law.

    Perhaps, more remarkably still, no one, not even the most vocal supporters of SSM have suggested that these opinions are religiously motivated or that their opposition is grounded in an irrational hatred of homosexuals. They, themselves, see that such a charge against 154 of the country’s leading jurists and law professors, unanimously opposed SSM at the 1998 Symposium, would be ludicrous. Indeed, most of them have not even argued that the decisions are wrong, but have confined themselves to calling on the French people, through their representatives, to change the law.

    The reasoning of the jurists is summed up in a report of the French Senate, which may not be available in English, so I set it out here:
    Preserving the presumption ” is est pater quem nuptiae demonstrant “, [Dig. 2, 4, 5; 1] adopted in all European legislation as Ms. Frédérique Granet-Lambrechts, professor at the Robert Schuman University of Strasbourg, told your reporter, Article 312 of Civil Code provides that a child conceived or born during the marriage has the husband for its father.
    The presumption of paternity of the husband rests on the obligation of fidelity between spouses and reflects the commitment made by the husband during the celebration of marriage, to raise the couple’s children. The report presenting the order to the President of the Republic rightly points out that ” it is, in the words of Dean Carbonnier, the ‘heart of marriage,’ and cannot be questioned without losing for this institution its meaning and value.”

    Put shortly, (1) Mandatory civil marriage, makes the institution a pillar of the secular Republic, standing clear of the religious sacrament (2) The institution of republican marriage is inconceivable, absent the idea of filiation, enshrined, not in Church dogma, but in the Civil Code (3) The sex difference is central to filiation.

    • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

      “I take it that you didn’t read my previous comments”

      I tried to, but it has been a long thread: I apologize if I got your comments mixed up with others.

      “Let me ask you this, do YOU think that God wants two men or two women to marry? ”

      I think that in a secular society, “what God wants” is of no relevance in civil law.

      A couple of years ago, the Religious Society of Friends concluded in their Yearly Meeting in Britain that God *did* want Quakers to celebrate marriage for same-sex couples as for mixed-sex couples. In a free and secular country, Quakers are free to declare and hold by what they think God wants, and act on it within the law of the land, and so are Catholics: neither one gets to override the other. That’s how I think a country ought to be: every religion, and people of every religion, free to state what they think God wants – but the law of the land gives the same civil rights to all. Including the right to legally marry your chosen partner.

      “If you don’t go by God’s word”

      But can you honestly say you go by God’s word? Where in the gospels do you find God telling you to condemn gay people and deny them civil marriage?

      “There is a difference between a Priest celebrating a Mass for a man and woman and two people simply being legally married”

      Then why are you arguing that there isn’t? No one is arguing that a Catholic priest should have to celebrate Mass for two men. The only change in the world this Sunday is that many couples can get legally married who couldn’t before: there’s been no change whatsoever to the religious rites of marriage.

      “No where did I say anything about fertility, etc” … “I’d like to see where in this I put anything about having to have children to get to heaven. ”

      Yes, you did. You said: “God gave us the coming together of man and woman once we are married, so that we can bond and have children. All in the hopes of getting to heaven to share in love with our Savior”

      You seemed to be arguing (a) that childless couples can’t get into heaven (b) that no one can be allowed to get married unless they’re interfertile. If you disagree with this, fine: we don’t need to argue about it.

      But it does render completely hypocritical any argument that same-sex couples can’t marry because they can’t have children together.

      “If you think that this is an article supporting homosexual marriage, you are mistaken”

      Oh no: I get that the author is a homophobic bigot who thinks homophobia is central to Christianity and Christians are “destroyed” if they’re not allowed to discriminate and persecute against gay people. I disagree, based on the many Christians I know for whom the central value of their religion is not hate, but love.

  • Bob

    I believe it has been several years since Canada approved legally gay marriage. Interestingly, only approximately 17% of all homosexuals take advantage of this and get married, versus 75% of heterosexuals that get married in Canada. Why? Any thoughts? I believe the whole purpose of gays trying to legalize marriage has more to do with trying to justify their sexual behaviour (sodomy) and gaining acceptance from society that said behaviour is “moral.”

  • http://kevinjjones.blogspot.com Kevin J. Jones

    I have noticed the same phenomena, especially among the Catholic bishops.

    Perhaps this reluctance to speak about such matters draws from a concern about decency. But this reluctance only guarantees a further moral slide — sexual perversion is becoming more common among heterosexuals as well.

    In Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court basically declared a constitutional right to immoral behavior. Does that mean the immorality argument is barred from public consideration?

  • El Otro Pelón

    Basically, your arguments cited above amount to “I’m offended”, except for the one that highlights that marriage is primarily for children, which even the Catholic Church doesn’t believe in anyway. Otherwise it would not be granting “good conservative” Catholics two annulments to marry a third woman. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Otherwise, should we not force single mothers to marry? Is the state then to take children away from homosexual couples where children were conceived naturally or by artificial means? Gay men could never have children other than by adopting, but most lesbians I know have no qualms about having children by other means, or have children from previous heterosexual relationships.

    As for ancient philosophy, have you ever read Plato’s Symposium and the overt homosexuality in that text? And did not Aristotle’s star pupil, Alexander the Great, continue to have a male lover well up to the time of his premature death? I wonder if Aristotle had anything to say about that?

    “Failure” is a good word to describe this article.

    • Dave carlin

      El Otro: plenty of homosexuality in Plato, agreed, especially in Symposium. But Plato was almost as much a dramatist as a philosopher. The fact that many of his characters (but not Socrates) were homosexual does not prove that he approved of homosexuality. For a view of what he thought of that, see his Laws. As for Alexander, where is the evidence that he was homosexual (apart from the very bad movie made about him a few years ago)? Certainly there is no evidence of this kind in Plutarch, who has written, I believe the oldest surviving biography of Alexander.

    • Meagan

      Obviously you have experience with atleast one person being able to have an annulment (or two), but that is not the case for everyone. Even if it was, just because annulments are allowed more in the Church than they ought to be, doesn’t mean that is the true Church’s teaching. The Church does believe that marriage is for children. The teaching is that the coming together of a man and woman is for conceiving children and for bonding. You can’t claim to think the Catholic Church doesn’t teach this just because some of the people you have witnessed don’t practice it. That’s like saying that the true teaching of the Church isn’t really against birth control. No one said anything about taking children away from their parents. There are heterosexuals that aren’t good role models to their children too and no one is taking their kids away (unless it’s an unsafe situation). You are missing the whole point, well actually I guess you aren’t. You ask if they will be taken away from a home where they were naturally conceived. Well they may have been naturally conceived, but not from the two people that are raising them if their parents are homosexual. And do you really think that is a good situation for a child to grow up in? Knowing that their mother went out and got pregnant just so she could have a child with her partner?

  • Bob

    El Otro…….why, when marriage is made legal for gays, do so few take advantage of it and get married (see above post on only 17% of Canadien gays get married)? If marriage is so incredibly important to gays, why aren’t hundreds of thousands of American gay couples from across the country moving to states where it is legal (New Hampshire and Connecticut I believe, for example) to get married, where it is legal? The truth is very few gays take advantage of marriage when it is made legal…….why??

    • DT

      Where did the 17% figure come from as the percentage of gay/lesbians in Canada who are married, as it seems very high? The data from a year after the nationwide legalization of SSM in Canada showed that very, very few SSM conducted in Canada were for Canadians – the vast majority were for foreigners.

  • El Otro Pelón

    I’d turn that around: why is it that fewer and fewer Catholics are getting married in the Church? Should we not then ban church weddings because fewer and fewer people are opting for them? Whether or not people have a right to do something and whether they avail themselves of it or not are two separate issues.

  • Bob

    First, I’ll dispute that “fewer and fewer” Catholics are getting married in the Church. Second, your logic makes no sense. Gays fought hard for marriage, you would think that there would be this huge backlog or flood of gays getting married, but they’re not. I read a social study that said because the main focus of gay relationships is the sex, they are far less likely to be committed to a partner (one study stated that the sexually active gay man will in a lifetime have as many as 50 sexual partners.) Therefore, a committed, monogamous relationship within marriage is not what they are looking for.

    • digdigby

      I have known gay men and women with very long term relationships of 10, 20, 30 and more years. These can be very deep and loving friendships but homosexual sex as a rule is not the same ‘dimension’ in the relationship as with a heterosexual relationship. Homosexual sex is neurotic, fantasy based and not a central part of a ‘loving gay partnership’. As they age and lose all ‘market value’ in the gay ‘meat market’ of anonymous sex, they are either forced to pay for sex or else these partners fall into mutual or even solitary masturbatory activities. If you picture these ‘old queens’ having ‘sex’ with one another, relax, it ain’t happening very much.

  • RobP

    David,
    I enjoyed this article and agree that we need not shy away from the arguments from the immoral/unnatural nature of homosexual acts. If those arguing in favor don’t want to take the time to grapple with natural law, well, there’s no cure for invincible ignorance.

    On the other hand, I do think the arguments from social impact are very strong, and we should continue to focus on these. There are certainly many lacunae in the general understanding of what institutionalized marriage means and how exceptions (i.e., single parenting) fit into that institution.

    God bless,
    Rob

    • Michael PS

      The question of Same-Sex Marriage cannot be treated in isolation from those of adoption and assisted reproduction. At all events, the countries that have made marriage accessible to same-sex couples have all authorized adoption by such couples and developed systems of assisted conception – even surrogate gestation – to enable such couples to have children.

      Given the principle of the Civil Law that “Only things in trade can be the subject of an agreement” I suppose we are now to regard children, along with human genetic material, as articles of commerce.

      Once again, it is worth noting that it is secular France that has resolutely opposed these developments, restricting infertility treatment to pathological conditions, outlawing surrogacy and restricting joint adoption to married (opposite-sex) couples.

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

    I’ll address your arguments one at a time.

    “■When law and public opinion give their endorsement to homosexual behavior, they implicitly condemn those who disapprove of such behavior, namely traditional Catholics, Protestants, and Jews.”

    First of all, there are plenty of Catholics, Protestants, and Jews who are much more supportive of Gay individuals and our right to marry than you are. You might not call them “traditional,” but there they are.

    “■The push for SSM is — at least de facto, if not deliberately — an attempt to destroy traditional Christianity.”

    HOW, exactly? Not only are Gay people not in the habit of telling people how to worship and conduct their own personal matters of faith, but many Gay individuals and couples ARE Christian. Maybe not “traditional” (as you are fond of putting it), but just as likely to have the same spiritual aspirations as you do. In Charleston, West Virginia (where I live), there are many Christian congregations that are welcoming and affirming of their Gay members. “Destroying traditional Christianity” is the last thing on their minds.

    “■The drive for SSM is but the latest stage of the sexual revolution, and at every one of that revolution’s earlier stages (casual fornication, unmarried cohabitation, out-of-wedlock childbirth, abortion), it has served to undermine marriage; why would any reasonable person imagine that this latest stage will be any different?”

    What is “revolutionary” about encouraging Gay couples toward lives of monogamy and commitment? Do you think it’s better to relegate Gay people to the societal fringe? Why is it that Straight couples are encouraged to date, get engaged, marry and build lives together in the context of monogamy and commitment, and that this is a GOOD thing … yet for Gay couples to do exactly the same is somehow a BAD thing? To me this seems like a very poor value judgment.

    “■SSM is the reductio ad absurdum of marriage. If persons of the same sex can get married, doesn’t marriage then mean anything — and nothing?”

    the reason couples choose to marry is to make a solemn declaration before friends and family members that they wish to make a commitment to one another’s happiness, health, and well-being, to the exclusion of all others. Those friends and family members will subsequently act as a force of encouragement for that couple to hold fast to their vows. THAT’S what makes marriage, whether for Straight or Gay couples, a good and meaningful thing.

    “■Marriage was instituted for the begetting of children, something that two persons of the same sex cannot do.”

    Ask any Straight couple why they choose to marry. Their answer will not be, “We want to get married so that we can have sex and make babies!” That would be absurd, since couples do not need to marry to make babies, nor is the ability of even desire to make babies a prerequisite for obtaining a marriage license. You also neglect the fact that many Gay couples DO have childrend, either through adoption or some other means.

    “■A growing child has a profound psychological need for a mother and father. Two mothers won’t do, and neither will two fathers.”

    Notwithstanding the disapproval from persons like yourself, there is no evidence of deleterious psycholocal effects on children raised by Gay couples, and certainly two parents are better than one. To say that a Gay couples simply “won’t do” is specious.

    “■The undermining of marriage has had disastrous consequences for millions of children who have grown up fatherless (and usually in poverty). These consequences, while bad among all racial groups, have been worst among African Americans — in some cases frustrating the movement toward socioeconomic parity between black and white.”

    The quest for marriage equality by Gay couples isn’t “undermining” marriage. If anything it is an ENDORSEMENT of marriage, an acknowledgment that it far better to encourage couples toward monogamy and commitment, rather telling them, “you’ll just have to sacrifice your life and any hope of finding somebody to love. Tough luck, kid.”

    The fact that I support the right of Gay couples to do the same doesn’t mean I don’t support “traditional marriage.” NOTHING is happening to “traditional marriage.” Most people are Straight, always have been and always will be, and they will continue to date, get engaged, marry, and build lives and families together as they always have. None of that is going to change when Gay couples are allowed to do the same. If you think that your “traditional marriage” is somehow going to be harmed by the fact that the Gay couple next door decided to get married, then your marriage was already on shaky ground.

    • Michael PS

      You have explained why people wish to marry, but not why the state should wish to establish and regulate marriage through the civil code.

      People may join the army for any number of reasons: adventure, to travel, to learn a trade, for comradeship amongst others, none of which tell us anything about the state’s purpose in having an army for them to join.

      • Phil

        I agree, those are bad arguments. Here are better ones.

        -“When law and public opinion give their endorsement to homosexual behavior, they implicitly condemn those who disapprove of such behavior, namely traditional Catholics, Protestants, and Jews.”
        Not neccessarily. Same-sex legislation usually does allow exceptions of religious groups, as a matter of fact when you read pro-ssm literature, you’ll find that the authors are quick to assure religious groups that they’re rights will not be infringed.
        Also, in a democracy, people are allowed to disagree. People who voted for Obama may have ‘implicitly condemned’ McCain, but that doesn’t mean they thought he was a bad person.
        -“The push for SSM is — at least de facto, if not deliberately — an attempt to destroy traditional Christianity.”
        Not really. Christianity is always changing and has always been changing. The religion is not stultified. Today, there are many fairly significant churches which support SSM, such as the United Church of Canada.
        If traditional christianity is marginalized, it is not SSMs fault. There is a pretty wide gulf between TC and modern society’s views towards many topics such as parenthood, pre-marital sex, spirituality, etc. SSM is only a small part of this. Opposition towards SSM doesn’t help any if you want to support TC, because it doesn’t challenge the inherent structural issue.
        – “The drive for SSM is but the latest stage of the sexual revolution, and at every one of that revolution’s earlier stages (casual fornication, unmarried cohabitation, out-of-wedlock childbirth, abortion), it has served to undermine marriage; why would any reasonable person imagine that this latest stage will be any different?”
        Because this last stage has a completely different goal in mind for completely different people. The earlier stages applied to heterosexuals who weren’t too keen on monogamy anyways; SSM is aimed towards people who are keen on monogamy and simply want legal support. You could say that SSM is a flash of conscienceness poking out of the smoke-filled brothel of sexual laxity, an attempt by people socialized into the easy-sex culture who want something more.
        – “SSM is the reductio ad absurdum of marriage. If persons of the same sex can get married, doesn’t marriage then mean anything — and nothing?”
        Well, there is already quite a range of ideas regarding marriage. To a 10th century couple married out of economic convenience, or to a 18th century feminist who sees her husband as her oppressor, modern ideas of Romantic love would be laughable. You know, in the 1920s it was considered a fairly new idea that couples should be ‘companions’. SSM is simply the logical extent of the new Romantic conception of relationships – if marriage should come out of romantic love, then there is no reason why it should restrict it to only a single kind of such love. If this were still the 10th or 18th century, then I suppose SSM would not make any sense. Why marry when you don’t plan on propogating the family fortune? Why marry if there is no father to manage the family? If you want, marriage could still mean those things. With SSM, it could follow the more modern definition as well.
        – “Marriage was instituted for the begetting of children, something that two persons of the same sex cannot do.”
        A lot of straight couples have no interest in begettin’, but as we’ve esablished, that doesn’t matter. Marriage doesn’t come with only one instruction manual.
        Also, you must realize that this is the 21st century and two people of the same sex could share a child. Within a deade or so, it should be possible to create male eggs and female sperm (it has already been done in labs), which should reduce the reproductive difficulties in SSM to just another form of infertility equivalent to the forms faced by straight couples.
        – “A growing child has a profound psychological need for a mother and father. Two mothers won’t do, and neither will two fathers.”
        Actually, two mothers HAVE done, and so have two fathers and one mother and one father. The opposite is true as well. What matters is the personality of the parents, not their sex. As I’m sure you’ll agree, all men are not identical and neither are all women.
        Children have been succesfully raised in non-nuclear envrionment for millenia. The arguement posing the question of parenthood as a hypothetical is simply illegitimate because same-sex parenting is not a new idea or experiment. Its been done, its being done, and it works.
        – “The undermining of marriage has had disastrous consequences for millions of children who have grown up fatherless (and usually in poverty). These consequences, while bad among all racial groups, have been worst among African Americans — in some cases frustrating the movement toward socioeconomic parity between black and white.”
        This a straw man, and too theoretical to boot. If millions of children have been harmed it is not because of some abstract ’undermining of marriage’. It is because their fathers were boozers, or their mothers unfaithful, or their environments unstable, etc. The categorization of these factors as the ‘undermining of marriage’ had nothing to do with anything. At the same time, if we want to put SSM under this umbrella term ‘undermining of marriage’, we’ll find that it is not of the same type as the other factors mentioned. As we’ve established, gender should not be treated as a determinant of parenting skill.

        • Micha Elyi

          - -”When law and public opinion give their endorsement to homosexual behavior, they implicitly condemn those who disapprove of such behavior, namely traditional Catholics, Protestants, and Jews.”

          -“Not neccessarily. Same-sex legislation usually does allow exceptions of religious groups…”

          Uh huh. “Exceptions.” You just shot your “not necessarily” claim to pieces with that word, Phil.

          Try again.

    • Meagan

      I didn’t read the whole post, but here are a few comments to Chuck…

      The Catholics that you are referring to may indeed agree with the belief that homosexuals should be allowed to marry. They do so though, going against the Church’s teaching. You cannot say that simply because a group of Catholic’s agree with it, that the Church thinks it’s ok. As far as marriage being for children and people being able to reproduce without being married…the whole thing that you are leaving out is God. God said that marriage is for a man and a woman. When you go before God in a Church and get married, in your vows you state that you will go forth and multiply. How is that at all saying that you won’t have kids now that you are married? People are completely taking God out of the Holy Sacrament of marriage. As far as nothing is changing in traditional marriage if homosexuals are allowed to marry. Yes, it is. A marriage is for a man and a woman, and allowing two men or two women to marry is completely going against this beautiful gift God gave us. Condoning a behavior just because we feel sorry for someone and feel that they have the right to have “love” just like a man and a woman is not bettering someone. There are many homosexuals out there than know that it is wrong and they have chosen to live a chaste life and carry their cross on their walk with God. By putting their own self pleasures and feelings aside and walking in Christ’s teachings they are showing that is true love, and a that total belief in God.

  • Bob

    Because nature has built in to man and woman a natural “complimentariness’ that is both physical/sexual and emotional, there is a desired unitive bonding between the male and female. These complimentary gifts that a man and a woman bring to this unitive bonding and the fruits of this bonding (children) benefit greatly from these gifts. There is no physical/emotional natural complimentariness between two men. Therefore, gay sex (sodomy) is a distortion (or perversion, if you will) of what nature intended.

    • Bender

      If we must talk about homosexuality itself, one does not need to go back to Aristotle or the Stoics to know and understand that a man expelling his genetic procreative material into the digestive tract of another man is irrational and wholly contrary to the function and purpose of both, i.e. contrary to the truth of the person.

    • Briana

      I think you’ve made the best argument so far Bob. If a man and a woman get together for what they say will be the rest of their lives, there is a huge chance that children will be born as a natural extension of their relationship. The way marriage law is set up, it is more or less betting on the chance that this will happen. The function of marital law and licensure is to regulate sex to insure that any kids who do come along are born into households where they have their mom and their dad. If all it took was love and fidelity to have a legally-sanctioned marriage, one could say that a relationship between life-long friends qualifies as such. But because there is so much potential for a new generation of the citizenry to come forth, and because that new generation will be dependent upon their parents for so much and so long, there are legally recognized rights and privileges that come with the marriage license.

      • Briana

        Let me also reply to Chuck’s argument that couples who do not desire to have children are allowed to marry. First, keep in mind that I said marriage law is betting on the chance that kids will come along. This is entirely separate from the actuality of the event itself. Furthermore, his argument is rooted in the assumption that the contraceptive methods these couples use are guaranteed to work 100% of the time. As it is, birth control can always fail. There are even such things as vasectomies and hysterectomies that have gone wrong. There are plenty of kids who are conceived as complete surprises to their parents. Plus, it would be absurd to ask a husband and wife to completely abstain from sex with each other. So, to err on the safe side, it is still best to leave marriage between one man and one woman.

        • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

          DEAR BRIANA:

          If a Gay couple has children (through adoption, artifical insemination, etc.), should THEY be allowed all the legal benefits and protections of marriage for the sake of their kids?

          • Cord Hamrick

            Chuck:

            Well, the gay couple having custody of children is a violation of the child’s unalienable human right to be raised by his parents, anyway.

            (A right which ought to be protected by law; but what can I say? Maybe in the future. We used to not protect the rights of black slaves, either.)

            So your question amounts to: “If a pair of persons violates the rights of a third person, oughtn’t they to be rewarded and incentivized for doing so under our nation’s laws?”

            The answer is, “No.”

          • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

            DEAR CORD:

            Children are put up for adoption all the time. Do adoptive parents having custody of children a violation of the child’s unalienable human right to be raised by his parents?

            There have been countless cases of Gay couples adopting children adopting children who are handicapped, or are HIV-positive, or who were born to crack-addicted mothers. Are you prepared to deny the inherent goodness and altruism of these adoptive parents?

          • Michael PS

            Dear Chuck

            As the eminent psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Pierre Lévy-Soussan, told the Pércresse commission: “It is in the child’s best interests to join a nuclear family that is already socially accepted so that he or she does not have to take on the additional task, following a history of abandonment, of adapting to a family that is, for whatever reason, ‘non-standard’.” He believes that in order to be successful, adoption must lead to a psychological filiation that “allows for a nexus of the three elements that are basic to any society: the biological, the social and the subjective dimensions specific to human beings. The psychological strength of this construction exceeds the purely biological connection of filiation and provides it with security. The security and ‘truth’ of this filiation are based on childbirth, on a potential or actual procreative relationship between a man and a woman, allowing the fictional filiation through the encounter with the other sex, alive and of the same generation. The fictional filiation can then be experienced as true, consistent and reasonable.”The difference in sex between the two members of the parental couple thus seems to him indispensable if the adoption “graft” is to take.

            Obviously, we cannot conflate adoption with cases of children raised by a biological parent and his or her same-sex partner, or, especially in the case of older children, an existing carer.

          • Cord Hamrick

            Chuck:

            Children are put up for adoption all the time. Do adoptive parents having custody of children a violation of the child’s unalienable human right to be raised by his parents?

            It does, if the parents are not a mother and a father.

            Let me describe the unalienable right more clearly and carefully so as to avoid confusion, here:

            A child has an unalienable right to be raised by his father and his mother as a married couple. In the event of the death of either or both, he has the unalienable right to be raised by a father (that is, a paternal legal guardian) and a mother (maternal legal guardian) as a married couple, and with full knowledge of the identity of his biological father and mother.

            If this fails through misadventure, it is of course no crime; if it fails through the intent of a human person, then that human person has violated the rights of the child and committed a crime.

            There should therefore be, in acknowledgment of these rights, no such thing as “no-fault divorce” for parents of minor children. There should be no guarantee of anonymity in sperm donations or egg donations: Doing so robs the child of the identity of his biological parents. There should be no adoption of children by single persons unless a married man-woman couple cannot be found; and in that case, it should be a man or woman who has every intent of finding and marrying an opposite-gender spouse, for the purpose of providing both fathering and mothering to that child. To fail to intend that is to intend to deprive the child of their right to fathering and mothering.

            And in the matter of adoption, a father can cede his paternal guardianship to another father. But he cannot cede it to a woman, who cannot be a father; this would leave the child without a father, by the intent of his real father; this would be a violation of the rights of the child and thus, a crime. Likewise a woman can cede maternal guardianship to a woman but not to a man.

            At any given time, then, a child has a mother and a father, and a maternal guardian and a paternal guardian, unless one dies. That is the child’s right.

            As for persons with same-sex attraction, who do not resist the temptation to disordered sexuality, adopting children: Good for them, for such a noble and giving act (if it wasn’t for sake of propagandizing and social change, which I hope and believe is rarely the chief motive). May God richly reward them for their generosity…provided that, if they are female, they are actively seeking a man to marry, for the good of the child, and if they are male, they are actively seeking a woman to marry, for the good of the child.

            If they aren’t, why not? And if they believe they simply can’t do that, for whatever reason, why are they adopting a child? Aren’t they aware that the lines of male-female households looking to adopt children (yes, including sick children and troubled children) are so long that American couples often spend tens of thousands of dollars on foreign adoptions?

            But in any case, I applaud any one, man or woman, with whatever temptations, who adopts a child intending to give the child the full benefit of the upbringing to which the child has a right, including a mother and a father.

          • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

            Yes, if you care about the kids.

            Most opponents of lifting the ban on same-sex couples marrying believe that the children of same-sex couples deserve to be legally discriminated against; they explicitly do not care about the kids.

        • Michael PS

          I fully agree with what you say.

          Further, in France, the notion of “imitated procreation” has long been at the centre of discussion about same-sex joint plenary adoption: an infertile opposite-sex couple can “make as if they have procreated” [« faire comme s’ils avaient procréé »] In other words, they present to the child, and to the wider community, the model of the natural (procreative) family, which, some experts assert, makes the establishment of the parental bond between the adopters and the adopted child easier and spares adopted children the additional difficulty of having to integrate into a “non-standard” family, however loving.

          The state’s interest in marriage is not to promote procreation, but to establish filiation, the vital link between generations, and that it seeks to ensure, as far as possible in a free and democratic society, that the legal, social and biological aspects of paternity coincide. This concern is equally applicable to the fictional filiation [filiation fictive] of adoption; the biological bond is lacking, enhancing the importance of the social and psychological factors, which the juridical bond validates. This also applies to assisted reproduction, using donated gametes. Similar considerations would apply to surrogate gestation in those jurisdictions that permit such arrangements; in France, they are excluded by the general rule that only things in commerce can be the subject of an agreement and trading in people is a crime.

          • Michael PS

            NB I was replying to Briana

          • Margaret

            Michael PS writes, ““It is in the child’s best interests to join a nuclear family that is already socially accepted so that he or she does not have to take on the additional task, following a history of abandonment, of adapting to a family that is, for whatever reason, ‘non-standard’.”

            But now families with same-sex parents ARE becoming socially accepted. They are no longer “non-standard.” Society is changing and evolving, so the doctor’s comments are becoming less and less applicable to society as it is today. There are many children who would be better off with loving, nurturing, and supportive parents of the same sex than with the dysfunctional and abusive biological parents they were inflicted with by nature.

          • Michael PS

            Cord Hamrick

            There are certain very exceptional cases, where adoption by a single person is obviously right. In France there are some 30 or 40 a year, almost invariably adoption by a widowed step-parent adopting the children of her (it is usually her) former husband. This is invariably simple adoption, preserving the juridical bond with the birth family, so it is simply an enhanced form of guardianship, with the children enjoying legal succession rights to the adopter. I even recall one such case, involving a divorced former step-parent. The children were 10 and 12, they loved her and they were all going to live on the rather elderly grandparents’ farm – a wholly exceptional case.

            Margaret

            I understand about 15% of US adoptions are overseas adoptions under the Hague Convention, which suggests no shortage of willing adopters. In France, 25,000 couples a year are approved for adoption and there are about 5,000 adoptions; in effect, a 5-year waiting-list. Of these, only about 500 are wards of the state; the rest are private or overseas adoptions. The Minister of Justice is concerned about a thriving black market in babies, mainly from the Balkans. There would appear to be no shortage of married couples willing to adopt.

  • Bob

    “Notwithstanding the disapproval from persons like yourself, there is no evidence of deleterious psycholocal effects on children raised by Gay couples, and certainly two parents are better than one. To say that a Gay couples simply “won’t do” is specious.”
    – incorrect, Chuck. Look it up…….there are studies showing deleterious psychological effects, including gender distortion.

    “there are many Christian congregations that are welcoming and affirming of their Gay members. “Destroying traditional Christianity” is the last thing on their minds.”

    Just because these eclesiastic communities are “affirming” gay lifestyle, don’t mean that sodomy is moral or right! Hence the beauty of the teaching office apostolic succession, and magisterium of the only church started by Christ, the Catholic Church, which was given by Christ Himself the ability to “bind and loose”. These forementioned protestant churches that are basically saying that sodomy is moral, never had the authority to interpret correctly Christ’s teaching to begin with.

  • m

    But you can always make an argument from natural law, that’s not tied to any religion. But most people have no clue what natural law is…so it’s up to you to really understand what it is and to be explain it. Take a class in it, tell your friends to Google the words. Make ‘em curious!

  • Howard Kainz

    The moral argument is made irrelevant if you accept contraception. If non-procreative sex is morally OK for heterosexual couples (as long as they love each other), why not for homosexual couples?

    • http://feminine-genius.typepad.com gsk

      This is the key, Howard. Heterosexuals lost their way when they sanctioned uncommitted sterile sexual unions. Hard to hold a monopoly on such things.

      • Bob

        Amen, Howard. You’re right.

    • Carl

      The Truth does not suffer from a sinner expressing its wisdom; neither does an untruth become wisdom just because a previously trustworthy person teaches it.

  • RG

    The arguments are fine. They are rejected because of sin. This is not the same as failing. Truth is true even if nobody accepts it. A lie is a lie even if everyone accepts it.

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

    I’m reminded of a commentator on a Southern Baptist website who wrote, “I can’t reconcile how someone could feel he or she was born with strong homosexual feelings, love Christ and yet take on the limitations of what seem to me to be straightforward biblical teachings. That’s agonizing, and I don’t really understand it.”

    And this is the weird thing: “Straighforward biblical teachings” should at least be understandable to the average person. So often I hear it said, “OUR ways are not GOD’s ways,” as if God was some sort of inscrutable alien being.

    Consider The Golden Rule: We do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Put all the religious dogma and ritual aside, and this is what our laws boil down to. We don’t lie or bear false witness because we won’t want people to lie to us. We don’t steal from other people because we do not want people stealing from us. We don’t betray the trust of our spouses because we wouldn’t want them doing the same to us. Same goes for killing and a variety of other “bad” behaviors.

    And yet somehow there seems to be this sheepish adherence to a double standard for Gay and Straight people. If you’re Straight, it’s all so wonderful to be able to find a compatible person of the opposite sex, court and get engaged and marry and live happily ever after. But if you’re Gay, all of that is completely out of the question. Don’t even bother trying to find a compatible person. Lesbians and Gay men are precluded from any hope for romance or commitment. Gay people are simply told: “Gosh, sorry about that. You make us uncomfortable; acknowledging your existence means we might have to revise what we’ve been teaching all these years – meaning, Whoops! No infallible Magisterium or “literal” Bible … so you’ll just have to sacrifice your life and any hope of finding somebody to love. Tough luck, kid. God said it, I don’t necessarily understand it, but there it is.”

    I wish more social conservatives and evangelical Christians would at least TRY to wrap their minds around why this makes so little sense to Gay people, and why constant exposure to this sort of disdain is exactly WHY so many Gay young people end up taking their own lives.

    • Cord Hamrick

      Chuck:

      I wish more social conservatives and evangelical Christians would at least TRY to wrap their minds around why this makes so little sense to Gay people, and why constant exposure to this sort of disdain is exactly WHY so many Gay young people end up taking their own lives.

      What gives you the impression they don’t try to put themselves in the other person’s moccasins?

      I think they generally do. And very naturally, empathy and sympathy result, though their neighbors who are afflicted with same-sex attraction may of course reject that as outrageous condescension.

      But this emotionalism is all irrelevant to the questions at hand, which are:

      1. What ought our public policy be? …and,

      2. What should we preach from the pulpit and teach to our children about the moral laws governing human sexual behavior?

      We can feel gobs of empathy for our neighbors for their struggles with same sex attraction or alcoholism or pica or whatever. We hope they likewise feel empathy for us when we struggle with lust or overeating or wasting our time web surfing.

      But when we are faced with answering questions 1 and 2, our empathy or lack thereof becomes a distraction from the question at hand.

      So if you feel that the topics are being discussed in an almost cybernetically clinical kind of way, and find yourself turned off by the lack of emotive tone, just remember that geometric proofs and high-energy physics research papers aren’t overly laden with pathos, either!

      Now, once the facts have been established, that’s when we have leisure to comfort, as best we can, those of our fellow men who are most hard-beset by temptation. In that we all ought to encourage as much as (or maybe more than) we exhort. I agree with you there.

      But social conservatives often feel — no, let me say this correctly; they often think — that much of society puts the cart before the horse when it comes to the proper role of emotion and intellect. The intellect comes first: Determine what is true, first and foremost, and then we are free to respond in a style which least wounds our brethren.

      But if you go about it the other way, trying to decide what is true on the basis of what, if it should happen to be true, would make the most people happy? That way lies wishful thinking, self-deception, and in the end, despair. That is the greater risk. If we err, we should err on the side of avoiding injury to the truth.

    • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

      Well, Chuck, I think the answer is in the arguments Cord thinks are “good” arguments against gay marriage: Cord believes that homophobia – hatred and fear of gay people – is absolutely central to Christianity. He believes that God wants him and all other Christians to persecute, harass, and discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation: that if Christians are not allowed to do this, if Christians are required to behave civilly and without discrimination towards people regardless of sexual orientation, that this will “destroy Christianity”. Cord really believes God hates me for my sexual orientation, and that it’s his religious duty to make me feel God’s hatred.

      Of course it’s not personal: Cord believes God wants him to act with hatred towards *every* gay person in the United States, and all the children of same-sex couples too.

      What I don’t get is where Cord finds his belief that hatred is central to Christianity. It’s not in the gospels, and it’s surprisingly little in the Old Testament. In the epistles of Paul, he can get testy, but even he – who’s generally the preferred source for justifying Christian hatred – was for inclusion and equality before God, not for preaching hatred towards others.

      • Cord Hamrick

        Jes:

        There is nothing in what I wrote which can be mistaken for advocating a particular state of emotion towards persons with same-sex attraction disorder…unless it is one of acceptance of their personhood, their value in the eyes of God, and the heroism of any good choices they might make on obeying Him. You cannot, for example, discern from anything I have said whether I have ever struggled with SSAD. I would have said it the same way.

        To characterize me as having advocated dislike towards persons with this disorder is simply either to willfully misconstrue what I said, or not to have read it, or to have been swept up by too much emotion in the reading of it to have processed it accurately.

        Of the three, that last option is the least culpable, and so it is the one I assume to be true: It is common enough these days for people to be careless about the difference between how one feels about the facts, and what the facts are. Folk often fail to distinguish between how we feel when reading some bit of uncomfortable but entirely factual news, and how that news makes us feel, and the motives of the person stating it.

        In short, it’s easy to fall into the trap of not liking the messenger because you don’t like the message. If you feel the message is shooting holes in your worldview, the temptation is to shoot the messenger.

        But the messenger may be entirely free of ill-will, no matter how grievous the message he must bear. He may be sympathetic. He may be bored. He may feel compelled by a sense of duty. He may be any number of things. But if he says, “Your stock portfolio just lost a third of its value,” and you feel sad as a result, it is a mistake to think that his motive in saying it was to make you feel sad. It is even more a mistake to assume that his saying it is proof that he dislikes you.

        And it is a wild leap to say that he believes, as a tenet of his religion, that he must go around telling everyone with whom you happen to share a common temptation that their stock portfolios just lost a third of their value, in order to make all of them feel sad.

        All of that is to say: The personal motives and feelings you ascribe to me are so far off base as to be unrecognizable.

        And even were they true, what of it? Such discreditable feelings would strongly bring into question the state of my soul, of course. But it would not indicate anything about the point being argued. I could be a raving bigot, and still be right. I could be a pure saint, and still be mistaken. The sky does not cease to be blue because a Nazi or a Communist claims it’s blue. It does not become neon green just because the best man you know claims it.

        Now, you do quite justly ask “Where do I get my certainty about the Christian understanding that same-sex attraction is a temptation to sin, not a thing to be celebrated?”

        I’ll answer that separately.

        • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

          “There is nothing in what I wrote which can be mistaken for advocating a particular state of emotion towards persons with same-sex attraction disorder”

          I’m sorry that you find yourself so unable to assess the quality of your own writing. You’re certainly and quite clearly expressing hatred and distaste, and advocating legal discrimination. If you’re not aware of the emotions you’re expressing, you should at least be aware what you are advocating!

          “All of that is to say: The personal motives and feelings you ascribe to me are so far off base as to be unrecognizable.”

          Then perhaps you need to study yourself a little more, to know yourself a little better? If you can express such hatred without being aware of it, without being able to recognize it in yourself, that’s very disturbing: it suggests you are very completely disassociated from your own emotions.

          I’m told that is symptomatic of people who’ve been cruelly tortured by “ex-gay” reparative therapists, but I’m sure there can be other causes.

        • Cord Hamrick

          Jes:

          I’m sorry that your personal circumstances make it difficult for you to correctly evaluate the “tone” of what I have written.

          I admit that it is difficult to “hear” tone-of-voice conveyed through writing. But the fact is that there is exactly zero hatred — in fact, not much feeling of any kind — in what I have written in this thread to-date. Plodding analytical pedantry is my usual style, and except for some very gently-phrased criticism in my first reply (to Gian), I’ve stuck to it. I’ve re-read my own replies in this thread looking for something (tone-wise, not content-wise) that you could construe as an indication of personal ill-will. But I just don’t see it. I’ve drawn no blood and raised no blisters here…at least as regards the tone of writing.

          Of course the content of my writing (what I actually say about gay marriage, adoption, and the like) is such that a person who disagrees with it will, well, disagree.

          But since these are the topics being debated here, I thought surely it was safe to actually debate them. In a debate, I don’t think it’s quite kosher for those holding the affirmative position to say that anyone holding the negative position is to be assumed to have contemptible feelings or motives just for holding it. How could the thing ever be debated, then?

          (And what relevance would the person’s feelings or motives have to whether their arguments were true, anyway?)

          While I agree that adults ought to have legal rights to arrange power-of-attorney and inheritance with persons of the same gender (whether they’re a sexual partner, a law partner, or even a tennis partner) and even suppose they could arrange sexual exclusivity contracts if they wished, I think such things are irrelevant to the Christian sacrament of marriage per se and shouldn’t be referred to under the same name. A person who supports “gay marriage” will of course disagree. I don’t call him hateful to (orthodox) Christians for disagreeing (unless there is evidence of hate other than his opinion).

          You and I have sparred before (on abortion) and I’ve respected your willingness to seriously evaluate arguments on the merits. We’re here discussing something that matters; so it’d be wiser if we kept the discussion topical.

          So, I don’t know if I should get side-tracked here in an argument about something which doesn’t even matter; that is, my personal feelings on the subject. They aren’t what you say they are, and I’m bewildered that you got such a wrong impression. I re-read my earlier notes and I’m still bewildered.

          But whether you accept that is up to you. And it still doesn’t touch on the original argument.

          Anyway, it’s late where I am. I’ll return to the original argument in the morning.

          • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

            I don’t know, Cord. It seems to me that your inability to recognize that you are expressing hatred is very germane to the argument.

            As the original poster makes clear, the bigots who oppose equal civil rights for all regardless of sexual orientation, do not want their opposition to be seen as caused by hatred. David came up with a succession of very bad arguments, but admitted they don’t convince anyone who isn’t already moved by hatred towards gay people. Yet he doesn’t want to have that feeling identified as hatred: he wants people to believe that you are motivated by some moral feeling.

            So I think this has a general application. But I acknowledge that *you personally* may be genuinely unable to recognize your own feelings of hatred, perhaps of self-hatred: and that would be sad for you, and more sad because you are unlikely to get better while you still maintain there’s nothing wrong with you.

          • Cord Hamrick

            Jes:

            Well, from your position as armchair psychologist rendering diagnoses through evaluation of a couple of samples of a person’s writing style, it’s just barely possible that you have more insight into that person’s character flaws than either he, or all his friends and coworkers (“gay” ones included), have ever detected.

            But I wouldn’t bet on it!

            Anyway, I have twice now offered to explain my reasons for supporting traditional Christian sexual morality and the teachings of the Catholic church on matters related to SSAD (same-sex attraction disorder). I shall now do so, briefly, and if greater detail is needed, I can take that up as well.

            You seem to feel that there is little Biblical evidence for arguing that unmarried sexual relations are morally prohibited (with marriage being limited to male-female pairings intended, if possible, to produce children). I answer that,

            1. There is far more evidence for this position than for positions against, say, slavery; yet no-one doubts that amongst the intentions of Christ in putting the Holy Spirit into His Church in order, over time, to “teach them all things” was that His Church might develop doctrine to a point where slavery became impermissible.

            2. There is pretty good argument against it in both the Old Testament, and confirmation in Paul that the Old Testament moral strictures are not to be viewed as a ceremonial abstention (a “work of Torah/Law” in the first century phrase) but rather as one of those general moral laws for mankind about which Paul comments that the Gentiles are also aware (“a torah/law to themselves”).

            That by itself ought to be enough. But some will say that, well, maybe we don’t really know what Paul meant. Maybe he only had in mind pedophiles or temple prostitution.

            Now this is a legitimate question. It is a matter of interpretation; what originalist Constitution scholars call discerning “framer’s intent.” So we must ask: If the words of the New Testament are themselves ambiguous (I hold that they aren’t, but let’s pretend for a moment that they are), what can we use to (in the Wikipedia terminology) “disambiguate” them?

            Well, fortunately for us the “hearers of the apostles” often became the leaders of early Christianity and wrote about the belief they received from the apostles both in faith and morals. And in the Didache, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Novatian, Cyprian of Carthage, Arnobias, Eusebius of Caesarea, Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, Augustine, and the Apostolic Constitutions, we find the early Christians speaking with a unanimous voice on the matter. Mutual masturbation between two adult men or women was never considered to be less a sin than simple fornication (against which they also inveighed) and when it was not grouped together with fornication, it was instead grouped with pederasty as a thing worse than normal fornication.

            And of course this view extends backwards in Judaism to Onan (where even sex between a married man and woman, carried out in a masturbatory way, is singled out for God’s disfavor), and forwards in Christianity until our present time. And of course the more orthodox a person is on other matters, the more surely you can be certain that they hold the traditional view. Saints and Doctors of the Church never contradict it.

            For me, then, the question is this: Was the Holy Spirit taking a vacation for the last four thousand years, that nobody came to this great revelation that two men masturbating one another is to be viewed as a good and holy thing and solemnized as a sacrament?

            That would not, please note, be a “development of doctrine.” It would not be like thinking in the first century that slavery was a sad reality, but that one should always remember that one’s slaves were one’s spiritual equals in Christ — as Paul says — and then later on drawing the conclusion that slavery ought to be outlawed.

            It would be like starting out with Abraham believing in God, with Jesus claiming to be God, with the Apostles teaching the Trinity, with the Saints and Martyrs through the ages writing hymns praising God, and then suddenly stating in the 21st century that orthodox Christianity means believing in no God, or in nineteen Gods.

            If the whole Church can be that wrong, for so many centuries, about such a consistently-taught element of Christian moral dogma, it would not refute just that one tiny element of Christian morality. It would entirely refute Christianity.

            There would no longer be a basis for trusting the bishops to have correctly identified the canon of the New Testament, for example: For that canon was chosen on the basis not only of evidence for authorship by apostles and their close companions, but on those particular books passing the test of not contradicting the apostolic tradition of faith as the bishops understood it. If the bishops could have sexual morality — not a minor topic of moral teaching, then or now — totally bass-ackwards and still think they understood the apostolic deposit of faith, what does that say about their judgment of the canon?

            Now as it happens I think Christianity is true. My mother’s friend was miraculously healed of multiple sclerosis; she went from barely being able to walk down a hallway without sitting down to catch her breath, to teaching aerobics — and more importantly, continuing to teach Sunday School, which in her case seems to have been the reason God intervened. And I have plenty of other reasons, both subjective and related to my personal experience, and objective, which is summed up by such apologists as C.S.Lewis and Stanley Jaki and William Lane Craig and Peter Kreeft.

            But, since I hold Christianity to be true, what must I then believe as a logical extension of the Lordship of Christ? Well, I am compelled to trust His Church as a magister (teacher), empowered by the Holy Spirit, and to trust the successors of the apostles when they exercise the authority given them by Christ to bind on earth, with the guarantee that what they bind on earth has already been bound in heaven.

            And as I have said, the testimony of the saints and doctors and the magisterial authority of the Church is unanimous.

            How, then, can we explain this sudden emergence, in the last sixty years or so, of a tiny minority of all the Christians in the world (especially tiny in proportion to all the Christians who have ever lived) suddenly taking a different view?

            Well, we notice they are all confined to the post-Christian west, itself a deeply sexually debauched and confused society judged by the behavior of heterosexual fornicators alone. We notice that they are not orthodox in many of their other views. We notice that they float some really bad, farfetched, and wildly anachronistic arguments, such as announcing that Jesus and the Apostle John were lovers on the basis of the phrase “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” And we notice that they are often products of western academia — a notoriously intellectually inbred environment which has been hostile to Christianity since the early 20th century. We notice that a higher-than-normal proportion of them struggle with same-sex attraction, or that their career success is dependent on their ability to work comfortably with folk who do. And we know that on other matters, orthodoxy is often discouraged by a sort of Stockholm Syndrome in situations like that. And we know that this movement has produced no great saints: No Mother Teresas, no Francis of Assisis. And there are no great miracles associated with it: No dancing sun, no Marian apparitions, no mass healings.

            Given all of that, I think it highly unlikely that God has chosen to spring a new revelation upon us about sexual morality here in the sexually confused 21st century. This notion seems radically more improbable than the alternatives.

          • Cord Hamrick

            Oh, Jes, one other thing:

            Are you aware that I think laws forbidding sodomy constitute an immoral use of force by the government against consensual participants (provided there are no enforceable contracts involved), and that more socially-conservative folks at this site tend to give me grief about my relative libertarianism?

            I ask, because you and I have only tangled before this on the subject of abortion. There, of course, I believe the government has a legitimate prohibitive hand because I believe abortion is by definition a wrongful assault against an innocent person and that government’s central duty is to exercise force to prohibit such things.

            But I also hold that the exercise of force is progressively less justified as the act it is prohibiting is itself less directly connected to a wrongful use of force against an innocent person.

            So of course I hold that it is immoral to outlaw certain immoral actions, because while they are immoral, they do not constitute uses of force against an innocent person. When adult persons with SSAD engage in consensual sexual activity, no force is involved. It is immoral, but it would also be immoral to point guns at them over it. Therefore laws against it are prohibited by the Moral Law, and just authority to criminalize such things cannot in fact be delegated to the people’s servants (the government, and particularly the police power of the state) because the people themselves don’t have just authority to do it, to begin with. (One can’t delegate that which one doesn’t have.)

            I wanted to point that out, not because it has any particular relevance to the things we’ve been arguing, but because I thought the angry or aggrieved tone you’ve expressed in your own posts might be more explicable if you thought that I not only was making an argument about morality and Christian orthodoxy, but planning to point a gun at you (indirectly, through the laws of the state).

            (That’s assuming I haven’t mis-read your tone…tone-of-voice, as we’ve found, is notoriously ambiguous in internet posts!)

          • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

            Cord, I have to tell you: you don’t have any gay friends.

            (You may have gay co-workers, but they don’t regard you as a friend.)

            Just as a white racist frequently claims to have black friends who don’t object to his views (or agree with him) so too do homophobes frequently claim they have gay friends… but I doubt if the gay people they know would agree that they are friends with you.

            “You seem to feel that there is little Biblical evidence for arguing that unmarried sexual relations are morally prohibited (with marriage being limited to male-female pairings intended, if possible, to produce children).”

            No, I would agree that the cultures described in the Old Testament all presume that marriage is a man taking a woman (one or more) with the intention of begetting children on her.

            And if people opposed to gay marriage want to claim they are so because they think that the law of the Pentateuch should be the law of the United States… they’re lying through their lying teeth, because you never see them outside McDonalds protesting that eating cheeseburgers should be illegal, or outside barber’s shops protesting that it’s forbidden for men to shave their beards.

          • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

            “There is far more evidence for this position than for positions against, say, slavery; yet no-one doubts that amongst the intentions of Christ in putting the Holy Spirit into His Church in order, over time, to “teach them all things” was that His Church might develop doctrine to a point where slavery became impermissible.”

            Well, that’s an interesting if ahistorical interpretation of history. Even the Quakers didn’t commit themselves as a religion against slavery until a couple of centuries ago: even fifty years ago Christians just like you were citing the teachings of God as a reason why mixed-race couples shouldn’t be allowed to legally marry in the US. It’s a nice backformatting of history to claim that this was going to be the teaching of the Church all along, but for the vast majority of the Christian era, it’s just never been true that Christianity is by nature against racism or slavery: you can argue that Paul wrote that everyone is equal before Christ, but you can’t use that as an argument to justify denying civil rights to some.

            “While I agree that adults ought to have legal rights to arrange power-of-attorney and inheritance with persons of the same gender (whether they’re a sexual partner, a law partner, or even a tennis partner) and even suppose they could arrange sexual exclusivity contracts if they wished, I think such things are irrelevant to the Christian sacrament of marriage per se and shouldn’t be referred to under the same name.”

            Fine: we won’t call civil marriage “the sacrament of marriage” (nobody wants to do that anyway!) and everyone’s happy. Okay?

            Of course not. Because the issue for opponents of equal civil rights for same-sex couples is never whether couples are allowed to get married in religion, if they can find a priest or minister or rabbi who believes they should: it’s whether same-sex couples can get married in city hall.

            This is not a matter of religion for any of you arguing here that same-sex couples shouldn’t be allowed to get married legally. It’s just you find it convenient to dredge up pseudo-religious arguments and pretend it’s what God wants rather than what you want, which is that you think lesbian and gay people shouldn’t have the same civil rights as yourself.

            And that’s an expression of hatred, whether you acknowledge it or not. And that’s why you don’t have any gay friends.

          • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

            “I don’t think it’s quite kosher for those holding the affirmative position to say that anyone holding the negative position is to be assumed to have contemptible feelings or motives just for holding it. How could the thing ever be debated, then?”

            But Cord; for thirty years (or thereabouts) whether same-sex couples should have the freedom to marry has been debated. Openly and freely.

            People who think that same-sex couples should be banned from civil marriage have had three decades to come up with good reasons why.

            They’ve been unable to do so. There is no good argument to make against banning a same-sex couple from the same legal marriage as a mixed-sex couple.

            So the only real thing left to debate is: Why are you guys so determined that lesbians and gays shouldn’t have the same civil rights as straight people?

            Claiming, as David does, that you won’t be proper Christians unless you keep fighting against equal civil rights for lesbians and gays, is sort of an argument, yes: your freedom of religion gives you the right to keep protesting that an essential part of being Christian would be the right to discriminate against same-sex couples. But equal civil rights trumps that; you have the right to protest that you don’t want to (for example) allow a same-sex couple the same health insurance as a mixed-sex couple (actual example that a Christian suggested to me a few years ago) but you don’t have the right to actually deny same-sex legally-married couples the same health insurance benefits as mixed-sex couples.

            But it’s still interesting to me that some Christians want to argue that the central tenet of their faith is homophobia; that without homophobia, their faith is destroyed. Why would you want to argue that hate is the center of your religion?

  • Bender

    Words means things.

    Eventually it comes down to a matter of truth, and the matter of government forcing people to accept and approve falsehood for truth. By imposing the word “marriage” on a same-sex civil union, and compelling everyone to use and recognize that word to describe such union, the government really acts no different than it did in the days of Henry VIII.

    Since we celebrated his feast day earlier this week, let me ask this —
    How many modern-day Thomas Mores are out there? How many will refuse to give an oath of approval, how many will refuse to go along with saying that what is a lie is truth? How many will refuse to bend to the “marriage”?

    Make no mistake — this fight has NOTHING to do with fairness or the equality of gays, which is fully addressed and accomplished by the institution of the “civil union.” Rather, this fight has EVERYTHING to do with appropriating the word “marriage,” and thus the truth of marriage, in order to twist it and destroy it, as they have done in the case of divorce. This fight has EVERYTHING to do with the dictatorship of relativism, whereby despotic government presumes to dictate what is true.

    • Bender

      Moreover, today we celebrate the nativity of John the Baptist, who also refused to give approval and agreement to the “marriage” of Herod.

      Like him, the Church must be a voice of truth crying out from the wilderness.

    • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

      DEAR BENDER:

      You say that marriage equality for Gay couples can be accomplished simply by using an different term such as “civil unions.”

      Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the Supreme Court ruled that there was no Constitutional justification for denying Gay couples the same legal benefits and responsibilities that Straight couples have always taken for granted, but that those benefits and responsibilities could be granted to Gay couples under a different term … such as “civil unions.” The rights under tax law, Social Security, etc. would be EXACTLY the same for Gay and Straight couples; only the terminology would be different. Opposite-sex couples would be allowed the option to “marry,” and same-sex couples would be allowed the option to enter into “civil unions.” Social conservatives could keep the term “marriage” for themselves, and Gay couples would be granted equal protection as specified by the 14th Amendment.

      Frankly, I could live with that. How about YOU? Are you sure it’s just the word “marriage” that you are most concerned about ? The reason I ask is because “civil unions” for Gay couples are opposed just as strongly by conservative and evangelical organizations.

      • Michael PS

        I would imagine the rules would require some modification, to take account of the impossibility of their having children together. Thus, even Belgium and the Netherlands exclude the presumption of paternity, in the case of same-sex married couples, leading some jurists to observe that they have conceded the name, but not the substance of marriage.

        For the same reason, in a civil union, there is no requirement of (sexual) fidelity, although there is a duty of “loyalty,” the duty of fidelity being seen as the counterpart to the presumption of paternity. Likewise, there is greater freedom to dispose of property by will.

        Again, in France, for example, gifts of future assets between spouses are always revocable, to allow provision to be made for future children; in the case of civil solidarity pacts, such gifts are absolute, which puts the recipient in a better position than a spouse. Likewise, a PACS can be dissolved without judicial intervention, as custody is never an issue. Likewise, there is greater freedom to dispose of property by will.

        It is, perhaps, worth mentioning that, because of their greater flexibility, in France, 90% of civil unions are between opposite-sex couples.

        It remains a criminal offence habitually to perform a religious marriage ceremony, for any couple not legally married – this is viewed as an attack on the authority of the state and its exclusive jurisdiction over questions of civil status.

      • Bender

        Chuck, I could live with civil unions that are established by the people as an act of self-governance. In fact, such a compromise was created exactly so that people could live with it. Indeed, even without civil unions, most if not all of the legal benefits, etc. that are demanded by civil unions or “same-sex marriage” can be accomplished through contract or estate law.

        But it is the militant gay faction that cannot live with reasonable compromise. It is they who are demanding to appropriate the term “marriage.” Why?

        • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

          DEAR BENDER:

          The reason some Gay people object to the term “civil unions” is because it smacks of the “separate but equal” notion that embodied the days of racial segregation. Back then, in THEORY, Blacks and Whites were supposed to have access to facilities and opportunities of equal quality. In PRACTICE, that was not the case. Schools and other facilities for Blacks were invariably substandard.

          In most places where “civil unions” have bee proposed for Gay couples, the legal protections are NOT the same. And thanks to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), even a Gay couple that is legally married in Iowa is unrecognized as such by the federal government. And when it is the FEDERAL government that provides most of the legal benefits of marriage, civil unions still subject Gay couples to a substandard (and hence unconstitutional) legal arrangement.

          If Gay Americans could be assured that the legal protections offered by “civil unions” were exactly the same as marriage, at all levels of government, I think you’d get a lot more cooperation.

          You claim that a “militant gay faction” cannot live with such a compromise. I would ask YOU why social conservatives oppose such compromises as well. It seems we have arrived at an impasse, one that will ultimately have to be resolved by the Supreme Court.

          • Richard A

            Of course, homosexual unions will be separate, and they cannot ever be equal, because they are intrinsically (and designedly) incapable of the primary good toward which marriage is ordered: the generation and raising of children. That’s what makes marriage special, socially, and what gives society a vested interest in its preservation.

          • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

            DEAR RICHARD A:

            You will be hard-pressed to come up with a purely Constitutional justification for denying Gay couples the same legal protections as Straight couples, given that (1) couples do not need to marry to have children, (2) the ability or even desire to have children is not a prerequisite for obtaining a marriage license, and (3) many Gay couples DO have children.

          • Cord Hamrick

            Chuck:

            But persons with same-sex attraction disorders have always had every bit of the same right to marry a person of the opposite gender as persons without those disorders.

            They may find the notion less appealing, on account of the disorder, but that’s hardly the state’s fault, and certainly is no rights-violation by the state.

        • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

          Bender, I think you’re a bit confused about who can and cannot “live” with a reasonable compromise.

          In 1995, it was the people on your side who got DOMA passed. DOMA ensured that there never could be a compromise. When states began providing same-sex civil unions as legally equivalent to marriage, if DOMA had not existed, couples who wanted the legal rights of marriage could have gone to Vermont, or to other states which provided civil unions, got themselves legally “civil-unioned”, and returned to their home state entitled to all the rights and benefits of marriage.

          If DOMA were repealed, this would by itself take a lot of the wind out of the sails of the freedom to marry movement : the ungenerous laws that ban recognition of same-sex civil unions in so many states would become quickly irrelevant.

          If people on the other side were into “compromise”, they’d be campaigning for same-sex civil unions and the right to have them recognised as legally equivalent to marriage across all the states and federally. This just isn’t happening: it’s a concerted campaign against gay people.

  • Bender

    Another MAJOR reason that our argument fails in this area, is that people, like the author of this piece, have surrendered the language and continue to use the irrational and non-sensical terms “gay marriage” and “same-sex marriage.”

    • Bob

      Chuck:

      Let’s play a game of slipery slope. Yes or no to the following questions:

      Should polygamists be allowed the legal right to marry?

      Should those engaged in beastiality, be allowed to legally mary the animal they love?

      Should the North American Man/Boy Association (NAMBA) be allowed to get their way, and legally able to marry 9 year old boys?

      Because one you redefine marriage to includegay marriage the definition becomes opened ended to include all sexual behaviours (whether you agree with them or not) a seat at the table. All three above groups can make the same claims you made of the right to marry the one they love, whether it’s marrying 5 women, or a horse, or a 9 year old boy. Everything’s inclusive, nothing is left off the table. In fact, all three groups have said that if gays get the legal right to marry, then so should they.

      Or, because of the all the natural law arguments that have been stated, should marriage be defined as between a man and a woman? A tree can only be defined as a tree, the definition can not be change to include a car, a table, and a bird just because we want it to.

      • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

        “Should polygamists be allowed the legal right to marry?”

        No. The issue of polygamy was settled in the lat 19th century when Utah sought statehood. It is an unrelated issue. I understand where you’re going with this, but it’s faulty logic. I could just as easily say, “If you allow a man to marry ONE woman, who’s to say he shouldn’t be allowed to marry as many women as he likes?” No one, neither you or I, has ever suggested such a thing. It is a red herring.

        “Should those engaged in beastiality, be allowed to legally mary the animal they love?”

        If someone can get an animal to provide verbal and written consent to such an arrangement, let me know. Until then, it is another red herring.

        “Should the North American Man/Boy Association (NAMBA) be allowed to get their way, and legally able to marry 9 year old boys?”

        No. “Age of Consent” laws should be applied equally, regardless of sexual orientation. And pedophilia is illegal (as it should be).

        • Chris Balducci

          Chuck,

          Why shouldn’t polygamy be legalized? Don’t you believe there are people out there practicing it who are sincere in their love for one another?

          • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

            DEAR CHRIS:

            Do YOU think polygamy should be legalized? NO? Good! Neither do I.

            The only read difference between a Gay couples and a Straight couple is the gender (and, presumably, the sexual orientation) of the two people in the relationship. Polygamy is unrelated to marriage equality for Gay and Straight couples. It’s a tiresome and irrelevant argument.

          • Bob

            So……….

            We’re redefining marriage, aren’t we? And can’t laws be changed? Who’s says a dog needs to give written consent to be married? Who says we can’t change “Age of Consent” laws to include down to the age of nine? There were anti-sodomy laws once, didn’t we change/repeal them?

            In other words Chuck, you find pedophilia morally objectionable, in the exact same way heterosexuals find sodomy morally objectionable. Once you make morality subjective,relatavistic (what I believe to be morality) and there are no objective truths, then it’s time for the ride down the slippery slope with everyone’s individual moral beliefs on board.

            Or are there objective truths according to nature?

          • Sam Schmitt

            “The only read difference between a Gay couples and a Straight couple is the gender (and, presumably, the sexual orientation) of the two people in the relationship.”

            Huh? Two people of the opposite sex can produce a baby; two people of the same sex cannot.

            Are we living in the same universe?

            It may be tiresome that people keep bring up this argument – but maybe because it’s NOT irrelevant.

        • Michael PS

          Not as far-fetched as you appear to imagine.

          Here, in Europe, whilst no country permits its citizens to enter into polygamous marriages, there are a not insignificant number of people living here in polygamous unions, valid under their national law at the time they were contracted. There is a much larger number that were potentially polygamous, in that the national law allowed the husband to take another wife, if he chose, but he has not done so.

          The courts and the public authorities are having to deal with the questions they throw up on a more or less ad hoc basis, with no guidance from the legislator no politician will touch the issue – and very little from the jurists and commentators on the Civil Code.

          No politician would touch the issue.

        • Cord Hamrick

          Well, it is certainly clear that there is a far better legal and moral argument for legalizing polygamy, than for affording state sanction to sexual exclusivity amongst persons of the same gender. Polygamy is probably preferable to the other.

          Being a Christian I reject it for theological reasons: Marriage is a sacred mystery reflecting of Christ and His Church, and a sacrament for our sanctification, and Christ has one bride, and is no polygamist. So the divine intent of marriage and indeed of human sexuality (the intent to point all humanity towards Christ and the Church) is somewhat undermined by cultural normalization or state sanction of polygamy. But not nearly so much as by cultural normalization or state sanction of contracts of sexual exclusivity between same-gender partners.

          • Michael PS

            I was certainly not arguing that any European country should make polygamy an option for its own citizens, but I do feel they should respect a civil status acquired by resident aliens abroad, under their own national law and this is what France is doing in practice. After all, many of these people come from former French colonies and protectorates.

            How the US courts would address such cases, I do not know; at one time America barred immigrants in polygamous unions.

      • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

        Bob, are you into having sex with animals? Or little girls? I can’t think of any other reason why you should keep bringing up bestiality and sex with children unless that’s what you want to do!

        • Cord Hamrick

          Jes,

          I can think of a few other reasons Bob would say what he said, other than what you suggest.

          One is the presumption that the purpose of sexual relations is to have children and that to the extent sexual gratification is altered from the type of act capable of human reproduction, to a type of act incapable of it, it is not morally licit. Thus Bob would lump homosexual acts in with masturbation, with bestiality, with sex with persons who are not sexually mature, and with contracepted sexual acts.

          A less detailed reason is that Bob has categories in his mind labeled “permissible according to orthodox Christian sexual morality” and “not permissible according to orthodox Christian sexual morality,” and lumps bestiality and pedophilia and fornication and adultery and homosexual liasons and contraception and masturbation together in that latter category.

          Another possible reason is that Bob may have in mind a “broken windows” theory of social support for the ethos of sexual self-control and monogamy. Just as leaving broken windows unrepaired on a city street leads to an ethos of lawlessness and contributes to other crime, it may be that anything other than lifelong heterosexual monogamy or complete abstinence leads to an ethos of sexual “lawlessness” in people’s personal choices and habits. Since Bob explicitly uses the phrase “slippery slope,” this is quite likely an idea he holds.

          Anyhow, I don’t think it’s reasonable, let alone logically necessary, to jump from Bob’s mention of such things, to the insinuation that he’s making time with Rosebud.

          And I don’t think you really believe that, either: Your brain works too well, I suspect, to have thought that a predisposition to bestiality was Bob’s only plausible motive. And I suspect your life experiences have been diverse enough that you were aware of these more-reasonable alternative motives.

          So wasn’t it a bit dishonest for you to raise it, as if it were a genuine argument? It was obviously absurd; did you intend it purely as a joke? Or were you trying to bully him into shutting up?

          • Meagan

            You are far better with words than I Cord. Maybe you will make better sense to this person than I did.

  • Richard A

    How many times have Christians argued against homosexual practices because “sex outside of marriage is wrong”? This is the wrong argument, and just encourages those who prefer sexual perversion to remove the “wrong” by moving it inside marriage.

    Homosexual practice is intrinsically wrong, and consequently two men or two women cannot marry each other because their relationship is incapable of proper sexual expression.

  • Bob

    Despite our fallen nature, man can by his intelligence can determine right from wrong (though many fail to do so). This is very important in that while moral principles are revealed in scripture, they have a natural basis which allows for a common language for dialogue between believers and non believers. In other words, morality is reasonable and not only a matter of faith. Thus, unlike the Protestants, Catholics can discuss morality without pointing the non-believe to scripture which would be unconvincing.

    Moral teaching is discernable from the way we are physically made. That is, it is grounded in biology and common sense (which is less and less common these days, to be sure). Again, this is common ground with non-believers.

    A sense of moral good and evil, that is conscience, is written in the hearts of men and therefore imposes moral obligations.Example of Natural Law Reasoning: The Eyeball

    If we looked at an eyeball and did not know what it was for but could learn everything about its biology, we could pretty well figure it out. It is nearly spherical and moves around in its socket. It has a clear opening which seems to grow and shrink in response to light. It has a light sensitive inner lining connected to nerves which go to the brain, etc. etc. This thing clearly has something to do with receiving light and it seems aimable–it has something to do with gathering light, and converting it into signals, perhaps it is for vision or something closely related.

    The structure of the eye tells us what it is for. The eye is not the proper tool for catching a baseball, which I have learned personally. That is the hand whose structure is apparently designed for grasping things.

    The obvious point here is that physical structure indicates purpose or “telos.”

    Application to Human Sexuality

    Simply put, the male body is sexually made for the female body. Sperm are by their design oriented toward the egg the way that the eye is oriented toward light. Same-sex sex and any sex other than vaginal intercourse cannot fulfill the purpose “written” into our physical form

  • Bob

    Ever notice how the evangelicals will throw around the word “abomination” when discussing homosexuality? This comes from Leviticus. The retort is always about the New Testament rendering moot dietary laws and therefore all of Leviticus. Fine, whatever. For Catholics, this is not the point at all. The Catholic opposition to homosexuality is not based on Old Testament ritual laws, but on Natural Law and Christ’s statements about marriage in the Gospels: one man and one woman–Only!

    In place of “abomination” one finds in Catholic teaching the term “disorder.” This is meant literally. That is, there is a proper ordering of human sexuality which is oriented toward procreation and the unitive dimension of marriage. Same-sex sex and other kinds of sexual activity are outside that proper order, thus “disordered.” While such acts are sinful, this sinfulness does not carry with it the same weightiness as the connotations of “abomination.” That is, in Catholic thought, same-sex sexual activity is similar in its disorderedness to oral sex or masturbation. However, while homosexuality in itself is not sinful, homosexual acts and even homosexual attractions are always themselves disordered in their orientation toward the same sex.

    Conclusions

    1. Catholics employ a system based on reason for her moral teaching which is in line with the revelation in the scripture but which does not rely on scriptural proof-texting.

    2. Catholics do not use the term abomination in regard to homosexuals.

    3. Homosexual acts and homosexual orientation are both disordered, but only the acts are sinful.

    4. Natural Law reasoning is a basis for discussing moral principals which does not require Christian faith and therefore is accessible to the non-believer in a way a purely scriptural reasoning is not.

    5. The Natural Law corresponds by reason to the inner conscience of man and “rings true” regardless of age, sex, language, culture. It is timeless and universal as it is written in the minds, hearts and even the bodies of men and women.

  • Chris

    Intimacy is not the same as sex. We are so sex-obsessed in our culture that we cannot imagine non-sexual intimacy. Thus, we reduce gay people to their sexuality and assume that what they seek when they seek marriage is sex, when what they really seek is intimacy. To be sure, there are plenty of people who seek only sex, and who flee intimacy. But this is hardly restricted to gays; moreover, people who seek only sex are not usually people who seek to get married. People get married because they want to build a life of intimacy together. This is what civil marriage now means. Its definition has changed, and it is not likely to change back. We could argue about whether the state has an interest in fostering intimate partnerships. Whether or not it has such an interest, this is largely what civil marriage does. That being the case, there is no reason to restrict it to heterosexual couples.

    As for ecclesiastical marriage, I would only point out that no one knows whether my spouse and I have a chaste marriage. For all anyone knows, we never have sex; alternatively, we may be having nothing but non-procreative sex. No one knows and, for the most part, I think most people do not spend much time wondering about it. Nor am I ever subjected to tedious warnings against the danger of “objectively disordered” sex within my marriage, though it the danger is always present. For the most part, I think, my brothers and sisters assume that I know the score and that I’m trying my best to live a chaste life, and leave it at that.

    Why does it seem impossible for us to extend the same courtesy to our gay brothers and sisters? Surely we do not object to same-sex intimacy, such as we find in the life of, say, Blessed John Henry Newman. Or are we simply overcome by a morbid fascination with the sex lives of others?

    • Michael PS

      Very well – What, then, is the difference between marriage and a civil union?

      • Phil

        A civil union does not have nearly as many legal rights as a marriage and doesnt have one iota of cultural worth. It’s a half marriage.

  • http://adifferentperspective1.blogspot.com/ Jack Quirk

    You’ve hit the nail on the head by pointing out that all political and social debate takes place under the Utilitarian paradigm. That has become the worldview of the West. Those of us who support the Natural Law view have hard work ahead of us, because that is a decidedly minority position, even among those who support traditional morals.

    As far as traditional marriage goes, we already have divorce, artificial birth control, cohabitation, a generalized wink in the direction of fornication, general acceptance of sodomy, and now gay marriage. The horse has long since left the barn. To complain of gay marriage now is a little bit like complaining about the kitchen table on fire after the rest of the house has already burned to the ground. We’ll need to start the discussion about traditional morals from scratch, and we’ll have to begin by arguing for Natural Law over Utilitarianism.

  • Matt

    The Church should work in outlawing the two biggest threats to marriage: heterosexual cohabitation and divorce. Then they can work on the extremely small percentage of people who are gay and the even smaller percentage of gays who want to marry. Fighting same sex marriage is disingenuous when half of marriages fail and the vast majority of Catholics live together before their marriage.

  • filiusdextris

    There was an excellent non-religious article against gay marriage on the International Business Times (online). The author basically looked at it from the health risk point of view, and that a society funding that lifestyle would commit financial suicide (implication that it is worse than funding bad smoking or drinking habits).

    http://hken.ibtimes.com/articles/167081/20110622/.htm

  • Sam Schmitt

    The question here “should gays be allowed to marry” is about the STATE recognizing a sexual relationship. Why should the state recognize any sexual relationship at all?

    The only possible reason is that the relationship can result in children and a family – hence the state’s long-standing interest in heterosexual relationships. It mattered to the state whether or not the couple about to be married was of age or of close kinship, that they did not separate (if at all possible), and hence certain legal benefits granted to the couple. This is for the sake of the future CHILDREN, not the couple themselves.

    Not that every married couple could or even wanted to have children – but having children (until recently) was the norm. It’s not about the state or society “approving” this or that relationship.

    Once the link between marriage and children is severed,it is very difficult if not impossible to argue against “gay marriage” since gays simply want what heterosexual couples now claim marriage to be – simply a relationship recognized by the state and (more importantly) by society.

    • Michael PS

      You are right. That is why the great jurist Jean Carbonnier said that the heart of marriage is not the couple; it is the presumption of paternity. In other words, marriage is the legal mechanism for establishing the juridical bond between fathers and their children.

      This is why there is an air of artificiality about any discussion of SSM that does not include adoption and assisted reproduction.

    • Phil

      So, since you agree that SSM conforms with heterosexual attitudes towards marriage, do you then agree that they should be allowed to legally marry?

      • Sam Schmitt

        You got the gist of my argument – that current heterosexual claims about marriage have paved the way for gays to claim that they can also get married.

        But since the current ideas are wrong, no, I do not think gays should be “allowed” to marry.

    • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

      Well, that is of course why we ban legal marriage to any couple not interfertile and having children.

      Marriage is not authorized for the benefit of the state: people do not marry for the utility of the state.

      People want to marry legally because that is beneficial for them, and also for any children they may have (whether biological or adopted). The state provides those rights because that’s what the people demand: the people are masters of the state, not (as you appear to envisage) the other way about.

  • Howard Kainz

    I think much of the discussion here may be missing a key point: The presumption is that homosexuality is something one is born with; so it looks like a “civil rights” issue. But there is no evidence for inborn homosexuality. Scientific studies looking for a “gay gene,” hormonal imbalances, differences between identical twins separated at birth, etc. have either failed or been judged flawed by peers.

  • James S

    I say it again and again to my fellow Catholics. Yes I am gay, yes I understand the difference between Catholic marriage and unsanctioned non-Catholic unions. I am not interested whatsoever in a Church wedding any time soon.
    However, leave my soul and its redemption to me and God. Mind your own business, look to your own lives, which no doubt are not much holier than mine.
    Why is it that Catholics spend so much time judging the lives of others and so little time reflecting on their own lives? I guess its because we really do believe that we’re better than everyone else, how sad.
    I do not expect to marry a man in the Church, I am not daft. Moreover, if I choose to enter into a civil union then I have every right as a human being to do so, period.
    And finally, if all this stuff is true about only one possible union, what about protestant marriage? It isn’t the sacrament either is it?

    • Meagan

      James, you have to realize that yes, some circumstances people do strictly point fingers and tell others faults. But, Christ told us to tell our brothers and sisters if something that they are doing is wrong. We are encouraged to spread His word. While you think that you might be being singled out (and in some situations I’m sure you are) don’t think that if this conversation was about sex before marriage or something similar Catholics wouldn’t be putting in their opinions on that as well. I know that I am a sinner as well, and I fully understand that if I am doing something that needs to be brought to my attention I hope others do it for me. As far as your soul, that is strictly between you and God. You are misinterpreting the word judging. Jesus said “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (John 7:24). And also, “Go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector”. (Matt. 18:15-17) This is a Catholic Church teaching, just like no contraception, just like no abortion, just like no sex before marriage, etc. Just because you feel you are being singled out for this one doesn’t make it right. And not sure what you mean about Protestant marriage? The Church views those married as Protestant as being legally married, but if they come into the Church it has to be recognized and Blessed by a Priest.

  • James S

    Meagan I am not nearly so well versed in the bible as you. So please forgive me if I fail to quote as you have.
    I understand however what you are saying is that Christ gave us permission to remind others of their failings until they listened….or else……..Clearly this is, as so much of the bible is, open to interpretation.
    My faith is strong, ever growing and strengthening. I am very fortunate to be in frequent communication with Christ the Father and Son. The Holy Spirit I find is not a big talker but rather the inspiration that sits me down at my laptop from time to time.
    But Meagan, you must study this thread from the top down. It’s horrible the things that people feel and say. It is harmful hateful and hurtful. I am so glad that I can filter it and still find my faith and understanding of the true Church with little interruption from these people.
    I only ask that all of you reflect inward, not outward, I appreciate your concern for my soul, however, there are many times when one must doubt the intentions of people who say such things. We are all on the same path from the same start to hopefully the same end, God willing. Remember that we are all Gods children, and thusly are all brothers and sisters. it’s marvellous really.
    Regarding Protestant marriage, I feel the recognition of Protestantism is pandering. Face it, they left, they splintered then and splinter now, how can this be a true sacrament? It isn’t. As far as being married legally, well of course they are, the legality of marriage is not based on Catholicism, it’s based on law. But the gift of the sacraments cannot be recongized outside of Christs Church.

  • Meagan

    I’m not well versed, I’ve just studied this a lot. I have a few people that are very close to me that are homosexual and we have had many discussions about this matter. You sound like you do have a very solid faith. You said that the Bible is open to interpretation. In some parts yes, in the matters of homosexuality being sinful and marriage being for one man and one woman, no. That is the wonderful thing about our Church. It’s teachings are true, and even if we can’t get word for word from the Bible, we have Oral Tradition. It is so clear what is right and wrong, and what can be left up to interpretation doesn’t fall in this particular category. As far as all of the hateful, hurtful comments. Those are people that we simply must pray for. When I say homosexuality is wrong I am in no way doing that to be hurtful and I think you know that. Does it hurt to hear, yes, but as you said, it is in concern for your soul. The thing that we all have to remember is that we all sin. No matter the gravity of the sin, mortal or venial, they all hurt God. Any person that is saying hurtful and especially hateful things to you is hurting God in the same manner that you are by practicing homosexuality and as I am in the numerous different things that I do on a daily basis. One can never say something displeases the Lord more than something else, because in the end we all are at fault. What we have to do is try to better ourselves and stop our sinning ways. Thank God for giving us the sacrament of reconciliation and the graces to try and avoid that sin that keeps bringing us back to it (reconciliation that is). :)

  • Bob

    James,

    Yes, we all sin. I am a sinner. I sin. The important thing is, I try to avoid sin, and repent from my current sins. It’s not easy. It’s hard work. Some times I fail. But I get back up and keep trying, never giving up. The great deceiver, father of lies, Satan wants us to get discouraged and give up. But we must keep running towards Christ, and the teachings of the Catholic Church that He gave us.

    I have in the past, lived a lifestyle of mortal sin. The problem with mortal sin is that there are a million ways to justify why we’re living such a lifestyle. This is once again, the lies of Satan.

    Looking back, some of the most grace filled moments in my life were when someone through Christian love and charity looked me square in the eye and said “Bob, what you are doing is a mortal sin, and your eternal life is in jeopardy!” Wow. No sugarcoating it. No lowering the bar, trying to justify my behaviour. I’ve literarly thanked people for hitting me square in the face with the truth. Christ knocked St. Paul down on his arse and blinded him for three days to get him to change his life and repent.

    James, as I’ve posted before, having a tendancy towards homosexuality is not a sin. But living out that tendancy in the gay lifestyle is a sin. And unrepentant sin can casue anyone to lose their eternal salvation. THIS IS OUR CATHOLIC FAITH!

    We all have our cross to bear. I have my crosses. But I must pick up my cross, and like Christ, embrace that cross. I must turn it in to something that I can return toGod in a beautiful way. “Ad Majorem, Dei Gloriam.”

    Like the disordered tendancies I as a heterosexual man have, homosexuality is a cross to bear. But we all must take these tendancies, whether hetero or homo sexual, and NOT act on them and turn towards Christ and do something beautiful for Him! WE MUST STRIVE EVERY DAY TO BECOME SAINTS!

  • Carol

    Human sexuality differs from non-human sexuality in that it has a unitive/relational function as well as a procreative function.

    Until recently, famines, plagues and wars have posed a very real threat to the survival of our entire human species. Modern technology has limited that threat to localized populations experiencing ecological and or political instability.

    The result has been a shifting of emphasis from the procreative to the unitive function of human sexuality.

    The official estimate of homosexuals in all populations is relatively small–I seem to recall it is somewhere between 10 to 12%. Biologists have also discovered incidental practices of homosexual behavior in non-human species. The “norm” is a statistical fiction. A deviation from the “norm” may or may not be an unnatural act.

    I doubt that the ratio of homosexuals to heterosexuals in the population will be affected by legislative concessions, since there seems to be an underlying biological constant.

    What will change as a result of a greater emphasis on the unitive function of human sexuality at the expense of the procreative function will be an increase in bisexuality. In fact, this is already occurring; but, for some reason, it is happening under the radar of the ecclesiastical subculture.

    What will probably become the new measure of sexual immorality will be the presence of hedonistic predatory behavior rather than gender orientation.

    My own belief, is that the aggressively predatory behavior that drives so much of our social behavior is a much greater threat to the institution of heterosexual marriage than the institutionalization of same-sex marriage.

    Heterosexual divorces are much more likely to occur as the result of the behavior of heterosexual spouses toward each other than because of what homosexual spouses do in bed!

  • James S

    Hey Bob,
    Please try to understand, I get Gods law. Not only that, but I really like the way it makes life work for me.
    The fact that I am gay, ( I believe the thread above yours refers to me as the enemy), has very little to do with how I understand Gods truth or not.
    My sexuality was not my choice. I remember as a very small boy feeling no validation for the way I was, whereas little heterosexual boys receive it from day one. There is nothing quite so lonely as being a 5 year old homosexual in a really small town. However, I survived and to be honest I think that my sexuality brought me to God faster than I would have otherwise, however, who knows.
    It’s very important for all of us members of the Church of Christ to evangelize by example. I try all the time to be a better, more rational, more intellectual and kinder Catholic. My current Archbishop has given me the gift of logical understanding of the mysteries of my faith. Mixed up in this lesson is a method of evangelization that points fingers at sin only at the right time in order to have the best effect in the process. The Church needs to be careful and kind to make itself appealing in this modern world.
    So, all that said, and you nailed it yourself Bob, we all sin, yes there is mortal and venial, but we all do it in one form or another. So please everyone, try not to mix up the effort of evangelization behind the cloak of bigotry and sin.

  • James S

    Hey Meagan,
    I wasn’t saying that homosexuality is open to interpretation as far as being right or wrong, I was saying that the quote from John in your thread is open to interpretation.
    We must all be so careful in the communication of our faith and its doctrine.
    And it’s Sunday today, my favorite day of the week for obvious reasons, and believe me, after the week that I’ve had I am resting and worshiping God and that’s it.
    James

    • Meagan

      James,
      yes Sunday is a truly wonderful day. Relaxing on God’s day :) To your above post to Bob and one of my previous posts, you continue to say that you are a devout Catholic, which really does seem to be true. However, before you spoke of how protestantism has splintered and how they continue to change. Well coming to the “modern” times and saying that homosexuality is ok because more and more people are saying they are this way still doesn’t make it right. You are trying to do exactly what you claim the protestant reformation has done. When they didn’t like something they changed it. As Bob said, you can try and justify anything. Someone told me one time, “Come on Meagan, this is 2011 (we were speaking of homosexuality being wrong).” My response was, I was unaware that Jesus Christ had come back and changed his teachings. My question to you would be, do you think that being a practicing homosexual is not a sin? If so, where do you get that from?

    • Carol

      One of my interests is cultural anthropology.

      Native Americans have a creation-centered spirituality. I recently came upon this theory that may be of interest in light of our current topic:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-Spirit_identity_theory

  • James S

    Meagan I haven’t said anywhere throughout this discourse that practising homosexuality isn’t a sin. I understand the laws of God, and as my Mom says, “it’s easy being a Christian, just not so easy being Catholic because of all the ramifications”. I love that. We as Catholics work hard!
    My point is that this particular sin, and any others pertaining to the 6th commandment it seems, seem to be singled out by members of the Church and hooked onto like flys to honey. The Church has many challenges dealing with sexuality and it seems has for some time. The many sins of the 6th commandment must be de-stigmatized and treated no different than those say of the 5th, 7th and 10th.
    Where is all the fracas about the killing of peoples souls through gross materialism, this one particularly true in the United States? Where is all the fracas about covetessness (sp)? Where is all the fracas about government theft?
    There are many issues out there that we need to address to put the world on the right path.
    Let’s start by, as I said at the outset, looking inward rather than outward.
    Best,
    James

  • Meagan

    O ok, well I definitely see what you are talking about there. And it shouldn’t be singled out. As I was saying earlier, all sins are hurtful to God, and that is why we shouldn’t do them. I guess I really don’t see then where we disagree. We both agree that it is a sin, so do you think that you should be allowed to marry? The sacrament of marriage is a beautiful gift and God gave man and woman that gift and the ability to produce children. It just lessens the sacrament when it is used not how God intended. All sins are hard to go against. We are human and we fail at just about every task we are given. But taking up our cross and trying all we can to follow in Christ’s footsteps in what we must strive for. Whether that be homosexuality, alcoholism, cursing, judging, gossiping, etc. The list is endless. All of the things you mentioned above as well. I do see what you mean by saying we need to look at ourselves first, we do. But at the same time if we see another who needs help we must help, or we are just adding another sin to the list we already have.
    By the way, what a beautiful message today…this is my body and this is my blood, another beautiful sacrament given to us my our wonderful Lord and Savior.
    Meagan

    • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

      But Meagan, no one is arguing that Catholic priests must be made to administer the sacrament of marriage to same-sex couples.

      The law is changing for civil marriage, not for religious marriage.

      • Meagan

        Yes, but the Catholic Church’s stance on this is that it is wrong. No matter if they can’t be married in the Church, we still feel it is wrong. That’s like saying, well the Church says that abortion is wrong, but we’re not going to say anything at all to try and stop all of the organizations from doing it. I would ask why then, if God is taken out of the marriage, would anyone even get married? Tax benefits? Come on now.

        • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

          “Yes, but the Catholic Church’s stance on this is that it is wrong.”

          And the Catholic Church can continue to assert that it is wrong. No one is stopping Catholics from saying it’s wrong.

          “That’s like saying, well the Church says that abortion is wrong, but we’re not going to say anything at all to try and stop all of the organizations from doing it.”

          Well, that’s another argument, and I choose not to engage in it.

          ” I would ask why then, if God is taken out of the marriage, would anyone even get married?”

          For love. This may seem strange to you, Meagan, but sometimes two people love each other so much that they want to commit their lives to each other, they want to love, to honor, and to cherish each other, they want to become each other’s next-of-kin. To you that may seem strange and alien, but it’s still true: people want to marry because they love one another.

          • Meagan

            Yes, people do want to marry because they love each other and to have children. That was the whole point of marriage, to go forth and multiply. And no, I’m not talking about fertility, I’m talking about the whole reason God made mankind. Yes, he made us to love each other. He gave us our husband or wife as a way to help each other get to heaven. By loving one another, we want to help and protect each other, and of course, do whatever we can to help better the other in helping them get their salvation into heaven. Do you think that going against God’s plan, and condoning homosexual marriage is really helping the partner? My husband loves me and tells me when I’m doing something that is displeasing to God. What one might consider love can also be twisted into lust. The world today is fixated on sex and the majority of the time, that is what “love” boils down to. And I’m not just talking about homosexuality. It is my belief that when a man and wife wed it should be because they are ready to come together as God wanted and have children. The reason I say this is because many people get married and then don’t have children, what was the point? Why else would two people want to be married other than to have sex? Yes you are showing your love for one another, but I loved my husband just as much the day before I married him as the day I did. What was the difference? After we were married we could have sex and it not be a sin. The females last name changes and you live together, but other than that the love that you feel for each other stays the same. It continues to grow of course, but nothing magical happens just because you are married as far as love goes. This is a very shallow way of putting it, but that is basically what it boils down to. Actually a better way to put it would to be like this…just as the Father and the Son love each other and created the Holy Spirit, a man and a woman love each other and create a child.

          • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

            “Yes, people do want to marry because they love each other”

            Yes. So why do you find this so bewildering? And why are you constantly trying to tie marriage/love to interfertility? I thought you’d conceded you were wrong to try to do that?

            “He gave us our husband or wife as a way to help each other get to heaven. ”

            Seriously? You think people who aren’t married don’t get to go to heaven?

            “Do you think that going against God’s plan, and condoning homosexual marriage is really helping the partner? ”

            Why do you arrogantly suppose that you know what God’s plan is for other people? You seem to believe you’re better qualified than any lesbian or gay Christian can be to know what God’s plan is for them. Why this spiritual arrogance?

            “My husband loves me and tells me when I’m doing something that is displeasing to God. ”

            And presumably, you do the same for him. Why do you want to deny this kind of relationship to lesbian and gay people?

            “It is my belief that when a man and wife wed it should be because they are ready to come together as God wanted and have children”

            So you really do believe that couples that aren’t interfertile shouldn’t get married – that God only wants fertile couples to marry?

            “The reason I say this is because many people get married and then don’t have children, what was the point?”

            For love. This may seem strange to you, Meagan, but sometimes two people love each other so much that they want to commit their lives to each other, they want to love, to honor, and to cherish each other, they want to become each other’s next-of-kin. To you that may seem strange and alien, but it’s still true: people want to marry because they love one another. You keep trying to tie this to fertility, but it’s really not connected; people who can’t have children together can and do still love each other.

          • Meagan

            Are you just egging me on here Jesurgislac? I don’t know if I have ever in my life tried to have a conversation with someone who twisted words more than you. Let me say this again, since obviously you aren’t getting the message. FROM MY BELIEF, God gave us the SACRAMENT of Marriage to come together to have children. If by my saying that you can get on a fertility discussion…well you are on your own because obviously you are somehow getting lost in the translation. Did I ever say anything about people that weren’t married getting to heaven? I simply stated that He gives us our husband or wife to HELP us get to heaven. And if you want to say that I “arrogantly suppose” I know God’s plan for other people you would be wrong. I go by Christi’s teaching from His Church. I don’t know His plan for anyone, but I know His teaching for everyone. Whether you agree with it or not, I know it to be true. Your comment is just obsurd. You are just wrong in thinking that God’s wish is for homosexuals to marry. The point you are not getting I think is that NO, it is not just in a civil situation. It’s not just wrong in the Church’s eyes. It is a sin to practice homosexuality. That is Christ’s teaching. So again, I think that shoots down your theory that God would think it would be ok under civil law to be married. Well I guess you have me there. Anyone can tell us what we are doing is displeasing to God, ie. the discussion between us. Two people, man and woman, come together in the hopes of having children and being open to it. A couple that is infertile should always still be trying. There is a big difference between someone who simply has something wrong with them and can’t conceive and two men or two women. This cannot naturally be done. Your final comment just goes back to something else you wrote that I already commented on. There is a difference, God could provide a miracle for that infertile couple. Two men or two women can never create a new being naturally. And no, I’m not trying to tie this to fertility, YOU are.

        • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

          “Did I ever say anything about people that weren’t married getting to heaven? I simply stated that He gives us our husband or wife to HELP us get to heaven. ”

          Okay, so why don’t you want lesbian and gay people to have that help? Why do you feel a gay man doesn’t deserve to have a husband to help him get to heaven, and a lesbian doesn’t deserve to have a wife? What’s your problem with lesbian and gay people getting into heaven?

          “FROM MY BELIEF, God gave us the SACRAMENT of Marriage to come together to have children. If by my saying that you can get on a fertility discussion…”

          Well, if you want to keep believing that God doesn’t want sterile couples (or couples who aren’t interfertile together) to get married, I can’t argue with your belief about what God wants *for yourself*: I just disagree that your personal belief that God doesn’t want people who aren’t interfertile to get married, ought to ban anyone from marriage.

          “And if you want to say that I “arrogantly suppose” I know God’s plan for other people you would be wrong. I go by Christi’s teaching from His Church. ”

          And yet you can’t cite any words from the gospel that Christ used to teach that same-sex couples weren’t allowed civil marriage. You can’t even cite anything Jesus said about homosexuality! Claims that Jesus taught homosexuality as a “grave sin” aren’t from the gospels – there’s not a word there against the love of one man for another.

          “It is a sin to practice homosexuality. That is Christ’s teaching. ”

          Quote me the verse from any one of the gospels where Christ says so. Chapter and verse. If you can’t find it, don’t claim Christ taught it. (While you’re looking, you’ll find a lot of Christ’s teachings warning you off setting yourself up in judgment against *other people’s* sins.)

          ” There is a big difference between someone who simply has something wrong with them and can’t conceive and two men or two women. This cannot naturally be done. ”

          So having children by adoption is unnatural, and adopted children don’t deserve married parents?

          Try reading this news story from first page to last
          http://www.azcentral.com/news/azliving/articles/2011/05/02/20110502gay-dads-ham-family-12-adopted-kids.html and then explain to me why you think Steve and Roger Ham are such terrible awful sinners they shouldn’t be allowed to get married or adopt children together.

  • James S

    Haven’t been to Mass yet, early here in my time zone. Regarding the sacraments, it’s funny, they are all so amazing in their own ways, marriage obviously one of them. For my part, I believe that marriage in the Church is a sacrament, EVERYWHERE else it’s just a contract.
    The sacrament of confession (yes, I still call it that), is also so great, so difficult, and so misunderstood, shame really. Maybe that’s a great place for evangelism to take root. Do you know how few Catholics go to confession?

  • Bob

    James and Meagan, great civil discussion……some random thoughts though on the sixth commandment:

    At Fatima, one of the messages our Blessed Mother gave the children (after showing them a vision of hell) was that most people were in hell due to sexual sins. Firstly, this tells me that yes….there is a hell! Secondly that one of the main weaknesses that the devil exploits in men and women is our sexual appetites. Many theologians comment that the first sin in the garden with Adam and Eve was by nature a sexual sin, and because of that, ever since this is constantly the greatest weakness of man and temptation of Satan.

    Just some thoughts………

    • Meagan

      Yes Bob, I agree. Look at our world today. Sex is everywhere. From discussions on teaching about it in elementary schools, to trash TV, to the immodest clothes that are everywhere. People don’t realize what we are doing to ourselves and to our children by simply the clothes we wear and what we let me on our televisions. And yes James, far too many Catholics go to confession. It really is a beautiful, guilt lifting gift. I am relatively new to the Catholic Church. My husband and I just celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary so I’ve only been Catholic just over 5 years now. However, within the last year or so, my husband and I have both gone through a conversion that has brought us so much closer to God. Delving into the Church and learning the true teachings and why we believe what we believe is amazing. If only more Catholics understood why we do the things in the Catholic Church we do, they would want to take advantage of these gifts so much more. Our priest always tells us in his homilys that a lot of people think, o I’m cute, I’ll get to heaven, and that’s just not true. As you said Bob, hell is REAL. People these days need to have that fear put in them. We are supposed to live our lives always thinking of one thing, am I doing this for God? That is a very hard question to live by, but I find that the more things I am doing that I ask that question to myself for, the closer I am with God. I am also becoming much closer with our Blessed Mother. The Rosary is a wonderful prayer. That is one thing that I wish protestants (and some do) would do, pray the rosary. The comfort of knowing that Mary is there and praying for us is great!

      • Meagan

        Ha, James I just realized that I wrote far too many Catholics go to confession. I’m sure you know I mean DON’T go to confession. I’m sure my typos are endless..lol!

  • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

    They’re bad arguments.

    *When law and public opinion give their endorsement to homosexual behavior, they implicitly condemn those who disapprove of such behavior, namely traditional Catholics, Protestants, and Jews.*

    There’s a whole bunch of false assumptions in this one. First of all, yes: when the law and public opinion says that it’s okay to be gay, that you don’t deserve to be persecuted or denied civil rights or discriminated in employment because of your sexual orientation, then yes, people who argue that gay people SHOULD be persecuted, denied civil rights, and discriminated in employment, look bad. But : arguing for the persecution of, arguing for discrimination against gay people is not required by any of the Abrahamic religions. It’s just something that homophobic people do. To assert (as you do by this) that homophobia is central to Christianity and Judaism, is offensive to people who do not believe that hatred and inequality are at the center of those religions.

    * The push for SSM is — at least de facto, if not deliberately — an attempt to destroy traditional Christianity.*

    Only if you regard homophobia as central to traditional Christianity. See above.

    * The drive for SSM is but the latest stage of the sexual revolution, and at every one of that revolution’s earlier stages (casual fornication, unmarried cohabitation, out-of-wedlock childbirth, abortion), it has served to undermine marriage; why would any reasonable person imagine that this latest stage will be any different?*

    It takes a real lack of logic to argue that so many people arguing so strongly that marriage is important to them, that this means “marriage will be destroyed”. For you to believe this suggests that to you, marriage is not really very important.

    * SSM is the reductio ad absurdum of marriage. If persons of the same sex can get married, doesn’t marriage then mean anything — and nothing?*

    If marriage means nothing to you, don’t get married. But don’t deny marriage to people for whom marriage is important.

    * Marriage was instituted for the begetting of children, something that two persons of the same sex cannot do.*

    Civil marriage does not require that either partner should be fertile, let alone that they should be interfertile together. Nor have I ever seen anyone setting out to argue that women past the menopause aren’t entitled to legal marriage, nor that tubal ligation/vasectomy ought to mean that the person made sterile isn’t allowed to marry legally. So this argument always just says that the person making it is a complete hypocrite.

    Further, it doesn’t deal with the point that many same-sex couples have children – why should those children be denied legally married parents? No one has ever been able to provide a decent explanation why the children of same-sex couples deserve to be legally discriminated against, not even those who argue that their Christianity mandates they harass and persecute lesbians and gays.

    * A growing child has a profound psychological need for a mother and father. Two mothers won’t do, and neither will two fathers.*

    There’s no evidence for this at all; it’s just a wish from the university of It Stands To Reason. But even if it were true, see above; why are you arguing that children whom you claim to believe are being profoundly psychologically stunted, should also be legally discriminated against by being denied married parents?

    * The undermining of marriage has had disastrous consequences for millions of children who have grown up fatherless (and usually in poverty).*

    So why are you arguing that some couples shouldn’t be allowed to get married, that marriage is meaningless? If you believe that children deserve married parents, why are you arguing that some children should be legally banned from having married parents? This too is the mark of a hypocrite.

    *These consequences, while bad among all racial groups, have been worst among African Americans — in some cases frustrating the movement towards social equality*

    One in four black men is in jail. The US locks people up for offenses that in other countries do not merit jail. Yet you waste your time denying marriage to some because you claim it’s central to your religion to discriminate against gay people – you want us to believe that at the day of judgement Jesus will divide the sheep and the goats not by their generosity and charity, but by who was most homophobic.

    • James S

      Meagan I have been Catholic all my life, I had fallen away for a time, but always was Catholic to the core, Thank God. As a Catholic it has always been my experience that forgiveness from God is perhaps easier than forgiveness by myself of myself. so when you mentioned confession being a great guilt lifter I chuckled, were it ever so easy. Anyways, on with the day just wanted to add that bit and one last thing, Corpus Christi Sunday, what a great day, and there’s that other great sacrament that I am able to enjoy, Holy Communion. I wept today at my unworthiness in the face of Christ, however this did not stop me going to Communion on this most important of days to do just that!

      • Meagan

        It is difficult to get there sometimes, and yes, we are much harder on ourselves than our loving Lord, but the feeling I get after going to confession….it’s like the Lord has lifted all of the weight off of my shoulders. That to me is a reassurance in itself that confession was meant to be between God, the priest hearing the confession and absolving our sins through Christ, and the sinner. And yes, we are all unworthy, but through this wonderful gift we are able to abide in Him and He in us! :) And that is wonderful that you are a Catholic to the core. I’ve only been so lucky to be one for a short time!

  • Bob

    Why is it when someone defends the 3500 year Judeo Christian teaching that sodomy is a grave and mortal sin, they are attacked as being “homophobic?”

    Doesn’t the term “homophobic” literally mean “fear of man”….huh??

    I agree withj Meagan: When did Christ coe back to earth and change his teaching?

    • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

      “Why is it when someone defends the 3500 year Judeo Christian teaching that sodomy is a grave and mortal sin, they are attacked as being “homophobic?””

      Well, to begin with, Jews don’t share the Catholic concept of “mortal sin”, so claiming this as a “Judeo Christian” teaching is dubious. Orthodox Jews can correctly point to 2 out of the 613 laws which forbid two men from having intercourse: but of course even the most Orthodox Jew would agree that Jewish religious law does not apply in secular society. It is an abomination to mix meat and milk, or to eat the meat of the swine, but that does not mean that McDonalds has to close down, just that Orthodox Jews don’t eat there.

      To go on, no one should prevent Catholics from asserting that some behavior is a grave and mortal sin. But it’s a long and perilous step from there to argue that some sinners aren’t entitled to civil marriage.

      • Bob

        Incorrect, Jesurgisiac. Talmidic expression and tradition has always claimed that sodomy is an affront to a vengeful God. Marriage between a man and woman in the Pentateuch is not only affirmed in Genesis with Adam and Eve, but it is made covenental by God’s relationship with Abraham (“Bring me a heffer….”Your descendants will be as vast as the stars in the sky”, etc.).

        OK…..sinners are entitled to civil marriage. Then polygamists and pedophiles should be allowed civil marriage also? How about a man wanting to marry his sister? How about a nephew marrying an aunt?

        Read all the natural law posts above…..you’re late to the game.

        I’ve read your hstory of posts on the net, Jesurgisiac, they’re pretty much anti-Catholic. Or should I say, “Catholicphobic?!”:)

        • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

          “sinners are entitled to civil marriage. Then polygamists and pedophiles should be allowed civil marriage also?”

          Huh? You know, when a man’s mind so instantly jumps to the idea that he could follow the practices of the Old Testament and marry multiple women, or get to rape little girls and call that marriage, I wonder he can face himself in the mirror!

    • James S

      Meagan you’re fortunate. I weigh my stuff heavily long after confession. I think it’s genetic. My Grandmother was an (according to her daughter in law) “exemplary” Catholic, yet she carried stuff on and on. Funny how genetics plays into faith.
      J

      • Meagan

        Lol…well hopefully that doesn’t follow you around forever. God has forgiven you so now you just have to forgive yourself. But, it is good to remember what we’ve done, that way it helps us not to do it again! :) Hope you have a good week, these Mondays pop up sooner and sooner every week!

  • Meagan

    Jesurgislac,
    I think there is one thing that I have left unsaid, maybe not, I cannot remember everything that I have previously posted. In being a true Christian, we are supposed to live our lives how GOD wants us to. Not how we want to live it. You say that “It takes a real lack of logic to argue that so many….marriage is not really very important”. If you are Christian, and believe that you live your life for God and by His rules, then yes, by someone trying to make a mockery out of the sanctity of marriage, it is destroying it. Do you see anything wrong with teenagers having kids? Same situation. God gave us the coming together of man and woman once we are married, so that we can bond and have children. All in the hopes of getting to heaven to share in love with our Savior. I’m sure some teens that have kids turn out to be pretty good parents, same as some adults that have children make horrible parents. The point being, we are to follow God’s teachings to the best of our ability. My point in talking about teen marriage is because the whole 16 and pregnancy series is making a total joke out of being a parent. This whole world is engulfed in itself instead of God. When you make your points they make perfect sense to someone that doens’t put Christ and His Church first. Again, you speak of “civil marriage does not require that either partner”….you may be talking about civil marriage when you are talking about homosexuals being allowed to marry, but this article is about why it is wrong religiously. God said it was wrong, the Church says it is wrong, and it’s sad that people who claim to be His followers can’t stand up and say it’s wrong.

    • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

      “I have previously posted. In being a true Christian, we are supposed to live our lives how GOD wants us to. ”

      And what makes you think that God wants you to live your life condemning other people and arguing that they don’t deserve the same civil rights as you?

      “If you are Christian, and believe that you live your life for God and by His rules, then yes, by someone trying to make a mockery out of the sanctity of marriage, it is destroying it. ”

      If you believe that for you to marry a woman would be to make a mockery out of the sanctity of marriage, don’t marry her. No one says you should. Nor is anyone is arguing or legislating that priests are obliged to join same-sex couples in holy matrimony. But to argue that a couple who want to marry legally should be bound by the religious beliefs of the Catholic church and denied civil marriage, *that* makes a mockery out of the sanctity of marriage, since you argue there is no difference between a priest celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage and a city clerk reading from a preprinted form and declaring a couple to be legally joined together.

      *Do you see anything wrong with teenagers having kids? Same situation. God gave us the coming together of man and woman once we are married, so that we can bond and have children. *

      So you’re in favor of banning legal marriage to everyone who can’t have children? Everyone should be required to have a fertility test before they’re allowed to get a civil marriage?

      “All in the hopes of getting to heaven to share in love with our Savior. ”

      You really think that Jesus will shut you out of Heaven unless you have children? That all that stuff in the gospels about love and forgiveness was just nonsense – what getting to Heaven depends on is your fertility? I think that’s hurtful nonsense, I really do – I don’t like to criticise other people’s religious beliefs, but seriously, to argue that you have children not because you want them but because if you don’t have children you won’t get into Heaven, just strike me as ugly. And unChristian, fwiw.

      “The point being, we are to follow God’s teachings to the best of our ability. ”

      And where is God teaching you that you had to have children to get into Heaven?

      “Again, you speak of “civil marriage does not require that either partner”….you may be talking about civil marriage when you are talking about homosexuals being allowed to marry, but this article is about why it is wrong religiously.”

      That’s odd, I really thought this article was inspired by the news – great to everyone who cares about love and equality – that the state of New York had voted to lift the ban on same-sex couples marrying – in civil marriage.

      • Michael PS

        You are overlooking the fact that same-sex couples are infertile as a class; where a given opposite-sex couple is infertile, this is due to adventitious causes, including the lack of desire to have children

        That is why they are different, too, in respect to adoption; an opposite-sex couple can model the natural (reproductive) family to the child and to the community, whilst a same-sex couple cannot.

        Moreover, the state’s concern is not to encourage procreation, but to ensure, as far as it can in a free society, that when a child is actually born, a juridical bond exists between the child and its father. Marriage is the simplest and least intrusive way of doing so.

  • Meagan

    I take it that you didn’t read my previous comments, but we’ve already gone over the whole judging thing. Let me ask you this, do YOU think that God wants two men or two women to marry? I go by God’s rules, whether it be in the Church or civil laws. What do you go by? If you don’t go by God’s word, I find it funny that you want to throw condemning others and all of the other things that you claim you think Jesus would want us to do in my face. I will still comment anyway…
    There is a difference between a Priest celebrating a Mass for a man and woman and two people simply being legally married, God. No where did I say anything about fertility, etc., I think you are trying to twist words. I’d like to see where in this I put anything about having to have children to get to heaven. Yes, this article was inspired by the news, but this is from the author himself, “I say this as one who has been arguing in print against the gay movement for the past 25 years”. If you think that this is an article supporting homosexual marriage, you are mistaken.

  • Bob

    Incorrect, Jesurgisiac. Talmidic expression and tradition has always claimed that sodomy is an affront to a vengeful God. Marriage between a man and woman in the Pentateuch is not only affirmed in Genesis with Adam and Eve, but it is made covenental by God’s relationship with Abraham (“Bring me a heffer….”Your descendants will be as vast as the stars in the sky”, etc.).
    OK…..sinners are entitled to civil marriage. Then polygamists and pedophiles should be allowed civil marriage also? How about a man wanting to marry his sister? How about a nephew marrying an aunt?
    Read all the natural law posts above…..you’re late to the game.
    I’ve read your hstory of posts on the net, Jesurgisiac, they’re pretty much anti-Catholic. Or should I say, “Catholicphobic?!”:)

  • Meagan

    Bob, that Catholicphobic gave me a good laugh! :) Nice points to make!

    • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

      Well, Meagan, I don’t think that making light of pedophilia is a “good point”, yet that’s what Bob is trying to do – to make it look like child rape is okay because it’s no worse than two adult gay men loving each other.

      I guess when you have no moral high ground to stand on, and no logical case to make, it’s easier just to dismiss objections to civil discrimination as “Catholicphobic”.

      • Meagan

        Yes Jesurgislac, take out one point that could be taken the wrong way (as you’ve taken everything else) and try to flip it around and make out Christians to be the bad guys. More of what I was agreeing with was the points on relatives marrying, men marrying more than one woman, or women marrying more than one man for that matter. And as far as say we don’t have a moral high ground, yes, obviously from the posts we are the ones with that problem. Also, you never answered any of the questions I posed for you in my previous comment.

        • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

          Fine, we can ignore Bob’s rather distasteful eagerness for paedophilia. Happy to.

          You should be aware that same-sex civil unions have now been available around the world since 1989 – same-sex civil marriage, since 2001. There is absolutely no evidence, in any country, anywhere, that lifting the ban on same-sex couples marrying has led to any change in the legislation on incestuous marriage.

          Equally so with polygamous marriage. Lifting the ban on same-sex couples marrying happens in countries where mixed-sex marriage is already equal – where the legal rights, responsibilities, and obligations of husband to wife are the same as wife to husband. So there’s no big difference in legislation allowing for two husbands or two wives.

          But poly marriage happens where marriage rights are unequal. Where a husband has the right to take more than one wife, wives don’t have the same rights as husbands. Countries with polygamous unequal marriage are countries which won’t be allowing same-sex marriage any time soon – because same-sex marriage follows marriage equality.

          “Also, you never answered any of the questions I posed for you in my previous comment.”

          Actually, I did, it’s just my comment went missing – sorry. My comment in response to yours appears to have got posted upthread, accidentally, in response to a different comment: I don’t get how it happened.
          http://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/the-failure-of-our-gay-marriage-arguments#comment-82432

          • Meagan

            Thanks for letting me know about the post. I understand that you are saying secular society, but we are not. That is the point that Bob and I are getting at. Yes, this is talking about civil law, but we don’t agree that it should happen at all. Yes, I can honestly say that I am going by God’s word. No, I guess no where does it word for word say that homosexuals should not be granted civil marriage, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that when He said of it being a grave sin that he wouldn’t condone it through civil law either. And I believe that a marriage should only be celebrated in a Church, so I guess that takes care of the whole people strictly being legally married thing. Again, I addressed that either I didn’t correctly put that in the right words or you misread. What I was trying to get to was that God gave us man and woman coming together to have children and bond. Through that it creates a family. We work on that family and teach our children God’s teachings in the hopes of getting to heaven to share in his love. By this I mean that through having children, we are able to try and get as many people to heaven as we can by sharing His teachings and commandments. And I’m talking about naturally, not through in-vitro or any other means that the Catholic Church doesn’t teach. Another point that same sex couples cannot fulfill a true wedding vow (Christian wedding vow) of procreating. (I know you are just talking civil law, but again, this is just from my point of view). Again, why is this author homophobic simply because he doesn’t agree? How in anyway does him have a differing opinion make him homophobic? And again, just because someone is going against something you believe in, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are doing it out of hate. As I told James earlier, I have friends and family members that are homosexual and I have no hate for them at all. I’ve told them what they are doing is wrong out of love. This is the same thing as the abortion issue. Just because it is legal to have an abortion, doesn’t mean that I won’t tell someone that wants to have one that it is wrong. And again, I am doing that out of love for them and out of love for their unborn baby. It may seem that people are being hateful when you are hearing something that you don’t want to hear, and in some cases I’m sure people are saying things out of hate, but I assure you I am not.

          • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

            “I understand that you are saying secular society, but we are not.”

            Yes, you are. Repeatedly! You say here: “No, I guess no where does it word for word say that homosexuals should not be granted civil marriage, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that when He said of it being a grave sin that he wouldn’t condone it through civil law either. And I believe that a marriage should only be celebrated in a Church, so I guess that takes care of the whole people strictly being legally married thing. Again, I addressed that either I didn’t correctly put that in the right words or you misread. ”

            No, I don’t see that I did. In this paragraph of yours I’ve just quoted you are arguing that secular society ought to be ruled by religious law. You’re arguing against religious freedom, which can only be practiced in a secular society. You are talking about secular society being forced under religious law: denying people the right to practice their religion as they choose.

            Your assertion that a religious authority’s interpretation of what God wants ought to govern civil law is one that is tried in various countries – Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan. You want the US to become one of those countries – utterly without religious freedom and basic civil rights, because God rules?

            Israel is, I think, the only country in the world which allows only religious marriages to be celebrated within its borders – but the Israeli government has ruled that all civil marriages registered outside Israel must be recognized. (So while same-sex marriage can’t be celebrated in Israel yet, same-sex civil marriages are recognized within Israeli borders.)

          • Meagan

            The only thing I can add to that is that you are the one trying to take away my religious freedoms, by offending our view of marriage, which is religious. You may not believe it, but God started it all with Adam and Eve. You wouldn’t force a Jewish deli to sell something that is offensive to others, so don’t make us try and condone something that we believe is offensive to God.

          • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

            “The only thing I can add to that is that you are the one trying to take away my religious freedoms, by offending our view of marriage, which is religious. ”

            So you think that in order to avoid offending Jews, every McDonalds in America should be shut down if they insist on selling bacon with everything and allowing people to put cheese on beefburgers?

            You can get offended all you like about same-sex couples getting married. You can preach about how God hates gay people and wants them to be unhappy. You can tout your religious belief that people who don’t have children don’t get to go to heaven. You have the freedom to do that.

            What you shouldn’t have the freedom to do is force other people to live according to your religious beliefs. You are trying to take away religious freedom from lesbian and gay people who *don’t* believe God hates them and wants them to be miserable. You are trying to enforce your religious view of marriage on civil law.

            And worst of all. you’re claiming as a religious freedom, the right to persecute and discriminate against others for not believing what you do!

            How offensive is that?

          • Meagan

            No where do I preach that God hates anyone. If I have, I would love for you to respond to this with my writings of it. No where have I said that if you don’t have children you won’t go to heaven. I don’t know if you just don’t understand or if you are just irrational. That that is the thing that you don’t understand. I believe in God and live by God’s law. There is only one being in this world that I live to please and that is Him. You obviously either don’t believe in God, have misinterpreted His teachings, or just don’t care to go by His guidelines. If by me believing and going by His teachings offends other, I’m sorry. But I’m not going to risk my salvation as so not offend someone. I put God at #1 in my life and what He says goes, it’s that easy. You also have skipped over a few of the things we previously talking about, like how you think God thinks it’s ok for homosexuals to marry under civil law. Anyway, you obviously aren’t reading what I post or just take bits and pieces to twist around, like the whole McDonalds thing you were posting about. I guess this will be the end of our discussion because I’m not going to keep trying to clarify my writings with someone who doesn’t care to read them correctly or simply is trying to distort everything I say.

          • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

            “No where do I preach that God hates anyone.”

            You’ve been preaching that “Christ teaches” hatred for gay people: isn’t this the same thing?

            “I believe in God and live by God’s law. There is only one being in this world that I live to please and that is Him. ”

            So why do you believe that you please God by promoting hatred for and discrimination against gay people?

            ” If by me believing and going by His teachings offends other, I’m sorry. ”

            Where do you think God teaches that you should deny basic civil and human rights to lesbian and gay people? You say that opposing the right of same-sex couples to get married is you “going by His teachings” – so, please, tell me: where in the Bible does it teach you that you please God by opposing same-sex couples the freedom to marry?

            “You also have skipped over a few of the things we previously talking about, like how you think God thinks it’s ok for homosexuals to marry under civil law.”

            I responded to that in full upthread – I don’t see how in a secular society you can justify denying people basic civil rights because you think God wants those people not to have basic equalities. I just don’t.

            Now I’m asking you to explain, citing chapter and verse, why in your view Christ is teaching you to oppose civil rights for lesbian and gay people.

          • Meagan

            I’m not going to even comment on the hatred thing, you are putting words in my mouth and telling me I’m saying God hates people when I haven’t. As far as citing scripture, I have previously. 15 But if your brother shall offend against you, go, and rebuke him between you and him alone. If he shall hear you, you shall gain your brother. 16 And if he will not hear you, take with you one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. 17 And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to you as the heathen and publican.
            I’m talking Universal Law here, what is wrong in the eyes of the Church is wrong for everything. It goes back to the whole abortion thing. It’s obvious we have come to the end of our discussion. Thanks for a good, clean conversation. :)

  • JudgeJoe

    During the recent California trial on Proposition 8 (which banned SSM in California), one expert who testified against SSM made the point that, at least for a male SSM, you are removing monogamy as an essential part of marriage. A male SSM would be at best 1960’s “open marraige” where sex with others is allowed at all times. This has a direct impact on the marital vow most of us have taken: “forsaking all others”. Even in our pornography drenched culture, most of our fellow Americans find adultery objectionable and understand that sexual faithfulness is an absolute requirement of marriage, no matter how imperfectly practiced. It is NOT common knowledge that
    homosexual men are not monogamous. Monogamy has never been a part of male homosexual culture or practice. If someone denies this, then a reminder of the “glory hole” booths for anonymous sex between homosexual men in porn shops since the 1970’s should stop this argument. If not, then other distasteful male homosexual practices, such as multiple partner bath houses, can be used to illustrate beyond any doubt that monogamy is not a part of male homosexual practice, even in “committed relationships”. The question then becomes is monogamy essential to marriage. Can we call it marriage if the adultery prohibition is lifted? If most homosexual men reject the prohibition on adultery, then is not their sexual behavior essentially immoral, at least as related to the concept of marriage.How can marriage exist without the adultery prohibition. This is a common sense argument I have found effective in, at least getting others to pause on the concept of SSM. I believe this appeal to the lifting of the adultery prohibition, can be our wining argument, because most people understand it viscerally, and this visceral understanding can overcome all the sophistry and lies we see in this area. No matter what you call it, it is not marriage. Thoughts?

  • James S

    My goodness all of you, listen to yourselves, on Sunday no less.

    • Bob

      James, I know what you’re saying, but…….Judge………will the recently passed SSM law in New York be lacking an adultery clause?

      Wasn’t there also recently an issue in New Hampshire where a Lesbian couple divorced, and they had a child by in vitro fertilization. The partner that was impregnated claimed that she should have sole custody of the child because her ex-partner had no biological claim to the child?

  • Bob

    David’s last paragraph is important:

    “We may not change many minds, regardless of which approach we take. But by focusing on the argument that homosexual behavior is immoral/unnatural, we will at least stiffen the opposition to same-sex marriage among religious and philosophical traditionalists. If we table that argument, we will have played into the hands of our opponents. By our silence, we have virtually conceded that homosexual behavior is neither immoral nor unnatural — and, by extension, we have all but conceded that same-sex marriage is appropriate, too.”
    .

  • James S

    Simply put to this delightful Sunday discourse may I say-
    Do not forget that the sacrament of Matrimony is a sacred state, period. It is untamperable and impermeable. No one can alter or undermine it, God will protect it. You may rest, it is safe, as are all of the 7 sacraments. Whatever else happens in the world as far as coupling is concerned is just what is happening in the world. I have far too much soul searching after Corpus Christi Sunday to be bothered with all that worldly stuff. It was a great day today after the Eucharist, I only hope tomorrow will bring more.
    J

  • Bob

    James……I admire your love of the Church!

    And you are right, Christ will protect the sacraments. And for 2000 years, how has he done this? By us, the Body of Christ, the Church Militant. Through Church history, its members have always been called to be “red and white” martyrs in defense of the teachings of Christ through His church. Red, as far as actually shedding blood. White, which most of us are called to, to push back against the immorality of some aspects of secular society. We must stand tall for Christ’s teachings and prepare to be persecuted “in His name.”:

    – John the Baptist, beheaded for calling out Herrod’s adultery.

    -Ten of the twelve apostles, dieing horrible martyr deaths pushing back against the evils of the Roman empire.

    – Christ Himself, challenged the times He lived in, as we all know dieing an ugly death.

    – Ignatius of Antioch, defending against heresies, going to the lions.

    – Stephen and Sebastian.

    – twenty-nine of the first thirty-one popes, all dieing martyrs deaths.

    – And on and on………..

    At our baptism, we are called to defend the Church with our very lives. At our confirmation, we are sent with the power of the Holy Spirit to evangelize and spread the
    Good News of Christ. And we must do this with a loving, charitable heart.

    Flannery O’Connor said “The more socety pushes against you (as a Catholic), the more you must push back against society.” When we defend with love the teachings of Christ through His Church we are standing in good company of the Church Triumphant in heaven.

  • Meagan

    James that is a wonderful point to make, and Bob you are correct as well. Thanks guys for a really great conversation. It is always nice being able to talk about this issues in a loving environment, instead of having rude comments lodged at you for only trying to stand up for what you believe, whichever side you are on. Will be praying for you all I’ve spoken with on here. May God Bless you all!

    • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

      Meagan, no apologies from you for making rude comments about what James believes all the way down this page?

      • Meagan

        No Jesurgislac, I don’t think that I have said anything hateful or rude to James. I guess me having an opinion comes across as simply being rude.

        • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

          No, you believing that James is legally and spiritually your inferior is arrogant: your saying so is rude.

          • Meagan

            Jesurgislac, I had a very nice conversation with James. I don’t know why you feel like you need to put your opinion in on it and try and start something. I think James has a wonderful spirituality. He as well agrees with me on the sinfulness of this matter. I’m not sure what your mission is in this whole thing, but I’ll be praying for you. We all need prayer, me included. If James thought that I was rude I’m sure he would have told me. I thought we had a nice discussion and assume he thought so too.

        • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

          Let’s be clear, too: you’re not saying this is just you “having an opinion”. You’re arguing that you know what God wants, and what God wants is for James not to have the same legal rights you do: you justify this by saying Christ teaches you that it’s pleasing to God for you to oppose James having the legal right to marry in civil law.

          Granted you haven’t said this specifically about James. You’ve just said it about *all* gay people, *including* James. You’re not just “having an opinion”: you’re citing your belief that you live to please God by opposing basic human rights for James and for thousands of other gay men and lesbians.

          That’s not just offensive to me. It’s offensive to anyone who thinks that God isn’t pleased when Christians persecute people for their sexual orientation; to anyone who thinks Christianity is not a religion of homophobia, but of love.

          • Meagan

            I do know what God wants. God wants a marriage to be between a man and a woman, no matter if it is civil law or not. Therefore, since marriage is between a man and woman in God’s eyes, if a man and woman don’t marry, whether it be two women, two men, or a man and woman who simply just don’t want to marry, they are to remain chaste. Again, you throw homophobia into the picture. You would think eventually you would come up with a better comeback than that. Perhaps someone should tells Jesus Christ that he is a homophobic bigot?

          • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

            “God wants a marriage to be between a man and a woman, no matter if it is civil law or not. ”

            So you believe God wants lesbians and gay men to be denied the same civil rights as heterosexual people. Where in the Bible are you looking to find this?

            “Perhaps someone should tells Jesus Christ that he is a homophobic bigot?”

            Well, you are certainly asserting that!

            I, however, am not. Because I have read the gospels and I know that there’s nothing in them that justifies your claim that Jesus is a homophobic bigot: not one word against homosexuality, and not one word justifying your belief that you please Christ by denying others human rights. You are arguing for the bigotry of Jesus; I am not.

          • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

            ” Therefore, since marriage is between a man and woman in God’s eyes, if a man and woman don’t marry, whether it be two women, two men, or a man and woman who simply just don’t want to marry, they are to remain chaste. ”

            I always find it odd when people want to limit God’s vision to their own prejudices. You can’t imagine two men being married, so you want to think that God shares your prejudices.

            This is the “God hates gay people and wants them to be unhappy” argument. It’s really not a good one.

          • Meagan

            A reply was posted a few posts down, not sure why they keep ending up in different places.

  • http://www.bannonoceanart.com bill bannon

    Jesurgislac
    Catholicism considers the NT epistles to be from the Holy Spirit and since the Trinity always acts as one, the scriptures in Romans are from the whole Trinity. Read Romans chapter one which condemns gay actions in se, in themselves regardless of committment…. for both genders as being against nature.

  • Meagan

    “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. . . . If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them” (Lev. 18:22, 20:13).

    “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. . . . Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them” (Rom. 1:26–28, 32).

    “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9–10, NIV).

    And again, no where do I say God hates homosexuals. God hates the sin, not the sinner.

    • Meagan

      Another thing Jesurgislac, why do you think that I am saying any of this? You feel that I have hated towards practicing homosexuals, but do you know the belief of the Catholic Church? If you do, you would understand why I am saying what I am saying. Not only do we believe marriage is for a man and a woman, but we speak out about it for the well being of the people practicing homosexuality. You say I have hatred, that is the exact opposite. The Church teaching is that practicing homosexuality is a mortal sin, and without confession there is a good chance that the unrepentant, unchanging sinner will go to hell. Now, that being said, no one but God decides that, but that is the teaching that we go by is that is you have mortal sin when you die you are more than likely going to hell. So can you atleast sort of see where I am coming from? This is out of love, the love of wanting as many people to get to heaven as possible. If you can’t see that, then there really is nothing else to say.

      • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

        “Another thing Jesurgislac, why do you think that I am saying any of this?”

        From what you say yourself, you’re saying this because you think God is telling you to go around being publicly judgemental of other people’s sins.

        ” but do you know the belief of the Catholic Church? ”

        Probably better than you do. I’ve read (in English) the Vatican documents that outline as a doctrine of the faith that same-sex couples with children ought to be condemned as child abusers. I’ve listened to Cardinals and bishops explaining that it’s the responsibility of the Church to ensure that schools don’t protect children against homophobic bullying – both children who are identified as gay, and the children of lesbian and gay parents. And I’ve read any number of lay Catholics, including you of course, explain that you regard it as your God-given duty to ensure that lesbian and gay people are left in no doubt that God hates them and wants them to be miserable.

        “The Church teaching is that practicing homosexuality is a mortal sin, and without confession there is a good chance that the unrepentant, unchanging sinner will go to hell. ”

        Well, the difficulty here (set aside disagreements about whether hell exists!) is that you are setting homosexuality up as a special and unique sin such that the sinners thereof must be denied equal civil rights in order to bring them to repentance. This is the doctrine of the Spanish Inquisition, not of religious freedom. There are many mortal sins which are entirely legal and which Catholics make not the slightest effort to make illegal – masturbation, for example. Why are you singling out homosexuality?

        The second difficulty is that you are setting yourself and other heterosexual Catholics up as the special police entitled to persecute and discrimnate against all gay people – Catholic or not! What justification do you find in the teachings of Christ to set yourself up as a Pharisee to judge others?

        “So can you atleast sort of see where I am coming from?”

        Oh, sure. As explained above. You’re coming from a position of believing yourself to be pure and special and entitled to judge, and believing that lesbian and gay people are ultra-special sinners who deserve to be persecuted.

        This is not “love”. This isn’t even charity. This is you standing like the Pharisee in the temple telling others that God will judge the tax collector!

        What makes you think that denying people civil rights will get them into heaven? Why do you think you’ll get into heaven for fighting against civil rights for same-sex couples? What in the teaching of Christ makes you believe he wants you to be a Pharisee?

        • Meagan

          Ok, if that’s how you see it then there is no sense in further stating my side. Sorry you feel that way, and best of luck. Hopefully I’ll see you in heaven one day. And no, I don’t mean that speaking of you, I say that speaking of me. I know I’m a sinner and I’m not perfect, and I hope I make it there! Best wishes.

    • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

      ““You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. . . . If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them” (Lev. 18:22, 20:13″

      As I thought: you can’t come up with a single quote from Jesus, all you’ve got is a citation from Jewish law and a couple of tired quotes from Paul… Tell me, since you advocate Jewish law as binding on Christians, how do you stand on garments of mixed fibers and meals of dairy and meat?

      “And again, no where do I say God hates homosexuals. God hates the sin, not the sinner.”

      And yet you cheerfully advocate putting gay people to death, arguing that Jesus would have wanted it that way. That’s your idea of love?

  • James S

    Good morning everyone!
    It is all really simple, sense dictates what is right and what is wrong for the Catholic that is in grace, it just happens.
    When we are angered, or driven by passion things just go sideways. We act out, we sin and all that other human stuff.
    I was startled last night by Bobs comment about sexual sins and Fatima. I have to delve into this one as I found it a bit strange.
    Meagan, don’t worry I am by no means insulted in any way shape or form. The only difference between you and I is level of militance I think ;-))
    One last thing, I always have trouble seeing the word “hate” next to “God”. I think that God is rather, “saddened” and “removed” by sin. But hate somehow is just too hateful a word.

    • Meagan

      James you seem like a very sweet, laid back person. I also want to look into Bob’s comment. I have heard other people give reference to the first sin being sexual, but never really looked into. And I’m glad you aren’t offended. As I told Jesu earlier, we believe practicing homosexuality is a mortal sin, and that by trying to get others to see this will hopefully get as many people to heaven as possible. It is the same thing as sex before marriage, contraception, etc. And if anyone thinks I don’t speak my mind about that either, they are wrong…lol! Another strange thing is I didn’t really stange up for my faith or beliefs before I was Catholic, odd huh?

      • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

        “we believe practicing homosexuality is a mortal sin, and that by trying to get others to see this will hopefully get as many people to heaven as possible.”

        And you believe that you get people to heaven by denying them civil rights? You think that at the end of days, Jesus is going to ask you “How many people did you convince they were in a state of mortal sin?” Why do you think Christ is teaching you to spend your time trying to convince other people that they’re in a state of mortal sin?

      • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

        Meagan, in all honesty – the threading software here is just getting so complicated, and comments are going in such different places, that I’m completely losing the thread of your argument and mine.

        Let’s set this down and maybe take it up again some other time.

    • http://www.bannonoceanart.com bill bannon

      James
      You are a wonderful addition to the Catholic web. You will find though the word “hate” used of God but Aquinas held such use to be anthropopathisms whereby human emotions are substituted for God’s choice….His will…so that He does not really feel hate in “Jacob I have loved but Esau I have hated” Malachi 1:3…nor about sin in ” I hate divorce saith the Lord God” in Malachi 2:16.
      His will is totally against divorce….so the word “hate” is used for His will but God is constant joy and happiness and as He says (“I am the Lord and I change not”….”there is in Him no change or shadow of alteration”) so Aquinas ruled
      out all emotional disturbance within God excepting when
      Christ was on earth and really felt anger etc.
      Aquinas said humans have a lower part of the soul wherein changing emotions live (affection,hatred,anger)…and a higher part of the soul which
      has the more permanent realities like real love as opposed to changing affections. Aquinas then notes that God only
      has the higher not the lower. So God can choose or will damnation to a covetous one to use your example way above….but He can only be said to hate them like He says He hated Esau…in an anthropopathic or metaphoric sense
      but not in an emotional sense. Were fundies to all read that part of Aquinas, their lives would be so more relieved of seeing God as filled with changing, disturbing contradictory emotions. He is Love and is constantly Joy in that love even though He chooses things like punishments and deaths as in the both cases pertaining to Herod in Acts 12.

  • James S

    Bill, brilliant, thanks for making it make sense. I think I better get off my butt and read the bible more……..
    I’m reading a great old book (over and over) that belonged to my Mom and I think my Dads Mom before her called ” The Imitation of Christ” by T. a Kempis. Have you seen it? Just a little thing, but really puts it all into good perspective, lessons about absolutely everything, really a good book. I’ve carted it around for years, pick it up, put it down, pick it up. Should be required reading for all of us.
    Don’t know much about the Catholic Web yet, just started looking at New Advent.com lately, that’s how I got going on the whole gay marriage thing, like that site though, good stuff about what’s going on in Rome, I guess that this is an American based site? I’m in Canada.

    • http://www.bannonoceanart.com bill bannon

      James
      Read the Imitation so long ago….it certainly has a long pedigree….but thereafter I went on to read Scripture cover to cover and Aquinas’ Summa T cover to cover and most of Augustine during my twenties. By that time, my brain was too full so I taught myself fancy diving and became aquatic for awhile…lol…now I stock trade, my head is there again and raise cash to rescue Beijing babies and pre borns at a Catholic orphanage there… (because I eventually married a Beijing babe). Keep on keepin’ on…the cross is universal. It only seems unique to you at times….then turn on the tv and you’ll see cross after cross that are big too….on the nightly news.

      • James S

        Hey Bill,
        Can I start a new thread on here?
        Never mind, I will anyways.
        What about the situation in China right now with the state appointed Bishops? I find this rather outrageous, and not just a bit scary. Consider for a moment if this goes on for lets say, 100 years, with no return to Rome, the ramifications could be huge.
        Does anyone know what Rome is doing about this problem, or is it really just media hype?
        China is a very vibrant nation now and this makes me worry.

        • http://www.bannonoceanart.com bill bannon

          James….I shall not follow you into such a thread detour. Margaret C. is a tough editor. Study Chinese history of the 19th century and you will understand why China wants no foreign leaders like a Pope. France, the Catholic rep then, helped force British opium on them. Bye.

          • James S

            thanks.

    • Meagan

      James, newadvent is a great sit. Also look at Biblechristiansociety.com (i think it’s .com) and catholic.com They are more resource sites, but they are very good!

  • Bob

    Where Christ discusses the union of man and woman in His divine plan, not union of man and man, or woman and woman. Only a husband and wife can become “one flesh.”:

    Matt. 19:6 – after referring to God’s divine plan for man and woman, Jesus says a husband and wife become one flesh, which ultimately reflects God’s union with humanity through the Church. Homosexual unions pervert this divine truth of God’s love for and union with the human race.

    • Meagan

      Bob, I applaud you for trying to continue in the discussion with Jesu. Good luck with anything you try to tell them. They will twist anything and everything you say. They twisted me saying what I did out of love, in to me hating anyone that is homosexual and condemning them to hell.

      • Bob

        I’ve seen Jesu’s postings elsewhere on the net, and seems like someone whom rejected the Truth of Christ long ago. He/she only gets their kicks in attacking the Catholic Church. Ignore him/her.

  • Bob

    Shake your sandles off of Jesu Meagan, and pray for him/her………..

    • Meagan

      Amen to that. I have told them I would be praying for them, guess that’s all we can do. Thanks for the kind words Bob.

  • Gibbons in SF

    I don’t agree that the arguments against counterfeit marriage are failing. They need to be continually articulated, certainly. But whenever it is a single stand alone issue before the voters, we win. In a legislature there will always be a number of legislators convincable by money or by the need to compromise in order to advance other issues.

  • http://www.eggandsperm.org John Howard

    “Unless you’re willing to assert that homosexual behavior is immoral or unnatural (or both), you’ll have a hard time making an effective case against same-sex marriage (SSM).”

    Actually, unless you’re willing to assert that same-sex procreation is wrong, you’ll have a hard time making an effective case against SSM.

    Marriage approves and allows the couple to reproduce offspring together, and should continue to do so. Couples (like siblings) that are prohibited from creating offspring are never allowed to marry. Same-sex couples should also be prohibited from procreating offspring together, because it would require genetically modified stem-cell derived gametes or some other genetic engineering technique, and be expensive and unethical and destroy the basis of equality and dignity.

  • V

    “Catholics have a bad habit of theorizing about economics and politics in ways that sneak the state in under the cover of personal morality. Is it right to do nothing to help the suffering when the means are easily at your disposal to help? If you say that doing nothing would be wrong, and that action needs to be taken — so the argument goes — the next step is to say that “society,” meaning the state,” must therefore act.”

    I took this quote from
    http://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/there-is-no-third-way … for your information.

    I think this whole argument is disingenuous. IF marriage is a sacrament, a sacred mystery of God, then WHY is the government involved with it at all?

    Marriage has nothing to do with government perks or handouts. These arguments have no meaning, They are the fruits of coercion that is a prime feature of our current system.

    IF the government MUST know what sacred bond I have with my husband, then let it be a record keeper, not a gate keeper.

    That way, we can have this argument in a legitimate way… what is the *Catholic* definition of marriage, not the Definition of Marriage in the United States, or the EU, or whatever. Most people we aim our discourse at don’t believe in sin at all… so how can we show them what is moral or not moral under the cover of law?

    For this reason, we simply cannot use the government as a club for enforcing morality. WE must make the persuasive argument, to the people who live where we are, as to why WE do things the way we do, and to explain God as we know Him. This is the only path I can see to Freedom as we know it. Otherwise, it goes from an argument about freedom, to an argument about survival on both sides. This leads to bloodshed, imprisonment, and hatred.

    Jesus did speak, in public, at noon, to the (male) water bearer in the public square. This does not mean that he commanded his Church to condone marriage between anything but a single man and a single woman… but IF this issue stays out of the courts, then it is simply a matter for the Gays to go down the street and get a license from PFLAG. This way, all we are left to do is explain to our own Flock why it is that Gays cannot marry in the Catholic Church, and not speak for all churches.

    Unfortunately, in this “Land of the Free”, thanks to some obsolete and racist laws that allow the Government to tell whom can and cannot marry…
    We are left at a choice between Gays in prison for trying to marry, and Priests in prison for upholding Church Doctrine.

    For what it’s worth, there weren’t any such laws until it was decided that whites and blacks or whites and native Americans could not marry. That was the latter part of the 19th Century, a part of the “Great Society” movement, which promulgated this “legislate morality” movement. (It started with the Whigs… do we really need to remind ourselves what happened on that score?) If the government apes the Church, the Church itself looses legitimacy.

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